We try out six of the best tech relief gadgets for you
Technology makes our lives easier, but sometimes it comes with side-effects. These great devices can help. Polly Weeks reports.
Adlens Interface Glasses, £44.99, from www.adlens.com/uk
Whether you work in an office and spend your days in front of a computer, or are just addicted to your smartphone, it's likely that when it comes to eye health, you've probably felt the effects of staring at a screen for too long. In fact, research from The Vision Council found that 61% of adults have experienced digital eye strain. It's caused by the blue light emitted by screens and symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, eye fatigue and dry eyes. These nifty little glasses stop the harmful light and annoying symptoms in their tracks. The lightweight yellow lenses cut out 80% of the blue light and what's more, you can adjust them from 0 to 2.75 dioptres simply by turning the screws on either side of the glasses - so you won't be squinting either.
Plug peace of mind
Hive Active Plug, £39, from www.hivehome.com
You used to leave the house and the only nagging worry would be if you'd locked the door or not. Nowadays, there are plenty of concerns to add to the list: are the hair straighteners still on? Did we unplug the charger from the wall? If not, is it a fire hazard? That's where Hive's Active Plug helps. Pop the plug directly into your wall socket and plug your gadget into it. Then, when you become concerned the iron's still on, you can click onto the accompanying app and ensure it's turned off. One thing to note, you'll also need to invest in the Hive Hub (£80) which plugs into your router and connects your hive products together. Other gadgets in the range include a window or door sensor so you can nip your traditional, 'Did I close the door?' worry in the bud, too.
Light up your life
BenQ WiT Lamp, £159, from www.wit-lighting.com
We've swapped the home office for a laptop and battered old books for an eReader. You've adjusted your tools, but how about the lighting? Whether you're using a desk lamp that only lights up part of your screen or you're sitting in a dark corner and squinting, bad lighting when paired with modern technology can play havoc with your vision, leaving you with eye strain and fatigue. That's where this light comes in. Created specifically for eReading, the wide lamp comes with 'smile curve technology' which means you'll get even light coverage across screens up to 90cm wide. In addition, it comes with a light sensor. Tap the ring on the corner and it will adjust the brightness to suit the environment. Nifty.
That's a wrap
Wraps Wristband Headphones, from £14.99, from www.mywraps.com
We used to use headphones to occasionally listen to music. Now, with smartphones, cheaper data bundles and all-encompassing media, we're reaching for them every time we go online. From checking out videos that friends have uploaded, to watching news reports, there's always something to watch - and listen to. However, this can prove costly when it comes to earphones, no matter how many times we promise we'll put them neatly away after using them, they are inevitably thrown into our bags and then, not only do they come out all tangled up, but we inevitably break them under the weight of other products. These headphones do something very clever, but very simple, to combat this problem. They're made so that when not in use you can instead wrap them around your wrist, not only making a pretty bracelet, but ensuring they won't get tangled or broken.
Jewel in the crown
Altruis By Vinaya Jewellery, prices start £220, from www.vinaya.com
You're having a deep and meaningful conversation with a loved one, but are very aware that you're awaiting an important call, email, text or Whatsapp notification. You don't want to be 'that' person, constantly looking at their phone during a conversation, but what other option do you have? How about investing in a piece of Vinaya jewellery? Taking the wearable tech tag seriously, the pretty pieces will connect to your smartphone and vibrate when you get a message. What's more, you can set it up so only certain contacts or keywords cause the jewellery to subtly shake, so you won't be disturbed unnecessarily.
Cushion the blow
HoMedics Heated Shiatsu Massage Cushion with Remote Control, £54.99, from www.homedics.co.uk
We sit hunched over our laptops, tablets and phones, not only giving ourselves poor posture, but also neck and back pain. If you find yourself feeling particularly sore after a tech session, treat yourself to a shiatsu massage courtesy of this gadget. The cushion will help soothe those aches away - whether they are in your legs, back or shoulders and neck. Plug it in, place it on the area that needs attention and let the gizmo do its work. It heats, up, comes with a remote control and has an automatic shut off after 15 minutes so you can't over do it. A great tool to ease muscular tension.
App of the week
QualityTime, free, Google Play
Research carried out by YouGov and Hillarys (www.hillarys.co.uk) found 38% of Brits spend three to four hours in front of screens per night, even though more than half know it's likely to disrupt their sleep. So if you're one of the many who finds it hard to switch off, this app could help. It lets you monitor exactly how much you're using your phone and apps. Most importantly, it will let you set restrictions so if you think you'll spend hours on social networking sites when you should be asleep, you can set a limit on your usage.
Top 10 bestselling iPhone apps
1. Face Swap Live - Switch faces with friends & photos in live video by Laan Labs
2. KIMOJI by Whalerock Digital Media, LLC
3. Football Manager Mobile 2016 by SEGA
4. The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit for Car Drivers by TSO
5. Minecraft: Pocket Edition by Mojang
6. Facetune by Lightricks Ltd.
7. Heads Up! by Warner Bros.
8. 7 Minute Workout Challenge by Fitness Guide Inc
9. Plague Inc. by Ndemic Creations
10. MONOPOLY Game by Electronic Arts