Archives for May 11, 2021

Gadgets every modern home needs

Most people love a good gadget. It’s sort of one of those hangovers from our childhoods, where buttons that bleep and things that whizz and whirr hold excitement far beyond the physical reality of a toy robot that walks five steps and falls over.

But the home can be a confusing place. Do some gadgets represent good value for money? Will you actually use them? Or are they a passing trend that will soon go the way of the Nintendo Gameboy, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo GameCube, or Nintendo DS? Incidentally, wow…the smart people at Nintendo sure know how to win our short term market affections!

If you are more likely to know how to clean a lawn mower carburetor than understand how to install an app on your iPad, this is your chance to catch up with the basics.

Voice-controlled home assistant

These days, a voice-controlled home assistant is nothing new. However, some people still believe that the older and impractical early versions of home assistants are all that is available.

In fairness, early home assistants were hit and miss at best. Countless comedy routines have included jibes about how the flawed software would miss-hear voice commands, leading to preposterous responses that descend into a humorous argument and a difficult to unravel misunderstanding. 

But that is rarely the case in the modern era of voice-controlled home assistants. Ask for the weather, ask for film recommendations, ask for a recipe, ask for who played General Hux in Star Wars and then ask for who played the male lead in the 2018 movie Peter Rabbit, just to see if you were right about it being the same person (spoiler alert: it is). 

There’s no end to the usefulness of a voice-controlled home assistant once you get the hang of it.

Coffee machine

Did you know that instant coffee brewed with hot water from a kettle accounts for less than 10% of the American market for home coffee? Yet, in the UK, just under half the population couldn’t live without instant coffee.

So what’s going on? To be brash about it, the Americans are right.

Instant coffee is rainwater mixed with soil in comparison to filtered coffee brewed in a proper machine. The difference is uplifting. Say goodbye to a mouth that tastes like your tongue has been licking the floor while you were asleep and say hello to coffee that leaves you feeling awake and happy (like it should).

An internet-ready device (that doesn’t need ten minutes to warm up) 

If you’ve never had to open the casing of your desktop computer and place a bag of frozen peas inside your tower to keep the thing cool enough to work, you’ve clearly lived a charmed life of internet access with which this writer cannot compete.

The internet is like daylight. It’s up there with running water and a bank account. You need it. Life is done online. If your preferred device takes 15 minutes to switch on, look into an upgrade and enjoy a better quality of web surfing.