The five gadgets you need to beat the winter blues

You’ve undoubtedly felt the chill in the air of late: it’s true, winter is coming.

Before too long you’ll be reuniting with your favourite winter socks, sipping cups of hot chocolate and settling down on the couch.

Before hibernating turns into a case of seasonal affective disorder – literally SAD – you should probably know about these awesome gadgets that can help you keep the winter blues at bay.

Swap movie marathons for novel adventures with Kindle Voyage

Of all the eReaders, the Voyage is hard to go past.

The screen has a matte finish, intended to mimic paper.

Its auto-brightness setting makes the surface look like a well-lit page, no matter where you might find yourself reading.

With a 300 pixels-per-inch (ppi) density display, the text is laser-sharp making for an easy and enjoyable reading experience.

Measuring roughly the length of a pencil, (16.2 cm to be precise), it can slide easily into your handbag or parka pocket.

And weighing only 178 grams, it’s so light you’ll barely notice it’s there.

Kindle Voyage

Who says you have to go outdoors to find adventure? Try the Kindle Voyage. Image source: Ars Technica

Stream shows and movies to your TV using Chromecast 2

If you’ve been curling up in front of a laptop to watch your favourite TV shows, the Chromecast will be met with some relief.

It’s a streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV.

You need a smartphone or tablet – Android or iOS – with an app that has Google Cast capability (think YouTube, Netflix, Stan, Spotify, etc.).

Then you can ‘cast’ shows from your device to your TV, so you can watch shows in bigger, better quality.

Boasting better connectivity than the original Chromecast, this device is a must for binge-watching your next show.

Chromecast 2

Image source: Digital Trends

Witness your winter fitness with the Fitbit Alta activity tracker

You might associate winter more with Netflix marathons than training for a marathon, but if you’re looking for some motivation, you’ll love the Fitbit Alta.

Ever wondered how much distance you clock-up during office walk-and-talks or on your lunchbreak?

This unobtrusive wrist device records every step you take during the day, the calories you burn, and wirelessly syncs with your phone, tablet or laptop.

Keeping on track with your fitness progress will keep you healthy and motivated during the colder months – and you’ll have no need to feel guilty for spending all-day Saturday lounging on the couch.

Fitbit Alta activity tracker

Using Fitbit Alta can help you balance Netflix marathons and perhaps training for marathons. Image: supplied

Heating goes hi-tech: SwannOne Zen Thermostat

Did you leave the heater on before you left the house?

This winter, you’ll never have to ask yourself that again.

Forgive the enthusiasm: thermostats aren’t something we’d normally be excited by.

However, this smart thermostat is extremely simple to use, and allows you to control the temperature of your home remotely through an app on your smartphone.

Coming home to a cold house are officially a problem of the past.

SwannOne Zen Thermostat

Image source: So Gadget

Take smart notes: Livescribe 3 Smartpen

Note-takers, beware: taking down notes just got much more addictive.

This inauspicious-looking pen sends your handwritten notes instantly to your iOS or Android device while recording audio to link with any text file.

Change your notes from an ad hoc mess to a completely organised, tagged and searchable system.

Basically, if James Bond was an undergraduate, this is the pen he would choose.

Take smart notes with the Livescribe 3 Smartpen

Image source: Livescribe



Is your workplace designed for productivity?

How your workplace design helps - or hinders - productivity

Everything you need to know about making your workplace more productive by design

How to make employees happy and time-rich with flexible work

How to make employees more comfortable, happy and time-rich

Does your workplace have a flexible work policy?