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What’s new in technology

Mark Gale

Mark Gale

Author

Technology

Whether you’re looking for a clever gadget or a special gift, or just want to stay up to date, here’s our pick of the best from the world of technology

Smart But Simple

The Doro 8030 smartphone is designed for anyone who finds smartphones frustrating or overwhelming, but might still like to have some of the benefits they bring. It’s described as the smartphone that ‘thinks like you’, and it has a unique ‘I want to’ button, which simplifies the way you communicate and find things on the phone, making the whole experience more natural and understandable. The Doro costs £180 to buy outright, but it’s also recently become available on monthly deals, starting at £9.50 from Carphone Warehouse.

Heat Your Feet

Imagine having a cushioned radiator in your shoes. Well, now you can. These insoles are controlled via a smartphone app and will keep your feet feeling toasty. The app also allows you to adjust the temperature of one or both feet until it’s just to your liking. It will track your footsteps with the same accuracy when you head out for that winter walk, making it possible to keep fit and active in cold weather while also keeping warm. At around £170 for a pair, these don’t come cheap – but they are unique. Find them at Digitsole.

And Relax

Hypnotherapist Glenn Harrold’s bestselling Mindful Meditation CDs are now available as stand-alone apps on iPhone, iPad and Android, tackling issues such as self-healing, deep sleep and relaxation. We particularly like the relaxation app that promises to help you find inner peace. Not bad for £2.29 each.

A Bendy Phone?

Yes, really. Believe it or not, Samsung has been working on bendable technology for several years, but recently filed a patent for such a device. Could 2017 be the year we see a foldable smartphone? Watch this space.

Talking Pictures

The technology may not be cutting-edge, but what we love about this talking photo album is that it’s extremely versatile, adds a new dimension to photographs and would make a lovely, personal gift. Fill it with memorable photos (it has 20 pages) and then record up to 200 minutes of stories, music or sound effects to accompany them. Each page has its own play/pause button and holds a traditional 5x7 inch photo or image. Best of all, it’s really simple to set up and use. It costs £41.95 from Unforgettable.

 

Have Words With Friends

If you’re a fan of Scrabble or chess, you may be pleased to know that both games are available – entirely free – on smartphones and tablets under the name Words with Friends (for Scrabble) and Chess with Friends (for chess). Or if you like playing hangman with the grandchildren, try Hanging with Friends.

Improve Your Sleep 

This ‘sleep retraining’ gadget delivers the latest in sleep science to your home and promises to help you fall asleep sooner and for longer. The Thim (a cross between a ring and a thimble) is worn on your finger and is the brainchild of a clinical sleep psychologist. It measures your sleep and sleep quality with incredible accuracy from the minute you go under. Thim will be priced at about £80 – its release date isn’t confirmed, but watch out for it early next year.

Smart Travel

Do you worry about losing your luggage on holiday? Here are two new gadgets that could help make travelling far less stressful.

Lock And Go

This special luggage lock, available in a range of colours, is controlled from your phone so that you can track your case from location to location. But that’s not all. The AirBolt Smart Travel Lock will also lock your case without the use of keys. It’s all done via your phone, and means you never have to worry about losing those keys again, or remembering a combination lock. It’s available from The Fowndry for £69.99.

Clever Cover 

These gorgeous suitcase covers are stylish and easy to recognise on an airport carousel. They’re also rather clever, because each one contains its own integrated tracking system, which allows you to trace your luggage if it gets lost or stolen. From £38 at Bibelib.

Photos: Getty, iStock

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