I am not a huge fan of buying shoes online, but with no sign of the lockdown ending I bit the bullet and checked a few sites. I ended up with Debenhams – yes I know they will not reopen but any purchase with a Credit/Debit card should be safe – simply because of the price.
As the only way anyone can get around safely is by walking my shoes have taken a fair amount of punishment and with the cost of repairs such as ‘sole and heal’ being astronomical these days it becomes pointless to do so, it may not be good for the planet but when repairs are twice the price of a new pair it’s a no brainer. There is a good amount of information about the shoe and also several images available so if you are sure of your size it becomes easy.
When normality returns, and we can move about at will, the next product could be a useful aid.
TCP. with more than 25 years of experience in the production of lighting products, has released its Smart Wi-Fi Multicoloured LED bulb.
Brightening up the home environment, especially important as we are spending more time at home due to the restriction enforced during lockdown, is the task of TCP's latest product. Available as either a bayonet (my choice) or screw-type 60W product, this bulb could, at first sight, easily be mistaken for a regular dumb bulb device. However. once inserted in an appropriate light socket, the bulb reveals its true colours (pun intended) in the form of additional features.
With all of us spending more time in our ‘bubbles’ clean air is vital as otherwise if one gets a cold – or worse – we all get it. So this device from Philips could well help. It is rare that I quote the top of the box in this introduction but here it seems appropriate ‘removes 99.97% of airborne allergens’ is the claim.
The claims are that it removes Pollen, Pet Danger, Household Dust, Outdoor Pollution, Gas, Dust Mite Allergens, Bacteria and Virus. You can track everything via the Philips Clean Home App. The Philips Air Purifier 3000i AC3033 measures 64.5cm tall and round at 27.5cm, it comes fully assembled but you have to remove the lower back half to remove the packaging from the filter which is already in place. It has a 1.8 metre hard wired mains lead that emerges from the base at the back.
Normally I get a lot of ideas from ‘Christmas In July’ events, of course with the Pandemic there were none but one clever PR company sent links in a very large PDF file with some of the items available to review during what is normally a quiet month August and here is the first of those offerings a pair of pocket pruners that are also a multi-tool.
I am certainly not a gardener and I am sure anyone who spends hours in their garden everyday will have several pairs of secateurs of different sizes. However someone who has a few plants may think this is a great set of tools as it not just a collapsible pair of pruners but also a total of thirteen tools in the arms of the pruners. On day one I was cooking a tinned pie the sort you get from Poundland and my can opener would not go through three points on the tin lid.
The Neos Indoor Camera was developed in association with an insurance company and their clients were the first to benefit from it. Here are two more items that can save the householders money by avoiding water damage problems and the second a sensor kit so you can know when a door or window is opened or movement is detected.
Both of these items are add-ons that also require you to have a Neos camera installed as they link into your Wi-Fi and then give you push notifications via the camera. However it is possible to have the camera unarmed with the Neos App open on your phone and get notified of an open door or window that the sensor is attached to.
I never sleep well, for a while now I have been looking for a new mattress; then the problem is what to do with the old one. This all became worse now the Pandemic is here with no courier or delivery driver coming further than the front doorstep. The solution I hit upon was to try a memory foam mattress topper on top of the mattress that I already have.
It arrived via Amazon three days after ordering. Packed in a large blue outer bag and then the inner bag with the mattress topper rolled inside, there is also a supplied cover. It has an A5 ‘Care Instructions’ sheet saying that there will be a residual smell that will disappear after a period of time and that the mattress will expand to original shape in around 8-10 hours.
With the nights now longer than the day’s most of us need to get up before the sun and that means we are far more likely to be woken unnaturally with the result that we feel – at the very least – less charitable towards others and therefore unhappy. This light from Philips can wake you with a gradually brightening light and for the heavy sleeper even bird song.
When the other end of the day arrives our sleep pattern can be out of sync and a red light can pulse to get up ready to sleep, this offering from Philips has both and it even has a built in radio. It is 22cm tall, 22cm wide and a maximum of 11cm deep at the base and less than 2cm deep at the top. The light unit is circular within those measurements. There is a line of four ports at the back towards the base, USB for charging only, a Reset button, DC power in and finally Aux in.
This is ideal for a first alarm clock for a child; it can also act as a night light. Dependent on the child’s age it can be powered by ‘AAA’ batteries or USB. It also has a built in sensor so you can even check the room’s temperature.
The Pokémon Lamp Alarm Clock has a rectangular base unit measuring 11x4x5cm with a rabbit – the light – on top that is 13cm tall to the tips of its ears; however the light is from its feet to its head just under 10cm. The display is around 6x2.5cm which means you get 2cm high digits for the clock; easily seen even the child has less than perfect sight. The clock shows hours and minutes in either twelve or twenty four hour format with the day of the week above the minutes.
This is clock but it has no numerals and no hands, so before you shout ‘who has nicked the hands’ it never had any. This is a magnetic clock and ideal for the executive desk as it’s a clever piece of kit and certainly something that requires good light either natural or powered as this just works day after day with no external connections.
It is round at 11cm and 4cm thick. Two metal rods screw into the wooden back to allow it to sit at 45 degrees on a flat surface. It is stated that it can also be wall mounted. The clock itself is a grey metal. The face is divided into twelve quadrants with small slashes at the hours. Move round the face till 3 O-Clock and there are three letters ‘h’ the outermost, then ‘m’ and finally ‘s’ they are about 1.5cm apart.
This is a small leather wallet with a push action that partially ejects up to six credit cards each to a slightly lesser extent so you can select the one you need at the checkout of hole in the wall easily, quickly, and more securely.
The wallet is 11x6x1.5cm and also has two additional pockets for things like an Oyster card on the opposite side to the main wallet so you can touch in without having to open the wallet, and as the shape is definitely weighted to one side so no chance of card problems as you know which side you are touching on the reader. For those times when cash is still required notes can also be stored in this section, or indeed under an elasticated strap.
Technology can help you find what you may have misplaced.
Have you noticed how often the word "Smart" is tagged onto numerous inanimate objects and devices to give them the appearance of so-called super-intelligent facilities? In some cases this built-in intelligence feature can be combined with a fund-raising facility to provide the cash to take the new concept from its original thought to full fruition.
If like me the place where your door bell lives is quite a thin door surround then this latest offering from Ring may just solve the problem as it is that much thinner than earlier versions of their doorbell with the camera to allow you to see who is calling so if it is someone you don’t want to see just stay in your seat and ignore the ring.
Of course if you are not in their ring on your bell is notified with video to your SmartPhone and then you can say sorry I can’t come to the door at the moment to get rid of a suspicious character or if it’s that courier that you have waited in for during the previous two days you can make arrangement for redelivery or better still ask him to leave it with your neighbour. It is 11.5x4.5x2cm.
With its full page adverts in National Daily Newspapers and television adverts, Gtech is known for pushing the boundaries associated with various product offerings.
I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of Gtech's latest product which was billed as being the world's smallest high-performance vacuum cleaner. This is the Gtech Hylite vacuum cleaner. The product was supplied to all those to attendees packed within a black soft pouch bag for easy transport. The product came with a disposable bag already in position just in case any energetic journalist was keen to start cleaning the biscuit crumbs that had gathered around their chair.
With the subject of pollution being a hot topic, perhaps it is time to consider water purification.
"Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink" is the opening stanza of a song sung by Tommy Steele in a film that was mean to represent the early stages of his life as a pop singer. Fortunately there is a ready supply of this life supporting liquid for us to intake. That is if you are prepared up put up with the impurities that water supplier feel is a required addition and whose removal does not form part of their remit.
Worcester Bosch has launched a new range of domestic wall-hung boilers, the Greenstar 8000 Lifestyle range to replace the 14 year old CDi Classic series
Following on from 4 years involvement by the UK team, in addition to the efforts of the Bosch team in Stuttgart, the new products are a major redesign and aimed at being more efficient as well as being easy to install and maintain. The boilers have outputs ranging from 30 to 50kW and are available in combi, system and regular versions so that there will generally be a unit that will meet most domestic needs.
Not to be confused with the I-Robot book of Isaac Asimov short stories or the I-Robot film staring Will Smith, the iRobot (note the slight difference in the spelling) Roomba is a vacuuming robot. I have been looking at the 980 model of this product which has been cleaning my maisonette.
Forming the central unit of this product is the Roomba 980 robot. Circular in shape, just like every vacuuming robot I have seen, the Roomba robot has a diameter of 355mm and a height of 110mm including the heavy-tyred pair of wheels. Decked out predominately in a combination of lacquered and matte black, the Roomba has the appearance of a weighing machine that it might be wise to avoid if you felt a collision might occur between your feet and the device.
If you know what Amazon Alexa can do then this Hub from Google goes one stage further. It is a 7inch Landscape touch Tablet with the extended back being the speaker to give excellent sound and it sits like a triangular object.
A small amount of documentation that came with the unit led to link my Nest camera to the unit at first I could find no way to get it to give the cameras live view but the moment I said ‘Hey Google show Nest Camera’ I got the live feed shown by my camera, I realised that this device does really learn and as it currently understands 444 Apps….
I am sure we all have all the devices – and more – available as single tools, however in this small multi tool offering, but when you need them can they be instantly located. You are more likely to find them if located on your keyring and this comes with such a ring attached.
The tool comes in a fabric case with the keyring attached to the ‘multi tool’ via a short 3cm chain, this enables the tool to be in the case rather than rubbing a hole in your pocket as it would without the case. The total weight with the case is 81grams. The multi tool is when folded in on itself is 8.5x3x1.5cm and as it fits snugly in the case that has a Velcro flap, that is the overall dimension as well.
Occasionally I get the chance to stay in what is called a four - or even - five star hotel for a night and quite often I am left amazed as to how far standards have dropped, for instance finding a stained ironing board and iron in the wardrobe so when the opportunity to review a small traveling iron came up I said yes please.
Don’t get me wrong I am certainly not a snob and in normal circumstances only handkerchiefs and the occasional shirt get ironed but if one is in a top hotel you probably need to look your best for a dinner or other such event. This is a light unit at only 441grams (less than one pound in total weight) in the 16.5x15.5x5cm box. There is also a drawstring bag if you prefer to take it in that way. The iron itself is 12x7x2.