Affordable gadgets that make life easier

Technology moves at lightning pace, and it can be hard to stay across all the latest gadgets. There are so many items out on the market designed to make your life easier, and many of them don’t cost very much at all.

We have tried to put together a list of some gadgets that will make your day-to-day life just that little bit easier, without breaking the bank.

Portable power bank
There is no more frustrating feeling than being out and about and seeing that battery symbol on your phone slide into red territory. You can avoid that feeling with a portable power bank, a device you can carry with you to add to the juice in your smartphone if needed. Most models can fully charge a smartphone in about 90 minutes. The devices range in price from $25 to almost $200. CHOICE provides a good buying guide for choosing the power bank that best suits your needs.

Sound machines
Insomnia is a common condition among older Australians, and if you are one of the unlucky ones, you know how tough it can be. Before you try for a medical solution, you might want to look at purchasing a sound machine. These can produce white noise, nature sounds or water noises, which can aid in the process of drifting off to the lad of Nod. These can range on price from $35 to $200.

If you use the heater a lot, it might be worth also investing in a humidifier. This can be beneficial not just to your skin – your lungs and eyes will be more comfortable too. Just be sure to clean the unit and change the water as per the instructions to avoid mould and fungi. Prices for humidifiers can range from $60 to $200.

Mug warmers
How often do you make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee, get distracted and then look back in dismay as you realise you realise your brew has gone cold? If you are like me, this happens a lot. Fortunately, there are now solutions for this with electric mug warmers available to ensure you never have to waste your brew ever again. You can pick these up for around $15, but there are also some very fancy ones on the market.

Wireless Remote Key Locator
This device helps to save time looking for misplaced objects. Attach one of the four different coloured receivers to an object most likely to go missing. When you want to find the tagged item, press the corresponding coloured button on the remote. It uses radio frequency signals to detect the receiver and lets off a beeping sound when it is in a 10m radius of the object. 

Talking photo frames or albums
As you flip through the photo album you can press the play button at each photo and listen to the 10 second recorded message. These devices allow information about the photo to be recorded and replayed. You can record names, dates and places to pass the information on to the viewer. The lock switch prevents the message being erased if the batteries go flat or are removed.

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Written by Ben


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