We spend a lot of time working these days so it makes sense to ramp up our office space with some smart gadgets to make life a little easier, says Felicity Glover.
First things first: it’s important to stay active even while stuck at your desk for hours on end. How do you do that? How about giving the Officiser a try – it’s an active footrest that will keep your legs moving while you meet that deadline. The push and pull movement of the device helps blood circulation, stimulates the calves and even helps you to burn more calories. What more can you ask for in this age of sedentary living? Pre-order at www.officiser.com from RO38.
For those of you who still remember the old-fashioned typewriter with its clickety-clacky keyboard, the Qwerkywriter Bluetooth Keyboard could be just for you. Weighing in at just under 1.3kg, the vintage-style keyboard comes with its own built-in tablet stand, which means typing on your iPad becomes so much easier. It is rechargeable and the battery life lasts for up to three months while you also get that familiar clickety sound to remind you of the days of yesteryear when typewriters ruled the world. At www.qwerkywriter.com from RO153.
Hands up those of you who find you are easily distracted in this world of connectivity? While you might be writing an important presentation or filing a report for your boss, the distractions are numerous, from a quick check on what your friends are doing on Facebook to seeing what’s trending on Twitter or WhatsApping your mates, there’s a lot of time-wasting going on in the office. That’s where Freewrite comes in. According to its creators, it’s the world’s first smart typewriter. And we have to say that it is pretty cool as it strips a computer down to its very basics and lets you get on with the job. At www.getfreewrite.com from RO192.
Wearable tech just got a whole lot better with the Mycestro Wearable Mouse. Lightweight and ergonomic, it cuts the risk of tendonitis but allows you to control your computer’s cursor with gestures. You wear the wireless 3D mouse on your finger and operate it by using thumb actions while it also gives you a nine-metre range, making it great for presentations. It’s also a handy device for areas in which you don’t have a horizontal surface to use a regular mouse with ease, such as on planes, at conferences or slumped on the sofa surfing the net on either your laptop, tablet or other device. At www.mycestro.com from RO49.
App of the Week
Free up your pockets and wallet with CamCard, a business card scanner that can read 17 languages and helps you to organise all your contacts in one place. And if you’ve run out of physical business cards (which happens all the time to Team Y), you can even exchange e-cards with new contacts. The CamCard app also gives you contact information across multiple devices, gives you updates on what your contacts are doing and you can access company addresses in its map section – essential if you are new to a city. Free at iTunes.
As the world progresses towards a more cyber-centred future, we’re becoming more prone to hacking than ever before. While you and I may think we’re safe at the moment, there’s still a world out there plotting to gain access to your personal space, and perhaps even more. And that’s exactly what Watch Dogs 2 shines light on except you are actually the hacker here but, oddly enough, not the bad guy. Think of Watch Dogs 2 as a cyber-drama that’s based on the real-life hacker group Anonymous more than anything else.
For the sequel, developer Ubisoft introduces protagonist Marcus Holloway – quite a likeable character with a lot of flair and charisma – who leaves behind the drab, rain-slicked streets of grey Chicago, for a beautiful and almost life-like rendition of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area.
The game’s greatest strength, however, is its writing. Of late, Ubisoft games have often lacked good scripts but Watch Dogs 2 rectifies that with a splendid storyline. For the first time ever, the game is also also quite humorous, thanks in part to Marcus’s cheeky cockiness, as well as the varied personalities of his hacker mates, who are collectively known as the DedSec.
The hacktivist group’s main aim is to target San Francisco’s largest corporations for all kinds of cyber attacks and corporate espionage. You also have to use your skills as a hacker to uncover various supervillains, including a Martin Shkreli-esque pharma-boy, an occult group known as New Dawn, a stark allegory to the Church of Scientology and many more.
Much of the game revolves around keeping yourself undercover, much like a spy. However, should the need arise, you can also go up in arms and simply fire away. But this feels entirely at odds with the game’s tone. And that’s where Watch Dogs 2 falters initially. Being stealthy can be extremely difficult, thanks to its almost unpredictable AI (Artificial Intelligence). But when things go as planned, there’s very little out there that offers the satisfaction that Watch Dogs 2 does. This really is a great game!
Action adventure, Third person shooter
PC, PlayStation 4, XboxOne