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Last Updated on September 28, 2017

10 Smart Home Gadgets You Need To Live A More Efficient And Productive Life

10 Smart Home Gadgets You Need To Live A More Efficient And Productive Life

Our smartphones have become the ultimate gadget to compliment our lives. There’s an app to help us improve almost any area of our life and we’re always curious to see how the latest phone can help make our lives more convenient.

While having all this in our pocket is advantageous to our busy lives, we mustn’t overlook home gadgets that can help provide us comfort and convenience. From directly controlling our heating and lights without even being in the house, to remote control vacuum cleaners, there are a plethora of handy inventions to make life a little bit more productive and efficient.

10 Gadgets to Enhance Your Home Life

With all the tools and gizmos on the market it can be easy to miss some that could potentially be of benefit to us. Here are a selection of weird and wonderful gadgets that are designed to help you in living a better life.

1. Spigo Indoor LED Light Grow Garden, Pearl White

    For people with green fingers who live in the city, this is the ultimate way to grow your plants indoors in an eco-friendly way. It provides 8 hours of adjustable white light that mimics sunlight to help your plants grow efficiently. It also has a water gauge that helps determine how much water you have left in the reservoir. It’s a convenient size so it can fit on your kitchen top or even office desk.

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    2. Greater Goods Nourish Digital Kitchen Food Scale and Portions Nutritional Facts Display

      Want to know the exact nutritional information in your food without the hassle of scanning barcodes and researching online? This scale will help you live a healthier lifestyle and keep you cognisant of the nutritional value in your daily meals. It tracks sugar intake, calories, fat and much more to help you keep your health goals.

      3. TrackR pixel – Bluetooth Tracking Device

        If you’re prone to losing things this is the gadget for you. Tag your items using the TrackR pixel tracker and use it together with the TrackR app on your phone to ring and find your misplaced item. If found, the TrackR global Crowd Locate will alert you when your missing item has been spotted.

        4. Philips Digital Airfryer, The Original Airfryer

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          This contraption will allow you to fry with 75% less fat making it an essential addition if you’re frying habits need to be more healthy. It fries quickly and evenly without compromising on quality or taste. As a Philips collaboration with Gordon Ramsey, this is an excellent component to your kitchen gadget haul.

          5. PETKIT FRESH METAL Smart Digital Feeding Pet Bowl

            Make feeding your pets much easier with a bowl that calculates the amount of calories your pet is consuming based on breed and weight. It works together with the app so you can easily track information and suggests how much food your pet should be eating. It has a handy measurement converter, anti-bacterial bowl and removable dish that can be washed in the dishwasher.

            6. Violife Style Zapi Luxe UV Toothbrush Sanitiser

              We probably don’t think too much about the health of our toothbrush but this device will clean it for you after each use. It uses UV light technology found in hospitals and a high end water purification process that helps keep your brush, and ultimately, your oral health tip top.

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              7. FOREO LUNA 2 Personalised Facial Cleansing Brush & Anti-Aging Face Massager 

                If you want to rev up your skin routine in one process, this facial brush will do the trick. It’ll reveal brighter, radiant skin using the power of T-Sonic pulsations that unclog pores and removes dirt and makeup. You can adjust the pulsations to make it more anti-age friendly helping to eliminate wrinkles and create firmer skin.

                8. Bidet4me Music Showerhead Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

                  If you like to sing along in the shower then this will allow you to not only connect up the music on your phone using bluetooth, but lets you answer important calls. That’s not all, it contains water-saving technology and is easily detachable so you can use it as a speaker in any room in the house.

                  9. eTape16 Digital Tape Measure

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                    If you like to do a lot of house improvements then you’re probably never far from a tape measure. This digital version displays your measurements clearly and remembers several at once, it features centerline calculation and allows different measurement units as well as being weather resistant and durable.

                    10. Wireless video doorbell with WiFi-Enabled Smart Home Security Camera

                      If you want to be more vigilant when it comes to your home, this doorbell is the ultimate security device. It allows you to video chat with whoever comes to your door whether you’re at home or not thanks to the DorBell App. It’ll even send you photo updates and mobile alerts when someone approaches your front door giving you peace of mind.

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                      Brian Lee

                      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                      The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                      The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                      It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                      Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                      “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                      In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                      New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                      There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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                      So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                      What is the productivity paradox?

                      There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                      In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                      He wrote in his conclusion:

                      “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                      Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                      How do we measure productivity anyway?

                      And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                      In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                      But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                      In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                      But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                      Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                      Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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                      • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                      • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                      • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                      • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                      There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                      According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                      Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                      The paradox and the recession

                      The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                      “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                      This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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                      According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                      Looking forward

                      A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                      “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                      Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                      “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                      On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                      Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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