Technology: Must-have gadgets

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Technology: Our tech guy Colin Moors suggests some “must-have” gadgets that will help you settle back into work.

By the time you get to read this, the summer holidays will be a hazy memory of soft wines, warm, olive-scented evenings and romantic sunsets. Or the nightmare of three days on the autoroute, with nothing to eat except service-station sandwiches accompanied by the sound of bored children whose tablets have run out of charge. Either way, it’s time to go back to the office so you can pay for next year’s trip. Obviously, you’ll need to make the next 48 weeks a little more bearable, so I have lined up some must-have gadgets to ease you back onto the treadmill. “Must-have” is quite subjective, so bear with me.

First up, something not strictly techie. Don’t worry, pointless gadgets are coming. There have been numerous studies that show that standing at your desk is better for posture and general health than sitting. I’m actually writing this while standing and have been a fan for a long time. Of course, you can’t just stand all day. This is why it’s good to invest in a good adjustable system, so you can alternate sitting and standing as it suits. The bad news? It won’t help you lose weight, as some of the marketing might like you to believe. In fact, the calorie difference between sitting and standing is a massive 24 calories, about the same as in a regular-sized carrot. No quick wins to be had here, I’m afraid. I like the ones provided by varidesk.com – they provide space for a dual-monitor setup (because who doesn’t want to pretend to be an evil genius in his clifftop lair?) and various other bits and bobs like USB charging to make the experience more attractive. They are by no means the only supplier and there are scores to choose from, just search on ‘adjustable standing desk’. I make no commission, so knock yourself out.

On with the tech. You might be cool, but are you “answering calls on a replica Star Trek communicator” cool? If you have no idea what this means, you may skip along to the next thing. If you do, you already know you want one. The iconic flip-open device with the distinctive gauze flip cover can be used to request beaming up, to order the attack on a Klingon warship or to call your partner and explain to them that you’re on the train in a very loud voice. It’s fully Bluetooth compatible and can be used as a speaker or a regular phone but of course, you’ll have to have your mobile phone with you as well, at least within the 5-metre Bluetooth range. It comes with a wireless retro-look charging stand and is modelled on 3D scans of the original props. It’s the only device that makes you look centuries ahead of the curve and 40 years out of date all in one go. Available in Europe from getdigital.eu, among others. Currently selling for around €160.