Are you sitting comfortably? Gadgets to stop you slouching!

When you are sat over your desk working away for hours at a time are you ever aware of your posture? Well now I’ve drawn your attention to your desk-time posture, you are likely to be conscious that you are slouching and are now guiltily sitting up straight, right?

According to a registered osteopath talking to Serious Law LLP, people who slouch at their desk could be putting themselves at risk of a spinal injury. With as many as 8 in 10 people in the UK having bouts of back pain, putting strain on their physical and mental wellbeing, not to mention the NHS’s budget, I was surprised when writing a feature on gadgets to stop slouching, that I could only find a measly three – two gadgets and one app – in existence. Nonetheless they do exist and to help lessen your chances of joining the millions of back pain sufferers in the UK, if you do slouch at your desk then it may be a wise precaution to take advantage of the following three anti-slouching gadgets.

ErgoSensor

The Phillips ErgoSensor Desktop Display

The Phillips ErgoSensor is a desktop display with a difference. Literally watching you whilst you work, the 24-inch, 250-nit, 1920 x 1080 display possesses a sensor which warns you if your posture has become too ‘slouched’ or you have been staring at the screen for too long. Not only does the Phillips ErgoSensor have the potential to save you from a retirement laden with back pain misery, but it can also help reduce the cost of your energy bills by shutting the screen off when you’re away from your desk to conserve power!

iPosture

iPosture

On the same trail as the ErgoSensor, for about £50 the iPosture will force you to ‘think’ about your posture. This tiny gadget, when stuck to a user’s skin or pinned to their clothing, monitors your posture and vibrates whenever it doesn’t meet its posture ‘standards’.

Don’t worry, you want be walking around resembling an adult toy, as the iPosture’s vibrations are silent – now there’s a relief!

Upright Posture Alert app

If you’re not willing to fork out 50 quid on the iPosture for a mere $2.99 you can download the Upright Posture Alert app, the very first posture alert system for the iPhone and iPod touch.

In featuring a simple and intuitive interface, Upright lets you focus on achieving a good posture, alerting you when your posture is off track.

Users have the choice of being alerted to slouching through vibration, sound or visual alerts – Although it could cause some confusion on whether your iPhone is on vibrate only and you have an incoming call or your posture isn’t up to scratch!

Philips Avance Juicer: Buck the festive binging

As you can’t help but notice, it’s the holiday season, with endless exhortations to eat, drink and be bloated. It can be hard to cut down on the festive cheer, hence the popularity of January dates (and don’t worry we’ll be running our fair share of gadgets and apps to slim down features in the new year). But prevention is better than cure. What if there was a quick and easy way to maintain a healthy diet that you could get now with the joy of forethought, rather than the sadness of regret? Enter the Philips Avance Juicer, which aims to make all your detox and dieting needs that bit easier.

Juicer

The problem I have with many diets is upkeep. At literally the first excuse I get I will lapse into my old habits, which makes maintaining a healthy lifestyle hard. “I have to wash the vegetable steamer? Oh well I guess I’m having chips tonight”

With this in mind, the Philips Avance Juicer has been developed to improve the juicing experience from start to finish and enable virtually ‘mess-free’ juicing. The Avance Juicer has a quick-clean sieve that has been electro-polished, which makes it easier to remove tricky fibres caught up in the mesh after juicing. So there’s no more need for awkward scrubbing or brushes while cleaning. Unlike other juicers, the pulp container is positioned right under the sieve to collect all the pulp for clean, easy disposal. Once finished, the entire machine can be easily dissembled and all removable parts put in the dishwasher or sink, ready for the next round.

The key features of the Juicer are:

– An XXL feeding chute which means you can throw in a whole orange or apple without cutting first

– A powerful 800W motor which means you can put the whole fruit (including Skins and cores) and collect juice on the other end

– One of the fastest and easiest juicers to clean , with its fancy quick clean sieve.

– Make up to 2.5 litres of juice in one go

– Comes with free book, from Jason Vale author of ‘7lbs in 7days the super juice diet’

The Philips Avance Juicer is available from Amazon:

Philip’s new range of pen-sized inspection lights

Now here’s one gadget Christmas gift range that couldn’t go ignored! Philips’ new range of handheld inspection lights. Hmmm, sounds like one of those presents that your Dad opens and the rest of the family breathe a sigh of relief that they didn’t receive such a ‘sensible’ gift.

Philips-Pen-Light

Mocking aside, Philips’ new range of inspection light pens could prove to be an ultra-useful gadget. Picture this, you have broken down on a cold winter’s night, you have no source of light to look under the bonnet, except of course, your new Philip’s pen light! Owning a rust-ridden Mercedes from 1994 (although it still has its badge), scenarios like this one happen to me all the time, so maybe I should put a Philips’ inspection pen on my own Christmas list!

No seriously, Philip’s latest range would make a great stocking filler, particularly for car and their mechanical functions enthusiasts. The so-called ‘baby’ of the range features six LED lights, the same, Philips inform us, as the ones used on many of the world’s leading super and executive cars for their Daytime Running Lights. The ‘baby’ also features a ‘seventh’ light at the top of the pen so that it can double up as a torch. This waterproof, damage resistant (Philips’ inform us that it endured a 1.5m test drop without sustaining any damage), pen-sized inspection light provides a light output of 250 lux (about twice as bright as other similar products for those who don’t understand the lux measurement), and comes with batteries that will last up to 11 hours of continuous use.

At £21.99 the Philip’s new inspection lights could definitely prove to be a popular choice of Christmas gift, especially for Dad perhaps, who’s always a difficult one to buy for.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush: The iPhone of toothbrushes

I love technology crammed where you wouldn’t normally think to put it. One of my favourite things I came across last year was a fridge with a built-in, internet-connected touchscreen. That is all kinds of awesome as far as I am concerned. So when I heard that Philips were applying their technological might to the humble toothbrush I was eager to find out more. The toothbrush is an amazing invention (they tried to honor the inventor of the toothbrush by putting up a plaque but habit kicked in and he had it removed), so any innovation in that field is welcome.

Philips-Sonicare-DiamondClean-Electric-Toothbrush

Philips sent me a review unit to trial and then keep (and they assured me that my unit had been in no other mouths but mine)The first thing that strikes you about the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric Toothbrush is the design of the unit – it’s incredibly sleek and matte white. Although the DiamondClean sports 5 cleaning modes (Clean, White, Polish, Gum Care, Sensitive), it’s not immediately apparent how to access them as there is just one subtle looking button for power. However after you turn the unit on you the cleaning mode is illuminated in nice neat letters and you can cycle through them using the power button. Little touches like this let you know you are using a premium device and with the understated, elegant design the DiamondClean is clearly the iPhone of toothbrushes.

The smooth unit doesn’t have any inputs for a charger which seems curious at first. Then you realise that through some ungodly magic Philips have enabled you to charge the DiamondClean simply by placing it in the supplied rinsing glass (There’s a little stand that you place under the rinsing glass and plug into a power unit.) The supplied rinsing glass can also be used for rinsing. I don’t often give standing ovations in my bathroom but when I worked this out I involuntarily started clapping. It’s very clever stuff. The DiamondClean aslo comes with a USB charging travel case so you can take your toothbrush on the road and plug it into your laptop. Expect a few stares.

But how is it to clean your teeth? Lordy. If you’ve ever wondered what having your teeth sandblasted might feel like, you should really try the DiamondClean. And I mean that as a compliment. I’ve used electric toothbrushes before but few have come close to the intense workout that the DiamondClean gives your mouth. You can also get the DiamondClean to drop you in the shallow end as there’s a setting that gently ramps up the intensity over the first 14 settings. The DiamondClean brush heads have diamond-shaped, medium stiffness bristles to effectively yet scrape away plaque and the uniquely angled brush head neck makes it easier to reach back teeth so it’s doing everything you’d expect.

If you already carefully brush all four quadrants of your mouth for the Dental Professional recommended 30 seconds each then well done. If like me however you’ve been winging it all these years, you’ll be pleased to know that the DiamondClean features an integrated timer that vibrates when it’s time to head to the next section.

I’m not a Dental Professional by any means. But I know my mouth certainly feels cleaner after using the DiamondClean. Check it out at Philips for more details.

The Sonicare Diamondclean toothbrush is out now from Philips with a RRP of £250

LivingColor lamp from Philips: Set the mood at home without a Wayans brother in sight

Since taking an interest in photography and cinematography the importance of good lighting has really made itself apparent. A poorly lit photograph or scene is frustrating to look at and detracts the eye. And the ability to change the context of a scene with lighting – to subtly express oneself without words, is amazing. It’s the same in the home – with colour lightbulbs setting the mood in a variety of ways. But what if you want a variety of moods? Well rather than swapping out a lot of bulbs when you want to go from “thoughtful” to “romantic” to “apologetic” you could take a look at Philips’LivingColor lamp.

LivingColour

According to Philips, research shows that almost 80% of people want to easily adjust the ambiance in their home for different occasions, yet almost 70% feel that they are limited in their possibilities for doing so.

The Philips LivingColour Lamps enables people to vary ambiance in their rooms with coloured light, without expensive redecorating (although you could also paint each wall in your living room a different colour and stand next to it according to how you were feeling). Philips claim this is a paradigm shift from conventional lighting, which if you think about it is mostly turned on, turned down, or turned off.

The LivingColour Lamp is a funky little conical unit that you point and a blank wall to bounce light off. Apparently it can produce up to 16 million colours although I didn’t count. The magic happens via a button shaped touch-sensitive remote control with a colour jog-wheel, enabling you to set the desired colour, as well as being able to tweak the brightness and saturation of whichever colour you plump for. What is more there are three preset buttons at the bottom that mean you can quickly flick between your favourite moods. And if you’re feeling mercurial then you can set the light to cycle through all the colours available at a time interval that suits your feeling. And if you have other LivingColour products you can sync them up and control them from the same remote.

Serious about how you relax? Then the LivingColour Lamp is worth a look here.

Philips and O’Neill team up for ‘The Bend’ extreme sports headphones

If you’re the type that can’t hit the slopes without and 80s powerpop remix in hand, then you’ll need a good set of headphones for your sub-zero adventures. Philips claim they have something that should be right up your alley with thier new Bend headphones, release in conjunction with O’Neill.

Philips-Bend

The most striking thing about ‘The Bend’ is how warm the cans feel – it’s almost like having a snug sponge on either ear. Featuring a low-profile design that closely follows the contours of your head, the cans are nice and close and double as ear muffs. More importantly, despite the warm fuzzies you get from wearing them, you aren’t compromising on sound quality and ‘The Bend’ will happily cope with the deepest, wobbliest dubstep bass cannons you can throw at it. The design is also fairly stylish and distinct from the now seemingly ubiquitous Beats by Dre line of headphones.

So ok, they sound great – but can they take a beating? Philips claim the super-tough construction is built to resist the physical demands of even the toughest action sports athletes.That description does not fit me – at all. However I do accidentally destroy a large number of headphones both cheap and expensive (it’s an awful super power) so I know a durable headset when I see one. The headband on ‘The Bend’ is made from the same material as the toughest snow goggles so they are pretty resilient. When the headphones are subjected to heavy impacts or a fall, the safe-release cans disengage safely rather than breaking under pressure like most other headphones.

Snag your cables alot? You’ll be pleased to know ‘The Bend’ comes with a cable stress relief feature (inspired by the latest in ski technology) so the cable quickly disconnects when caught. I have lost at least three headphones to this problem so this was a particularly great feature for me.

Out now, for a suggested retail price of £61.28

Wakey Wakey Shine and Rise: The Philips Light Alarm clock

As someone who gets up at 5 am pretty much every morning, I appreciate a good alarm clock. Being rudely jolted out of bed every morning by the “Time’s Up” siren from GoldenEye is pretty effective but it also puts me in a foul mood for at least a couple of house so there has to be a better way.

Wake-Up-Light-New

I’ve looked at (and loved) light-based alarm clocks before so I was curious to see what expert light-maker Philips would bring to the party with the Philips Wake Up Light.

As you’d expect from Philips, the’ve brought their A-game in terms of build quality and the Wake Up Light feels robust and as a mid-range device should. I’ve tried other lights that were just a bulb encased in plastic and a little bit of a bed-side eyesore so it’s good to know that there are good looking options out there.

In terms of features the Wake Up Light is no slouch and Philips have packed a lot in. The most important thing obviously, is the 250 lux halogen lamp, which gets incredibly bright when needed, making it pretty impossible to sleep through. Like all light-based alarm clocks, it slowly bathes the room with light – something 80% of surveyed Philips users agree is a more pleasant way to wake up.

However Philips have also added in so ways to personalise your waking experience. If you find the sound of John Humphries lambasting politicians soothing you can use the built in FM radio to wake up to Radio 4’s Today programme. If you think forests sounds or birds tweeting (@Robin88: Got up late again – No worms for me!) is more soothing then you can wake either of these. “No, that’s still not good enough. Neither babbling brooks nor babbling TV presenters can rouse me.” Well curiously picky person, Philips have you covered with a USB port that means you can wake up to any sound you choose.

There’s a smart-snooze tap anywhere function and you can also programme two alarms and flick between them (and off) via a little metal toggle at the back. You can also take charge of the way you fall asleep via a Dusk simulator, which is basically a naturally dimming light.

The Philips Wake Up Light is available from Argos and Boots for £130

Philips are recruiting people to take part in their ‘Make me a morning person challenge’ on Facebook which you should check out if you decide to get one.

Philips SENSOTOUCH 3D RQ 1280. Cutting edge wet or dry electric shaving

Well this is the first time I’ve used a 3D product without having to wear glasses and whilst the thought of my face jumping out at me from the mirror might be a fun concept for some people, it is, fortunately for me, something I don’t have to deal with. 3D in this case simply means the shaver covers every contour of your face to provide a ‘flawless look’. Clearly, searching for that ‘flawless look’ is something I’ve dreamt about but sadly in my case, having a clean shave will not change my less than flawless appearance.

Philips-Sensotouch

Nevertheless, this is a shaver that does indeed provide a handsome finish. A smooth shave with very little effort. It’s a sleek design, fitting in my hand comfortably enough, whilst the business end, three rotary cutters set within a head that moves in every direction does the hard work. This is what Philips calls ‘Gyroflex3D ’ technology, allowing the heads to easily glide over every pore of your face without irritating it. There’s also an aquatic seal built in for those of you who prefer a wet shave, so you can lather up as normal and just use it the same way as you would a blade.

So far so good then. I have a smooth face in double quick time and no red marks anywhere. Marvellous. Apart from the on/off switch, there’s very little else you need to look at apart from the large digital read out on the handle that lets you know how much time remains. It also tells you when the unit needs a clean, when the charge is full and when the heads need replacing.  There’s a handy travel pouch to keep it in when you’re away and the shaver heads just hinge open so you can use the brush provided to sweep away all the loose stubble or just rinse it under the tap. When you’re home though, the jet clean tray that comes with the package, will keep the insides pristine and practically sterile for you too.

My only real disappointment is the trimmer which seems to be a bit of an afterthought on such a state of the art unit. It’s tucked away on the shaver shaft and is accessed through a pretty basic plastic slider.

The Philips SENSOTOUCH 3D RQ 1280 is a fine example of just how far electric portable shavers have progressed. It’s quiet, sleek and gets the job done with a minimum of fuss. And with a 20 day charge on it, it will last you for most trips without having to recharge.

Philips SENSOTOUCH 3D RQ 1280 from £230