Tech it up
With his jet-setting schedule, Prince Harry's latest acquisition is a ring that tracks his sleep, health. But smart tech isn't a prerogative of the famous. Six time-strapped Mumbaikars share how new technology is helping them simplify their lives
You don't have to be a technophile to succumb to the charm of smart technology. From better sleep and more productivity to seamless accessibility, these nifty little gadgets and tools promise to overhaul your lifestyle in myriad ways. Don't believe us? Ask Prince Harry, who was recently spotted wearing an Oura ring that claims to register variations in your body's temperature and activity levels to help you to get more restful sleep and, by extension, more productive waking hours. The good news is that you don't have to be royalty to enjoy the benefits of smart technology. As many urban residents will attest, the right tools can make small, but meaningful differences, to your daily routine.
Digital marketer Aashna Malani swears by the AmazFit BIP smartwatch which, she claims, is a cost-effective alternative to other, more established heavyweights. "The watch is lightweight, attractive and helps me keep track of my fitness goals, while letting me stay connected by offering access to calls, emails, social media alerts and messages on the go. The watch also connects to a smartphone app in order to measure outdoor activities such as running and cycling. Other useful features include a heart-rate monitor and a weather pane, which are both reasonably accurate," she says. Finally, you can track the hours and quality of your sleep, which is a useful feature for professionals working around the clock, or sleep-deprived new parents.
Homemaker Shivangi Goel credits her NapNap mat with helping her ease into motherhood. "My son Avrom suffered from colic. The mat, whose vibrations mimic those of a mother's womb, helped lull him to sleep. For me, it helped reduce backache and leg pain during my third trimester," she says. The mat is light and waterproof.
"The Mi Air Purifier 2S is a boon during this time of the year, with air pollution at its peak. It's affordable and effective - it has an OLED display to check the particulate matter, temperature and humidity levels," Pradeep Kumar, editor of Device Bar, an online gadget forum, says. He is also happy with its app.
Managing household expenses is where the romance ends for many couples, which entails pooling in finances and making joint spending decisions. Shivaditya Barjatya says that the smartphone app, Splitwise, has played a pivotal role in ensuring responsible spending in his relationship. "This simple app helps us to keep track of our routine expenses, such as grocery lists, and split up expenses the way we choose to.
The app doesn't need us to reimburse the other right away - we can wait until the end of the month for the tally to balance out and take final stock before the next month. This removes any of the friction and potential fights that come with sharing finances. I can also choose to export this list as a spreadsheet for accounting purposes, as and when required," he says.
Security is of prime importance to dual-income, nuclear families, who rely heavily on external staff for daily chores. Dhaval Doshi, director of Smarthome NX, swears by his smart lock, which is a simple biometric lock that enables you to register fingerprints of authorised individuals. He explains, "When coupled with a Motorola IP camera, the smart lock lets us easily monitor every individual who enters our house and ensures that only our authorised household help can enter in our absence.
Moreover, when they do access our house, we receive an instant notification on our cell phone." The Doshi couple swears by the smart lock, saying that it has added an element of flexibility to their daily schedules. "Now, we no longer have to rely on our neighbours or wait endlessly for the help to arrive, and can go about our day the way we want to," Doshi says.
"From early in our relationship, my husband Bryan and I have bonded over cooking. With our jet-setting lifestyles (he's American and I am a Mumbai girl), cooking has continued to hold a special place in our lives. We use an app called Yummly to explore new recipes and save those that we like. We can search by cuisine or in terms of the items we have in our pantry, even if they are only one or two basic ingredients.
The app has loads of pictures, video tutorials and even timers, which makes cooking quite easy for us. It also remembers our preferences and makes new suggestions accordingly," says Aditi Dubey Lee, an entrepreneur. She also appreciates the feature that lets them sort through recipes based on the couple's nutritional requirements, and the ability to schedule cooking times - the app will "nudge" you when it's time to get started.
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