With the proliferation of high-end, luxury gadgets and seemingly unnecessary re-workings of everything from mobile phones to electronic refrigerators, it’s often easy to forget that technology exists to make our lives easier. Tech doesn’t have to be exorbitantly expensive, nor does it have to be useless – here’s some simple, useful technology which is great to have in your life.

Samsung Gear VR

Virtual reality experiences don’t just have to be for the enjoyment of the wealthy, and with the Gear VR it’s possible to enjoy 3d, immersive entertainment without shelling out hundreds of dollars on the HTC Vive or its console equivalents. Powered by Oculus tech, the VR has the added benefit of being completely wireless, allowing you to take full advantage of the plethora of 360 degree and virtual reality content available online. If you don’t feel like paying a premium for your VR content, Youtube offers a comprehensive and growing list of VR experiences. At under two hundred pounds, the Samsung Gear VR is a steal.

Thermal flasks and e-cigarettes

If you’re a city-goer looking to tighten the purse-strings, then odds are the first thing you’ll need to cut out is expensive coffee. With coffee shops on every corner offering everything from hot chocolate and tea to caramel Frappuccino, then making your own coffee at home and taking it with you will save an astonishing amount of money. Low-tech and inexpensive, a high-quality thermos will last years, and serve you well day-to-day.

Similarly, it’s possible to purchase and build your own custom e-cigarette from websites like SmokeCartel, allowing you to smoke on=the-go without lighting anything up. You can view their selection here.

Digital watches

While the Apple Watch won’t be winning any prizes for affordability, the market abounds with a range of digital watches which boast similar functionality at a fraction of the price. With innovations in contactless payment methods, and the benefits of fitness and wellbeing apps which are often available for free in the various proprietary stores, digital watches are quickly becoming a must-have lifestyle gadget. Watchmaking staples like Timex and Casio have begun offering their own series of digital timekeepers, and while they don’t have the same functionality as a Samsung or Apple device, many are worth a look. Niche products like Fitbit also have (higher end) products which double as a watch alongside their standard fitness tracking.

Amazon Echo

It’s difficult to get anywhere these days without being confronted by an advertisement for Amazon’s household integration tech. Promising huge functionality and excellent voice recognition, the Echo and companion Dot has a lot to live up to, but once it’s online and linked to your Amazon account, it’s easy to see where the hype comes from. Full integration offers much more than music-on-demand or random googling efforts. You can read audiobooks, connect to third-party software, and order your groceries – all without clicking a mouse or tapping a screen. If you’re investing in smart home hardware, then the Echo’s third-party integration means you can have Alexa controlling your light bulbs and television sets in no time. The Echo Dot slims the design of the original Echo, preferring to connect to speakers in the home rather than boasting its own.

Technology That Will Make Your Life Easier

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