Special Report
A special report is content that is edited and produced by the special reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report but do not have editorial control.

Gadgets to help you negotiate the new normal

Here is some of the latest tech to equip you for the great reopening

Welcome to the new new normal. Covid-19 restrictions have been all but lifted, and our government says we can now go forth and mix and mingle with our fellow human beings. You wouldn’t go out in the rain without a rain jacket (we presume), and you certainly don’t want to back out into the big bad world without being properly teched up. Now is a good time to upgrade all your gear to help you navigate the wider horizons ahead.

Samsung Galaxy S22 5G

(€829)

Your old phone has served you well over the past two years, but now you need something bright, shiny and new to step out with, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 has all you need to manage the big wide world. You’re going to be doing a lot more stuff over the next few months, and you’ll need a phone that can capture your new life as you break free of the coronavirus chains. With its 6.1-inch Dynamic Amoled display and 50MP wide triple rear camera, the S22 makes stunning videos, so wherever you go in the world, you can get it all down on screen. And the camera packs a special Nightography feature which allows you to get great visuals even in low light. The phone features Dolby Atmos Stereo Speakers, eliminating that tinny handset sound – so you can show your friends and colleagues that hilarious TikTok video knowing that they can see and hear it loud and clear.

 samsung.com/ie

EmporiaTablet

(€349.99)

While technology came to the rescue of many people forced to cocoon during the lockdowns, there were many others who struggled with it. It might be difficult to understand for generations who grew up with Facetime, Skype and WhatsApp but these applications and the user interface on tablets and smartphones can present real challenges for older people.

The emporiaTablet sets out to solve these problems with its simplified Android operating system, easy to navigate menus, large fonts and icons, loud and clear sounds, hearing aid compatibility, and handy stand and charging cradle to make it sit up on the table in front of you. Those without home broadband can insert a 4G sim card to connect to the internet. And, if you prefer the touch and feel of a standard keyboard, you can get one as an accessory.

emporiatelecom.ie

Tile Slim 

(€24.99)

One of the upsides of the past two years of restrictions was that there was less opportunity to lose stuff. If you couldn’t find your keys or your wallet, there was no panic – chances are it was somewhere in the house, since that was where you’ve spent most of your time. And you had all the time in the world (and all the family on hand) to do a deep search of the premises for your possessions. But now you’ll hardly be in the house at all, so the chances of misplacing important items have exponentially increased.

Time to Tile your stuff, so you can keep track of it wherever you are, starting with the new Tile Slim, just 2.5mm thick, designed to slip neatly into a wallet or attach discreetly to a notebook. Like other Tile products, it’s got a range of 76m (the Pro packs a 250m range), so if you’re in a rush to get to that in-person meeting, Tile will save you scouring time. If you misplaced your item somewhere out of range, then Tile will tell you when you last had it with you, and will recruit the wider Tile network to locate it for you. You can get the Tile Slim, Pro, Mate and Sticker versions in a range of fab colours and patterns, so pick up a multi-pack and gift them to your friends and family – they’ll thank you, along with St Anthony.

tile.com

Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds

(€279.95)

You’re back out in the world, and boy, is it a noisy place to be. You’ve become so used to the peace and quiet of home, you’d forgotten how loud things can get when you’re out and about. The workplace is buzzing with the sound of colleagues doing their Zoom calls and reacquainting themselves with the photocopier; the lunch restaurant is filled with the sound of clattering dishes and chit-chat.

You’ll need some serious tech to block out all that extra extraneous noise, and the Bose QuietComfort earbuds should help ease you back into your cosy headspace far from the madding crowds. The QuietComfort buds boast world-beating noise cancelling and hi-fi audio, and their StayHear Max tips keep them neatly fitted in your ear, so you hardly know they’re there. And you’ll hardly know anyone else is there too. The QuietComfort also comes in two new colours – Stone Blue and Sandstone – so you can sport some sonic style while listening to your favourite music on the go.

bose.ie

Dyson Pure CoolMe personal air purifier fan

(€349.99)

You don’t have to be a germophobe to worry about the quality of the air you breathe. The pandemic has made us all conscious of air quality, and not just the threat of airborne viruses. Pollution and particulates also pose a daily danger to our health, so having a good air purifier at work can really freshen up the air around you - and if you can breathe more freely, then you can think more clearly. The Dyson Pure CoolMe is the perfect desk accessory for a busy day at the shared workspace, combining an activated carbon and glass Hepa filter that catches most gases and ultrafine particles. Sadly, it won’t neutralise the hot air emanating from the assistant marketing manager, but it will use Dyson Core Flow technology to send nice, cool air wafting around your work area.

dyson.ie

Unagi Model One E500 Folding Electric Scooter

(€949)

It’s great being free to go wherever you like, but before you jump into your SUV and head off down the open road, you have to ask yourself, how much is this going to bump up my fuel bill? As soon as you clock the price on the petrol pump, you might just be tempted to turn around and spend another two years at home.

Now might be the perfect time to think about getting that electric scooter for nipping into the office, down to the shops or over to visit friends. Save the gas-guzzling for those longer trips. The first thing you’ll notice about the Unagi Model One E500 folding electric scooter is that you can’t see any wires sticking out. It’s sleek, stylish, lightweight and folds easily and quickly for efficient city travel. It’s got a max speed of 15km/h, but it’s also got a dual 250-watt all-wheel-drive motor, giving you the extra power you need to get up that hill.

currys.ie