Having recently adopted the Wavo Boom Arm into my streaming and podcasting setup, it’s hard to envision a time without it. This piece of equipment truly stands as a testament to Joby’s commitment to professional-grade products for the modern content creator.
Right off the bat, the arm is seamlessly tailored for the Wavo Pod Microphone. It boasts a steady, high-quality construction, ensuring that your microphone is held securely and remains in prime position throughout your recording or streaming sessions. With its impressive payload of up to 1kg, you have the flexibility to integrate various microphones, accommodating even the weightier ones with ease.
Aesthetically, the Wavo Boom Arm is a masterpiece. The multicoloured stripes ingeniously hide cables, lending to a clean and contemporary appearance that’s often missing in other boom arms. The matte black shell not only offers a chic look but also provides an added safety feature, shielding users from accidental pinches. Furthermore, the option to personalise the arm with red or black solid rubber covers allows users to maintain a tidy desk space, particularly useful for those like myself who can’t stand a cluttered workspace.
The universal attachment is yet another feather in its cap. It effortlessly supports both microphones and cameras, making it perfect for versatile content creation needs. Whether you’re streaming a podcast, or setting up for a top-down tech review, this boom arm is up to the task.
The innovative clamp design is a genuine game-changer. With rubber protections on both top and bottom, there’s no fretting over potential desk damage. It affixes firmly to any surface, ensuring the arm remains steady throughout its range of motion. Plus, the addition of a desk grommet option offers flexibility in setup, catering to individual workspace preferences.
But the pièce de résistance has to be the unique JOBY design integrating both a cup and headphones holder. It’s this sort of practical thinking that genuinely showcases the brand’s understanding of its user base. No more scrambling around for headphones or risking liquid mishaps; everything is neatly organised, optimising the entire content creation experience.
Priced at £86.95, it might appear as a hefty investment to some. But given its impeccable design, multifunctionality, and the sheer quality of material used – primarily aluminium – it’s worth every penny.
Really impressed with the build quality and ease of use. This is a really good addition to my setup and I love using it for sound recording.
Compact All In One Multimedia Bluetooth Speaker System manufactured with 4 sound units for clear, balanced sound with high-low frequency separation and deeper tones.
Edifier® International, a prominent designer and award-winning manufacturer of consumer audio electronics for both the lifestyle and multimedia markets announce the new D12 multimedia speaker system.
The D12 delivers outstanding sound. Featuring 2 x 4-inch woofers for optimum bass response and naturally fine-tuned sound produced from 2 x 19mm silk dome tweeter this compact speaker outperforms many other speakers in its class. Although it is an integrated speaker, the D12 is designed with two independent cavities to avoid phase interference between the left and right channels giving a sound that is more exact.
If you want crystal clear audio that catches every tiny nuance in your music, then the D12 is well worth hearing. A total of 70 watts (RMS) of distortion-free power output makes sure you get crystal clear and uncompromising sound everywhere in the room.
The D12 has versatile connectivity options. There are Bluetooth 5.0, RCA, AUX inputs available with a Line-out port for an extra subwoofer or active speakers to be connected to multiple audio devices at the same time.
With a quality wooden enclosure that reduces acoustic resonance, the D12 compliments any room’s décor.
Unlike many other complicated speakers, you don’t have to struggle to set it up, and it won’t take up too much space. Place it wherever you want, such as your living room, study room, dining room, or bedroom, just connect to the power supply, and it’s ready to use.
The Three top-mounted knobs (Bass dial, treble dial, volume control/input
selector) allow for simple, accurate control of the treble, bass, and volume/input.
Wireless Remote Control included
Audio Source Indicator
The Audio source indicator clearly shows input mode.
On a continued mission to make life more convenient, McLEAR has been quietly enhancing the world’s most frictionless way to pay.
Smart Ring pioneers McLEAR launches RingPay to market. The payment wearable is packed with new features and exclusive benefits; RingPay Rewards, RingPay+ and RingPay Giving.
RingPay by McLEAR makes payments fast, secure, and invisible. Users can make contactless payments of up to £45, and top up their ring by simply adding their preferred credit or debit card onto the RingPay app. The app allows users to track their spending in real-time, control their budgets, set automatic top-ups, respect physical distancing guidelines, and in case of loss, instantly freeze their Ring.
Making payments rewarding, McLEAR’s partnership with parsnip also allows users to earn in-store cash back at the growing number of selected retailers in the RingPay Rewards Programme, such as Nike, Foot Locker, Gap and River Island. A wearable so smart it pays for itself.
Ringholders can save significant amounts on everyday purchases by subscribing to RingPay+, premium members’ club to gain access to fantastic discounts and cashback, generated through hundreds of merchants across numerous categories including entertainment ticket bookings, cinema trips, restaurant offers, hotel discounts and holiday travel deals.
In addition, the RingPay Giving feature, let’s Ringholders choose to automatically send a micro-sized donation to their chosen charity when they make a purchase using their Ring. Ringholders control how much they give using monthly donation caps, and charities benefit from free Gift Aid reports allowing them to claim an extra 25% on all donations given. This social impact service is turning every contactless payment reader into a charity collection bucket!
The discreet and premium RingPay design is scratch-resistant, stress-tested, waterproof and requires no battery. Simply use McLEAR patented fist bump technology at any contactless reader for ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ payments. Forget the days of unlocking your phone or emptying your pockets. It’s always there on your finger, ready to go.
Daniel Blondell, Chief Operating Officer said: “The mission with RingPay is to improve the payment experience; making it faster, effortless and more rewarding. Whether commuting to work, picking up some essentials or off on your travels, RingPay by McLEAR gives you peace of mind knowing your finances are safely in-hand. Just kick back and fist pump your way to better spending and awesome rewards.”
We are reviewing the RingPay, so stay tuned for our thoughts!
For more info or to purchase your RingPay, visit www.mclear.com and get a Black Friday discount of 30% off when you use the code BF2020
Managers are much more positive about flexible working and staff working from home since the pandemic – says new study.
Managers are much more positive about their staff working from home and working flexibly since lockdown says a new study undertaken jointly by the Equal Parenting Project at the University of Birmingham and the Work Autonomy, Flexibility and Work-Life Balance at the University of Kent.
The report titled ‘Managing Employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Flexible working and the future of work’ is based on a UK wide survey with managers which aimed to understand the organisational perspective on managing homeworking since the UK COVID-19 lockdown. During the COVID-19 lockdown, many organisations have been forced to move the majority of their workforce to remote working, often at very short notice. In many cases, these businesses had previously discouraged flexible working and had ‘very little infrastructure in place to support these new ways of working. The question arises, what impact did this shift to homeworking have and what does this mean for the future of work?
To answer this question, the research team undertook a survey of managers between the 24th July to 11th August 2020. The sample consisted of managers from across the UK, an array of industries and all levels of management. In total, 742 managers completed the survey which involved questions around norms for working from home, attitudes toward working from home, trust, key learning experience what tools the organisation supplied to employees to enable them to work from home and what support was made available to the employees.
As the first academic piece of research exploring managerial experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, this research discovered that 54.7% of managers reported over 80% of their employees have been working from home since lockdown. As a result of their management experiences during lockdown, fewer managers now believe that presenteeism and long working hours are essential to career progression within organisations. Many managers also reported that working from home increases productivity, concentration, and motivation due to their experiences in lockdown. 58.6% of managers surveyed said that working from home increases productivity whereas only 44.1% agreed with this statement before lockdown.
However, managers also saw some drawbacks, with 58.7% of all those surveyed saying that working from home lead to isolation, and other citing issues around blurring of boundaries as key negative outcomes. Regardless, most managers now believe working from home will become much more commonplace in the future, with more jobs, including senior roles, being advertised as being available for flexible working and more support being made available for home working.
Commenting on the report Dr Holly Birkett, Co-Director of the Equal Parenting Project at the University of Birmingham said:
“The report shows managers are much more positive about working from home and flexible working than they were before the pandemic. Managers say their organisations are going to be more supportive of homeworking and flexible working in the future, including more likely to support working from home, job shares and part-time working even for Senior roles. This change along with the breakdown of the presenteeism culture and the removal of a flexibility stigma, which existed before COVID -19, could help improve employee wellbeing, help to support people to take on caring roles and break down many of the barriers women face to balancing career and family, with the potential to improve female representation on Boards and close the gender pay gap.”
Overall, the data included in the report has shown that working from home has been commonplace since the initial lockdown and managers have faced a steep learning curve regarding how to manage remote teams often with very little support or guidance.
Despite this, managers have been pleasantly surprised about the results with their teams generally performing really well during this time. While there have been some performance issues these were generally where this was already an issue prior to lockdown.
Dr Sarah Forbes, Co-Director of the Equal Parenting Project said: “Due to positive experiences of working from home and with flexible working patterns amongst their staff, managers are keen to support more working from home and flexible working in the future. This could take the form of better flexible working policies and tools to facilitate this as well as training being readily available for managers to learn how to better support remote workers in their team. However, we also need to understand working remotely over long periods of time can also be very isolating and that some people much prefer working in an office environment.”
Dr Heejung Chung, Principal Investigator of the Work Autonomy, Flexibility and Work-Life Balance Project at the University of Kent said: “As we have also seen in our previous employee survey, the flexible working genie is out of the bottle – more workers want to work flexibly in the future, and as this report has shown, managers now see how flexible working can benefit companies. However, that shift will not be the same for all companies and for all workers. Government policies to help make that cultural shift, by introducing stronger rights to flexible working and better protection against discrimination for flexible workers may help this transition go smoothly after the COVID-19 lockdown measures end.”
The webinar will also have presentations by Lauren Adams, HR Director at CBI, Daisy Hooper, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at CMI, and Anthony Fitzpatrick, Employee Relations and Global Employment Policy Lead at Aviva will deliver organisational and managers’ perspectives on experiences of remote working during the pandemic and how these experiences are likely to change the future of work.
Bullitt Group, the global licensee for Cat® phones, today announced that the Cat S42 has been enhanced by advanced antimicrobial product protection, making it the first anti-bacterial phone. Every exterior component of the product has been treated with Biomaster® antimicrobial technology and tested to ISO 22196.
Based on the inclusion of silver ions during manufacturing, the process creates a permanent level of product protection, inhibiting the growth of microbes on the phone surface and therefore reducing microbial levels on the surface.
Research shows that our phones are home to thousands of germs, with a University of Michigan study1 finding in excess of 17,000 bacteria on handsets. We interact with our mobile devices many times a day – around 47 times, on average, according to research from Deloitte2. Mobile phones are handled and pressed to our faces, meaning that any bacteria or other microorganisms can easily transfer back and forth between the hard surfaces of your phone and your skin.
The Biomaster active antimicrobial agent is proven to inhibit bacteria cells from replicating. In testing, a reduction of over 80% within 15 minutes was shown and 99.9% within 24 hours. Combined with the existing Cat phone rugged credentials that ensure the device can be thoroughly and regularly washed with soaps and water, sanitisers, and even bleach, the Cat S42 represents the next generation of hygienic product protection in smartphone design.
“Throughout 2020 we have consistently been driving awareness of the importance of mobile hygiene for us all, but this is vital for those among our customers working within a health or social care setting, and those visiting multiple sites for their job,” said Peter Cunningham, VP Product Portfolio at Bullitt Group. “Using a Cat phone already allows them to have confidence that they can wash and sanitise their Cat phone regularly or between visits. The addition of antimicrobial product protection into the Cat S42 is another first for Cat phones, and will make the Cat S42 safer for users – such an important feature in the current climate.”
The Biomaster-treated Cat S42 will be available from early 2021, with the treatment coming to other devices in the Cat phones range later in the year.
Tested to Cat phones’ demanding rugged standards, the Cat S42 features MIL SPEC 810H and IP68 and IP69 ratings, and surpasses our rigourous and repeated drop testing from 1.8m onto steel, including multiple drops onto every side and corner. It’s fully waterproof, tested submerged in water at depths up to 1.5m for 35 minutes. Like all Cat smartphones in the range, it is also put through vibration and tumble tests, salt mist conditions, and it’s built to operate in high and low extremes of temperature and to survive thermal shocks. Take it with you anywhere and everywhere. It’s built tough to help you thrive in challenging outdoor work situations and extreme leisure pursuits alike.
The Cat S42 smartphone has an MSRP of £229 / €249. The S42 with antimicrobial protection will be available in early 2021.
It’s a day of celebration for gaming fans as Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) launches its next-generation console, PlayStation®5 (PS5™), in the UK.
Today, I spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about the new console, listen in to the attached audio to hear more, otherwise, read on!
“Today marks a historic moment for the PlayStation brand, and all of us at SIE are pleased to celebrate the release of PlayStation 5 together with our community of fans, game developers, and industry partners,” said Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment.
“PS5 is a truly next-generation console representing the beginning of a new era for gaming. I’m thrilled for the new worlds that players will begin to experience today, and I’m equally excited for the lineup of games still to come for PS5 that will continue to propel the gameplay experience forward. We are humbled to work with a talented community of world-class game developers. Their creativity will bring limitless possibilities to what the future of gaming can look like on PS5.”
SIE is welcoming this new generation of gaming by lighting up iconic buildings and popular sites in 25 territories around the world, projecting images of the PlayStation® shapes, the PS5 console, the DualSense wireless controller, and other PlayStation brand imagery. The projections which started on the 12th November saw activations in cities including Tokyo, New York, Auckland, Toronto, Seoul and Mexico City, with more iconic sites being lit up this week to celebrate the launch.
The PS5 Digital Edition will be available for a recommended retail price (RRP) of £349.99 and PS5 with an Ultra HD Blu-ray™ disc drive will be available for an RRP of £449.99. . With the exception of the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive, both PS5 models offer the same specifications, so players will enjoy the same transformative gameplay experiences regardless of which PS5 they choose.
The breadth of PlayStation 5’s game library represents the best lineup in PlayStation console history, led by launch day titles from SIE Worldwide Studios, including Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and Astro’s Playroom. PS5 owners can enjoy more than three dozen new games this holiday, including highly anticipated games from SIE’s publishing partners such as Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War (Activision), Fortnite (Epic Games), FIFA 21 (EA), NBA 2K21 (2K), Godfall (Gearbox Publishing), Watch Dogs®: Legion and Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla (Ubisoft), and many more. Meanwhile, new titles from independent developers, such as Bugsnax (Young Horses) and The Pathless (Giant Squid/Annapurna Interactive) demonstrate the breadth of diverse content coming to PS5.
PS5 owners can look forward to even more incredible games coming soon. Upcoming Worldwide Studios exclusives include Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Returnal, Destruction AllStars, Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo™ 7, and a new God of War game. Additional games launching first on PS5 include DEATHLOOP™ from Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks, Ghostwire™: Tokyo from Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks, Project Athia(Working Title) from Luminous Productions/Square Enix, and Final Fantasy®XVI from Square Enix. Resident Evil™ Village from Capcom and Hogwarts Legacy from Warner Bros. Games round out the lineup of highly anticipated PS5 titles.
At launch, this November, PlayStation Plus members can enjoy a curated lineup of 20 PlayStation®4 games that defined the generation with the PlayStation Plus Collection*, available to download and play on PlayStation 5. The PlayStation Plus Collection features critically acclaimed games, including Batman™: Arkham Knight, Bloodborne, Call of Duty®: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicle Edition, Fallout® 4, God of War, Monster Hunter: World™, Final Fantasy®XV, Resident Evil®7 Biohazard,Persona 5, The Last of Us Remastered, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and more.
Inspired by a global community of creators, PS5 will bring players into game worlds with unprecedented speed, visual fidelity and sensory immersion. Gamers will enjoy near-instant load times thanks to PS5’s ultra-high-speed solid-state drive (SSD), as well as breathtaking 4K graphics and silky-smooth gameplay up to 120 frames per second. With the enhanced haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense wireless controller and the immersive soundscapes made possible by Tempest 3D AudioTech, PlayStation 5 heightens players’ senses, making them feel transported into their game world.
In addition to transformative gaming experiences, PlayStation 5 offers plenty of entertainment experiences, with a curated lineup of some of the most popular streaming services** available at launch, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, Spotify, Twitch, YouTube, and more. There will be a dedicated space exclusively for media entertainment on PlayStation 5, making it fast and easy to switch between games and movie/TV.
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With Christmas just around the corner, a great sounding pair of noise-cancelling headphones should be at the top of everyone’s list. Whether drowning out background sound while working from home or rocking out to the greatest hits in the back of the family car, noise-cancelling headphones help listeners make the most of the moment.
Expanding users’ choices—and fusing together style + function—Shure is unveiling a new White/Tan colour option of its award-winning AONIC 50 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones. Also available in Black and Brown, all three colours will be available at a special promotional price of £289 from now through November, that’s a more than a 30% discount!
Music and style icons all over the globe have relied on Shure on and off the stage for decades – Adam Levine, J Balvin, and Jennifer Lopez just to name a few. They—along with Elvis, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, and others—have trusted Shure microphones and gear in the studio and on stages worldwide.
“Shure has an impressive history of creating headphones for the professional audio industry – people who wear them all day for a living – so creating comfortable, high-quality headphones for anyone, including consumers, is in the Shure DNA,” said Eduardo Valdes, Senior Director, Global Marketing, Musician and Consumer Audio, at Shure. “Now, with Shure’s AONIC 50 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones, music lovers can also experience that same quality of audio wherever they may be. The additional colour choices fit into consumers’ style and aesthetic – no matter their preference.”
When it comes to headphones, consumers expect audio that is high-quality, clear, and an accurate reflection of the artist they’re listening to. But today, headphones can also represent your personality and style. The addition of the gorgeous White/Tan colour completes the aesthetic portfolio of AONIC 50, giving listeners even more ways to express themselves.
Built To Provide Studio-Quality Audio For Work and Play
Engineered from decades of stage and studio experience, AONIC 50 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones deliver a premium listening experience with exceptional comfort and durability. Shure’s first wireless headphones, AONIC 50, feature adjustable noise cancellation to help block distractions for a truly immersive experience with the flip of a switch. Users who want to interact with the world around them can activate Environment Mode to hear immediate surroundings.
Up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge provides a week of use without needing to recharge. Fingertip controls provide quick access to answer calls, adjust volume, or pause music with a push of a button. AONIC 50 Wireless Headphones offer Bluetooth® 5 wireless technology for enhanced stability and a range of up to 30 feet. Featuring a dedicated, high-performance headphone amplifier, AONIC 50 supports popular audio codecs, including Qualcomm® aptX™, aptX™ HD, aptX™ Low Latency audio, Sony LDAC, AAC, and SBC.
When Bluetooth isn’t an option, AONIC 50 Wireless Headphones can connect to wired sources with a 3.5mm analogue audio input to ensure an uninterrupted connection to any device.
Shure’s AONIC 50 headphones are a precise blend of cutting-edge technology and tried-and-true design. Developed with comfort in mind, the sleek, modern AONIC 50 is beautifully crafted with elegant stitching on an adjustable headband for precise ear-to-ear fit, ensuring users get the most out of each listening session. The earpads and underside of the headband are cushioned with plush memory foam and lined for outstanding comfort while taking long calls from home or while on-the-go.
Customisable Listening Experience with the ShurePlus™ PLAY App
When paired with the free ShurePlus™ PLAY App, listeners can personalize their noise cancellation and Environment Mode levels. Available for iOS and Android, the PLAY app is also a full-featured music player with EQ, supporting standard and hi-res music files.
In addition to the feature controls, the PLAY app lets users customize tone and voice prompts for important notifications, like power on/off, connection confirmation, and low battery. It can also be used to upgrade firmware for AONIC 50 headphones.
The limited-time promotional pricing is effective for all AONIC 50 Wireless Headphones (Black, Brown, White/Tan) now through November 30.
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The possible electrical dangers faced by Britain’s army of home workers are today revealed with the help of mobile thermal imaging technology.
For millions of us, our homes are now our offices, but very few of us are aware of potential electrical safety hazards in our home-office setups or how to ensure we safely accommodate the equipment we use every day.
These images, captured with the new Cat S62 Pro thermal imaging smartphone, show the fire risks that poorly thought-through domestic office setups can cause.
Bullitt Group, the makers of the Cat S62 Pro, have partnered withElectrical Safety First to highlight the issue and offer tips and advice on how to make your home office set up safer.
The gallery of images, captured in a home working environment, shows the varying levels of heat invisible to the naked eye that is produced by different electrical setups and devices. The images show common habits including:
Charging laptops and phones on flammable surfaces
Stacking equipment due to lack of space
Daisy-chaining extension leads because you’ve got more to plug in than usual
Routers covered with office materials / or boxed in
Extension cables covered with household items
Working from home is now commonplace but little thought is given to the set-up of our temporary work desks, many just working wherever there is space.
New research commissioned by Bullitt Group, shows electrical safety checks by employers have dropped by nearly half (a decrease of 46%) since lockdown.
The research, compiled byCensuswide using a 2k sample of people working at home due to COVID, also shows:
Many home workers surveyed (41%) operate in cramped workspaces and things often get piled on top of extension units
Over a third don’t have enough plug sockets (36%)
Over a third say that have to daisy chain extension cables to get the length they need (35%)
There is a high level of complacency around electrical safety with more than half (56%) of respondents saying they are not worried about electrical dangers
When asked about where they currently work, more than a third (36%) say they often move their laptop and charger around as they work in different spots
Almost a third (30%) have never considered the dangers of working in some domestic spaces
23% are sharing electrical sockets for work with other domestic items
21% do not have a dedicated workspace at home and 19% feel the quality of work is affected by not having a dedicated workspace
Working closely with Electrical Safety First, Bullitt Group has come up with some simple guidelines to make the home office environment safer.
Key tips include:
Avoid overloading sockets
Do not leave phones or laptops plugged in to charge overnight and don’t charge on a bed – always charge on a hard, flat, non-flammable surface
Don’t “daisy chain” extension leads. If your cable doesn’t reach, don’t plug it into another adaptor. Move your workspace closer to the socket or use a longer lead
Regularly check electrical cords and extension cords for damage
Only use extension cords on a temporary basis
Do not plug a space heater or fan into an extension cord or power strip
Do not run cords under rugs/carpets, doors, or windows
Make sure cords do not become tripping hazards
Keep papers and other potential combustibles at least 1m away from space heaters and other heat sources
Make sure you use the right wattage for lamps/lighting
Only use chargers provided with the product and buy any replacements from reputable retailers you know and trust
Keep your work area tidy and keep drinks away from electrical items
Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Test them monthly and replace the unit every 10 years or as directed by the manufacturer
“When the country first locked down, homeworking was seen as a temporary situation. Now it’s looking more long term, it’s important that both employers and employees are fully aware of the risks and how to mitigate them,” said Nathan Vautier, CEO at Bullitt Group.
“The thermal imaging technology built into the S62 Pro is a quick and simple way to see a world that’s invisible to the naked eye and can improve safety in any working environment. Tradesmen have used our thermal phones to spot electrical faults and issues for some years, but this is also a genuinely useful tool for anyone who wants to improve safety and monitor what’s going on with electrical equipment in their homes,” continued Vautier.
A spokesman for Electrical Safety First said: “There is simply not enough awareness out there about the possible dangers of poorly set up home office environments. Thermal technology is certainly one way to monitor electrical equipment for overheating issues and the images thatCat phones have created here show very clearly just what is going on and highlight some of the common dangers we regularly warn people against.”
Other survey results:
Before lockdown, 40% of respondents’ companies had a procedure in place to regularly check electrical items. This has now dropped to just 22% since working from home began
Almost a third (31%) feel their employer should be doing more to provide safety and other guidance about home working
Only 19% have received safety advice/guidance from their employer concerning their home working set up
Almost half (45%) don’t know when work specific electrical items were last safety checked