Tag Archives: Covid-19

Gadget Man – Episode 167 – Kebao Air 3 – Game Changing Air Purification arrives in the UK

Having spent the summer starting new businesses, building websites and gadgets, as well as building global distribution networks and running the home for a short while, I return with my latest review and podcast episode.

This week I am talking to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about the NHS England Track and Trace App (part ii) and most excitingly, my experience with the Kebao Air 3 which is a truly futuristic gadget!

Listen in to the stream and read on to find out more about the Kebao Air 3 Air Purifer.

Kebao Air 3: Game-Changing air purification comes to the UK!

Poor air quality has become one of the largest environmental risks to the health of people of the United Kingdom and with the Coronavirus Pandemic, it has become more important than ever that we breathe healthy air that is free from harmful particles and unpleasant viruses.

So, it was incredibly timely that I was recently contacted by Kebao to test their new ‘filterless’ air purifier, namely the Kebao Air 3.

The Air 3 combines sleek design with cutting edge technology, which in turn completely eliminates 99.99% of airborne pollutants, viruses, bacteria and allergens and consequently provides ‘Surgical Grade’ air and deodorisation.

Instead of using standard High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that can capture particulate matter of 0.3 microns or larger with 99.95% efficiency (a human hair is between 17 and 181 microns), the Kebao Air 3 is capable of eliminating particles down to a size of 0.01 microns. This is a big deal because COVID19 particles are around 0.12 microns in size, small enough to pass through a HEPA filter, but the too big to pass through the Air 3!

The Kebao Air 3 does this using a brand-new type of 5-stage filtration. Stage 1 is a pre-filter which removes larger particles from the air and can be cleaned and reused for the lifetime of the product. Stage 2 uses a high-voltage negative charge to deactivate viruses and bacteria and retains the debris on charged plates stopping re-release. Stage 3 using a mind-blowing ‘Photocatalytic Oxidisation’ based on Albert Einstein’s ‘Photon Energy’. UV light initiates a stepwise free radical decomposition of organic compounds, which produces water and carbon dioxide as a by-product. The Air 3 has 48 LED bulbs and a Ti02 alumina ceramic photocatalytic ozone-free filter. Stage 4 uses 4kg of loose granulated carbon, impregnated with amines which absorb and decomposes any harmful gasses. Stage 5 Surgical grade, deodorised air is circulated through you room clear of 99.99% of harmful particulates!

The display shows air quality in two readings, the first two numbers are the temperature and humidity, the second set are PM2.5 and TVOC readings. PM2.5 is a measure of the number of particles less than 2.5 microns in size and are caused by burning fuel, chemical reactions and forest fires. PM2.5 particles are very unhealthy, causing eye, nose and throat irritations, coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath. They can also cause asthma, chronic bronchitis and heart disease. In the UK, air must remain below 25, the WHO recommends below 10, London’s average is 10, my house is currently 1 after having the Air 3 running for over a week!

The second setting is TVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compound) which is another way of measuring air quality, again this was negligible at 0.02 after a week of running.

All of this amazing technology comes at a price. The unit is aimed at commercial enterprises who want to keep their staff and customers safe, so it would suit a restaurant or office space as it is actively cleaning the air the whole time. The price of £1600 reflects a premium commercial product, but I can honestly see it becoming something of a norm in the UK especially due to the current crisis!

The Kebao Air 3 is available to buy directly from Kebao

Stay safe

Is Your Productivity Tanking While You Work From Home?

A lot of us have been working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, and a lot of us have been finding it comes with its own set of challenges. For some, those challenges are all a matter of mindset or environment. You might be finding it difficult to get used to the fact your coworkers aren’t nearby or have trouble dealing with family and work at the same time. However, a lot of people initially find that it can be a challenge to get as much done from home as they might get in a better catered professional environment. Here, we’re going to look at five technological solutions that can ensure you’re a more productive and efficient worker.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Know what you’re doing 

First of all, if you’re not certain where to start with your workday, then it’s time to take a strategic look at all of your current deadlines, responsibilities, and projects. Take the time to list out everything you might have to do. Then you can use tools like the https://appfluence.com/productivity/prioritization-matrix/ to see which you should do first. This tool lets you take your to-do list and quickly measure it by which tasks are most crucial and which are most urgent. As such, you won’t be stuck wondering what you should be doing at the start of the day. Five minutes can help you quickly layout the tasks you will be taking care of for the day.

Know when you’re doing it

Once you’ve effectively prioritised your tasks and you know what you’re doing for the day, then it’s all about knowing when you should do it. Workflow management software can help you set aside blocks of time so that you know when you’re going to be working on one thing and when it’s time to move onto the next. It ensures you don’t get stuck on one task for ages but rather you give everything the time that it needs and deserves.

Automate and streamline what you can

If you have any tasks that you have to do on a regular basis or that threaten to become monotonous, it’s important to find a way to standardize them efficiently. If you’re simply chipping away at them bit by bit, it can reduce your engagement with your work in total, making it harder for you to focus even when you get onto another task. There are plenty of tools designed specifically to automate your work, such as https://www.templafy.com/document-automation-software/ that can help you quickly format and standardize documents before you send them off. Look at your most regularly performed processes and see what you can do to automate them.

Make sure you can get what you need from your team

Of course, you’re not going to be doing all of your work, yourself. Most people are going to need to rely on their team at some point and, to that end, quick and effective communication is possible. A decent team collaboration app such as is going to be the basis of many a remote team’s communications. It gives you a centralised space to check your messages, talk about projects, or request help when you need it. If it’s not centralised, then it becomes all too easy to lose track of. After all, people have different communication preferences, be it by using IMs, sending emails, calling directly or otherwise. By centralising it, you get everyone using the same tools and following the same standards, reducing the chances of missed messages and miscommunication.

Get rid of any type of distraction

When it comes to distractions, there are two main types: external and internal. For the external, such as outside noise, you need to make sure you secure the work environment and ask that your family (or whoever you live with) respects your need for privacy and alone time when working. For internal distraction, you need to know what you’re most prone to be distracted by and to block it off. When it comes to working on digital technology, it’s usually the internet. However, there are plenty of tools like https://selfcontrolapp.com/ that you can use to set permissions, blocking your access to websites and social media within work hours. You can even block them entirely on your work device if that would make you feel more comfortable.

The above tech tools should hopefully help you get much more engaged and better organized with the work you do from home. Sometimes, the solution isn’t technological, however, so you need to take a better look at your work environment, too.

Gadget Man – Episode 164 – Debunking the COVID-19 / 5G Conspiracy Theory

Yesterday myself and industry expert, Dario Talmesio, Principal Analyst & Practice Leader at Omdia spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about the COVID-19 / 5G Conspiracy Theory.

You can listen to the stream above or read on to find out more.

5G has been under attack by conspiracy theorists for as long as it has existed. Every conceivable disease, illness or cancer has been blamed on the technology. It has been open-season for several years.

During this time, every single theory has been repeatedly debunked by teams of scientists and experts throughout the world, but still, it prevails.

Enter Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the highly infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first discovered in December 2019 Wuhan, China.

At the time of publication, COVID-19 has infected more than 1.36 million people in 184 countries. Sadly, resulting in the death of an excess of 76000 people. This virus has become a global killer on a scale not seen since the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918.

Dario Talmesio
Dario Talmesio Principal Analyst & Practice Leader
Country UK – Image Credit OMDIA

At a time when our highly advanced telecommunications networks are one of the saving graces of the crisis, the last thing we need to hear is that people are beginning to try and link COVID-19 to the building of the 5G network. Worse, there are now acts of vandalism being enacted upon the newly installed equipment, damaging expensive equipment and putting peoples lives at risk.

This damage and continued encouragement from high profile celebrities have resulted in the UK providers issuing a joint letter to customers asking for the damage to stop.

Frankly, I continue to be exasperated by the need for every single thing that happens on our planet to be blamed on technology, government or secret societies! The sooner we knuckle down and work together to defeat this appalling virus in every way we can, the better!

Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives

Open Letter to Customers from EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone
Open Letter to Customers from EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone

Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE and COMMENT.

See you next time, Stay Safe

Matt

The Gadget Man – Episode 163 – Improving Broadband Speeds and Setting up Video Calling

The Coronavirus / Covid-19 crisis continues to affect the entire world. With the newly introduced restrictions of movement of people in the UK, today I spoke to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about how such a large increase in people at home can affect our Broadband Speeds and what we can do to get the best out of our connections.

In the second half, I talked about how to keep in contact with your family and friends using the likes of FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Zoom.

Listen in to the audio stream and let me know what you think?

Don’t forget to like, share, subscribe and most importantly stay safe and healthy

To raise the awareness of social distancing, download our free ready to print A4 or A3 posters by clicking here and remember Social Distancing Saves Lives

Social Distancing Saves Lives
Social Distancing Saves Lives

The Gadget Man – Episode 162 – Working From Home During the Coronavirus / Covid-19 Crisis

Such are the strange times we live in, many of us now face working from home for the first time along with caring for our children.

I have worked from home extensively over the past 20 years and I thought I would try and share some tips on how I have been able to work effectively in a home environment.

This morning I spoke to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about the trials and tribulations about working from home. Listen in to the stream to hear what I had to say and especially the advice at the end.

Stay Safe and Healthy

If you have been given a laptop to use at home, then there is a danger that you may find yourself sitting in an armchair trying to work and you will soon find this isn’t going to work well.

  1. Set up a work environment in a spare room or even your bedroom where you can away from disturbances and distractions as best as possible.
  2. Find a comfortable chair and if possible sit near a window so you can get fresh air while you are working.
  3. Set up your computer, so that is a semi-permanent environment and will allow you to separate work from home and give you a place to ‘go to work’
  4. Get dressed, you don’t go to your place of work in your pyjamas, so again, getting dressed gets your prepared for work.
  5. Take plenty of breaks. If you have children at home, you will need to be able to give them attention. If you can set specific times during the day to stop work, get up and walk around and make yourself a drink.
  6. Try to begin and end your work-day as you would if you were going to your place of work. Let your employer know that these are your work times. Setting these boundaries will mean that you aren’t on-call 24/7.
  7. Most home-working requires an internet connection. Over the coming months, our communications links are going to be under a great deal of strain. The video streaming services are going to be used extensively and this will put a great deal of pressure on internet connection speeds. Home internet is very different to work internet due to what’s called ‘contention ratios’, so you should be prepared for slower than normal connection speeds.
  8. Ask your employer to provide you with a mobile device that can be used as a ‘tether’. This means that should traditional broadband experience issues, you can fall back onto connecting to the internet by connecting via a ‘personal mobile hotspot’.
  9. Make sure all of your internet-connected devices are up to date. This means ensuring anti-virus is updated where applicable and any operating systems updates on your computers, set-top boxes, TV’s, IpCams etc are updated
  10. Keep all of your battery-powered devices charged up, but don’t leave mobile phones plugged in all of the time as the batteries don’t work as effectively if they all continuously charged.
  11. Use a trusted VPN connection to secure your broadband connection further. I recommend Ivacy VPN. Using a VPN or Virtual Private Network secures your connection.

Finally, regardless of whether you are working at home or not, you WILL find the number of scam calls you receive will increase, mainly because you will find yourself at home so much more. NEVER give out any personal bank details over the phone including PIN numbers or passwords. Ignore all automated calls and just hang up. These people care little for the health or financial wellbeing of their victims. If in doubt, speak to a trusted friend or member of your family before taking any action that will cost you money.

Stay Well and see you soon!

Matt
www.thegadgetman.org.uk