If you have a weakness for gadgets, you might want to look away now!
We’ve compiled our roundup of some of the most fun and quirky office gadgets to brighten up your workspace in 2015. While some may not be essential business tools, we think they may help to make the time you spend in the office each day more enjoyable and even help reduce your stress.
1. Flapit is a social metrics counter that shows SMBs how well their online platforms are performing. You can use it to measure how many followers on Twitter you have, how many Facebook ‘likes’ you have accrued or what your Yelp rating is, plus lots more. Priced at £199, Flapit connects with 11 social media platforms. Pre-orders are open now, and the first devices are due to ship this coming spring.
2. The Livescribe Echo smartpen is the perfect meeting accessory. It allows you to record audio while you’re taking notes and play everything back later. You can save and share interactive notes to your computer, iPad or iPhone via a micro USB connector that also allows you to recharge your pen. The memory storage holds either 400 or 800 hours of recorded audio, depending on the model, and includes an OLED display that makes it easy to navigate smartpen apps.
3. Echo is Amazon’s new voice recognition service that comes with a speaker-like wireless device ready to hear your every command. The device responds to voice commands and offers updates on news and weather, can grab information from Wikipedia and provides hands-free voice control for Amazon services such as Prime Music. It is available by email request only and costs $199, or $99 for Amazon Prime members.
4. Skypanels offer a refreshing antidote to office cabin fever and are particularly well suited to workspaces receiving little daylight. These Skypanels feature images of beautiful skies and can replace current light panels, so that whenever you look up, and no matter what it’s like outside, you’ll see beautiful blue skies. Surely this is so much better than being under drab fluorescent lights all day long.
5. The Gyration Air Mouse is an ergonomic mouse designed for those who suffer from repetitive strain injury. As well as moving the mouse across the desk, you can wave it around in the air and control applications and tools via simple hand gestures. Priced just under £82, your wrists will thank you for the investment.
6. This USB Webmail notifier connects to your private email account when you can’t and lets you know what’s going on. It supports most email and messaging clients and works in the background to inform you every time you receive a personal email. Each new email is softly illuminated along with a sound alert.
7. Electronic copyboards signal the end of lost meeting minutes or ideas. While they might look like a normal whiteboard, they offer the ability to print, save, change, fax and email what is drawn after the presentation. The copyboard prints onto A4 paper that can be handed out to people attending your presentation. Priced around $2,000, they’d be a worthwhile investment for any SMB.
8. The iRoboVac XD Vacuum Cleaner is the futuristic way to keep your workspace clean without lifting a finger. It has 360 degree movementand sensors that help navigate it around the office and prevent it from bumping into furniture (or ankles).
9. This Japanese trashbot is designed for people (like me!) with poor aim who have trouble throwing their rubbish accurately into the bin. This high-tech bin is custom-built with a fairly complex-looking control board, power system and operating code. Three wheels at the base have 360 degrees of motion, so the robot can spin in any direction
10. Resonant Decor is the new way to decorate your office walls. It’s said that music can help to boost creativity and morale in the workplace, while lowering stress levels. This alternative, dynamic wall art will capture the waves of those sounds you’re listening to onto a canvas using brilliant colours of your choice. You can upload your own audio to ensure everyone in the office has a say.