WELCOME TO TECH LIFE It’s been eight years since we introduced a new section into STACK . In that time, Marvel has released 20 films, gaming giant Nintendo has had three different consoles in the marketplace, and vinyl has experienced a resurgence that no one could have predicted. And there’s been a quantum leap forward in technology, too. Back then, 3D TVs were the talk of the town with a smart relative just beginning to rise. Virtual and augmented reality were becoming hot topics for games, streaming was still in its infancy, and the smart home was the preserve of Tony Stark! Today, tech is an essential component in our lives; smartphones inform our home entertainment choices, monitor and chart fitness activities, initiate security cameras, turn on heating and lighting, and even feed the dog! Oh, and you can chat on them too. Even installing tech at home – once an intimidating prospect for most – is so simple that even the most ardent Luddite can follow the prompts. For a relatively low investment, an evening at home watching a movie can consist of lighting that mirrors the action onscreen, or have a music selection play throughout the house activated by your voice. With such exciting technical innovations happening in and around the entertainment categories at JB, every month we’ll be highlighting, reviewing and recommending what’s new in this constantly evolving space. So from January onwards, we’ll be rolling out Life Tech, a brand new section that will encompass everything from the latest developments in the smart home to the fitness tracker on your wrist. If it’s making waves in the world of technology, we’ve got it covered.

It’s January, which can only mean one thing for many Australians – time to go on holiday. But even when we’re away from home, we still take many of our essential life tech devices with us on the road. Here are our top tech tips for your summer vacation. 1 Battery, baby! Do not even consider leaving home without a (fully-charged) portable battery in hand. You just know your smartphone or tablet will die just when you need it most. With back-up power source in your bag, you can never go wrong. 2 Knock out the noise! Invest in a decent pair of noise cancelling headphones – you really won’t regret it because whether you’re travelling by boat, bus, train or plane, there’s nothing better than relaxing with your music, oblivious to the sonic chaos all around you. 3 Stay portable! Back it up, and back it up often with a portable SSD. And invest in a reputable brand – no one wants the heartache of losing a holiday’s worth of photos and videos if your hard drive takes a nosedive. 4 Protect yourself! Always be wary of jumping onto a public Wi-Fi connection. By doing this, you could be opening yourself up to hackers. If you get a “This connection is unsecured” on your device, it’s for a good reason. Disconnect straight away to protect your data. 5 Who goes there? Consider investing in a password manager. It saves you the effort of trying to remember all your different passwords, or even worse, writing them down somewhere. Here, all of your encrypted passwords are securely housed in one safe management system, keeping you one step ahead of the hackers.

Did you know? According to Australian tech analysts Telsyte, the average Australian household has 18 smart devices. The highest adopters of smart home technology globally are 25–34 year olds. The world’s first digital electronic watch, the Pulsar Time Computer, was unveiled in 1970.

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