Travel Hack: Why Your Phone Is The Only Travel Entertainment You Need?

Do you remember a time when you had books, TV, camera, computer, game consoles, calendar and phone that were all separate entities?

Now, you can get all those entertainment items in one place; your pocket.

It’s uncommon to have a phone that isn’t part of the smart technology brand and we would give up anything and everything just to own a modern smartphone. The ease of use, instant access and ability to have everything in one place at one time makes travelling so much easier.

The cell phones of today are portable entertainment systems which also provides the practical aspects of making a phone call and sending a text message. You are no longer stuck without communication when you are abroad on the beach or trekking across Europe on a gap year.

The ability to pack lightly when you travel is essential. Carrying bulky cameras and Go Pro devices can be a pain when you are busy and want to have less in your bags. With so many updates on devices, camera quality is second to none on smartphones. The ability to zoom, focus and take photos that aren’t blurred is right there in your pocket.

On long journeys, you can read, play games, listen to music and make mini movies; it’s all the entertainment that you will probably need. Want to be able to watch the latest films while you sit on that long cross-country train? Download MovieBox now!  

The only issue that you will probably have due to the amount of entertainment piled into one phone is the battery life; but that’s what chargers were invented for right?

Perfect Selfie - Travelling with the Fuji X100T

Aside from all the entertainment uses of a smartphone; the ability to store tickets, booking confirmations and travel documents is so handy in a phone. Making sure you have a portable charger like this one can make a world of difference if you are stuck at a hotel and you can’t prove your hotel booking. In fact, phones do run out of battery quite quickly in some cases and you’ll need some rescuing with a portable charger.

With social media now readily available anywhere and everywhere you go; check points along your travels on your social media apps can also allow your friends and family to keep an eye on your last location. This means that if something goes wrong while you’re abroad, you can be looked after.

Travelling alone is not an easy thing to do, nor is it the safest thing to do. With a smartphone, you can keep in constant touch with people, even if you aren’t texting or talking twenty-four hours a day. Your checkpoints can also give you information on the nearby restaurants, hotels, attractions and hospitals, and you’re never going to feel like you’re too far away from things that you need when you’re abroad.

Indeed, travelling around the globe can be a huge discovery and when you’re travelling light, you’re not only saving money on baggage and tickets, but with your smartphone; you can find the best food, hotels, and discounts without having to find an internet café. Build your travel playlist for those long hikes and enjoy your music without needing to bring a separate MP3 player.

Travel light, travel safely and be entertained while you do it!

LG HOM-BOT TURBO+: First Wifi-Enabled Robotic Vacuum Cleaner In Singapore

If hygiene, convenience and security are three things that you value the most because of your busy lifestyle, then having a wifi-enabled robotic vacuum cleaner is what you ought to be looking out for!

LG Electronics (LG) recently announced the launch of its LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ (VR66820VMNC) in Singapore and it is available in a metallic gold color. This new model introduces the concept of smart cleaning to Singaporeans and smart features like HomeGuard™ allow parents, pet owners, and frequent travellers to keep an eye on their homes wherever they are.

Doubles Up as a Security Camera

The LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ can be remotely controlled anytime, anywhere and it is more than just a vacuum cleaner. Its HomeGuard™ function also offers security capabilities. When set to survey a pre-selected location within the home, it will snap and send five photos of the preset area to the owner’s smartphone when motion is detected. This function gives users a peace of mind when they are away from home to keep an eye on pets or elderly folks.

After being in Motion Detection mode for five hours and thirty minutes, the HOM-BOT Turbo+ will return to its charging station and once fully charged, it will go back to its preset position.

Track its Cleaning Progress with HomeView™ and Cleaning Diary

The HomeView™ feature allows home owners to monitor the cleaning progress of the LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ wherever they are. Boasting a wide-angle camera at the front, the robotic vacuum cleaner captures more details in a single frame for convenient real-time monitoring.

Simply launch the SmartThinQ mobile application (available on Android and iOS) and activate the HOM-BOT Turbo+ to start its cleaning schedule at the pre-selected locations. The joystick on the application allows users to control and direct the vacuum cleaner. Users can also have a direct view of what the camera is capturing on their smartphone screens and allow them to have better control over the cleaning process to ensure the house is spick and span.

The Cleaning Diary function allows users to review where the LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ has been cleaning via a playback feature. With this feature, users can check the vacuum’s cleaning route with their smartphones to ensure a thorough clean at home. They can also schedule a timing for the HOM-BOT Turbo+ to start cleaning or change the preselected locations as preferred.

Efficiency is a Hallmark

With the following features, the LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ increases user convenience while maximising cleaning efficiency.

Triple Eye:

The vacuum cleaner is fitted with three cameras, with the front camera activated as a security camera. The upper camera creates a map of the house by calculating the intensity of light while vacuuming. The lower camera reads the floor pattern and measures distance and slight changes to the floor to smartly clean darker areas such as under the sofa or bed.

Digital Bumper and Smart Exit:

The Digital Bumper feature combines multiple ultrasonic sensors to recognize obstacles in the LG HOM-BOT Turbo+’s proximity and it minimises collisions with all sorts of objects; even transparent objects such as glass. When faced with challenges, the Smart Exit function enables the unit to take various actions such as weaving its way out of tight spaces, backing out from bumps, and detecting ledges to prevent falling or getting stuck on door frames.

Easy Out Dust Bin:

Unlike vacuum cleaners with slide-out dust bins, the LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ has a lift-from-the-top dust bin that minimises residual dust around the bin slot. Retrieval of the dust bin can be done in one easy push to unlock and lift.

Mapping Resume Function:

If cleaning is interrupted, the LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ will remember where it left off from and return to its last position to continue cleaning, avoiding repetition in the cleaning process.

Smart Inverter Motor™:

Both powerful and durable, the Smart Inverter motor is backed by a 10-year warranty, offering owners maximum performance with high efficiency and durability.

The LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ retails for SGD$1,599 and it will be available at all LG authorised retailers from end March onwards.

Are you ready for a more convenient and hassle free lifestyle? Share with us your thoughts and comments about the LG HOM-BOT Turbot+ below!

How to Get the Best Out Of Your Trips

For some of us travelling is just in our blood. We get itchy feet, and every so often we have to get up and go and explore somewhere new. But just because you have the instinct to travel doesn’t mean that you know all of the tricks to make sure you always have an amazing time. In fact, there are a few tips that you can learn to get the best out of your trips. Read on to find out more. Continue reading →

Heads Up – ‘Text Neck’ is Plaguing Our Smart Nation!

Mankind has long evolved from our primal roots and progressed into the smart and savvy nations of today, but are we moving back in time?

A group of four undergraduates from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are initiating the first campaign in Singapore to raise awareness on ‘Text Neck’, a new condition that many young adults here are falling prey to.

‘Text Neck’ Syndrome is a repetitive strain injury caused by a prolonged forward head posture when users engage in their mobile devices. It is an increasingly common sight in our plugged-in nation due to the pervasiveness of technology in Singapore. This new health phenomenon is currently not well-known among Singaporeans, but this group of NTU undergraduates are shedding light on ‘Text Neck’ and its detrimental health effects with their campaign, ‘Stand Corrected’.

Many are unaware that with a 30-degree forward head tilt, a person is applying over 18 kg of stress on his spine. This causes wear and tear and may lead to spinal complications developing over time. As there is little to no immediate detection of damaged muscles or joints, serious health issues could go unnoticed.

“Poor posture caused by the constant forward head posture while using mobile devices may lead to neck strains and degenerative changes to the cervical spine,” said Mr. Jeff Lim, Senior Physiotherapist at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH).

According to a survey conducted by the NTU undergraduates, 87% of young adults spend three or more hours a day on their mobile devices, and about 60% of people surveyed experience neck and back pains after usage. In addition, there is currently a very low level of awareness and knowledge on ‘Text Neck’ Syndrome and its detrimental effects, with only 11% of respondents knowing what the syndrome actually is.

Dr. Terrence Yap, Vice-President of The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) also noted that not only has there been an increase in posture problems due to the use of mobile devices, but chronic neck-and-back symptoms that people used to experience at aged 60 and above are now starting to affect people as early as 30 to 40 years old.

Dannie Seet, 26, one of the students leading the ‘Stand Corrected’ campaign, said “I am personally a victim of ‘Text Neck’ and many of my friends are too. It is worrying that many Singaporeans are unaware of the damage they are doing to their spines. Our team hopes that more Singaporeans will be mindful of their postures and learn to care for their spinal health”.

“Hopefully, initiatives such as ‘Stand Corrected’ will particularly appeal to teenagers and young adults so that they can adopt good posture habits now to prevent health problems later in life after decades of hand-held device use,” said Mr. Lim.

The campaign is proudly sponsored by Ergoworks, National Youth Council (NYC), Central Singapore Development Council (CDC) and is supported by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) for their medical expertise.

For more information and updates about the ‘Stand Corrected’ campaign, follow them on Facebook & Instagram!

All-New Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 1.4 TSI (DSG) Review

The Volkswagen Touran is one of the best-selling MPV and there are more than 1.9 million people who have chosen to purchase it since its debut in 2003. Last June, Volkswagen launched the all-new Volkswagen Touran and after taking it out for a weekend spin around the island; here are 4 considerations that we think would make the Volkswagen Touran a good buy.

1. Design

The Volkswagen Touran’s new powerful and precise lines pick up the reductive clarity of the previous model. The design concept was significantly further refined, and even reinvented in some cases, so as to give the vehicle a sharper look while retaining a strong underlying continuity.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

The distinctive details of the Volkswagen Touran’s front section lend it a new and unmistakable depth of class; even the headlights themselves are much slimmer than those of the previous model, and have a more three-dimensional shape.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

Although the new Volkswagen Touran is longer than the previous model, it is not so noticeable until you sit inside the car and realise how spacious it is. Despite having the largest cargo capacity in its class, it is able to retain its compact exterior dimensions due to an innovative design approach.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

With its increased overall length and longer wheelbase, the Volkswagen Touran now appears considerably sleeker and more sportier; thanks to the long stylish side windows and precise lines.

2. Comfort & Convenience

The Volkswagen Touran’s longer wheelbase benefits passengers in the frequently used second seat row as the seats can be adjusted lengthwise. The backrest inclination can also be adjusted, with a choice of three positions. The area in front of the centre seat is also made more comfortable thanks to a very flat centre tunnel.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

The newly designed fold-flat seats also improve seating ergonomics and believe it or not, the Volkswagen Touran has an interior width of 1,518 mm at elbow height in the second seat row; which makes it possible to fit three child seats next to each other, something that not many other MPVs can do. All three seats in the second row as well as the two in the third row, are equipped with ISOFIX fixtures that include top tether fixtures.

Legroom in the third row has also been improved when compared to its predecessor. Entry and exit have been optimised as well, with the second row seats now equipped with an easy entry function that allow it to slide forward with ease.

The Volkswagen Touran’s dashboard has been redesigned with a more driver-oriented layout. The upper area of the dashboard panel is made of a soft-touch material and contains a closable storage compartment. The focus of the driver’s work station both visually and ergonomically is the centre console, which slopes up towards the front. In front of the gear lever there is a storage compartment, and additional storage compartments and trays are located, among other places, on the side of the instruments and in the footwell on the passenger side (for tablet computers).

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

In addition to the storage areas in the dashboard, the driver and passenger also have the use of two cup holders in the centre console, a stowage area under the centre armrest, large compartments in the doors and sliding drawers under the front seats. In the Comfortline version, the Touran is also fitted with folding tables and storage pockets on the back of the front seats.

The “Pure Air Climatronic” system with 3-zone temperature control allows the driver, front and rear passengers to set their desired temperatures for maximum comfort. Its biogenic filter, unique to the MPV segment, helps maintain air quality at a consistently high level and prevents the infiltration of pollutants, fungal spores and allergens.

3. Functionality

The direct-injection turbocharged 1.4 TSI engine in the Volkswagen Touran is a completely new design. Producing 150 PS and 250 Nm of torque, it delivers strong performance (0-100 km/h in only 8.9 seconds) while consuming only 5.6 L/100km of fuel in the combined driving cycle.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

The new fold-flat seating system allows the three individual seats in the second row and the two individual seats in the third row to be folded down in a matter of seconds to create a perfectly level continuous floor. Utilisation of the full luggage space of up to 1,857 litres is made possible by easy-to-use lugs for folding down the backrests of the second row and third row seats and lowering the whole seats flat into the luggage compartment floor. In other words, all seats stay inside the vehicle and are simply folded flat to create space as needed. With the second seat row, it is easy to do this from the side; the third row can also be easily folded down or up, access in this case being from the luggage compartment.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

Four driving modes are available at the touch of a button; Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. In Eco, the engine management and climate control are optimised for low fuel consumption.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

4. Safety

Volkswagen has made advances in active and passive safety through the use of a crash-optimised body that includes high-strength steels (resulting in an increase of 25 percent in the static stiffness of the body structure). The Volkswagen Touran has seven airbags as standard, including a driver’s knee airbag, a chassis with passenger car-like attributes and a range of new assistance systems that’s pioneering in this class. The assistance systems featured for the first time in the Touran include the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System as standard, the Pre-Crash proactive occupant protection system, and Front Assist with City Emergency Braking.

Our Personal Take On The Volkswagen Touran

The Volkswagen Touran is a spacious vehicle with ample storage compartment and passengers will surely appreciate the added legroom and comfort especially for long road trips to Malaysia and beyond. Swift and nimble, the Volkswagen Touran is able to manoeuvre with ease during lane change and overtaking.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

On hindsight though, the fuel consumption might be a concern because the average fuel consumption we managed for an entirely urban drive was about 10 km per litre.

One thing we truly appreciate about the Volkswagen Touran is the ample space that is available when the seats are folded flat because it makes running errands so much easier. In fact, we think that the Volkswagen Touran will make an excellent vehicle for commercial purposes too.

Volkswagen Touran Comfortline 2017

Currently priced at SGD$147,400 for the Comfortline variant; the Volkswagen Touran is definitely a car for the adventurous family. Whether it’s an outback adventure or a simple picnic in the park, the Volkswagen Touran will serve a family of 7 very well.

Head down to the Volkswagen Car Showroom at Alexandra road for a test drive now.