Strange technology we bought during lockdown – and how it might help you

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Lockdown presented all kinds of challenges for each of us. Whether it's adapting to working at home, protecting our devices, or finding fun new activities to avoid boredom, we've all struggled to cope during this difficult time.

But being stuck in one place had some advantages. It encouraged us to think outside the box and find new solutions to problems we didn't even know we had. With that in mind, we asked the VPNOnlineFree team if they had purchased new technology that they might not have considered before.

From beauty to self-care products and everything in between, these are some of the weird technologies we bought during the lockdown.

Heattech thermal leggings

Heattech thermal leggings

(Image credit: Uniqlo)

Even though summer is fast approaching, my apartment continues to be a biome of winter cold. The mornings are pleasant because the sun fills my home office with rays of warm hope, but once the afternoon approaches, things turn cold. The sun is moving towards the opposite side of my apartment and suddenly I am plunged into what looks like total darkness. My legs quickly start to absorb all the cold they can (a trait I apparently inherited from my grandfather), and suddenly I feel like the bottom half of my body is submerged in a bath of ice.

My solution? Thermal leggings. More specifically, I opted for the impressive Heattech range from Uniqlo, designed to keep you warm without the discomfort of wearing a second pair of pants. Heattech is made from a special blend of materials that wick moisture from your body into the fibers and convert its kinetic energy into heat. Honestly, they are a game changer, and without the lockdown, there would be no way I would have had the foresight to buy them. Now my pins are hot, rain or shine. – Adam Vjestica

Fitfort Blackhead Remover

Fitfort Blackhead Remover

(Image credit: Fitfort)

I have been using a manual blackhead remover for some time, but when I lost it, I decided it was time to invest in an electronic blackhead remover. It is essentially a small portable vacuum cleaner for your face that aims to vacuum dirt from your pores, reduce fat and cleanse your skin. The Fitfort Blackhead Remover comes with a few nozzles to combat large or small blackheads, as well as an exfoliating head for those who want to get rid of dead skin.

You basically run the device on your problem areas, sucking up all the nastiness and offering great satisfaction to those who like to watch Dr. Pimple Popper and others – you can even see the blackheads sucked in the cleanable filter!

There are different suction levels depending on the inlay of your blackhead, but be careful not to dwell too long on an area where you will end up with a bunch of tiny facial hickies … and no one want that. – Vic Hood

Mobile air conditioner

Mobile air conditioner

(Image credit: IcyAir)

In the UK it is suddenly hot and our homes are not well equipped to deal with rising temperatures. After a few disgusting and sticky nights and extremely wet days, we made the call. It was enough. It was time to make a permanent journey to the cool side of the pillow in the form of making an entire room cool.

As we look forward to the delivery of our portable air conditioner in a few days, I find myself sweating in front of my laptop – but the gentle release of fresh air is now visible on the horizon, and I can't wait.

However, how long will it last? Time, I mean. As soon as the UK warms up, it can just as well go in the opposite direction, potentially letting us watch a white elephant in the corner – buyers' remorse is real, but the promise of a night's sleep uninterrupted is much more attractive.

Fingers crossed, mother nature keeps its side of the case, to justify our expenses. – John McCann

iPhone Sports Band

IPhone sports band

(Image credit: Comsoon Sports)

New York City is slowly emerging from the lockdown, and the ability to go out and exercise is a boon to our bike sharing program, Citibike. I see them everywhere and, with a fraction of the car traffic on the streets of Manhattan, I decided to VPNOnlineFree. The only problem? I can't look at my phone while riding – I need two hands on the handlebars (NYC potholes weren't filled before and certainly aren't filled now) and the thick handlebars of Citibike discourages the mounting of smartphones and GoPros, in a boring way.

Enter the Comsoon sports bracelet, a phone holder for a cuff with a 360 ° rotating forearm. This sports bracelet attaches to my arm and fixes my iPhone 11 Pro Max to me as if I wore an oversized Apple Watch. No, I don't use it to irresponsibly text and watch YouTube videos while riding a bike – it helps to know where to go via the Maps app and open the Citibike app to locate an open dock where I can return the bike. Before locking, I wouldn't have considered this essential, but now I use my “iPhone watch” wherever I go and pat myself on the back – with two hands free. – Matt Swider

Lego Land Rover Defender 90

Lego Land Rover

(Image credit: Lego)

We all spend a lot more time at home, and there is very little Netflix we can watch, computer games we can play and waste time on our phones until our eyes get really square. .

To take a break from my eyes, I needed an offline activity, something to occupy my time and my mind. Say hello to the Lego Land Rover Defender 90. Ordered from the Lego website – via a cashback website, every little help – the Defender arrived in just a few days.

It is a large assembly, with more than 2,500 parts and a complex sequential 4-speed gearbox and a gear selector with 2 levers to engage high or low speed, all-wheel drive, independent suspension, functional steering and a 6-cylinder in-line engine with movable pistons. As you can imagine with such a complicated construction, I have already worked more than seven hours and I probably have a few hours left. This 3D mechanical puzzle (do not a children's toy, I tell myself) is a brilliant way to pass the time, and I'm already thinking about what I could do next. – John McCann


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