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Future Tech: 

10 gadgets to help cure your back-to-school blues

Sorry students, September has arrived and another school year is looming ahead like the dark cloud that’s about to rain all over your summer fun. It’s not all doom and gloom, though, because that also signals your annual trip to the stationery shop! No? Nobody’s excited about stationery in 2014? Fine.

Whether you’re in high school, college or university – it’s clear that classrooms, libraries and lecture halls are transforming with the times. Here, then, are 10 of the best gadgets to help you shake those back-to-school blues.

1) Scanmarker


At $79.95, Scanmarker is either a stroke of genius or the most expensive highlighter you’ll ever buy. It really depends on what you’re studying, but if you need to retype large quotations or huge chunks of text it claims to do so 30-times as fast as it would take manually. Perhaps the high price tag is justified after all.

2) Mighty Mic


However adept your note-taking skills are, having a recording of your lectures is always a good idea. For the best results try Mighty Mic – it’s essentially a boom attachment for your smartphone which means you’ll never miss a beat – even if you’re half asleep during the lecture itself.

3) Anker Astro portable charger


Of course, if you’re going to go adding extra gadgets to your smartphone your battery life is going to disappear. Fast. This lipstick-sized back-up battery from Anker is just what you need, giving your phone or tablet a shot of life in its dying hours. Best of all it’s only $19.99.

4) Moleskine Livescribe

back to school moleskin

As reported by GoExplore last week, Moleskine and Livescribe have come together to give students the best of the both worlds – instantaneous digital notes, with all the satisfaction of writing in a Moleskine pad. Who can argue with that?

5) CTX virtual keyboard

ctx virtual keyboard

For those who prefer a keyboard to type their notes but don’t like fumbling about on touchscreens – now there’s this virtual keyboard from CTX. The bluetooth box is small enough to attach to your keys and can spew out a set of hologram letters and numbers in just a few seconds. Okay, it’s not Princess Leia, but it’s a start…

6) USB typewriter

usb typewriter

And the award for the most pointless item on this list goes to – that’s right, you guessed it, the USB typewriter. Prices begin $699 for what is essentially a fancy keyboard, but if you’ve got money to burn we have to admit it lends a certain panache to those late night essay deadlines.

7) Amazon Kindle

back to school kindle

If you’ve not yet jumped on the Kindle bandwagon then it’s worth remembering that school textbooks are both very heavy and very expensive. Take some weight off your shoulders, and your bank account, by switching to ebooks now.

8) Sense sleep tracker

sense back to school

Those 11am lie-ins you’ve been enjoying all summer are about to come to an abrupt end. Adjusting to early mornings is easier for some than it is for others – but if you’re somebody who struggles now there is Sense to set you right. This smart sleep tracker was a huge Kickstarter success earlier this year, promising to ‘reinvent the alarm’ by monitoring and coaching your sleep patterns.

9) Pebble smartwatch

pebble smartwatch

As the world waits for the possible announcement of the Apple iWatch next week – for now, we still haven’t come across a better smartwatch than Pebble. When checking your smartphone in class is not allowed, have those all-important notifications sent directly to your wrist.

10) Normal earbuds


Finally, for those long hours in the library you’re going to need some music to keep you sane. What better way to listen to your favorite songs than through a set of headphones designed just for you? All you need to do is submit a photo of your ear through the Normal app, and receive a set of custom 3D-printed headphones within 48 hours.

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