The sharing society

People are logging and sharing their lives in more ways than ever before, so don’t miss out on the many accessory sales opportunities that satisfy that need, advises Clare Newsome, head of marketing and PR at Exertis Unlimited

Quick quiz: Did Benjamin Franklin invent a) the lightning rod b) bifocals or c) the FitBit? Answer: all of the above. Well, almost.

The American founding father and polymath was one of the first proponents of ‘the quantified self’, or life-logging – gathering and analysing personal data and experiences with the aim of self-improvement. It’s a key area driving today’s tech development – along with the sharing of one’s achievements.

Mr Franklin devised a daily logging system for a list of 13 virtues, scoring himself on criteria ranging from temperance to industry, sincerity to cleanliness. Each week, he put particular focus on a certain virtue, beginning the list again after 13 weeks.

Some 290 years on, there’s an app for that (Ben’s Virtues, for Apple and Android), and today’s accessories market is replete with connected tech to log all areas of your life. From action cameras and dashcams to record your every move, to trackers for your health, your children, and even your pets – it’s a boom area.

With increasing numbers of UK households having invested in a 4K TV, this summer is likely to be the first they want holiday movies to match. Step forward the new breed of 4K action cameras, ready and able to record every belly splash, snorkelling trip and exotic entertainment in terrifying detail. The Kaiser Baas X4 is a good example of this, offering true 4K resolution at 30fps, image stabilisation, a waterproof-to-30m casing, and easy control from your smartphone.

Going on a road trip? The new Kaiser Baas R50 dashcam has GPS logging to track every bit of your journey, with pin-sharp video to capture anything from majestic scenery to a nasty shunt. It has a flexible mount, meaning you can easily move it from home to hire car. The camera is automatically triggered in case of impact, or you can breezily wave at it to activate recording, without taking your eyes off the road.

Kaiser Baas X4 action camera
Kaiser Baas X4 action camera

Capturing every moment of your holiday extends back home, too – it’s a great time to sell in smart tech as a security measure. From the latest smart locks and alarms to monitor doors, windows and in-house activity, to the ability to remotely set lighting systems, such as Philips Hue, to turn lights on/off to foil would-be burglars, you can be home-logging from the beach.

Social media makes it easy to share every picture, stat and achievement, but there’s also a trend back to a more analogue way of sharing – the good old printed photo. Personal photo printers, able to print direct from your smartphone, are big business, with the best-known name in instant printing – Polaroid – resurgent with a range of options. The Polaroid Zip Instant Photoprinter prints colour photos directly from a mobile or tablet in less than 60 seconds.

With most of these accessories dependent on your smartphone having the battery life to create, log, review and share your activity, portable power is becoming an essential extra.

With Apple continuing to hold out against the wireless charging trend (for now), third-party solutions to keep your iPhone powered, cable-free, are available – one of the most flexible being from Stacked (pictured top). Based around a powerful 360-degree magnetic connector – able to securely attach and charge an iPhone quickly, be positioned in any direction, and transfer power, audio and data – the Stacked system is fast and efficient. Its light, slim Speed Case protects your phone and houses a connector. Add a suitably skinny magnetic battery pack to wirelessly charge your iPhone, achieving up to 60 per cent charge in just 15 minutes (full charge in an hour). You can then wirelessly recharge both your phone and up to five battery packs at once with the Stacked wireless wall plug.

With all this life-logging going on, another good thing is that even with the Brexit effect, costs are keeping stable or even coming down. Many of these products can be bought for around ‘a Benjamin’ – the $100 bill that bears Mr Franklin’s face.