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.

There’s been a quantum leap forward in technology, too. Back then, 3D TVs were the talk of the town with its smart successor 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 to the 8K TV you’re consuming your entertainment on. If it’s making waves in the world of technology, we’ve got it covered.

Read on for our first round-up of the latest in exciting life tech at JB

Saved up your pocket money, just got your first paycheck, scored a payrise or recently emptied the nest? Discovering cool new products that have just been released is always an exciting prospect.

Each month in Life Tech, we’re going to be looking at the latest tech products that have landed at JB. Here’s eight to kick off with…

JBL Under Armour Train On-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Sport Headphones Rock Edition

JBL Under Armour Train On-Ear Wireless Bluetooth Sport Headphones Rock Edition
Well, we’re all aware that The Rock knows a little bit about working out, and he had a hand in the design of these headphones built specifically for the gym. A tight, yet comfortable fit, the cushions are not only breathable and fast-drying but washable, too, after an intense cardio workout. Controls are oversized for ease of use, and the headphones can be connected via Bluetooth or wired. And 16-hour battery life will keep you on the move.

Sonos Move Portable Smart Speaker

Sonos Move Portable Smart Speaker
Summertime – the perfect weather for a barbecue or just generally being outdoors in the sun. What’s the perfect accompaniment? Music. It makes any occasion that much better. With so many choices on the market, where do you start? Reputation is as good as any. The Sonos is designed for the great outdoors and is dust, water and shock resistant. Oh, and it’s a great sounding portable speaker too.

Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt

Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt
Life is just getting easier and easier. The Schlage Encode Smart Deadbolt has built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to open the door from anywhere using a purpose designed app and it can even be connected to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Virtual keys can be sent to users via text or email, the lock is easy to fix and it features an alert when the battery gets low, and also has alarm if someone attempts to compromise the lock.

Lenovo Smart Display 7” with Google Assistant

Lenovo Smart Display 7” with Google Assistant
Once you put one of these in your home, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. With a simple voice command, you can access information from the net for recipes, or the day’s weather. Alternatively, it can connect with more than 5,000 smart home devices to control heating/cooling, the lights or your entertainment preferences. Talking of which, it even features a quality speaker of its own. All at a pricepoint that won’t break the bank.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5
The versatility of the laptop-to-tablet format of the Microsoft Surface Pro series has always been a big drawcard and the seventh iteration brings even more to the table including a longer battery life, better graphics, Bluetooth 2, front and rear facing cameras with full 1080p video, 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, both USB-C and USB-A ports. And it comes with Windows 10 S, so you’re ready to go right out of the box. *Type Cover sold separately

Samsung Galaxy Fold 512GB

Samsung Galaxy Fold 512GB
Who says you can’t have it all? From the exterior, the Galaxy Fold looks like a stylish, streamlined smartphone that can be operated with just one hand. However, the magic happens when you open it up and discover an impressive 7.3-inch tablet that delivers stunning visuals to binge-watch your TV shows or play games. It also comes with an impressive six cameras, and the ability to share power to charge your friends’ devices.

Razer Basilisk Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse

Razer Basilisk Ultimate Wireless Gaming Mouse
Want a gaming mouse with the lot? Well, here it is and it’s exclusive to JB, too. The Razer Basilisk is as high-end as wireless gaming mice come – purportedly 25 per cent faster than any competing wireless technology. It features 11 programmable buttons, a customisable scroll wheel, five memory board profiles, and a whopping 100 hours of battery life. This is the edge you need!

Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3

Novation Launchkey Mini Mk3
The Launchkey Mini Mk3 is the perfect partner for music makers looking to ply their trade in the live or recording arenas. With 25 keys and 16 drumpads, which respond to the slightest change in expressive touch, your music will come to life with a simple but mighty arpeggiator, a brilliant fixed chord function, pitch and mod touchstrips, and MIDI out. This keyboard controller slips easily into a bag for transport and works seamlessly with Ableton Live.