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How many people you know started self or home improvement projects when the quarantine started? We were all stuck at home and trying to find something productive to do with our time, besides finally getting through the Netflix watchlist. In fact, "DIY home improvement projects" and "smart home" had a worldwide search peak on Google in April – right in the time when a lot of shops, restaurants, and bars were closed, and a lot of people had to spend their time indoors. So, it seems creating the right personal comfort zone is more than just having the perfect outdoor pouf for your balcony: With today's technology we have the opportunity to create a comfort zone online which translates into our offline world and it feels just like magic. Have a look at our tips and find out how you can create your own digital comfort zone and feel safe and sound online.



1. Convenience through Automation

Do you not love to be wakened by the sun rising, birds chirping, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee? With the right smart helpers, you can recreate beautiful Tuscany mornings in your own apartment in the middle of the largest cities. I use Alexa to automate some of my routines and make my life more convenient. All you need for the perfect Tuscany morning routine is a smart light, a normal coffee machine connected to a smart power switch, and your favorite sound to wake up to. I personally prefer bird sounds, as they annoy me the least in the morning. And then all that is left to do is to choose the settings on the Alexa app, like gradually brighten the light, have the birds chiming in. When I am done getting ready, my coffee has already been brewed and I can have some relaxing time for myself, drinking my coffee until I have to leave the house and get to work. You can create your smart routines with any assistant, be it from Google or Microsoft.

2. Use Productivity Apps

When I get too comfortable, I tend to slack and procrastinate. Which makes me feel unproductive and therefore less comfortable. To avoid this I tried using bulletin journals to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but this did not really work for me. A simple yet effective way for me is using productivity apps. Simple habit trackers such as HabitNow (Android) or Momentum Habit Tracker (iOS). If you don't want to use an app you can also organize your habits via Google calendar. I prefer it because let's face it, Google already has all my data and it plans the time I want to use for my goals, according to my free time in the calendar. Just press on the "plus" on your Google calendar app and choose "Goal". The system will then guide you through the target creation process.​

3. Use the right hardware and software for you!

Photo by James McDonald on Unsplash

It doesn't matter if you are an iOS, Android, Microsoft, or Linux user: use the right products for you. Check online and with your friends for recommendations, but in the end, it is you who has to use them. Make sure your devices are compatible with each other, so you are able to connect them with your smart assistant. Also, make sure your data is protected by keeping your software up to date and only chose trusted providers.​

4. Have fun!

Another very important part: Do not forget to have fun with your smart assistant. Playing with your devices and trying out new things and skills is always the best way to understand what their real potentials are to make your life more convenient. Plus, what is comfort without the right amount of humor?

Pioneers

Teaching a drone to graffiti

Or: "It wasn't me officer! It was the drone!"

When hearing drones, most of us think of amazing drone photography or videos showing us how spectacular places look from above - or even surveillance drones. But this is just a tiny part of what drones can actually do.

In the first episode of our new web series Young Bright Minds, we talk with the experts from Voliro Airborne Robotics who use drones as hands in the sky to eliminate human risk in hard to reach places, and that also can spray on walls - please don't try it on your neighbor's walls!

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