Christmas AFO

8 tech gifts every man needs on his Christmas list

Tech is truly taking over the world – and, subsequently, our Christmas stockings! If you or someone you know is a gadget-lover but you don’t quite know what you’re after this year, we’ve picked out some really cool gadgets for Christmas that we’ve had our own eyes on to help you narrow down your search. Plus, at Angelfish we are always on the lookout for people to test new products and get paid, so read on and sign up if you fancy getting your hands on new tech.

This fabulous smart flask is perfect for those who don’t quite have enough time to make and drink their first brew of the day before dashing off to the office. With the ability to keep your drink the exact temperature you like (anywhere between 50°C and 62.5°C), and the ability to control the temperature, customise presets, receive notifications and more with your phone, the days of lukewarm brews are behind us. They also have a mug version, so you can keep your beverage of choice nice and warm at your desk throughout the day, too – so you’ll never have to waste another cup or resort to reheating your drink in the microwave again!

1. Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug

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(Price: £134.95)

Get it here.

2. Heated Razor Starter Kit by GilletteLabs

Gillette’s nifty new razor promises “the pleasure of a hot towel shave in every stroke,” activating and delivering instant warmth in less than a second at the push of a button! It boasts 5 of Gillette’s best blades, a waterproof design, adjustable heat, wireless magnetic charging, and more. What better gadget could a chap ask for?

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(Price: £175.00)

Get it here.

3. Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset

For those of you who love to fully immerse in their games, TOculus’ very first VR Gaming Headset is set to take it to the next level! It currently stands out from other VR headsets with an easy, all-in-one set up (no PC or wires required), positional audio built directly into the headset, and the ability to play wherever you are – standing or sitting, in a big space or small, there really are no limits with this cool gadget – definitely one for Christmas fun! Oculus Touch controllers take the experience even further by allowing you to transport your hands and gestures directly into your game.

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(Price: 64GB £399, 128GB, £499)

Get it here.

4. 55″/65″/77″ 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV

Smart TVs really don’t get much smarter than this! Not only are LG TVs the first to integrate both the Google Assistant and Alexa so you can ask questions while watching TV and see the answers on the screen and control other smart devices around your home, but it also offers stunning picture and a sleek design that’ll look amazing anywhere in your home. You could
test new products and get paid as part of our panel – keep reading to find out how.

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(Price: Starting at approx. £1,200)

Get it here.

5. Master & Dynamic MW65 Active Noise-Cancelling Wireless Headphones

If you’re someone who cannot live without your daily dose of music, then Master & Dynamic’s “most technically sophisticated headphones” are definitely worth a look (…well, listen!). Not only are they lightweight and made with fine leathers for maximum over-ear comfort, their noise-cancelling technology means you’ll get clear, expansive sound in any environment. What’s more, their in-built microphones filter out all external noise so you can receive crisp and clear phone calls. Overall, the perfect accompaniment (see what we did there?) to your daily commute!

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(Price: £449.00)

Get them here.

6. Kindle Paperwhite

As an avid reader, there’s nothing worse than trying to read a book while relaxing by the pool or in the bath and dropping said book in the water. With the new Kindle Paperwhite’s IPX8 waterproofing, however, those days are long gone! Amazon’s latest, thinnest and lightest eBook reader comes in both black and twilight blue, can hold up to 32GB in storage, a battery that lasts for weeks with a single charge, and a built-in adjustable light that lets you read indoors and outdoors, day and night. The perfect gift for reading enthusiasts!

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(Price: £129.99)

Get it here.

7. Nordstrom’s Ring Fitness and Sleep Tracker

Move over, smartwatches and FitBits – Nordstrom’s Ring is here and ready to track the sleep, heart rate and activity of the greatest fitness gurus 24/7—without them sacrificing style. Waterproof up to 165 feet, compatible with most mobile devices and storing three days battery life after just a 90-minute charge, fitness has never been so fashionable. And all this at the weight of less than a 1p coin – you won’t find a cooler gadget for Christmas than this!

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(Price: £164.16)

Get it here.

8. (Quite possibly the Angelfish favourite!) Whistle Go Health & Location Tracker for Pets

“The best pet tracker just got smarter” for 2019 – Whistle’s smart little device is ready to track your furry bestie’s health and location! So for those of you who have that frequent anxiety about where your cat or dog may have disappeared off to, fret no more. Even better, it boasts an up-to-20-Day battery life, IPX8 waterproofing, and a 3-mode built-in night light so you can spot them easily in the dark. An absolute must for man and his best friend this Christmas! 

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(Price: £94.57)

Get it here.

We’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty to try as part of our paid market research opportunities!

If you know a total tech whizz (or are one yourself), we’re sure you’ll want to get your hands on some of these cool gadgets for Christmas! If you need to save up some money first, why not take part in one of our paid market research opportunities here at Angelfish? You might get to test new products and get paid to have a go with gadgets like the above as part of a focus group or UX testing study, or you may even get to see them during an accompanied shop! You can sign up to be on our panel via the button below, or find out more about our current projects here.

legit market research companies

What to expect from a UX testing study

UX testing – otherwise known as user testing, usability testing and/or user experience testing – probably sounds a little tech-y to the non-tuned ear. However, it’s actually just a simple (though super-important) market research method researchers use to understand what consumers do, and why they do it.

This means researchers can really sink their teeth into how good or bad a user’s experience is of a website or app and find ways of making this experience as enjoyable as possible. This way, brands can be sure consumers will return to them time and time again, rather than diverting to their competitors.

Of course, none of this can happen without users to test the brand’s websites and apps out in the first place – which is where you come in! So without further ado, here’s the low-down on what you can expect once you’re set to take part in a UX testing study.

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What will happen on the day?

You’ll be asked to take on a few tasks on the app or website and be observed either by a researcher, or through a recording of your activity via specialist software. Don’t worry, it’s not a test of your ability – it’s just to see what your likes and dislikes are, how easy you find their site or app to use, and whether you stick around or end up looking at competitors websites/apps instead. 

This way, brands can work out what they need to do to make the experience more suitable and enjoyable for you! Due to our increased online presence and the significance of user satisfaction in business success, this process really is more important than ever before.

How long will the UX testing study last?

When using a website or app in an everyday setting, it usually doesn’t take the average consumer long to achieve their desired outcome(s) and move on – probably a few minutes tops. 

With a UX testing study however, businesses and researchers really want to explore how you behave on/interact with their website or app, so the tasks they set you mean you’ll be there significantly longer; typically, around 30-60 minutes.

In some cases, you may be asked to come to a specific location (though it’ll never be too far away), in which case you’ll want to factor in some extra time for travel. However, you might have the opportunity to take part remotely – who knows, you could be making a valuable contribution to businesses and brands without even needing to get out of your PJs! 

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What’s in it for me?

In our increasingly on-the-go world, businesses and brands know just how precious your time is, so they’re always grateful to you sharing for sharing it with them – in fact, you can make money from UX testing! As a thank you, you could earn between £10 and £50 for your contribution – depending on the length and complexity of the study – in the form of money, vouchers, a cheque, or a bank transfer. 

It’s not all about the money, however (thank you, Jessie J!); it’s also a great opportunity to potentially lend a hand to some of your favourite brands and businesses and help them grow. Got a favourite clothing line but struggle to use their website? You could help to change that for the better whilst getting the chance to have your voice heard!

So should I take part?

Absolutely! It’s a fun and educational opportunity to express your thoughts whilst helping businesses to grow – and as we’ve said, you can make money from UX testing! So it truly is an endeavour that leaves smiles all around. If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved in, simply sign up below and we’ll get you started.

Sign Up Here.

what is palm oil

Why you should pay more attention to your chocolate ingredients…

Palm oil (known in the science world as ‘Elaeis Guineensis’) has been a hot topic recently, especially since the supermarket, Iceland, released its ‘Rang-tan’ advertisement in August last year, which was later banned from TV. The animated advert featured a sad orangutan, who was upset about the deforestation of his natural habitat due to palm oil production. The message of the ad was to put pressure on top brands who use palm oil within their products. It was banned from TV because it was deemed too political by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). So, what is palm oil? And why has it caused so much uproar?

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Palm oil production

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil which is used in almost half of the products found in UK supermarkets, such as chocolate, pizza, shampoo, lipstick, soap, and margarine. It comes from palm oil trees, which are grown in forests in Indonesia and Malaysia. From these trees, two types of oil can be produced: crude palm oil and palm kernel oil.

Crude palm oil comes from squeezing the fruit that are produced by the trees, which are each made up of about 50% oil. Palm kernel oil comes from crushing the stone (called a kernel) in the middle of the fruit. Each tree can produce 10 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hectare, which is a lot of oil!

As it is so versatile, palm oil is widely used; its resistance to oxidation gives products a longer shelf-life. Plus, at high temperatures, the oil remains stable, so it is able to give fried products that crispy texture.

History

Oil palm trees are native to Africa, but were brought to South-East Asia just over 100 years ago. Now, 85% of global supply comes from Indonesia and Malaysia.

The history of this oil stretches back thousands of years! In the late 1800s, archaeologists found palm oil within a tomb in Egypt dating back to 3,000 BC. By the middle of the 15th century, palm oil was being used as a local food source by European travellers to West Africa. The British industrial revolution created a demand for palm oil – for candle-making and as a lubricant for machines. It was introduced into Malaysia in 1910, which then emerged as the world’s largest palm oil producer between 1970 and 1990.

Why so controversial?

Palm oil forests are home to many different species of animal, including Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino. In order to extract the oil from palm trees, these forests need to be uprooted, destroying the habitats of these animals. But it’s not just animals losing their homes – many local people are also forced to leave. According to Greenpeace, an area the size of a football pitch is lost every 25 seconds in Indonesia alone, having a devastating effect on local communities.

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As well as this, when the forests are destroyed, carbon-rich peat soils produce tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, harming the environment. Shockingly, child labour and worker exploitation is still a big issue within the production of palm oil, another reason why many are strongly against this industry.

What is being done?

Let’s go back to Iceland’s TV ad. It was produced in partnership with Greenpeace, an organisation that defends the natural world and promotes peace. The ad has now received over 5.9 million views on YouTube (as of March 2019) and has sparked a petition to end the production of ‘dirty’ palm oil, which already has over 1.2 million signatures. They are aiming to get big brands such as Unilever and Nestle to drop palm oil from their products.

The WFF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is a non-government organisation, working towards wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment. They are also fighting against palm oil and raising awareness of the consequences of the production process. In 2012, the UK government set a commitment for 100% of the palm oil used within the UK to be from sustainable sources. In 2016, 78% of the total palm oil imports to the UK were sustainable, meaning there is still some way to go.

Solutions

The sustainable production of palm oil, where habitats aren’t destroyed and the environment isn’t harmed, is possible. In 2004, the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed. They have production standards that set best practices for producing and sourcing palm oil. They are a not-for-profit organisation who set these standards for companies. Brands must comply with these criteria in order to produce Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).

Make a difference to the world…

If you’d like to get involved in how products are produced and marketed by big brands, then your voice can be heard. At Angelfish Opinions, we connect customers with companies by carrying out paid market research studies. To get involved and start getting invited to a range of different projects, sign up here:

Sign Up Here.