Friday, January 3, 2014

How to Use Your Computer Devices While Relaxing on the Couch?


This article shows a few methods for being productive while kicking back and relaxing on the couch rather than sitting bolt upright at a desk.

Something that has always interested me is the idea of being able to be productive in a relaxed way. I work from home on the web, meaning that I can work wherever and however I like. Still though, I tend to end up sitting upright at a desk, typing away while bouncing my leg up and down rather than doing anything too exciting with my freedom or really properly relaxing into work. If I could find ways to be completely relaxed while I worked – to lie back on the couch with my eyes closed and to still get things done – then I would have perhaps the most relaxed job in the world.


Is there a way this can be done? Or is there a way you can get close to that vision? I've been trying pretty hard and actually I've come pretty close in a few ways…

The Surface Pro


One of the best purchases I ever made for my work is the Surface Pro. This is a Windows 8 'hybrid' computer from Microsoft that has a tablet form factor but powerful enough specs to run full Windows 8.1. What this means is that I can use it as a laptop as normal (thanks to the 'type cover' and a cool case I have for it), or at a desk, or like a tablet. That means that when I'm responding to e-mails or handling social media marketing I can have the screen sitting on my lap while I have my legs crossed and I can navigate around the screen with a few swipes and gestures.

Dragon Naturally Speaking


Something that was a little less successful but still an avenue worth looking into further was my experiment with Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dragon Naturally Speaking is supposed to be the best dictation software around, which when combined with the headset could let you write articles with your spoken voice alone. I had images of relaxing on the sofa and dictating articles and e-mails like a novelist from a few centuries ago.
Unfortunately though it didn't quite turn out that way. While the device was accurate 90% of the time you see, 10% is still a big proportion when you're aiming for 80wpm – and when you then have to correct your errors using your voice alone. It turned out that this required me to stare intently at the screen, to shout a lot, and to waste a lot of time. Still, one day dictation might be a good option…

The Leap Motion Controller


The Leap Motion Controller is a very interesting device that allows for gesture input when using a range of software. This in theory allows you to manipulate objects on the screen in three dimensions as though they were there in front of you and to use a range of pre-set gestures to trigger a number of actions. This can be as simple as swiping through apps on your Start Screen or as complicated as 3D modelling with digital clay. Either way, you can control these features while kicking back in a highly intuitive and enjoyable way, so give it a try!


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