Toys

Dancebot is a speaker that will dance with you and your music

Hold me closer, robot dancer…

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Working in tech and covering the latest trends in gadgets has made me feel that I’ve seen it all — the new and latest fangled machines the world has to offer.

But, every now and then, I stumble upon some tech that’s so mind-blowingly awesome, it makes me want to dance. It doesn’t even have to be complex or ultra high-tech; there are just some gadgets that inspire unfettered joy in people despite it being built from such a simple concept.

Take the Dancebot.

Don’t let those blue eyes fool you.

This tiny robot has moves.

Great, right? What it is, really, is a speaker. Pair it with your phone and it can play anything from podcasts, voice memos, and of course, your music.

And speaking of playing some jams….

Dacebot's got moves

TGIF 🍻Time for some dancing with the Dancebot 💃🏽

Posted by Her GadgetMatch on Friday, October 26, 2018

This thing does not only groove; it grooves to your sounds. Intelligent algorithm allows it to get with whatever type of music you’re blasting. Whether it be K-pop, like above, or some old school funky sounds like below, Dancebot will have moves. It doesn’t even repeat steps even when you play the same songs over!

Obviously, I couldn’t get enough of it…

With all that funky foot magic, the robot will need space and a flat surface, otherwise, there might be some missteps.

Perhaps the funniest thing about this speaker is that it demands to be used. When you stop playing music on it, it will do a little jig every now and then as if begging you to play more music.

It can be pretty cute, to be honest.

Do we really need dancing robot speakers? No. Do I want it? Yes!

As weird as it may sound, this thing really grows on you. I’ll tell you now that this robot has managed to make anyone who has ever seen it dance.

Now this is innovation I’m totally on board with. Visit its Kickstarter page here.

Hands-On

How the Muro Box filled my home with love and nostalgia

Share the good atmosphere!

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Most of my childhood were spent indoors reading history books while listening to music. There was fascination towards the past, which older people found adorable, but were peculiar to my peers. If I wasn’t playing the piano, I was playing a music box to change the atmosphere in a room.

Music boxes evoke an avalanche of emotions. As the cylinder rotates and the pins pluck the prongs of a steel comb, nostalgia creeps in. To some, it’s like a heart-thumping prelude rife to a dreadful scene in a horror movie.

But music boxes are more than just paraphernalia instrumental to suspenseful films. It’s been around here since the 18th-century, transforming spaces into something peaceful and magical.

Throughout the years, it has been continuously polished. What we see nowadays are century-long efforts of refinement. As we trench on futuristic gimmicks and remakes of past gizmos we’ve loved, I once dreamt of having a music box that plays more than one song.

The dream came true when I discovered a smart music box, aptly named Muro Box.

The 21st-century treatment to the old trinket we love

I first saw Muro Box last 2019 during COMPUTEX in Taipei. I was elated, remembering how my dream turned into reality. When it landed in my home, I was ecstatic to try it out. After unboxing it quickly and rigorously reading the manual, I immediately tinkered with it.

It was hefty but also felt fragile, like our dear hearts wanting love. You will need to use both your hands to properly move it, else you end up breaking it.

It uses a wooden base and covers its components with acrylic. It looks elegant, befitting a royal atmosphere. Homes filled with wooden furniture and fixtures work perfectly together with the Muro Box.

To start using it, you need to plug its 12V DC power supply and adapter to a wall socket, as recommended in the manual. A reminder of how there are things that are meant for us.

As you insert the tip, the cylinder will start moving, plucking the prongs of a steel comb. You can start playing music infinitely when you press the button on the back.

However, it’s not just a music box that plays random songs repeatedly. It’s smart enough to control which song should play at a specific time, plucking the comb using a programmable pin on its cylinder, following the melodies assigned through the app.

The first app-controlled music box

Connecting the Muro Box through the app and your WiFi is a breeze. It’s simple, straightforward, and efficient in its instructions. Even a 10-year-old kid can follow it, except kids shouldn’t be near this fragile gizmo.

When you press the button for 10 seconds, you can start connecting Muro Box to its Muro Box app, which can be downloaded via Google Playstore and on the App Store.

With the app you can upload music in the library, create your own playlist, request a specific song to music composers, and compose your own music. If you keep it connected, you can schedule its playtime, setting it as your own alarm clock.

I personally didn’t use its alarm setting, as I’ve associated these lullabies as the soundtrack of my rainy days, the comforting lull before I sleep, and a companion to my laptop and coffee whenever I’m creating.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

There’s something magical when the Muro Box starts playing. It fills the room with sentimentality, transforming my home into a harmonious, safe space for myself, and my ideas.

My mom delighted in the sound of the Muro Box euphoniously playing while we sip and exchange “teas” on one rainy afternoon. Even my niece found it endearing to watch the sound resonate as the golden-tinted stainless steel gear works underneath its acrylic cover.

I guess this smart instrument can be appreciated by people of all ages. If you believe in the magic of music and our ability to attach emotions to it such as love and yearning, the Muro Box is a great addition to your smart home. I would even go as far as calling it an investment!

In a world where our homes are getting smarter and automated, we all need a reminder of the past modified to keep up with the times. The Muro Box is a fine example: It adds emotions and evokes nostalgia like a human’s touch, all through a mechanically-produced sound. It is indeed a wonder-filled product of engineering and love.

You can get the Muro Box through their Indiegogo campaign, which will run until June 19, 2020. It’s originally priced at US$ 535 but you can get 39% off when you avail its early-bird promo for as low as US$ 330. Back their Indiegogo campaign through this link.

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Accessories

10 gift ideas for the new mom on your list

New moms need all the help they can get as they begin the challenging journey of parenthood

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As a new mom myself, I already have a list of all the baby essentials that I’ll need for the initial stages of raising my newborn. This includes the crib, car seat, pram, sterilizer, milk bottles, pacifiers, bottle warmers, among others. This makes getting gifts for the new moms on our list a little bit tricky.

Of course, she already has the best gift she can ever get this holiday season — her new bundle of joy. However, new mothers could still use all the support and help they can get as they begin the challenging journey of parenthood. One way to extend that support is by getting them something thoughtful this holiday season.

Here I would like to share some of the tools and gizmos that I discovered to have been unexpectedly necessary. If you’re looking for gift ideas for a sister or friend who just gave birth, I guarantee any of these would be highly appreciated.

1. Sleep support

One of the best things that you can try and give a new mom would be a good sleep and that’s only possible if the baby is sleeping well too. Swaddles, wearable blankets, sleep aids, rocking cribs — anything that can help soothe and provide a comfortable and safe sleeping environment for the baby will be greatly appreciated. The Cosydream Smokey Baby Sleep Aid by Babymoov and the Little Seeds Swaddle Wrap Newborn Blanket are both great options that have helped put my baby to uninterrupted sleep.

2. White noise machine

Some adults put on white noises if they need help sleeping. The same works for babies too. A white noise machine is another great sleeping aid. My baby personally sleeps better with it. Although a digital music streaming platform subscription, a smartphone, and a Bluetooth speaker can do the job, you might want to keep your phone with you and leave something like the Hatch Baby Rest or Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine in the nursery.

3. Diaper bag

My personal favorite is the 5-in-1 20L Smart Baby Diaper Backpack with Changing Pad by Vianetic. It allows customization of the way baby’s essentials are organized, has insulated bottle bags, bottle pockets, a changing pad, stroller straps, multiple storage pockets for the parent’s essentials, and a laptop compartment. The modern, sleek, minimalist, and unisex design is a major plus since my husband enjoys sporting it, too.

4. Air humidifier/purifier

Babies are vulnerable to sickness-causing bacteria that thrive in the air, which is why I keep the cute Elodie Unicorn LED Diffuser 2.0 by Smoko in my baby’s nursery as a humidifier and a night light in one. The Boneco Air Purifier P340 is also in our living room where we accept and entertain guests. Both tools operate quietly so baby’s sleep is uninterrupted. Dyson’s Pure Cool Me is also a great option to keep the parents’ bedroom air clean and bacteria-free.

5. Nursing sports bra

A new mom’s health and fitness should not take a backseat just because she has to take care of another person full-time. It is a must for new mothers to stay fit as they care for a growing person. There are many exercises one can do that incorporate the baby while burning calories. The Love & Fit nursing sports bra helps with this as it allows me to get back in shape and breastfeed the baby on demand. The best part is it comes in several styles and colors so you will not run out of options for gifting.

6. Hand vacuum

You don’t know real multitasking until you become a mom. While it’s important to give babies 100% attention, it is equally important to keep the house clean and dust-free. The Shark Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is rechargeable and allows me to carry the baby in one arm and vacuum the house with the other. There’s also the Dyson V11 that has different attachments so I can get to cleaning even areas that are hard to reach. They’re both sleek and stylish as well so they’re not an eye sore when left visible in a corner.

7. 3-tier trolley cart

Keep baby’s stuff neat, organized, and mobile using a 3-tier trolley cart. All the baby’s essentials (diapers, wet wipes, grooming kits, toiletries, creams, bottles and outfit for the day, etc.) — are kept in a cart and can be rolled around the house wherever it’s needed. The RÅSKOG trolley from IKEA is an inexpensive yet versatile option.

8. Infant car seat mirror

I didn’t expect this to be one of my best buys. I stay with the baby in the back seat with his rear-facing car seat while my husband drives. Whenever I have to quickly step out of the car, this gives me the peace of mind knowing my husband can keep an eye on the baby using the Onco Baby Car Mirror.

9. Colic and reflux relief comfort cushion

Whenever the baby is unsettled and crying, he might be experiencing discomfort due to colic and reflux. Something like the Babocush can soothe and provide relief to the baby would be a dream gift for any new mom.

10. Cradle rocker

Bouncers provide a good distraction for the baby but they can get tired of it after a while. When that happens, you have to pick them up again. What new moms everywhere need is a cradle that can effectively soothe a baby. Something like the battery-operated Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing vibrates and swings while the Nuna Leaf Curv swing doesn’t need electricity and could last your baby until he or she is 5 years old.

Having a newborn is both rewarding and difficult. While it’s true that it’s impossible to be fully prepared for parenthood, equipping new moms with support through tools and unexpected essentials will get them pretty close.

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Health

Global Sources: Lovots

A robot meant to love and be loved

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Feeling lonely? Here’s a robot who exists to love and be loved.

Meet Tomato and Wasabi. These Lovots (derived from the words Love and Robot) were developed by a Japanese startup called GrooveX.

They aren’t the typical robots that try to be an all-around helper. Its purpose is to stay cute, get your attention, interact with you, and make you happy. Emotional bonds with robots may seem implausible, but it’s difficult to ignore them. Especially with their kind, googly eyes that draw your attention.

Moreover, they laugh when you play with them, fall asleep when you cuddle and remembers if you were mean as if they have emotions.

While this may be shocking and groundbreaking, the creators of Lovot believe this robot can make an impact on relieving stress. For now, it’s too early to tell but one thing’s for sure: Lovots are here for you to love and they won’t leave you, unlike your ex.


Global Sources Consumer Electronics is the world’s largest electronics sourcing show bridging suppliers and resellers. For more information visit GlobalSources.com.

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