Her GadgetMatch

Fribo smart speaker wants you to connect with your friends

Less lonely people in the world…

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The age of social media and technology can be lonely and isolating. One device tries to solve this problem by encouraging people to meet to interact with friends.

Meet Fribo.

This tiny robot speaker is solely designed to foster connections between people. The cute device is hooked up to a group of houses and between these houses, Fribo detects movement or activity and encourages interactions. Equipped with an LCD screen that shows this robo-critter’s curious eyes, Fribo listens in on what each person is doing. For example, when Friend 1 walks into his apartment, Fribo prompts Friend 2 and Friend 3 with a casual, “Oho, your friend opened the front door. Did someone just come home?” Knocking twice near Fribo will prompt it to send a message directly to Friend 1 asking what he’s up to.

Of course, Fribo never reports which friend is doing which directly, as that can be a little too intrusive. Instead, it gives general statements on your friend’s activities and then gives you the choice to respond, or just message them yourself.

Fribo can detect activities that range from opening the fridge, doing the laundry, opening a closet — even going as far as checking which friends have been home and which friends stay out late. It literally prompts you to check up on your friends with random suggestions based on what they’ve listened in on. Basically, it learns your activities and creates possible conversations based on that.

With this unique robot, researchers hope to create a “virtual living space” that fosters conversation and interconnection — a possible solution to millions of lonely millennials living alone. If you’re worried about privacy, researchers assure us that though this robot operates by listening in on your “living noise,” voice recognition on this thing is minimal and it doesn’t record sounds.

At a time when technology has seemingly divided and segregated people, this robot attempts to foster human interconnectedness and relationships. And, it does so without any big gimmicks; just sheer making conversation between friends.

I’m personally curious as to how this will all pan out. Studies conducted in South Korea have been highly successful with researchers noting that Fribo brought about “a commonality with the state of living together… in the presence of a robot middleman.

I mean, if we’re willing to open our homes to virtual assistants like Google Home and Alexa, why can’t we do the same to a cute robot that fosters friendship?

Her GadgetMatch

SCUBAPRO Aladin Sport Matrix review: Your first dive computer

Is it time to invest in diving gear?

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When you hang out with a group of hardcore technical divers, you can’t help but feel the need to own every single high-tech dive equipment they use. Everything just seems like a necessity.

So, when it came down to actually diving into gear investment (pun intended) for my upcoming trip to the deep south of Maldives, I had to hold off the urge of blindly purchasing whatever I thought was cool. For a fairly new advanced diver such as myself, I needed something that’s practical and affordable that suited my skills and circumstances. And so, the hunt for the perfect dive computer began. After some research and consultation, I found myself the owner of a new SCUBAPRO Aladin Sport Matrix.

Upfront: Bulky, but adaptable and functional

The Aladin Sport is pretty straight to the point. It’s a puck-style dive computer with a metallic silver faceplate. It has an easy-to-read display and a two-button menu system to navigate and select through its various functions.

The unit comes with an elastomer strap fitting for any type of suit you dive with. But, I’ve personally opted to forgo the strap and replaced this with a bungee strap so it’s easier to put on and take off. Thankfully, the Aladin allows for that as the strap pins are easily removed which means you can have your bungee looped into the four holes without buying any special adaptors.

When it comes down to functionality, research had to be done. All dive computers factor in depth, bottom time, and gas mix to calculate decompression time so it’s important to consider your dive habits and the usual situation you’ll be operating in.

For context, a quick background of my diving habits: I usually yo-yo with an underwater camera on hand but despite this, I’m very frugal in air consumption versus my colleagues. As for the circumstances: I was preparing for dives in the deep south of the Indian Ocean, home to some of the most beautiful marine life visible 30 meters deep — why it was important to have a computer that allowed me a generous amount of time to enjoy.

As I readied for my first dive, the local dive master/instructor, taking note of the watch, approached me and said, “That’s the best one.” And true enough, the Aladin Sport Matrix was very generous at extreme (but allowable) depths. It didn’t require me to have to do a ridiculous amount of safety stops to decompress.

The Aladin Sport is a single gas dive computer that leverages on SCUBAPRO’s adaptive ZHL-8 ADT MB algorithm. This predictive multi-gas algorithm adapts to each diver’s varied conditions, tried-and-tested based on millions of dive hours by divers everywhere. This means you can customize the algorithm based on your age, experience, and physical condition.

With a maximum operating depth of 120 meters (394 feet) and supporting up to three gas mixes, the Aladin Matrix is perfect for when your skills progress to more advanced diving.

Bluetooth Connectivity

My favorite has to be the Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity function. This enables you to log your dive profile data straight to your computer, phone, or tablet. Simply download LogTRAK on Android, iOS, MacOS, or Windows, connect to your watch via Bluetooth, and you’ll get access to a slew of dive information, including total dive time, average depth, temperature, and even calories!

Affordable + Practical

Priced at around PhP 25,000, the Aladin Sport packs a punch in features. It has replaceable batteries, lasts about 300 dives, and is equipped with a backlight. It’s water-activated so it starts calculating as soon as it hits the water.

To be honest, going puck-style wasn’t really the first choice. I hung out with divers equipped with high-end consoles like the Shearwater Perdix and had been wired to think that despite my newness, I’d eventually get to that level anyway. As a recreational diver, though, it wasn’t really advisable to spend more than PhP 30,000 for a reliable computer.

Is the ScubaPro Aladin Sport Matrix your perfect dive buddy?

It’s truly exciting to finally get started with your gear haul as you progress as a diver, but it can get overwhelming. For those looking for a great starter and eyeing further advance in their diving in the near future, this unit may be a great GadgetMatch.

By this point, you should’ve already figured that all divers are different. Some consume gas quicker than others, some are more susceptible to decompression sickness, and as such may need to stick to more conservative dive computers (regardless of experience) for safety. The SCUBAPRO Aladin Sport Matrix covers more than the basics for the best possible price-point and is highly recommended for your first foray to dive tech.

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Gaming

Special Edition Predator Helios 300 looks awesome in white

The gaming machine is a looker!

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Today, Acer announced a slew of new devices. From powerful gaming computers to updated notebooks, fans gathered as the tech brand unveiled products at the annual #NextAtAcer event in New York.

Out of all the gadgets and gizmos showcased, one thing caught everyone’s eye. This is the special edition Predator Helios 300.

It comes in a stunning all-white aluminum chassis with gold details — something you don’t see a lot of with gaming laptops.

Of course, it’s not all looks. Specs have been updated, too. It’s powered by the latest Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of RAM (expandable to 32GB) and 512GB SSD storage.

This thing is also equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and a 15.6-inch display with a refresh rate of 144Hz. Other than those changes, it’s still the same powerful machine released last year.

Regional pricing is yet to be announced for this bad baby. In the meantime, let’s just ogle at this beautiful, clean, and crisp-looking exterior.

As if it doesn’t get any better, Acer also unveiled matching white accessories.

A gaming mouse and headphones to match the whole mood.

Just look at that. I can’t stop staring, and I’m sure you feel the same way.

This is definitely this year’s best-looking gaming device so far. Take my money, Acer!

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Her GadgetMatch

Vivo showcases new tech in FIFA World Cup TVC

Are we getting a retractable selfie camera?

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Last year, Vivo announced that they are FIFA’s official smartphone sponsors under a six-year contract. Expect to see a lot of the brand, especially during the World Cup in 2018 and 2022.

A TVC highlighting the partnership just dropped and Vivo showcases their newest and greatest in smartphone tech. From bezel-less displays to in-display fingerprint sensors, the video shows it all.

At first, because of the in-display fingerprint sensor, the video seems to feature the Vivo X21 which launched in Singapore early this month, and is set to release in other Asian countries in June. But, what’s really curious is that it eventually shows a bezel-less smartphone with a retractable selfie camera. The only other time we saw that type of camera from Vivo was at this year’s MWC when they unveiled the Vivo APEX concept phone which they stressed was just a prototype.

This teaser comes at a perfect time as Vivo is set to launch a new all-display smartphone in Shanghai a few days ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia that opens on June 14.

Will we be seeing a smartphone with a retractable selfie camera on the market soon? Only time will tell.

SEE ALSO: Vivo to launch all-display phone on June 12

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