Lifestyle

Microsoft accused of stealing the Surface Earbuds design

The rapper says he pitched the idea to Microsoft 4 years ago

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Ideally, it’s never a good idea to copy or steal someone else’s work. Being original has maximum benefits and is a testament to your capabilities. However, these ideals haven’t gone down well in the technology industry.

Microsoft unveiled the Surface Earbuds at its New York event and it is radically different from the usual in-canal elongated design of the AirPods. They’re quite huge and the large surface area houses a gesture pad that adds more functionality to a rather mainstream device.

The Surface Earbuds

While we’re glad that Microsoft came up with something different, someone wasn’t too pleased with it. American rapper will.i.am runs a tech startup called I.am+, where they launched wireless earbuds called BUTTONS back in 2016. The artist is accusing Microsoft of stealing his design.

In a series of tweets, will.i.am says that as early as 2015, he pitched his design of the wireless earbuds to Microsoft in a meeting to be part of their Surface lineup.

The company, founded in 2012, initially focussed on consumer electronics devices such as headphones. The company is also developing an enterprise assitant called Omega and has recieved more than US$ 100 million in funding.

Microsoft hasn’t released a statement yet. It’s quite common to find conflicting designs today and it’s harder to prove theft or wrongdoing since the industry is well saturated.

Recently, employees of Xiaomi India have publicly accused Realme of stealing marketing ideas. There has been no response to these allegations, but we’re glad to see there are people who value originality and understand a creator’s hard work.

Her GadgetMatch

LG Pra.L’s Galvanic Ion Booster makes your skincare products more effective

Makes your visits to the facial clinic less frequent

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The marriage of beauty and tech is not an entirely new thing. Ionic products, tools that are supposed to help slow down the signs of ageing, even water bottles that will supposedly make water better for your skin — they have been around for a while. LG’s new, Pra.L line is one of the most recent launches which was met with both shock and awe. This is mainly due to the new claims of what their high-grade devices can do but also because of the price tag they come with.

I personally love this whole movement. In the advent of the informed consumer trend, more and more people are becoming concerned about what they put on their skin. It’s highly common now that women who are into skincare are vigorously discussing ingredients. A lot of us are also becoming more interested in the details of what aestheticians are doing for us.

The entire Pra.L line is practically a beauty clinic within the convenience of your own home. It is democratizing the technology of some of the most common, non-invasive treatments and making it accessible to consumers who want to do things on their own.

One of the notable devices in the line is the Galvanic Ion Booster. The idea of an ion booster to help skincare products penetrate deeper into the skin is not entirely new. LG’s version of the device, however, is definitely a cut above most of the products in the market.

As someone with sensitive skin which is on a recovery period from hormonal breakouts, I tend to be quite picky with anything I put on my skin. It has also been recommended that I go for simpler routines using as few products as possible. With little product, you’d want them to be as effective as possible. This is where this device comes in.

Ease of use

For the past month, I’ve been using the Galvanic Ion Booster religiously — morning and night. I would use the cleansing mode with my CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser (green bottle, for normal to dry skin). The device literally tells you which part of your face you should be using it on. The voice is not too loud but perky enough to get you out of your own head. Just in case you get too in the zone. Using galvanic ion technology, the device helps the cleanser draw out the impurities in your pores. Expect a slight vibration that is more relaxing than uncomfortable.

For the boost mode, I either use it with a vitamin C serum or The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. Both serums are helpful in brightening the skin and fading out the marks left behind by intense breakouts. For the boost mode, the same technology is applied but in a reverse direction, helping the product and its ingredients penetrate your skin deeper. The boost mode is something I enjoy a lot as you can actually feel your products getting absorbed right away. I top everything with a gentle moisturizer from La Roche-Posay and on days when it’s extremely dry outside, a face oil from Australian indie beauty brand Ipsum.

I also use it with retinol treatments once a week but would make sure I double up on sunscreen the next day. The heat and vibration from the device do render retinol to be more effective. However, it will also make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.

When a stubborn pimple decides to pop up unannounced, I also use the boost mode to help my Mamonde AC Balance Spot Serum be absorbed faster. I wake up the next day with the little bugger dry and ready to be forgotten in the next couple of days.

Worth the price tag?

The device’s triangular head is made out of medical-grade titanium, making it safe for use on your skin. The shape is also effective in reaching the small nooks around your face like the sides of your nose. I just make sure to clean the device with running water and wipe it dry before putting on the cover.

LG’s Galvanic Ion Booster also has a good weight to it without being too heavy. The device also travels well — it comes with its own carrying pouch — and can charge with a micro USB cable or through the charging dock it comes with. The sleek design of the device makes it an easy hold and a joy to use. This, despite having to move it around your face for about three minutes per mode. Sounds like a short time but not when you’re a busy, working woman. I found it to be a lesson in slowing down and just making sure I enjoy doing my skincare routine instead of rushing through it like a chore — a form of self-love if you will.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

After a month of use, my skin feels more plump and healthy. It’s also brighter and blemishes became more manageable. I can highly recommend this for the skincare junkie; It’s a game-changer.

The device retails for SG$ 529 which might seem like a huge blow to the wallet. However, prevention is definitely less expensive than cure so think of it as an investment for the future.

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Accessories

New Google Pixel Buds coming in 2020

Gotta wait a while longer

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The new Google Pixel Buds have officially been unveiled but we won’t get our hands on them until Spring 2020.

Google says the Pixel Buds were designed with the user in mind. It is truly wireless and promises rich sound, clear calls, and a comfortable fit. The company notes how it’s great hardware made exceptional by having Google deeply embedded into it. For instance, it should help you in your out-of-the-country trips with Google Translate built in.

The new Pixel Buds are supposed to last for five hours of continuous playback and extend that to 24 hours through the wireless charging case. The headphones will retail for US$ 179.

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Lifestyle

Global Sources: Portable Projectors

Turn your home into a private cinema

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Movies, like sports, bring people together. Imagine watching a movie in your room intimately with your partner. How about bursting into laughters with your friends while you watch a movie outdoors? All of these are possible when you watch a movie through a portable projector.

Yes, you read that right. VSOONTECH has a lot of tiny, cute, and capable Android-powered projectors that you can bring anywhere. The DLP Projector S10 is a tiny projector that looks like a washing machine. The DLP Projector R5 and R5 Mini is a flat and pocketable projector which looks like a hard drive. The DLP Projector-X1 have that retro radio look which can turn your home into a private cinema.

For a minimum of 100 orders, the S10 costs US$ 180, the R5 starts at US$ 170 while the R5 Mini goes for US$ 130. Meanwhile, the X1 costs US$ 280.


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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