Lifestyle

Petcube: The best Christmas gift you can give to Paw-rents

Featuring Juancho!

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Does it break your heart every time you leave your fur-baby at home? Ever wonder what they do when you’re not there to watch? Paw-renting guilt is real and Petcube Bites is the perfect way to deal with it on days when you just can’t bring your pet with you.

I was someone who didn’t want to be one of those pet owners who have a camera to stalk their pet. After my Pembroke Welsh Corgi Juancho came into my life, however, it all changed. A highly sociable dog, he loves the company of humans and hates being alone. On days when I had to leave him for a couple of hours to do the groceries or attend a formal event, he would howl in sadness. We proceeded to train him to be okay with being alone, giving treats before we leave and gradually increasing the time of separation.

However, it made me wonder how he was doing when he’s actually alone. Is he still howling? We needed a pet camera to check on him!

Enter Petcube’s latest version of their camera — Petcube Bites. Not only can you stalk and talk to your pet, you can even reward him for good behavior even when you’re not physically present by throwing treats at him.

Sleek and stylish

One thing I was worried about was how a pet camera would fit into our home. Most of the ones available in the market tend to look too cute-sy or even cheap because of the plastic elements used. The Petcube Bites, although quite big, can blend well with almost any type of room decor. It comes in four colors: Matte Silver, Rose Gold, Carbon Black, and Snow White. You can also put it on a flat surface or mount it on the wall.

Easy setup

Getting the camera up and running is a breeze. Download the app and sign up, plug your unit in, and follow the instructions on your screen. In a few minutes, our Petcube was up and running perfectly and I could see Juancho on the screen.

Security with notifications

You can’t spend all your time away from your pet with your eyes stuck on your mobile’s screen, watching him to make sure he’s okay. You can go about your business with ease as Petcube can detect movement and sound. It will also alert you through a push notification, prompting you to check on your pet.

Missed the moment? Don’t worry. The app saves videos of up to ten seconds from the past four hours into the cloud. You can check it later, download the video, and easily share it on social media. If you want longer videos and storage periods, you can always sign up for a membership to Petcube Care which starts at US$ 4.99.

It doubles as a great security camera for your home too. You’ll know if your pet had a busy day fighting off burglars. Your good boy definitely deserves a giant treat for driving them away!

Getting social

The Petcube app allows you to share photos and videos of your pet on an Instagram-like feed. You also have the choice to set your camera in public mode. This allows other app users to access your camera and interact with your pet. If you own the Play model, viewers can utilize the laser pointer and keep your pet busy. With Bites, you have the option to allow viewers to give treats to your pet, as well.

This is not for everybody, that’s for sure. Our Petcube is a locked camera but I must admit that I do enjoy playing with other people’s cats when Juancho’s asleep.

Capturing special moments with your fur-baby

The Petcube Bites streams 1080p HD video through a 138-degree wide-angle view. You can also zoom in the video up to three times. Night mode allows me to check on Juancho even when we’re already in bed and all the lights are off.

My favorite thing about it, though, is how it is able to record special moments between Juancho and I. Like the time I had to travel for work and he was left alone with his fur-daddy. I was gone for a couple of days and our Petcube Bites was able to capture our sweet reunion.

Acclimatise your pet

The only con I can say about the Petcube Bites is the sound it makes when you press for a treat to be thrown. This has startled Juancho one too many times and has given him some trust issues with it. This doesn’t come as a surprise since he’s still a puppy and is quite jumpy to begin with. He wouldn’t even go near the treats that came out of the device.

Another thing your pet should get used to is hearing your voice when you’re not around. Juancho freaked out the first time he heard my voice via the Petcube, telling him to get off the couch when I wasn’t even there. He jumped right off and it made me feel like God for a little bit but that added to the trust issues.

We’re currently in the process of reintroducing our unit to him. We’ve made some progress but we’re hoping he gets fully used to the sounds. He’s getting a lot bigger now and having more exposure to technology, anyways.

Verdict

So, is Petcube Bites the perfect gift for the paw-rent in your life? It makes sense to give someone the security of knowing their pet (and home) is safe while they’re away for a couple of hours. You can also prevent boredom which leads to destructive behavior. This, by either talking to them or distracting them with treats.

Peace of mind is always a good investment, as well as seeing your pet do something funny and having it on video to share with your friends and family.

What do you mean they’re fed up with my pet posts? Us paw-rents don’t really care.

Accessories

These Danbo power banks are the cutest things

They come in all colors and sizes, too!

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When I visited Japan last week, my favorite tech find involved an iconic Japanese manga character called Danbo.

These colorful bricks manufactured by Cheero are actually power banks featuring our favorite cardboard robot character.

There’s even a Nyanbo version which, you guessed it, has cat ears. It’s adorable!

Special edition variants are also available with other designs. Believe it or not, the Danbo on the right is covered in gold.

And because they come in different sizes, they also offer different capacities ranging from 3000mAh to 13400mAh. I got the 13400mAh version and it’s surprisingly very light, compact, and of course, cute.

Aside from these power banks, there are other Danbo accessories…

Literally the cutest car charger and power adapter I have ever seen.

Unfortunately for the rest of the world, these babies are only available in Japan. Order them from the Cheero website here.

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Cameras

Insta360 EVO is a folding 360 camera that can shoot 3D videos

Hands-on with this tiny camera that will fit your purse

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They say it’s not the size, but the performance that matters. If camera manufacturer Insta360 had a say, I bet they’d agree. After all, they do make teeny cameras that see the big picture, literally — all 360 degrees.

It comes as no surprise that they just unveiled another incredibly small but power-packed camera. Meet the Insta360 EVO.

This small camera — and I mean tiny — fits in the palm of my tiny hands nicely.

It shoots 360-degree videos and photos in 5.7K. If capturing all angles of the scene in video format with one go isn’t something that excites you, know that there’s more to it than shooting 360 video.

Insta360 also has an amazing app that allows you, even editing novices such as I (in theory), to edit the 360 videos into normal 16:9 films with the luxury picking which point of view from the footage you’d prefer. Here’s sample footage from a previous Insta360 release:

But, that’s not even the best part: The Insta360 EVO unfolds.

And, it turns into this two-camera setup. Though I never thought I’d ever like the idea of a folding camera, the form factor weirdly works. It’s simple enough: You can fold by unlocking the hinge on the top and locking the hinge on the side, and vice versa. Plus, it doesn’t feel fragile with the locks which is a big plus.

With this dual shooter, the EVO can shoot 180-degree 3D video that you can watch on your Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR. Just imagine: A whole new level of sharing your unique experiences!

In case you don’t have an Oculus Go or a Samsung Gear VR, Insta360’s got you. With their Foldable VR glasses and the Insta360 app, you’ll be able to watch 3D videos on your phone. 

The camera works standalone, ala screenless GoPros of olden times. You can toggle between video mode or photo mode with a dedicated button up top. A single press of the second button, the bigger round one, records immediately.

By folding and unfolding the camera, you also automatically switch shooting modes from 360-degree content to 3D video. If you want visuals, you can easily connect to your phone via Wi-Fi and you’ll be able to see what your camera sees.

I’ve been shooting with the Insta 360 EVO for the past few days and it’s been fun and pretty interesting. Until I get a full review up (stay tuned!), enjoy this photo — my favorite from what I’ve shot so far:

The Insta360 EVO starts at US$ 419 and this basic bundle includes a tiny tripod (pictured in first photo) and the VR glasses.

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Her GadgetMatch

Elvie Trainer is a wearable that will help you with your Kegels

All the coaching you need

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Filed under: Useful things that women should totally have. The Elvie Trainer is an unassuming device that will help you exercise in the most discreet way.

Designed specifically for women in mind, especially since to use it you’ll have to place it in your vajayjay, the Elvie Trainer is small and smooth; there’s even an option for a cover for custom fitting.

Yes, you read right. You’ll have to put it in because this nifty device helps work your pelvic floor exercises — or as we know it, Kegels.

This trainer will not only track your progress, it also “visualizes your pelvic floor movements” for some real-time Kegel coaching and it monitors if you’re doing the exercises correctly.

It connects to an app that stores all the data and there are even gamified five-minute exercises to ensure that all your workouts are fun.

The Elvie Tracker is made with 100 percent medical-grade silicone and it’s easy to use every time — just give it a good wash since it’s waterproof and designed to be easily cleaned. It also comes with a discreet charging case that’s also a wireless charger. They retail for US$ 199 each and are available online on their website and on Amazon.

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