Accessories

Petpuls uses AI-enabled voice recognition to track your dog’s mood

Available now on Indiegogo with a special early-bird price

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It is without a doubt that dogs are one of the most beloved pets. Like all living beings, they too need affection and proper care. However, pet owners know it can be hard to take care of their furry friends sometimes. Thankfully, there’s a new product that simplifies monitoring of a dog’s well-being for owners.

Petpuls is a recently-launched activity tracker on Indiegogo. It monitors a dog’s physical and mental well-being. The main highlight of this tracker is its proprietary mood monitoring. Petpuls tunes in to a dog’s bark and recognizes five emotional states: happy, sad, anxious, relaxed, or angry. Dog owners don’t need to fret about how their dog is feeling anymore. They just have to open the corresponding app and see their dog’s mood over time.

While this technology won’t let your dog speak to you like the way Dug does in the movie Up, Petpuls ensure an accuracy rate of more than 80% for this technology. After all, the algorithm behind Petpuls uses a database of more than 10,000 bark samples from 50 dog breeds of 4 different sizes.

Aside from tracking a dog’s emotional state, Petpuls also tracks physical activities. The collar houses a built-in accelerometer that calculates the number of calories burned. Those who are wondering just how active their dog is can now easily do it with Petpuls.

On the mobile app, owners can register their dogs to create a unique profile within the Petpuls community. Owners can set the name, breed, gender, weight, age, and more of their dogs within the app. There’s also a “pet favorites” feature to keep track of a dog’s favorite food, toys, as well as canine best friends.

Availability of Petpuls activity tracker

Petpuls is available on Indiegogo for an early-bird price of US$ 79. For that price, owners are getting the activity tracker along with an eco-friendly interchangeable collar. Those who missed the Indiegogo campaign may avail it on Amazon for US$ 99. It will ship to eager dog owners in late August 2020.

Accessories

Casio to release G-SHOCK-FC Barcelona Matchday collab model

“Més que un club”

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G-Shock FC Barcelona

Casio announced the latest editions to its G-SHOCK brand of shock-resistant watches: the GBD-H1000BAR and GBD-100BAR.

The latest models were made in collaboration with Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona, a documentary featuring the famed Spanish football club.

A raffle draw also awaits interested participants for a chance to purchase GBD-H1000BAR-4DR watch.

Interested customers can sign up for CASIO ID and submit their entries here from Janaury 28 to February 2, 2022.

Winners will be announced on February 3, 2022 and will have the exclusive chance to purchase the watch between February 4 to 11, 2022. Delivery will be from February 5, 2022 onwards.

Special design, packaging

The base models for the two new watches are the GBD-H1000 and GBD-100, both from the G-SQUAD line.

The new models employ the blue and garnet team colors of FC Barcelona. Inscribed on the bands is the club motto, “Més que un club” (“More than a club”) in the local Catalan language.

The GBD-H1000BAR features a metal bezel in bright gold ion plating, while the soft urethane band loop on both watches features the four red stripes of the Catalan flag.

Specially designed packaging also in FC Barcelona team colors is the final touch in the signature timepieces.

Not lacking in high-tech features

Both new watches are equipped with an accelerometer to count steps and track distances, while the GBD-H1000BAR model also comes with a heart rate monitor and GPS tracking.

Both new models also offer mobile link functions which, when paired with a dedicated smartphone app, support daily health management including step counts, calories burned, activity logs, and more.

The Memory in Pixel (MIP) LCD adds exceptional visibility for comfort in every day use.

Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona

Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona is an eight-episode documentary series focusing on the 2018–2019 season of one the world’s most adored football clubs.

From the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat, the series offers insight into the players, philosophy and culture of the club.

Pricing and availability

The GBD-100BAR-4DR will be available for SG$ 349 on https://gshock.casio.com/sg/ and at all G-SHOCK stores from February 5, 2022. The GBD-H1000-BAR-4DR, meanwhile, is priced at SG$ 799.

Full specifications, check the model pages available here for the GBD-H1000BAR-4DR and here for the GBD-100BAR-4DR.

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These HyperDrive accessories make your Macbook fun to use

Don’t worry about ports and connectivity anymore!

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We all know most Macbooks have limited connectivity hubs. The removal of useful ports made Apple’s notebooks slimmer and sexier.

It’s one of the reasons why I got a Macbook Air as my daily driver. I want a device that helps me get the job done, eases my workflow, and makes me look cute while typing on my keys.

And I’ve accepted the compromises. I bid goodbye to the several ports I’ve enjoyed while using a Windows laptop. But just because I bid goodbye to USB-A and HDMI ports, it doesn’t mean I won’t be using them anymore.

Getting all the ports you need

After purchasing my Macbook Air, the next thing I did was buy necessary accessories. When you only have two Type-C ports, the best thing to do is get a form-fitting hub carrying all the other ports you need.

I got the HyperDrive SOLO 7-in-1 USB-C Hub, a docking station that securely attaches to my Macbook. It sports a 60W Power Delivery USB-C port enabling fast charging for the laptop.

Faster data transfer

Notably, there are two (2) USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports capable of 5Gb/s transfer speed — perfect for your accessories that are still using USB-A. For instance, I still use my old external hard drives and I haven’t replaced its cables, which still uses a USB-A port. There are also smartphone cables that I use when I transfer photos to be attached to our reviews.

Speaking of which, the solo hub comes with UHS-1 MicroSD and SD ports. Basically, it lets anyone do a data transfer quickly. It’s perfect for when you’re in a time crunch, transferring photos and videos from your mirrorless camera or your GoPro.

Make calls and listen to music

There’s also a 3.5mm audio jack for those who don’t have it. Although my Macbook Air has one, I remember using premium, ultra-thin Windows notebooks with no headphone jack. Somehow, I loathed them while I was reviewing them. It was inconvenient to make calls and do remote work.

Thankfully, solo hubs like this are compatible with Macbooks, Windows, and even Chromebooks. As long as you have a Type-C port, you’re good to go.

Watch videos in crystal clear resolution

If you need to present or watch a video but prefer to watch it in crystal-clear resolution, fret no more. HyperDrive’s Solo Hub comes with a 4K 30Hz HDR video output.

It’s one of the reasons why it caught my attention while I was scouring for a docking station. Most accessories I found (and those coming from OEMs) are incredibly cheap, but are also incredibly lacking.

While this solo hub comes at a steep price of PhP 4,768 (US$ 90), it’s a price I’m willing to pay to get everything in one place instead of buying several accessories to make sure I stay connected.

Enjoying a smoother 4K

A lot of us are still cooped up in our homes, dealing with a remote or hybrid working setup as the pandemic surges. Some probably have an external display for work and leisure, and some have a 4K monitor because they want to indulge and serve visual treats for their eyes.

But just because you have a laptop and a monitor capable of a 4K display and 60Hz refresh rate, it doesn’t mean your job is done. If the cable you have doesn’t support 4K, how do you think your monitor can display a crystal-clear resolution?

Though my solo hub supports a 4K output, it caps at 30Hz. Luckily, Hyperdrive also offers a USB-C Pro Video Adapter. For a magnificent viewing experience, I can connect to a high-resolution monitor with displays reaching 3840×2160 resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate.

Hyperdrive is composed of two adapters: one with USB Type-C male to MiniDisplay Port female, and the other has a Mini DisplayPort male to HDMI female.

This versatility supports any setup that best fits you and your lifestyle. Further, it works with any USB-C Macbook, iMac Pro, Ultrabook, Chromebook, and even smartphones, tablets, and devices using a Type-C port that needs to display up to 4K60Hz resolution.

The HyperDrive USB-C Pro Video Adapter retails for 2,952.

HYPER comes to the Philippines

HYPER, an accessory brand based in Silicon Valley with a strong focus on Apple, data storage, and connectivity products, brings its shop to the Philippines. Get discounts up to 25% off during Hypershop’s Grand Launch on Shopee starting from January 17 until January 23, 2022.

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Should you worry about stalkers using an AirTag on you?

A few have already been victimized

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Anyone who’s ever owned a piece of technology in the last two decades has had the anxiety-ridden experience of misplacing their favorite devices somewhere. It’s become such a problem that a few companies have created a niche for tracking devices specifically made to track wayward devices. Breaking out of that niche market, Apple recently launched its own popular version of the device called the AirTag. However, such a tracking device does come with a worrying problem for privacy-conscious individuals: Can stalkers use an AirTag to stalk their targets?

The story so far

Recently, a Sports Illustrated model Brooks Nader revealed that someone used the tracking device to follow her around. While she was partying in New York with friends, an unknown party slipped an AirTag into her coat pocket. The device had been tracking her for hours before her iPhone eventually alerted her to the device’s tracking as she was walking home.

Nader’s discovery is currently the most widely reported incident of unauthorized tracking using an Air Tag. However, the phenomenon has already been happening outside of celebrity circles. For example, a public Facebook post from user DAnna Biscoe-Farrell describes how someone attached an AirTag to her truck. The device had also been tracking her for miles before her iPhone alerted her to its existence.

With two major incidents tattling on the device’s more nefarious potential, is it finally time to consider the AirTag a security risk?

What are AirTags?

Apple launched the AirTag last year. Instead of just a spartan tracking device, the brand turned the device into a fashionable device to own. Users can add engravings and personalized key rings to go along with the new device. It even has a relatively affordable price tag, offering the device for only a decent US$ 29 per piece.

In terms of size, the AirTag is just as small as a poker chip. Though Apple does want its users to flaunt the tag with accessories, the device’s diminutive size does allow for its users to hide it from plain sight.

Using the AirTag is a simple process, too. The device pairs with a user’s iPhone (or other Apple device) using the Find My app. They can then check Find My to know where the tag is located.

Now, as you might have noticed in the above reports, Apple will also alert users if an unauthorized AirTag is somehow following them around without their knowledge. It can notify users either with an iPhone alert or chirps that the tag will eventually play. It’s a convenient security feature designed to prevent malicious tracking.

Should you be worried about stalkers?

The AirTag’s description does set up a double edged sword (or, more appropriately, reveals two sides of the same poker chip). The AirTag is inherently useful. It can help users find lost devices with a simple app. However, its unassuming design can become a security risk with enough malicious ingenuity.

However, before we get into why an AirTag is a bad idea, let’s run down the pros of the AirTag’s security features. Compared to other tracking devices, the AirTag was specifically designed to prevent unwanted tracking. Other devices in the market don’t even have alerts if you’re carrying an unauthorized tracker. For example, a quick search on Amazon and Lazada pings unbranded GPS trackers that can easily track people or vehicles without consent for a fraction of the price. Tile, the leading tracking brand before the AirTag came along, even offers different shapes and sizes. Relatively speaking, the AirTag protects against stalking more than any other product in the market.

That said, the AirTag’s security measures are still severely lacking. For one, the device will alert victims only if they own Apple devices. If you’re carrying someone else’s AirTag on your person but don’t own an Apple device, then you’re in potential and unknowable danger until the AirTag chirps. While Apple has made great strides in creating a robust ecosystem for its products, the Apple-exclusive has inevitably ostracized Android users from its security blanket.

Further, the sizable delay between attaching an unauthorized AirTag and alerting the followed user can be too late. In the above incidents, it took hours before the victims discovered the AirTags on their persons. By then, the stalker could have already attacked or discovered where the victim lives.

Finally, as a smaller niggle on the AirTag’s features, Apple doesn’t really offer any solution once a device discovers an errant AirTag. Though authorities can certainly check who owns the AirTag, Apple doesn’t have a system in place that can easily report stalkers.

What should you do if someone attached an AirTag on you?

Given the delay before an actionable alert, there aren’t a lot of hard-hitting solutions you can take against a stalker. However, that’s still no reason to panic.

If you detected the AirTag before you reached home, don’t go straight to your house. Leading a stalker to where you live is the worst case scenario. Instead, lead the device somewhere far from where you live. Once you’re in a safe and untraceable place, you can figure out what to do with the device.

The easiest solution is to throw the device away. Disposing the tracking device can already throw the stalker off. However, don’t attempt to destroy the tag. Besides alerting the stalker that you discovered their device, you run the risk of damaging the tag’s battery. A damaged battery is a safety risk and can explode.

There are, of course, more rigorous methods you can try to bring the stalker to justice. A functioning AirTag has the linked Apple device attached to its hardware. Investigating authorities can identify and locate where the owner of the tag is. Once you discover the tag and have transferred to a different location, you can report the tag to the police.

In terms of preemptive measures, always keep your things in sight especially objects that can easily hide a small object. Though people can easily slip something small into your things without you knowing, there’s no harm in keeping your belongings safe and staying away from strangers suspiciously close to you.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s Find My service can now locate e-bikes, earbuds

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