Lifestyle

Samsung’s Star Wars smart vacuum makes Darth Vader your house cleaner

Published

on

Samsung’s Star Wars-themed POWERbots robotic vacuums are here so you don’t need to go to a galaxy far, far away to have Darth Vader or a stormtrooper do the dirty work for you.

Lean mean cleaning machine

These lean mean cleaning machines are equipped with what Samsung calls Visionary Mapping and FullViewSensor 2.0.

It has nine sensors that help it map every inch and corner of the room you intend to clean. It then avoids obstacles and makes sure to suck in the dirt all around the room. Stormtroopers are known for missing their mark, but not these units.

Samsung claims this 3.8-inch smart vacuum has 20 times more power than its previous version. It also has a bristle brush and a drop-down shutter to gather dust sitting in corners and along the edges of the wall. The shutter directs the dirt and dust into the vacuum, making getaways absolutely impossible.

What’s even cooler is that these bad boys also feature catchphrases and music specific to the design. Stormtroopers yell out, “Let’s go,” while the Darth Vader one does the breathing sounds and says lines like, “Your power is weak.”

No Force necessary

You don’t need to be a force user to control the smart robotic vacuums; you only have to install the POWERbot app on your smartphone. You can also control it through voice commands using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Star Wars-themed tech

This isn’t the first Star Wars-themed tech released in recent years. Back in 2015, prior to the release of the first movie (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) in the new Star Wars trilogy, Sphero came out with a BB-8 droid. It even inspired a Filipino teen to build a droid of his own.

At IFA 2017, Lenovo unleashed a limited edition Star Wars Yoga 920 Vibe. Even more exciting was the augmented reality experience called Star Wars: Jedi challenges which, as the name suggests, makes you live your lifelong dream of becoming a Jedi. Let’s just hope you’re not the last.

This year, the second movie entitled Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the new trilogy will come out in theaters worldwide in December, inspiring a slew of new tech inspired by the science fiction franchise.

SEE ALSO: Quirky Tech at CES 2016: Robots, Smart Fridges, Other Smart Things

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S9: Four fun new features

AR emoji and a very, very detailed beauty mode!

Published

on

The Galaxy S9 has just been announced at MWC! (Yes, like, just now! Visit our MWC 2018 microsite to see what other devices have been announced.)

One very obvious observation: The Samsung Galaxy S9 looks almost exactly like the Galaxy S8, and though this might seem like an anti-climactic move, it’s probably for good reason.

Those are not Samsung Galaxy S8’s!

It’s been almost a year since the Samsung Galaxy S8 was released and I still remember being very impressed with that particular phone’s design. For my tiny, girly hands, the narrow phone fit perfectly and the Infinity Display looked impressively big despite this.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Samsung Galaxy S9+

This year, it seems Samsung has decided to stay with a formula that works. Of course, there were a few tweaks. The fingerprint scanner has been relocated below the camera instead of beside it which will, hopefully, mean less accidental fingerprint smudges on the lenses.

There’s also a new color — it matches Pantone Color of the Year Ultra Violet, and my hair!

The S9 in purple!

Another photo because it’s just so pretty

Another notable change comes to the cameras. The Galaxy S9+ has dual-camera rear shooters (finally) — this means you get Live Focus, which allows you to adjust the bokeh during and even after taking the photo, and a zoom feature on the device. It also has a Dual Aperture function which allows the phone to switch to the camera with a wider aperture when more light is needed in the photo. These additions are limited to the Plus version, however, which leave my small phone-loving self a little disappointed.

Shooting with this beaut! Of course, no live focus on this thing because this is an S9.

READ MORE: Samsung Galaxy S9 Hands-On: Same but better

Those aren’t the only improvements on Samsung’s newest premium phones, though. Here are my favorite new functions on the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

AR Emoji!

Samsung decided to take emoji to a whole new level with this phone release. In what I consider the biggest tech development since Animojis (no, really! Ha ha ha!), the Galaxy S9 now offers you the chance to turn yourself into emoji.

It me 🙃

Yes folks, that just means you don’t only animate the emoji, you are the emoji!

If you’re a little shy, you can also animate pre-set characters on the phone.

Animojis are so last year. Karaoke AR emoji, anyone?

Super Slow-mo and video background music

Your videos will never be the same with this new feature. There’s a super slow-mo feature now, and it allows you to shoot at 960 frames per second!

Okay, those numbers don’t really mean anything to me but just know that it can capture videos like this:

As if that isn’t great enough, you can even edit background music in using your phone.

Background music for added effect; you can even choose music from your playlist!

Imagine the cinematic possibilities!

Beauty mode and makeup mode

The S9 is stepping up the selfie game. Despite the single front shooter, the bokeh feature is available on the Selfie Focus mode.

Artificial bokeh on the single front-facing camera

But that’s not all!

All photos from the Galaxy S9’s built-in camera app

These handsets offer a very, very detailed beauty mode — one that even includes makeup filters that you can edit all the way to your eyelashes.

There’s a number of different makeup looks you can achieve without lifting a single makeup brush.

Food mode

A camera feature made especially for Instagram foodies!

This mode is designed to enhance your food shots to make them look as good in your photographs as they are on your plate.

Notice how the pizza on the right looks yummier. The photos come out a little more saturated and there’s background blur that allows for more focus on whatever gastronomical delight you’re taking a photo of.

Bonus: Beautiful Bokeh

This feature can only be found on the Galaxy S9+. Though I personally haven’t been able to try it, I still feel this is worth mentioning. This feature supposedly allows for different bokeh shapes and effects.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know

SEE ALSO: I’ve used the Samsung Galaxy S8, and I’m now doubting my iPhone loyalty

Continue Reading

Gaming

Overwatch Puppy Rumble: Cutest game of Capture the Flag!

All the puppies were adoptable!

Published

on

This is one tournament of Capture the Flag you don’t want to miss. It may sound pretty silly but it’s ridiculously the good kind of silly. To celebrate the Year of the Dog, Blizzard put together an event called the Overwatch Puppy Rumble and it’s too adorable to miss out on.

The Overwatch Puppy Rumble not only had some intense capture the flag action, but it also had cute adoptable puppies dressed up in little Overwatch outfits. The whole rumble is a must-watch. And, if you’ve already seen it, it’s worth rewatching.

The event was in partnership with Wags and Walks, a dog adoption center in Los Angeles. All of the dogs featured in the Puppy Rumble were available for adoption. If this doesn’t convince you to watch it, I honestly don’t know what will.

SEE ALSO: This game teaches you to become a master of fake news

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Shelter dogs get their portraits taken for a good cause

All shot with a smartphone!

Published

on

This was not your ordinary smartphone photo session.

In the wake of the Chinese New Year and with the start of the year of the dog, a special project was born. Famed animal photographer Ernest Goh took portraits of dogs with his iPhone X. But, these are not just any dogs.

These photographs show the everyday lives of dogs in shelters. Ernest explains the story behind these pictures:

“The images give a glimpse of the life of a sheltered dog. From morning runs to stretch their paws to lazy naps in the afternoons to moments of joy when a visitor comes to the shelter. Chinese New Year is about celebration, but what is a celebration without the company of loved ones. Ask any dog owner and he or she will tell you their dog is very much part of the family. Sheltered dogs are not so lucky to have a family so more importantly, this photo-story goes to anyone who would like to get a pet dog this year — do consider adopting sheltered dogs!”

Mutts and Mittens, an animal shelter, explains that there are hundreds of cats and dogs living in shelters in Singapore. It’s their hope that this series of photos will be able to show the world the plight of these lovable creatures and hopefully inspire people to adopt these pets.

See the rest of the photos below:

In an effort to find these gentle creatures homes, Mutts and Mittens will also be having an adoption drive. (Details on their Facebook Page)

It seems that the iPhone X’s Portrait Mode worked wonders even on non-person subjects. What’s more wonderful, however, is how this whole project came together because of well-meaning people and simple technology.

SEE ALSO: These TIME covers were all shot from iPhones

Continue Reading

Trending