Lifestyle

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

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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

Lifestyle

Netflix is testing engagement by putting ads between episodes

Netflix, no chill

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How would you feel if, after a long day at work, you were relaxing and catching up on a series you’ve been excited to binge, and it gets interrupted by “But first, check out…” followed by a trailer of another show? If you’re miffed at the thought then you should sip your most calming tea, because that’s exactly what Netflix has started to do.

The streaming big shot has confirmed to Ars Technica that this move is a test to see whether or not inserting these ads would help speed up viewers’ discovery of new titles that they’ll like. Right now, these ads only appear for some people globally, but Netflix did not confirm how long this test will last.

The move has garnered some backlash from users encountering the ads, but Netflix has said that, although they are aware of the “chatter on social channels,” their focus is more on the engagement to these ads and that this is what will determine a wider rollout in the future.

If you find yourself faced with these ads though, apparently you can opt out of these tests. That way, you’ll still be able to Netflix, chill, and binge watch the night (and/or day) away.

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Accessories

Travelon: Stylish anti-theft bags that look good with your outfits

Keep your gadgets and gizmos safe on every trip

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We’ve all heard the pitch: Travel bags that will protect your valuables, must-haves for any trip that’ll keep your gadgets and documents safe, ultimate strength bags that can’t ever be slashed, and so on…

As a traveler, I care a lot about my stuff’s security. However, I never really bought into the whole travel-safe bag hype for one reason: Most bags I’ve seen which advertised said safety travel features weren’t really good-looking in my eyes. I wanted travel-friendly packs that weren’t only functional, they needed to look good with my travel #OOTDs.

In an almost cosmic coincidence (I say this because I have a bunch of trips lined up), I discovered Travelon.

This brand carries a number of travel bags and lo and behold: I actually liked a lot of the bags on display in their store. This travel bag they sent me home with is one I’m particularly fond of.

Just me enjoying my new cute backpack that no one can ever steal from

The bag comes from Travelon’s tailored collection and comes in five different colors: onyx, sapphire, plumrose, aquamarine, and sable (which we have here). I love how muted this hue is, perfect for more dressed-up looks.

As good as it looks, this bag is also one tough cookie with slash-resistant panels built into it. Just how strong is it? Well, we tried it out and let’s just say shenanigans won’t cut it (literally).

Even its detailed straps are slash-proof so you can be sure they stay on your shoulders.

Unique to Travelon is their locking hardware. Zippers are fitted with clasps that act as an extra precaution. Your bags won’t be opened as easily because of this. You can lock it on either side of the zipper…

… or lock the two handles together.

Inside, your stuff is always organized. You won’t believe the number of pockets this bag has.

There are card compartments, a slot for your passport, even a pen holder, plus another zippered pocket. These compartments also block RFID meaning the information on your passport and credit cards are safe from scammers who will attempt to get your info through a random scan.

More space to carry the handful of review devices I travel with

There’s even a key holder because there’s nothing more infuriating than having to rummage through your bag for your keys.

All these features packed into an unassuming good-looking bag.

This particular bag is priced at US$ 80 which isn’t bad, most anti-theft bags are priced similarly.

And, if you’re going to spend, might as well spend on something that looks good, right?

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Accessories

This is a notebook that will charge your phone because why not

One good-looking and useful planner!

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The good old notebook is being given an update.

If you’re still sentimental about stationery, or if you’re the pen and paper type of gal and you still can’t shake your organizer habits, this folio might be right up your alley.

The Tesmo notebook is a good-looking journal. The outside is bound by a durable leather material, there are slots for your pen, cards, and notes, plus you can easily refill the pages with standard A5-sized paper. What’s so different about this organizer then?

Place your phone on the notebook and you’ll find out. This organizer doubles as a wireless charger. Basically, it will charge any Qi charging-capable device — that means your iPhone X and most Android flagships — without even plugging in the phone.

With an 8000mAh battery capacity stored away in its cover, this notebook also allows simultaneous charging of up to three devices. It’s equipped with all the ports you’ll ever need: micro-USB, USB-C, and Lightning adapter.

It’s the journal that every career woman needs — well, okay, not exactly need. It would be cool, though. And, it’s honestly one profesh-looking planner. It comes in gray, black, and brown (pictured).

Check out their Kickstarter page here.

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