Lifestyle

Stay at home with these Sharp appliances for the holidays

Upgrade your home for the better!

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to spend more time inside our homes. While the pandemic isn’t going away for a while, there’s a lot you can do to make your indoor stay more comfortable. One of the easiest ways to do that is by upgrading your home appliances — thankfully, Sharp has a whole lot of them that you can avail of for the holidays.

Upgrade your home entertainment to the max

One of the best ways to spend the holiday season this 2020 is to stream a Netflix episode or movie in the comforts of your living room. Alternatively, you can listen to some tunes as you reminisce the better days. As such, upgrading your home entertainment units should be on the top of your list.

Sharp’s AQUOS 4K TVs offer a variety of sizes from 50-inch, 60-inch, 65-inch, 70-inch, and 80-inch. That’s a lot of sizes to choose from, adapting to you and your family’s entertainment needs. On top of that, these TVs have a built-in X4 Master Engine Pro II for upscaling SD videos into almost-4K quality. They also have Android built-in for enjoying hundreds of apps from the Play Store.

Complementing those AQUOS TVs is Sharp’s 8A-C22CX1 soundbar with Dolby Atmos built-in. With Doly Atmos built-in, you can hear any details in music or movies with greater clarity. Six independent digital amplifiers provide more bass and treble, while Sharp’s Opsodis technology enables 3D sound reproduction. It also comes with seven sound presets so you can hear more clearly depending on the situation.

Level up your kitchen appliances for the holidays

Of course, it won’t feel like the holidays without a little feast to look forward to. Sharp’s multi-door Frex French refrigerator has 652L of capacity to hold your favorite food and drinks. Thanks to a suite of features such as Plasmacluster Ion and ActivFresh hybrid cooling technology, you can keep them fresh for longer. Plus, Sharp’s refrigerator has a J-Tech inverter technology for greater energy savings.

Meanwhile, the Sharp Healsio water oven is your perfect companion for preparing a feast in no time. The best-selling oven uses superheated steam to cook food faster than a convection oven. You can use the oven to grill, stir-fry, bake, steam, or boil your favorite food. The oven can even intelligently detect and cook according to a certain temperature with only the ingredients you put inside.

Make your home safer and cleaner

Keeping your home safe is easy thanks to Sharp JM40 air purifier with mosquito catcherThis air purifier effectively kills 90% of coronavirus thanks to Plasmacluster technology which also kills other types of harmful bacteria and viruses. It even serves a dual purpose by catching mosquitoes. By default, it comes with a HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of allergens and dust.

For cleaner linens and clothes, Sharp’s ES-HFH914AW3 front load washer supports up to 9kg of load and comes with Allergy Smart mode to reduce allergens and bacteria by 99%. It also has an advanced inverter motor to save water and avoid a huge electric bill.

These are some of the Sharp appliances that you can rely on for a comfortable stay-in experience for the holidays. There are a lot more appliances to choose from, so visit Sharp’s website to learn more about them.

Apps

Ultrahuman: The essential app to get you through quarantine

Getting through isolation days through workout and meditation

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Taking care of our physical and mental health is very much important now more than ever. With everything that has been going on in the world, it’s not surprising that people are taking extra steps to advocate and practice self-care.

One way to do this is by adding good habits everyday and being disciplined to sustain these habits.

With self-care as one of their ultimate goals this year, Martynne and MJ decided to try Ultrahuman: an all-in-one fitness app that includes all the good habits they are currently incorporating in their lives — from workout to meditation.

For a few weeks, they put the app to a test and this is their verdict:

Meditation

Martynne: I am a huge advocate of meditation and it has been a life-changing practice for me, as someone who finds a hard time focusing and being in the present.

Ultrahuman has a wide range of course options that can match a specific mood or emotion. One of my personal favorites is the Managing Anger course, which helped me take a step back, consolidate my feelings and give compassion to myself throughout the process.

The Singles option with one-time meditation tracks helped me become more mindful and grounded whenever I feel overwhelmed in the middle of a workday. The productivity course, on the other hand, kept my eyes glued to my laptop screen until I finished what I needed to do.

The only thing I didn’t like about it, though, is the visuals seem basic to me, and the “dark” interface is much more fitting for the workout option.

Workout

MJ: When gyms are closed and home workouts aren’t fun anymore, how do you remain committed to your fitness goals? That’s what Ultrahuman did: Filling the gap by providing fun workouts and challenges that you can do in a span of weeks. It’s similar to how Nike Training Club presents their videos albeit more personalized.

The Ultrahuman app comes with guided videos from renowned trainers, and watching their instructions during your exercises felt like having a live session with a personal trainer. Unlike most fitness apps that offer video-on-demand workouts, Ultrahuman remembers that we are all beginners, offering a collection of videos through challenges that suit different levels.

After living a sedentary lifestyle, I knew I have to ease up when working out again. The app did wonders in helping me stay active by gradually increasing the difficulty of my challenges, without straining my body or having myself complain about how difficult a certain workout routine is.

Sleep

Martynne: There was an instance that I had a bad case of insomnia and I needed something to put me to sleep.

I tried listening to Ultrahuman’s Bedtime Stories and it reminded me of the sleep podcasts I used to listen to on Spotify.

The voices are relaxing, and the stories come with meditation and sound effects, but I realized I can be impatient with slow stories. I resorted to the app’s soundscapes and brain music, and they helped a lot to relax my brain and finally shut my eyes off.

I don’t exactly know what’s the science behind brain music, but they really work sometimes.

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Cameras

The Polaroid Go is the smallest analog instant camera in the world

With this camera, the sky’s the limit and not the size

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Polaroid Go

Polaroid has a new, cute camera and we want it. There, I said it.

Polaroid Go is the newest, tiniest member of the Polaroid family. Dubbed as the smallest analog instant camera in the world, it only measures 4.1-inches long, 3.3-inches wide, and 2.4-inches tall. What an exciting change to Polaroid’s decade-old form factor, right?

Polaroid Go

Designed as a creative companion, the Polaroid Go sports a portable, wearable look and feel. The newest camera is available in a classic white colorway, following Polaroid’s iconic design retained in a new format apt for the new generation.

The Polaroid Go, despite its tiny size, packs mighty features. This includes a newly-developed selfie mirror, self-timer, longer-lasting battery, dynamic flash, double exposure, and travel-friendly accessories.

There’s also a Go film that reimagines Polaroid’s classic square format, to suit the newest and smallest analog instant camera.

Polaroid Go

Price and availability

Polaroid Go retails for US$ 100 while the Polaroid Go Film Double Pack costs US$ 20. The Polaroid Go will be available for purchase on April 27 at polaroid.com/go.

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Enterprise

Microsoft acquires speech recognition firm Nuance for $20 billion

The second most expensive acquisition by Microsoft

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Nuance
Photo by Reuters

Microsoft has acquired speech recognition and healthcare firm Nuance for a whopping US$ 19.7 billion. The deal will give the Redmond-based giant deeper access to hospitals and the healthcare industry, in general, via its medical dictation and transcription tools.

The announcement is a clear indication that Microsoft is looking for new verticals to improve growth. Recently, the company was interested in buying Discord, a gaming-centric instant messaging service, for a massive sum of US$ 10 billion.

Nuance has been a pioneer in voice-based artificial intelligence and was pivotal in powering Apple’s Siri. Since then, it has shifted to healthcare and, specifically, a transcribing tool that writes up the conversations between physicians and patients.

As part of this deal, Microsoft will pay US$ 56 per share for Nuance, a 23 percent premium over the company’s last closing price. Microsoft can use Nuance’s technology with its existing software like Teams or even offer it independently as part of its Azure cloud business. Simultaneously, it can gradually increase the presence of Azure and other connected products within a physician’s clinic.

For the longest time, Microsoft was dependent on the consumer business and relied mostly on Office and Windows for revenue. This has radically changed in the last few years with increased investment in AI, machine learning, and cloud computing.

Microsoft said Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin would remain at the company and report to Scott Guthrie, who is in charge of its cloud and artificial intelligence businesses.

The Nuance acquisition is the second most expensive in Microsoft’s history. The first being LinkedIn’s deal, valued at US$ 26 billion.

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