Boost your home’s IQ with these devices aimed at making our day-to-day lives just that little bit easier, writes Felicity Glover.
Like many people, knowing what’s wrong with your car can be a minefield – especially if the mechanic is charging you an arm and a leg to fix what you thought was a simple problem. Enter Automatic, a connected car adapter that can check your engine like a pro, giving you a detailed description of what’s wrong via its app. Compatible with the Amazon Echo, you can even ask where your car is parked, while it helps you to become a smarter driver to save on fuel costs. At www.amazon.com from RO24.7.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) enters the home thanks to the Amazon Echo, a voice-controlled intuitive device that can answer questions, order a pizza, stream music, act as a hub for your other devices and even read you an audiobook. It’s basically a cloud-based personal assistant similar to Apple’s Siri, but in this case, your life will be managed by “Alexa”, which comes to life when you call its name. From traffic reports to controlling lights and thermostats, Echo is compatible with a range of hundreds of home devices such as Samsung SmartThings, WeMo, Nest and ecobee. If only it could take out the trash. At www.amazon.com from RO69.3.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) take hold and it’s no longer a dream to connect all of your devices through one main hub, Samsung SmartThings brings home automation to the palm of your hand. From having a coffee ready the moment you get of bed, to securing your home, the SmartThings hub is a budget-friendly device that can be used regardless of where you are in the world. All you need is the free app and the internet, and your life will become simpler. Except you’ll still need somebody to let the dog out. At www.amazon.com from RO38.1.
With more than four billion devices connected to the internet around the world, not to mention the ones in our home, security should be our top priority. And this is where the Dojo comes in. A sleek, pebble-shaped device, it ensures that our devices are safe from attack from hackers and malware. It glows red when there’s a problem and sends notifications to your phone via its app. Definitely worth the money. Pre-order at www.amazon.com from RO38.1.
App of the Week:
The companion app for Amazon Echo, Alexa is easy to set up. Interactions with Alexa are mirrored on the Amazon Alexa App, allowing you to manage everything from your alarms to your music, shopping lists, news and voice commands via remote control where ever you are. If you have the Amazon Echo, this is an essential app to get the most out of your AI device. Free on Google Play and the iTunes App Store.
As we inaugurate our new section that focuses on the latest game releases, we’d like to kick-start things with the king of all arcade games: FIFA 17. First released 25 years ago, FIFA still manages to lead the pack, with a majority of gamers preferring FIFA 17 to its sure-footed competitors such as Pro Evolution Soccer and even Football Manager.
In its latest iteration, FIFA 17 brings to the table top-level graphics on all platforms (PC, Xbox and PlayStation). FIFA gamemaker Electronic Arts (EA) has also switched game engines to Frostbite this year.
However, there’s not much change in gameplay over its preceding game, meaning, you’ll find yourself more frustrated than not during gameplay: the chances of you striking the ball on the goalpost and deflecting during a crucial time in the game, or receiving a card for no apparent reason still remains, but there’s nothing more satisfying than finessing a long-range shot into the far corner of the goalpost.
The controls are a bit complicated, no matter which console you use, and that can get on your nerves if you’re playing in the extremely hard Professional setting. But pull things off and you’ll find yourself grinning through it all. In some ways, FIFA 17 is like the perfect pet. It’ll go wrong more often than not, but when things go right, there’s nothing else in the world that’ll quite match it.