Wave of the Future

13 Apr 2017
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Tomorrow’s world is today, as Y’s Alvin Thomas finds a few devices to direct your day, and then some.




Smart Assistant


If you’re in the market for a digital personal assistant, you only have two options: the Google Home and the Amazon Echo – both of which are splendid devices. However, starting in May, there is a new contender on the market: the Lenovo Smart Assistant. This device has a few extra tricks up its sleeve that makes it stand out from the other two. For starters, it has eight microphones that can pick up your speech from five metres away, and also comes in a range of colours. But what’s most impressive is that you will gain access to Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa so shopping, marking tasks and playing music will be quite easy. Yours for RO70 from shop.lenovo.com.


Digital Lava Lamp


Well, let me be upfront about one thing: this is more than just a lava lamp. As a matter of fact, the JBL Pulse 3 is one of the most stylish and capable Bluetooth speakers available on the market today. With this device, you can easily connect two phones or even connect many (more than 100!) JBL Connect+ enabled speakers to amplify the listening experience. The device also comes with 360-degree stereo sound, a larger li-ion battery that allows up to 12 hours of music, and also a noise and echo-cancelling microphone that lets you take calls from your speaker. All of that, alongside that animated light show, makes for a very versatile device. Yours for RO77 from Lulu Electronics.


Overkill


Have you ever looked at your expensive gaming laptop and said: “Hey! I wish I had a larger screen”? If so, we have good news. It is the Razer Project Valerie, and it is here to solve all your worries (well, not all but you get our drift). What the laptop (?) does is that it comes with two extra 40cm 4K resolution-capable screens to give you a total of three screens. Of course, underneath all this, you’re getting a Blade Pro, which in itself is a very capable laptop. The added screens, however, will translate to a vast unit when you are gaming or editing photos or videos. It is expected to be priced at RO2,310 and should be available at razerone.com after release.

Editor’s Pick


This is 8


Apple and Samsung have been involved in a game of cat and mouse for nearly a decade now. And there’s no denying: the iPhone has always had an edge (not literally) over the Korean conglomerate. With the S8 and the S8+, however, Samsung has taken a swing at Apple’s iPhone 7 and in the process has managed to blow it out of the water. Both devices come with ultra-gorgeous “Infinity” AMOLED displays (S8: 15cm and s8+:16cm), an all-new Exynos octa-core processor, 4GB RAM, 3D touch display (home button only), Bixby – Samsung’s new personal assistant, and a refreshed 12-megapixel front and 8-megapixel rear-shooters that can produce stunning shots. The device will debut in Oman in May, and you can pre-order yours for RO300 from luluwebstore.com.

App of the Week


Google Translate


Google’s Translate may very well be the most underestimated application of all time. Yes, millions (if not billions) of people use the feature on their computers and phones daily. However, not many appreciate what it has become today. For instance, the app allows you to snap a picture and instantly translate the foreign text for your understanding. You can download the languages of your choice onto your smartphone to access the app without the need of an internet connection or access the whole library of languages online. Yours for free (!) from Google Play and iTunes.


Game Review: Inside


If there’s an adventure game that I would have to suggest to my friends, it would have to be this one. Released late last year, I only got my hands on Inside a few days back. However, I have to confess that the wait was worth it.

The game is, in essence, based on a 2D puzzle-platform – arguably one that has run out of steam over the past few years or so. But Inside manages to remain incredibly unique with its very detailed storyline and beautiful yet eerie graphics.

I’m not going to be talking much about the storyline, as the more I reveal, the more chances there are to spoil the gameplay for you. But what I can tell you is that Inside has been scripted ever-so-meticulously, with no room for loose ends from start to finish.

The game opens with a boy (the main character) in a forest, who is clearly on the run from the authorities. As expected, there are dogs and other people chasing you. Your only aim is to escape them by running from left to right, and jumping when there’s no other way out.

Each and every frame seems to have been crafted and polished many times over to avoid any hiccups during gameplay. If you look carefully you can even see minute dust particles or a smoky hue from the sunlight illuminating  the nearby surroundings. Mind you, the game is still dark-themed and there’s a lot of emphasis on shadows and lighting so you will have to get used to the ever-altering moody atmosphere although that only adds to the eerie feel.

Inside is loosely based on the game Limbo (created by the same developers), and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were to think that the gameplay hasn’t moved on quite as much.

But at the end of the day, Inside has already taken a spot in my top 10 favourite games of all time.


Inside (Game) Info Box


Developer: Playdead

Director: Arnt Jensen

Engine: Unity

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Microsoft

Genre: Puzzle-platformer, Adventure


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