Alvin Thomas gets a handle on some devices designed to deal with home security.
“Wait! Did I lock the door?” – how many times have you asked yourself that while in the middle of something important? Well, don’t worry; we have all done it. This is precisely why you (and I) need the August Smart Lock. As its name suggests, the device acts as a virtual key, locking the door automatically behind you as you walk out. It works by connecting to your smartphone and detects when you’re stepping out. Moreover, you can also track who comes in and goes out while granting time-sensitive access to friends or guests. Get it from august.com for RO76.6.
Are you afraid of burglars kicking down your door? If so, you need to install the Haven on your door. Unlike most keylocks, the device is placed at the bottom of the door, providing a sturdy obstacle to prevent unwanted entry. Moreover, Haven is made with steel and glass-reinforced nylon and aluminium, thus providing your door with added levels of strength. And yes, it can be controlled via Bluetooth. Buy it from havenlock.com for RO96.2.
The name LG Smart Security may sound a tad uninspiring but don’t be fooled: the device is all game and here to protect you from… well… anything that shouldn’t be in your home. It comes pre-fitted – despite its small body shell – a high-resolution camera, environmental monitor, siren and even the ability to control other security devices (like the August Smart Lock we talk about, here). This really is a case of “big things come in small packages”. You can even control the device’s functions with your voice, using Amazon’s Alexa service. Yours for RO76.6 from amazon.com.
Remembering numerous passwords to our ever-expanding social media profiles, bank accounts, smartphone locks, etc. can be a tedious process. Therefore, people rely on a password manager to keep things in check. But, things can go awry if someone gets hold of your master password. That’s why you need the Sonavation IDKey. Like all password managers, the device can store all your data in one place but you can only unlock the device using your fingerprint. Impressive? Oh, and we haven’t even got to the best part: the fingerprint scanner is unlike any other. It creates a 3D image of your finger and scans the ridges and whorls to grant you access. Pre-order it from idkey.com.
App of the Week
Losing your smartphone or tablet is like losing a part that holds your life together. Lookout is a security, backup and missing device application that takes safeguarding your devices one step further. It is more effective than Google and iTunes for tracking your device, and also has remote capabilities to encrypt your information, identity and personal data so that you can remain safe until you retrieve your phone. Free at iTunes.
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as barrelling down a dirt track at 200kph and swerving around the corner, clipping the boundary ropes ever-so-slightly to let the audience know that you have the race under control. And in a nutshell, that’s Dirt 4.
But, of course, there’s more to the game than just speed driving. After all, the Dirt franchise has long been acclaimed as the best dirt rally game in the business. So, does Dirt 4 deliver the goods, then?
In short: Yes and No!
You see, my first interaction with this franchise came in 1998, when the game wasn’t Dirt at all. It was dubbed the “Colin McRae Rally”. Back then, the game focused solely on rally stages – like a real dirt rally.
But then, things changed: Codemasters (the developers) soon started targeting the American audience. Thereafter, what ensued was a host of drab and dingy games aimed at pulling out the perfect donuts, drifts and wooing crowds by pulling off unnecessary stunts. Gone were the days of good ol’ rallying.
On the plus side, though, things have come back for this year… to an extent. For instance, when you turn on the game, you get asked whether you want to play in “Simulation” or “Gamer” mode. The latter is purely for gaming fun, and in my opinion, should be left alone.
Simulation mode can be a tad difficult at first but the rewards are well worth your time and effort. The tracks are no longer hand-made, and are instead procedurally-generated. This means you get an infinite supply of never-seen-before tracks.
The graphics are incredible, too, and there’s no denying that you do get to drift around in some cool cars – the Audi Sport Quattro, Lancia Delta and a wealth of Cosworth-powered vehicles and many other cars.
However, Dirt 4 falls short of its more visually-focused rivals (Forza and DriveClub). Playing Dirt 4 is like wrestling with a monkey: you have to muster all the confidence in the world to tame your rally car. And that’s precisely why Dirt 4 is still worth your money and above all, time.