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CES: Now AI will let pets take selfies

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In what may well be the most absurd new product launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, pets are going smart…

At the Digital Experience event and Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Petcube is demoing its pet detection technology, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to recognize pets, trigger recording of pet selfie videos, and initiate two-way video calls. The feature update will be rolled out to compatible Petcube Play and Petcube Bites devices on the latest firmware starting this spring.

With this exciting new upgrade, pets can phone their parents, send cute selfie videos, and make clips instantly shareable. Through machine learning, Petcube devices will be able to differentiate between pets versus humans.

Pets can initiate two-way livestream chats whenever they’re captured in front of the wide-angle camera. When a pet comes into view, the video recording is triggered by the Petcube camera. The clip is then pushed over-the-air as an App notification to the device owner. Owners will be able to preview the selfie clip and accept the video call request from their pet. They can choose to save the clip to their phone’s camera roll, or view it later via the Petcube App timeline.

“As connected pet gadgets and voice-enabled products are taking off, we’re excited to lead the way in connecting pets to the Internet and enabling pet-human remote communications.” said Yaroslav Azhnyuk, CEO and co-founder of Petcube. “By 2022, we estimate 40 million pet households will use a connected pet device. Petcube should be in every pet parent’s home.”

The pet selfies will be temporarily auto-saved to the cloud, or saved up to 3 to 30 days based on an optional Petcube Care plan. Petcube device users can also instantly share clips via the Petcube App feed and to their preferred social networks.

This past year, Petcube integrated Facebook live and updated Petcube devices to be compatible with Amazon Alexa and Amazon Dash Replenishment Service. The company continues to drive innovation in the pet care space and plans to roll out advancements in pet behavioral diagnostics later this year, helping pet parents take proactive actions when it comes to their pet’s health and wellness.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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