The Logitech MeetUp – Video Collaborations Made Easy

At a 3 by 6 meter conference room at Net Cube, around 10 people were gathered to see how the new conference camera solution by Logitech, the MeetUp, works. This was done in a multi-country teleconference that totaled to about 50 people all seeing each other, each location utilizing a MeetUp of their own.

In our video collaboration, introductions came by the Singapore stream in which it was said that: The dream in the past was that there should be a VC on every table. Now it is enabling video for all meeting rooms.

Video collaboration is always going to be better than just voice and/or email. Logitech’s solution is inexpensive as opposed to meeting face to face over several countries.
The MeetUp has great value proposition with its cost compared to what it can do. Logitech’s disruption of the VC industry space is because of their price so much so that their biggest competition is actually the travel industry.

The Logitech MeetUp comes with a squarish remote control and its a treat to use with very big buttons, clearly labeled and with very recognizable functions, and you don’t need to point it towards the device to activate it. Something unique about the remote is a couple of buttons for camera state presets, so you could record the orientation and zoom level of the camera.

MeetUps field of view (FOV) is huge, practically 10 inches from the MeetUp and you’ll be fully visible on its lens. In our meeting, everyone in the room could be heard on the conference, and through the magic of the MeetUp’s acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) technology it all happens without feedback at any volume level.

With cloud services, such as Skype, Zoom, Bluejeans, Vidyo, and the like overtaking traditional VC Systems. Companies do not need to buy expensive VC solutions anymore.
MeetUp was developed with key considerations on its affordability, minimal support requirement, low maintenance cost, and ease of use – as plug and play as possible. The huddle room challenges that the MeetUp addresses are narrow FOVs, center of table audio whose mic’s are shrouded by laptops, and traditional VC systems having too many components cluttering up the meeting space.

MeetUp has one of the widest field of views, at 120-degrees, in the market, and it increases to 175-degrees with the device’s mechanical panning. It has 5x HD zoom. As listed earlier, its 3 beamforming microphones has a 2.4m optimal pickup that becomes 4.2m with the optional mic. The MeetUp’s speaker is finely tuned for a small meeting room such as the one we stayed in. The MeetUp has ports at the back for one USB cable (TypeC) and power.

The MeetUp can be mounted on the wall, over the TV through a VESA mount and on the shelf. It’s bluetooth is specifically integrated for audio devices only as video cannot be transferred smoothly over BT at the moment. It will also have a mobile app that enables control for all Logitech conference cams and that comes out late July this 2017.

The MeetUp will cost Php 56,500 with the optional mic for Php 13,500, available from corporate resellers such as WSI and Innovista.

VC Portfolio for Logitech includes the C930 / Brio (Personal) , ConferenceCam Connect (Portable), BCC950 (1-4pax Meeting Rooms), MeetUp, MeetUp Expansion Mic (Huddle Rooms), Group, Group Expansion Mic (Conference Rooms).

The Brown & Proud Movement

2017 June 21 – At the Green Sun in Pasong Tamo, a movement has started to break ground. The Brown & Proud (B&P) Movement is something that you probably have already seen in your social feeds this past few weeks.

Finally unveiled yesterday, the B&P movement is a device driven hybrid business model that is fully feature packed. Joining the movement is as easy as 1-2-3: (1) Register online, preferably with a referral. (2) Pay for the brown device. And (3) wait for the “tool” to be delivered right on your doorstep.

The initial offering is called the “brown 1” it comes with the following specifications:
4.7″ HD IPS Display, Dual SIM, Quad-Core Processor, 4G LTE, Android Nougat, 16GB/2GB, 13MP/8MP, expandable with microSD, fingerprint sensor, with OTG support and a thickness of only 5.8mm. Premium build quality for just a few pesos shy of Php 10,000.

Brown 2, a higher end model with a higher cost, is going to be made available in August as well as a tablet called the Brown Tab 1.

This tool comes pre-installed with “Agila Brown” which is a lockscreen app that displays curated content for the members of the B&P community. Inspirational content, relevant news stories, and practically everything you could call “brown and proud”.

The package the tool comes in comes with an EON card, which is the e-wallet where all B&P community transactions will go through. The user would register this card and that would be where the cash flow comes in.

Joining the B&P movement sets you up for a “Brown Tree” which means that you get a referral code and if you encourage another two persons to join in, you get rewarded for that. An additional pairing system comes in after the referral payout that supplements your initial reward. It has a multi-level marketing flow that is, unlike all others, limited. A single brown tree can gain only a little over Php 1,000,000.00. And this is only the beginning.

More than the reward system, the B&P Dream Portal is truly where it is at. With an projected user base of 10 Million at the end of next year, the B&P Dream Portal becomes a sort of crowdfunding resource. Once registered, you can elevate yourself into an “inspirer” and you can show to the community what you’re passionate about – and it could be anything!

You’d like to mount a concert? The community can help with that!
You have an idea that you want to build? Let’s get funded through the community!
Starting up your business? You can get invested upon by members of the community as well.

It’s very practical math… you request for say Php 1,000 to fund your revolutionary new invention – when this gets posted, the entire user base of 10 Million will get wind of what you’re trying to accomplish, and if even a thousand of the users find your idea intriguing, then you have Php 1 Million in funding already. This is the true aspect of the B&P Dream Portal.

Don’t say I didn’t let you in on it. I hope to see your ideas on the portal really soon ^^ I’m almost certain you’re someone who embodies brown and proud as well. As their slogan clearly puts it: Its not the color of your skin, it’s the color of your heart!

Targus’ Seoul 2017 Collection Backpacks – Built For the Digital Native

Targus, being one of the very first brands known for quality materials and reliability, has come out with a palette of backpacks for the youth of today. The aesthetic is not one you’d think would be sporting a host of electronics within it and that is a very good thing especially since it wards off any interest of the contents inside.

Don’t get me wrong though, as far as backpacks go, this line rakes in plenty of stuff and exudes style while doing so… and they go for a very enticing Php3,990 only!

Full PR after the jump.

Continue reading

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius – Shadow Bahamut Trial Takedown 20170513

This esper-trial-raid boss is among the easier ones when you get the hang of it’s dynamic. I’ve wasted exactly 160NRG before kicking it to the curb. Didn’t get all achievements but this very easy method will get you the win… for now, if it indeed is a bug when Megaflare doesn’t fire.

Only the very first couple of turns are important here. Buff SPR over 40% with one character and defend with the rest. This character will go down because of the Megaflare while the rest would be hanging on by some measure.

Next turn would see your party being buffed with elemental resistance via Omni Veil or some other elemental buff coverage like it. Then just attack with skills or otherwise without breaking any stat (neither full or partial should be used) Revive, heal up, and just maintain SPR up + elemental resistance and you should have it down no problems.

Shadow Bahamut has one threshold attack in the form of Maelstrom which will hit for 99%of remaining HP. Heal from this and continue the pattern to defeat the Shadow Bahamut.

See you guys on the Farplane! 

The Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom – Photo Powerhouse

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this phone packs all the great features that one can find on the third generation of Zenfones bar none… well except maybe for the Snapdragon 800 series but still, the Zenfone 3 Zoom has perfect synergy with its 5000mAh battery, energy efficient Snapdragon 625, and its bevy of three prime lenses providing a flexible range of shooting options for practically any application, all in a very thin but very powerful unibody frame.

Overview

When I got my hands on the unit for this review, I decided to use it purely for its intended purpose of photography already being well acquainted with the capability of the Snapdragon within it as it is of similar spec to my own Zenfone 3. This review was made on a Zenfone 3 Zoom unit that remained on the Marshmallow platform, thus your experience may differ should yours be already in Nougat, which truly is quite fast and responsive compared.

Alright, so whats the deal with the dual cameras of the Zenfone 3 Zoom? – To put it bluntly, it offers two different perspectives on a particular scene practically instantly – one 25mm wide angle equivalent and another 59mm portrait oriented 2.3x view compared to the standard. There is also a digital 12x zoom which can be useful in a number of scenarios.

Within the period with which I had the Zenfone 3 Zoom on me, I had been able to bring it to a concert, a resort, to a site for work, and even to a museum for ingress, apart from all the general metropolitan experience.

I had previously compared the first Zoom to an actual camera but this one I’m comparing to its non Zoom counterpart in the Zenfone 3 and based solely on its own merits as a camera system.

Real World Sampling

When I first encountered the Zenfone 3 Zoom, it was an engineering unit and the EXIF was not coming out properly. You’d be glad to know that this is not the case with the retail package.

The primary lens (on the left of image above), a 12MP 25mm equivalent Sony IMX 362 provides the best shooting experience among all of the available modes. Its snappy to fire up, and the optical image stabilization feels just right and responsive without any feeling of aggressiveness. I actually tried to find a way to disable the stabilization but there isnt any… and that’s fine especially when you suddenly shift to the zoom lens, itself being 12MP but with a 59mm equivalent focal length – a Samsung 3M3.

Closer inspection of images from the two lenses reveal a semblance of artifacting with the Samsung sensor as well as a bluish tone while the Sony remains neutral and crisp even in high contrast areas. This comparison made in an overcast environment (relatively low light).

100% crops

Hitting the zoom button cycles three zoom levels, none of which reach the 12x limit – from 1x, 2.3x, and then a middling 5x. Below is an example of all the pertinent zoom levels… this bird was roughly 10 meters away, I measured… twice.

With enough distance (a lot) natural bokeh can be achieved by both rear lenses, you can see it in action with the following shots. Note also that in very bright shooting scenarios, both sensors perform similarly and the user would get more detail up close when using the 2.3x zoom.

100% crops

Along with the convenience of being able to pull it out of one’s pocket for instantaneous imaging, there is that single tap zoom-in taking it a notch higher than what we’re generally used to. And while you might think that you won’t be using this feature that much, you’ll eventually find yourself hitting it just because it is there, ready and available.

Evaluation

The Zenfone 3 Zoom provides the user with a flexibility in shooting otherwise missed with a single lens setup. Coupled with the optical image stabilization it allows for viability when shooting in low light and it is effective whether the front or the rear camera is used especially when the image​ objective is primarily a social media share.

This does not mean that photos captured from the Zenfone 3 Zoom cannot be printed out, on the contrary, setting up a scene in manual mode would provide quality enough even for an A0 print straight out of the camera (proof).

With an incredible design, powerful battery, and a trio of prime cameras with a bevy of shooting modes and zoom states, this Php 23,995 smartphone package is almost impossible to match.

#Zenfone3Zoom
#CatchTheMoment
#BuiltForPhotography

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom and Zenfone Live Unveiled

An air of mystery had been hovering about the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom this past week as teaser photos kept cropping up of a brand new ambassadress for their camera-centric Zenfone 3 variant.

At the Penthouse 8747 a couple of days earlier, Yassi Pressman, popularized for her role as Alyanna in Probinsyano, had been revealed to be the new face of the Zenfone 3 Zoom during the smartphone’s launch alongside a completely new and very compelling offering in the Zenfone Live which is a budget friendly device that features the world’s first “live beautification mode”. Yassi expressed her delight on the excellent front facing camera, itself a prime lens in the 13-megapixel f2.0 Sony IMX214, as well as the longevity of the Zenfone 3 Zoom’s 5000mAh battery that is coupled with the very efficient and capable Snapdragon 625.

The event had also been graced by celebrated photographer-ambassadors Ricky Ladia and Jasper Tejano, both of whom are completely convinced of the power and the capabilities of the Zenfone 3 Zoom that can, according to Jasper, output exhibit worthy shots and is perfect for street photography which is his favorite genre. Ricky used the prime lenses on the Zenfone 3 Zoom for everything from landscape to food photography leveraging the strength of the 25mm (Superpixel Main Camera) and 59mm (Zoom Camera) equivalent focal lengths on the twin camera system.

Participants were ushered into an experience zone after the presentation had concluded where miniatures were waiting to be taken photos of, making certain of the use of the zoom feature to catch all the minuscule details on the models and flora.

The Zenfone 3 Zoom ZE553KL with a 4GB/64GB configuration retails for Php 23,995 and comes bundled with a JBL bluetooth speaker, a clear case, and a ZenEar.

The Zenfone Live, configured with a 5″ HD screen and 2GB/16GB memory comes in at a mind-blowing Php 6,995 touting the Zenfone 3 series design language and the latest in live streaming in the form of BeautyLive.

Two launches were done by Asus that day, at the same time and with different venues; it had been a definite challenge I’m certain but they pulled it off with nary a hitch. Kudos to the teams that made it possible from Asus and Stratworks.

#Zenfone3Zoom
#CatchTheMoment

BREAKING! The Zenfone 3 Zoom Pre Orders have opened!

From today until the 6th of April, eager consumers can already pre order their Zenfone 3 Zoom units via this microsite!

Below is the procedure you’re about to undertake:

Pre-order Program Mechanics:

1. Pre-orders for the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) are available on March 27, 2017 up to April 6, 2017.

2. Customers has to visit the ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom Pre-order registration page at http://zenfone3zoomph.com/

3. Customers who will pre-order will get the following limited edition items.
· JBL Harman Portable Bluetooth Speakers worth Php 3,099
· ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) Clear Case worth Php 699
· ASUS ZenEar worth Php 699

*Those who will pre-order from March 27 to April 6, 2017 will get an additional exclusive freebie, the ASUS Tripod worth Php 799.

4. Customers will be required to fill out a reservation form which includes the following details:

5. Customers will be notified via SMS once stocks are available for claiming. They will need to present their VALID ID and their confirmation letter and proceed to their chosen ASUS Zenfone Concept Store, ASUS Kiosk, or to any participating ASUS accredited dealer to pay the full amount on April 7th, 2017 until April 23rd, 2017.

6. Cash and credit card payments are accepted.

7. For credit card payments, ASUS Zenfone Concept Stores, ASUS Kiosk (depending on accredited banks) will honor straight, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months payment at 0% interest.

8. If the customer cannot present their VALID ID and confirmation letter upon claiming, they will not be allowed to avail of their pre-ordered units.

9. The customer’s reservation is valid from April 7th, 2017 to April 23rd, 2017.

10. Existing replacement and repair mechanics will be applicable once the unit has been availed.

11. For features and specification on ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL), please refer to our website at http://www.asus.com/ph.

Below are participating stores for the pre-order program:

What’re you waiting for? Don’t miss out on this fantastic offer from Asus!

LG 2022 Concept Phone Demoed

On the just completed KDrama series – “Tomorrow With You”, LG showed us a rather interesting piece of future technology. While everyone’s eyes are on the Samsung’s Note 8 and its almost bezel-less design and impending release, here we have a not so subtle hint at technology that might just be under development by the Korean competitor.

! Some spoilers might be inferred from the images to follow so if you have not yet watched the final episode, stop reading now !

It appears first at the gallery held by So Ri the friend of the female protagonist, Ma Rin:

They’re watching what appears to be a Youtube Live of a person (Secretary Hwang) talking about predictions that were leaked online. The branding is very visible and we don’t see any of it (phone brands) while the series was ongoing. The phone appears to be a curved glass model, fully transparent and without any side bezels.

It reappears at the residence of the male protagonist Yoo So Joon on a table upon receiving an email notifiction. It starts off in standby and comes to life with the alert.


This model is flat, unlike the previous one. Looking at it frame by frame, we could see some bleeding of the image here so it might have really been an image map on a planar surface that gets tracked.

Towards the end, we see more of it in action used inside a car and the final conversation between the lovers; once again there’s amazing tracking happening here – if it really is a mapped image only. The transparencies and the projection of the light are all too finely thought of.

This is for both the flat and curved version.

It’s a very possible scenario and what gets me is that the brand wont simply put their name there would they? It might have been an extremely expensive product placement for a non existent design, but then again this is broadcast and movie magic still applies here… What do you guys think?

Tag Heuer Connected – Modular 45 Launch

A couple of years back, the very first Connected watch had been presented by the company to the world. There had been some issues with it, nothing serious really but more on the carriage of the Swiss Made branding, you see… some components for the microchip were not being manufactured overseas; this is the primary reason why the branding could not be placed on the first iteration of the Connected line.

Fast forward to today, when that hurdle had been passed, so shall the next Connected watch carry the Swiss Made badge very proudly and prominently on the Modular 45.

The Launch

At the atrium of SM Aura Premiere, a very intimate gathering of enthusiasts and media savants were seen buzzing about. There was an intent focus on the screens on stage as they came to life with a feed direct from Switzerland for the global launch of the Modular 45. The CEO of Tag Heuer told us all about the watch, how it is able to interface with even an analog one from their collection, and even demoed the exchange on stage. His contemporary in the Philippines, Area Sales Director – Mr. Romain Cans had the only Modular 45 on during this time, the rest of the display stock en route from customs.

The Modular 45

The watch’s name comes from its size (45mm diameter) and functional capacity: it is essentially a watchface that has everything else about it customizable to an incredible degree (heck even the crown is customizable if you wished it to be).


There’s a plethora of options especially when you’re ordering one online. Getting one from a physical store limits the customer to what they have in stock, but an online order allows one to select from the full range of colors… and there’s a lot!

The Modular 45 comes with Android Wear 2.0 and has its own GPS and WiFi radios giving it a lot more options and capabilities from the first Connected model. It is almost practically an entire phone sans the GSM messaging and calling functionality. Here are the specifications of the Modular 45:


Tag Heuer Connected Studio

Apart from physical customizations to the watch, the watchface is also customizable thru the Connected Studio which allows for greater personalization displaying only the information that is fit for the user.

The Price

This collection starts from Php 81,999 and can go up to Php 162,999 for select configurations

The Modular 45 is surely a step up from its two year old predecessor, it has a price to match but the functionality that you should get out of a smartwatch is all there, engineered with Swiss precision and timeless luxury. Watchworks carries them locally so pay a visit if and when you’re looking to equip your wrist with this fine smartwatch.

Asus Zenbook 3 Deluxe Launch : Transcendence

The 15th of March saw three groundbreaking Asus Zenbook 3 variants revealed in literal fashion.

Starting out with a stage flanked by lights and culminating in an area with suspended ropes, three acrylic pedestals stood in palpable anticipation.

To the tune of Get This Party Started, a stream of ladies and gentlemen in high fashion worked the runway several completing their look with a Zenbook in hand. These were the work of celebrated designer Mr. Rajo Laurel and they match the style aesthetic with definitive flair.

A few moments pass and a single female form walks through from the backstage. Her presence was met with exaltation having been fully teased prior with photos and even videos leaving very subtle clues as to her identity.

Celestial by Mark Obra on 500px.com

Isabelle Daza went ahead and brought the most prestigious Zenbook 3, the finest variant, atop the central pedestal, a truly symbolic and monumental occurrence had just transpired – the very essence of transcendence.

Thence the two newest ambassadors of the prodigous Zenbook 3 Deluxe

Three size variants had been presented with the smallest – 13″ coming in with three different storage configurations : all solid state drives!

Here they are in numbers:

The Zenbook 3 Deluxe sports the latest Intel Core i7-7600, 14″ screen in a 13″ frame, FHD, 16GB, 2x Gen2 USB-C with Thunderbolt, 1x Gen1 USB-C, 4 Harman Kardon speakers, and weighs under 1Kg.

ZB3Deluxe 1TB Php 104,995
512GB Php 89,995
256GB Php 81,995

UX530 16GB 512GB GTX950M 15.6″ Php 69,995

UX430 16GB 512GB GTX940M 14″ Php 59,995

Props to @ASUSph and ID8 for a very successful and absolutely stylish launch event!

#ZenbookXRajoLaurel
#Transcendence