Say you are a young professional, inspired by a bevy of Instagram posts from very attractive people and glowing recommendations from co-workers and friends. You decide it is finally time for you to see what the hype is all about and get a percussion massager. You go to Amazon, type in Theragun G3PRO and expect to make the purchase. You stop in your tracks. $600? For a massager? Are they serious?
It turns out they are serious. Many (typically rich or influential or both) people have bought a Theragun in the past few months, then boasted of its “life-changing” effects on their well-being and physical fitness. Could it possibly be worth it? All signs point to the answer being yes, but even so, you can’t justify a $600 expenditure of that nature.
Luckily, you don’t have to. For those of us just as concerned with our financial as well as our physical health, there is a Theragun alternative, a percussion massager that sells for a fraction of the price. To see if it compares, we tested out the GT Pro 3.0, which retails on Amazon for $130:
For the price point, the GT Pro 3.0 compares rather favorably with the Theragun. The pain relief it provides is immediate; it is the perfect way to recover after a strenuous workout. Impressively, the GT Pro 3.0 does not make a lot of noise, which means you can take it with you to loosen you up pretty much anytime and anywhere a cramp occurs. The LED touch screen is very user friendly, and the built-in lithium battery allows you to use the massager for up to 8 hours before requiring a new charge.
Like the Theragun, the GT Pro 3.0 comes with several attachments that can be used for triggering distinct muscle groups. The 6 accompanying massage heads include an air cushion head, a U head, a big ball head, a small round head, a bullet head and a small flat head. Each of these has a different effect on the muscles it targets, and we found the small flat head to be the most useful. The two balls, which are both made out of foam, were the least effective of the bunch.
Is the GT Pro 3.0 as good as the Theragun G3PRO? No, it is not. If you have $600 to spend, you should get the higher end product. But if you don’t, and you still want to experience the value of having a percussion massager on hand, then we recommend the GT Pro. It is no secret that the team here at We Know Products are huge believers in the value of at-home massagers. That’s why Naipo’s new oCuddle neck and shoulder massager topped our 2019 Christmas wish list.
You Can Now Watch Both HBO Max & Quibi On Roku
Our long national nightmare is over. When HBO Max launched last June, I liked its offerings but was disappointed that there was practically no way to watch it. Although Christopher Nolan called it “the worst streaming service,” it actually has some good content, but since it was not accessibly from any streaming device, viewers were stuck either watching it on their laptops or else purchasing an upgraded Samsung Smart TV. My family ended up doing the latter, and we have no complaints at all with our new 55″ screen. But considering we own a plethora of Amazon Fire and Roku devices, it would have been nice to actually use them to watch the shows we are paying for.
What took so long? With Amazon, the answer is obvious. Amazon competes with HBO via its own streaming service, Amazon Prime, and so it was always going to be a tough negotiation. But Roku? Isn’t one of the pluses of Roku that it is platform-neutral?
Now we know the answer. Roku announced today that it had acquired the library of Quibi, an erstwhile streaming service that went bankrupt not too long ago. Roku will play those Quibi shows on its devices for free. In other words, Roku is getting into the content business.
Considering reports that sales of their devices have outpaced others on the market during the pandemic, this is big news for the entertainment industry, and it may make negotiations between the various players all the more hostile in the future. For the time being, let us rejoice and be glad that we can finally watch HBO Max in peace. We will deal with the fallout later.
The Lululemon Mirror Is The Latest In Dystopian Tech
Right before the New Year, we ran an article taking a look at some of the fitness options for keeping in shape in the midst of a pandemic. One option we did not touch on is the Lululemon Mirror, mostly because I did not believe it was a real thing. Like everyone else, I’ve seen the many ads touting this Bradburyesque contraption over the last couple months. But I figured it was a parody. There’s no way the brand known for their overpriced yoga pants aspires to hang a giant two-way looking glass on people’s wall, right? Wrong. The Mirror exists, and it is a sign of the times.
For those unfamiliar with the Mirror, it literally a $1,500 mirror, which in addition to filming your movements also displays workout videos so you don’t have to go to a gym. Is there a market for this? There must be, considering Lululemon bought the start-up responsible for the device for $500 million.
Such is life during COVID. People are so tired of being trapped in their houses, they are now turning to life-size screens to simulate interpersonal interaction. This also shows how the pandemic has changed our relationship with privacy; now that we are on Zoom every day, performing workouts in front of a camera does not seem like that big of a deal. (For those folks who do still value privacy, Lululemon insists that turning on the camera is merely “an option.”)
The Lululemon Mirror is just the latest example of wellness technology designed to capture any and all information about its users. Pretty much all of your important health data is tracked by your Apple Watch, and that isn’t even counting the enhancements of Apple Fitness+.
If people are willing to bare their souls to a miniature robot, who am I to tell them off? But as more and more data is accumulated through these various channels, it’s hard not to think that they will be used in some way to manipulate human behavior. Maybe this is a good thing, leading to a healthier populace. Let’s hope that’s the case. Because if the data falls into the wrong hands, there is little doubt that it could be used to nefarious ends.
What Will The Apple Car Look Like?
Just when you thought Apple had devoted all of its R&D capabilities to coming up with $550 headphones, a report comes out indicating that innovation may not be dead. According to Reuters, Apple still plans on making an Apple Car. That’s right, an actual physical car. After focusing on software for years, Apple’s muckety-mucks presumably decided they were due for another winner.
So what will the Apple Car look like? TBD. Will it be self-driving? Unclear. There is still so much up in the air right now, and it is not altogether clear that Apple itself has the answers. With this month’s news that Uber was abandoning its own self-driving car ambitions, the future of that technology seemed in doubt. But since Google’s spinoff Waymo is progressing apace, Apple did not want to be left in the dust.
The Reuters report has precious little details about the Apple Car, with the most interesting tidbit being that the company plans to produce these cars by 2024. That timeline seems both ambitious, considering no one knew they were even still working on them, as well as rather far off into the future. If you think back to four years ago, people thought that we’d have whole fleets of self-driving taxis by now.
Reuters indicates that Apple is likely to rely on a current manufacturing partner to actually produce these cars, which you’d think would have some implication on the ultimate design. Buckle up, because we could be in for one of these power adapter blocks on wheels:
Of course, you’d hope they’d be somewhat sleeker than that. The new iPad Pro might be a better target:
Supposedly, Apple Cars will be using a “monocell” battery, allowing them to beat the market’s other electric vehicles on price. I’ll believe it when I see it. If we have learned anything from Apple over the past decade-plus, it is that they will release an overly expensive product, scads of people will kvetch about the price only to end up buying it. Apple has a fix on our culture that way. I should know: I am currently typing this on a Macbook Pro, while I have Airpod Pros in my ears and both an iPhone XR and an old iPad on my desk. Who knows, maybe I will even get an Apple Car one day.
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