It’s no secret that Lew Hilsenteger, the host of the popular YouTube channel Unbox Therapy, is the best in the business. Hundreds if not thousands of poseurs frequently record themselves opening new products, in the hopes that invisible god that is the YouTube algorithm is merciful and puts their videos in front of potential buyers. That vast majority of these wannabe influencers are positively grating; the best thing that can be said about most of them is that they are merely boring as opposed to migraine inducing. Want proof that we live in a “decadent society“? Look no further than the fact that the biggest stars of the Internet lack any and all interest in basic aesthetics.
What separates Unbox Therapy from the channels that try to imitate it is Lew’s willingness to experiment. When you click on an Unbox Therapy video, you never know what you are going to get, but you are unlikely to be disappointed. Lew’s admixture of wit, aloofness and genuine know-how turns his channel into must-see TV (er, Internet). This is certainly the case with one of Unbox Therapy’s recent videos, in which the host unboxes Apple’s Pro Stand (currently retailing at $999) without saying a single word. The result is an inspired piece of post-modern art that simultaneously entrances the viewer and makes an incisive point about Apple (which longtime fans will know to be his on-again off-again bête noire).
Watch the video below to see the effect. It’s the perfect length (just under 4 minutes), and it features a compelling twist just after the 3 minute mark. Why can’t ever unboxing video be this good?
Labor Market Is Booming…If You Are A Cleaning Robot
Flying cars may still be years away, but in many ways we inch closer to life in “The Jetsons” every day. If iRobot’s Roombas (and their competitors, such as Anker’s Eufy, which we reviewed here) were not similar enough to Rosie the Robot for your tastes, then you’ll be ecstatic to learn about the new trend sweeping workplaces throughout the country.
During the COVID crisis, a new, more advanced type of cleaning robot has taken the office by storm. The Verge interviewed the heads of several of these companies and reported on these new machines, which go beyond cleaning up messes to actually spray viral disinfectant and UV radiation as they amble along. During the pandemic, the demand for these devices has skyrocketed. For example, Xenes, manufacturer of the LightStrike robots, says sales are up 600 percent.
The creepy part about these developments is less about their functioning, which appears genuinely useful, and more about how people talk about them. Like with Moxie the “social support robot,” the elites in business and media seem to be taking it for granted that the current generation of robotics is prepared to become Humanity 2.0. Notice this sentence in The Verge article about the Breezy One, made by a company called Build With Robots:
“Build With Robots says the cost for hiring its machines is between $3,250 and $10,750 a month, depending on the number of robots and the length of the contract.”
I’m sorry, but cleaning machines, no matter how “smart,” should be “rented,” not “hired.” I don’t care if they are equipped with LIDAR or 3D cameras to self-navigate. They are tools, not human labor. Hasn’t this country’s professional class degraded the working class enough as it is? Just wait until one of the robots malfunctions, and the HR department refers to it as a “sick day.”
One last thing, when designing these mechanical helpers, can we please stop giving them eyes? That includes “large mist-producing jet nozzles on top that look like “a pair of swiveling eyes.” I still remember the first time I went to the grocery store and came across Marty, Giant Food Stores’ terrifying automated floor checker. Memo to the nerds who make these things: it’s not cute, so cut it out.
Is The TikTok Tihoo Actually Useful?
Alright TikTokers, you convinced me. After spending countless hours on the ubiquitous app and scrolling through hundreds of Amazon product recommendations, I finally caved and purchased the Tihoo, an electrical desktop dust collector. Now, out of all the products I’ve seen, I can’t tell you exactly why this product is the one I chose to buy. But I can tell you that I don’t regret it. Although the Tihoo wasn’t a necessity for me, would it have been as exciting if it was?
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t sure the Tihoo would even work that well, but it was so cheap that I just said screw it. Well, slap my ass and call me Sally because this product literally blew my mind. It’s so simple, yet so useful. It’s essentially a battery powered, handheld vacuum cleaner that picks up all those little crumbs and dust particles that can be a nuisance to clean up yourself. It works on any hard surface and can even be used on carpeting if you’re really feeling lazy. I’ve tried it out on pretty much every surface, including my carpet, and it has yet to disappoint.
For just $15.99 on Amazon, The Tihoo offers an amazing and convenient cleaning solution and will save you from having to manually clean up those annoying little messes again. Shoutout TikTok.
Yes, Bose Sunglasses Are Still A Thing
Longtime We Know Products readers surely remember the first time we covered Bose’s attempt to make speaker sunglasses a thing, all the way back in May 2019. Speaker sunglasses were apparently a much greater success than Bose’s other attempt to get into the “wearables” business, the “SoundWear Companion,” which you can no longer buy on the Bose website. Since releasing their first pair of speaker sunglasses, retroactively named the “Rondo,” and following it up with the “Alto,” Bose has expanded its offerings to include three new styles: the Tempo, the Soprano, and the Tenor.
Bose is putting a lot of marketing dollars into these products, and it’s likely you’ve already seen you favorite Instagram influencers start to flaunt these on specs. But does that mean you need to rush out and buy yourself a pair?
A year and a half later, the best reason to get Bose sunglasses is still being able to cocoon yourself in a world of sound without coming off as standoffish. Unlike AirPods and their knockoffs, wearing a set of sunglasses does not signal to the world that you are currently occupied. Most impressively, despite having to be big enough to blast sound into your ears, the temples are not so large as to clearly indicate a piece of futuristic technology.
For its slogan, Bose is going with “Without the sound, they’re just sunglasses.” Cleverly, this has a double meaning, highlighting the value of music playing from your frames while also making it known that the sunglasses are subtle enough to be worn for style alone.
It remains to be seen if speaker sunglasses catch on, but in 2020 we are much more bullish on the prospect. After high-profile failures of Snapchat and Google, could Bose be the company that finally cracks the code on popularizing “smart” shades? Only time will tell.
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