It’s a dog meet dog world

It’s the Year of the Dog, a good reminder to make sure that you are taking good care of your pet pooch, should you have one.

Inu-note (“inu” meaning dog in Japanese), is a new social networking app that also gives pet owners access to training advice from professional dog trainers and veterinarians. Developed by dog owners who themselves discovered that their relationship with their pets improved after talking to like-minded others, Inu-note’s sns function works a little like Instagram, offering users the opportunity to post photos as well as communicate with other members.

Advice from the professionals is based on the dog breed, which is input during registration, and a schedule allows owners to keep track of their pet’s health and grooming appointments. There’s also a handy searchable map function that highlights nearby dog parks and animal hospitals.

This free download is in Japanese and currently only available for iOS, but an android version is in the works.


Mobile shopping

Cerevo has developed a cashless mobile vending machine for vendors wanting to set up shop anywhere without the hassle of a salesperson or a register. The Qvie is a merchandise container that uses 3G and 4G networks to allow customers to unlock it once an online payment is confirmed.

Sellers simply put an item into the container, lock it and then provide a description that can be read on a separate electronic display unit. To buy the item, a customer uses a smartphone to scan a QR code from the display unit, and once a payment transaction is confirmed, the box is unlocked. Sellers are notified in realtime via an app, which also keeps track of the time and the number of times the container ise unlocked.

The unit runs on a battery, which can last up to one month, so it’s fully portable, while the display unit can connect to several containers should the seller decide to offer several items. Big enough to house a bottle of wine, but small enough to lift easily, the Qvie could be particularly useful for anyone wanting to offer small items at an Airbnb or in the office. It’s not on sale yet, but was on show at CES 2018 in Las Vegas this month, so should be available soon.


Drop the mic anywhere


It’s the month of shinnenkai (new year parties) in Japan, which more often than not involves karaoke. But if all the karaoke rooms are fully booked, or the party budget doesn’t include cash to rent a machine, then the Goppa could come in useful.

This Bluetooth microphone can turn a smartphone or tablet into a mini karaoke machine. It has a speaker at the bottom that plays music from the phone and projects the singer’s voice. There’s also a volume control for the singer’s voice and even an echo slider for extra oomph, plus it has an outlet jack, should you prefer to hear yourself via bigger speakers or headphones. Users can sing along to any online video, but Goppa recommends using karaoke vendor Joysound’s subscription app, which offers a massive catalog of songs. If you prefer to sing to tunes on CDs it is also compatible with IO-Data CD Reco drives.

The Goppa is priced at ¥5,378, comes in gold, silver or pink, and can run up to five hours on a full charge.


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