Dope Tech: Better than Expected!


All right.

"Dope Tech". One of my favorite series.

It's the most fun because we get to bring together

a bunch of different things

that all have something in common.

A bit of a theme, if you will.

And the theme for this one

is a little bit different.

All the items we're gonna do in this video

I had rock bottom and super low expectations.

That's just the way it was,

and they all managed to exceed those expectations

in some way.

It doesn't mean they're good products.

I don't even recommend buying

any of the things that we talk about in this video,

but they all did manage to clear that ultra-low hurdle.

You'll see what I mean.

So, okay, the first one

is a family-friendly household robot.

It's right here.

Astro, say hi.

(Astro chimes) Thanks. Yeah. Okay.

So, this is Amazon's Astro,

and it's a robot.

You'll see what I'm talking about.

Amazon Astro

So, you might have seen the commercial they put on YouTube

for showing it rolling around and being helpful to people,

bringing people drinks, things like that,

but you might have also, like me,

seen the headlines about it.

That it's an unmitigated disaster

and it throws itself down flights of stairs.

I honestly don't think I would ever buy an Astro bot

for my own home.

It's an Alexa speaker on wheels

with a 10-inch screen,

and then with a camera and a microphone

to act as a security camera.

Yeah, my expectations are down here.

But the funny thing is, we got it. I'll unmute it.

We got Astro, and we started using it,

It turned out that there were a couple of things

that were impressive about it.

Three, to be specific.

The first one is just how impressively confident it is

at maneuvering around.

So, Astro has a huge wheel on either side

That lets it go over bumps and cables

and move around dramatically better

than any Roomba or robot vacuum,

And it's really good.

I mean, you just watch it cut around corners

and cut close to objects.

It never really hits them,

but it seems to run routes

wherever it thinks it should be going well.

It moves around new objects that were put in place

After it maps your space,

and it just kind of rolls around confidently.

Honestly, at this point, I kind of wish it had

a vacuum cleaner attachment or something,

because it feels like this could be miles more productive

than any of the actual robot vacuums.

But it is also notoriously bad with glass walls

and weird architectural features.

It comes with a set of stickers

to put on any glass wall

so it knows that the wall is there

and it doesn't smash its face into them.

Also, we don't have any stairs in here.

So, yeah.

Anyway, the second thing is literally

just the set of speakers in Astro.

So if you ask it to play music or watch a video or something

and you get through the setup process

and connect your Amazon Music account,

It's kind of like a mini boombox on wheels,

which is kind of a unique product by itself, I guess.

So you can ask it to play videos like an Echo Show.

It'll also try to play videos on its 10-inch screen

so you can watch a YouTube video with great sound,

but the video will be at ankle height,

So there's that.

It also randomly likes to remind you

that it can act like a bird or a whale,

And then it'll do it loudly.

But the last thing just has to do

with the screen, they put on this thing, where the face is.

Now, it's not that it's a particularly bright,

or high resolution, or high refresh rate screen,

No, it's got a five-megapixel camera on it

That's not amazing.

You know, it's designed to just quickly look around

and recognize people,

but it also gets that wrong all the time, too.

So, what's impressive about the screen?

Well, it sort of acts like a face,

like a human-like character all the time.

It looks at you, it has these expressions.

It's muted right now, so it looks like it's asleep.

I hit the unmute button,

and it wakes up and it makes these expressions and noises,

and then, when I call it's name

from wherever I am in the room,

It could just be hanging out somewhere,

It's shockingly good

at triangulating where the voice came from

and pointing the face at it,

which doesn't sound that impressive,

but when you think about it, it's kind of amazing.

Look at this. Look.

Hey Astro. (Astro chimes)

How did it? It's so good at that.

Hey Astro. (Astro chimes)

I mean honestly, this isn't particularly useful at all.

I mean, all it's doing is pointing the screen at me,

But it's just something weird

about the way it looks at you,

and it looks right at you every time,

and it gives you some facial expressions every time.

It's also typically a blank stare,

So like, if you give it a command it doesn't understand,

It just looks at you.

It doesn't show any error messages.

If you say a command

and it doesn't know what you're talking about,

It just doesn't do anything.

It just looks at you.

There's also sometimes when I'm walking by it

and I haven't been in that room in a while,

And it sort of perks up and looks at you

And like, winks and makes a noise

and says it misses you, which,

It's a thing that it does sometimes,

but I just couldn't get over how good

the triangulation of like,

Looking at the voice was super good.

That's dope tech, but, you know,

There's a laundry list of reasons

I would not buy this robot.

From all the setup bugs and non-responses

to the terrible facial recognition

mistaking me for other people in the studio,

to the shin-height video calls.

Now, there is a telescope and camera at the top

which will pop out and let you take a higher-quality selfie

or check to see if the stove is on

or if something's on the counter,

and you can remotely control it

if you're away from the house.

But the max height is 42 inches,

which is still, like, below hip height,

And there's this tough, laggy steering and turning process

That's just not very intuitive or fun at all,

And then the last fun part that you probably saw in the ad

is it would like, bring drinks to people,

so I could send it to another room

and it would grab a drink from me,

but that, of course,

requires someone to be in the other room

and then putting a drink in the back

and then being sent back

to where the person initially called it from.

And so, it's just kind of like,

You might as well just have someone

bring you a drink in the first place,

And all of that's not even considering

the slightly uncomfortable reality

of having an Amazon camera and microphone

follow you around your house all the time.

So, but it is kind of cool at some stuff.

Four out of 10.

Huawei Watchbuds

All right, so, this.

Looks like a normal smartwatch, right?

A little thick maybe, but overall, a pretty classic design.

This is called the Huawei Watch Buds.

Why is it called the Watch Buds, you ask?

Well, okay, so I have a theory about two-in-one devices

Anytime you combine two product categories

into one product,

It has to be worse at something,

at one of those things.

Like when you get

those two-in-one folding laptop-tablet hybrid things.

It's kind of a worse laptop,

because now it has to be thinner

to be able to fold all the way around,

But it's also a worse tablet

because the keyboard is still on the back when you fold it,

and it's kind of awkward.

So anyway, this is a hybrid watch and earbuds.

Watch Buds.

So now, my expectation with this thing is that,

According to my theory,

It's either gonna be worse earbuds,

or a worse smartwatch, or both,

but let me just take a minute to admire the fact

that they pulled this off

and made it a real product in the first place,

So this thing, it's by Huawei, it's real,

It's around 550 bucks,

and Huawei knows how to make a good smartwatch,

So this is a pretty premium, large-sized watch,

steel, leather strap.

It is kind of heavy,

But it doesn't look too ridiculous on your wrist,

just like a normal, thick, premium smartwatch,

until you hit that neural button right there

At the bottom,

and it opens up and reveals your earbuds.

Each one is automatically paired to your phone,

so the second you grab one off this magnetic lid,

It takes over the audio from your phone.

So, okay, real world situation.

You're getting a phone call,

but you're about to go drive somewhere and walk around

So you wanna be hands-free,

So you just pop this open, put one earbud in,

and you're connected to your phone and on the call already.

So yeah, these earbuds are truly mini.

They look tiny in my hands.

Actually, tiny in anybody's hands,

and then there's a clever bit of software trickery.

So, these two buds here are identical.

There's no right and left.

Instead, they have a magnetic strip all the way around

so you can just slap them back in the lid

in whatever order you want and close it,

not think about orientation,

and then when you take them out and put them in your ears,

All it takes is one, or two, nod gestures,

and already, it knows which one is the right ear,

which one is the left ear,

and then calibrate your stereo signal accordingly.

That's pretty cool.

So, okay, for the two-in-one question at the beginning,

According to my theory,

These are either a bad set of earbuds,

or a bad smartwatch, or both.

So, which is it?

Well, it's mostly bad earbuds.

Like, Impressively enough,

If you're into Huawei smartwatches before,

You already know,

Some of the watch GTs have like, a week of battery life.

This watch, connected to your phone

and acting like a normal smartwatch,

can still get three days of battery life,

which, in the smartwatch world, is still quite fine.

Like, the display is still large and bright,

And nothing about it feels compromised

Other than the fact that maybe it's a little bit heavy,

but I think if you gave this to like, nine out 10 people,

They would never suspect that there are earbuds inside.

But the earbuds themselves,

That's where they kind of feel much less premium.

Like, they have active noise cancellation

That barely works,

But like, who cares?

This is much more of a convenience play.

This is not for amazing sound quality.

This is for the like,

I'm about to get on a phone call right now

and I don't wanna have to fumble around and find my earbuds.

They're just always on my wrist at all times.

They have a three-hour max battery life

with active noise cancellation on, fine,

but if I was gonna listen to something

or do some audio activity for more than three hours,

I'd probably have a comfortable pair of headphones

to do that with.

So this is just like pure convenience.

Jump on the phone call,

you'll never lose your earbuds,

or, I mean, I guess you could just lose your whole watch.

In this case, you lost your earbuds, too.

I don't know.

I thought it was a cool idea.

Seven out of 10.

Worlds Fastest Shoes

All right, so this last item,

it's called The World's Fastest Shoes.

(sighs) So, I've seen a lot of

last-mile transportation fads in my day.

From Segways to scooters, to hoverboards, and boosted boards.

This problem has been solved many times.

So when I started seeing these things pop up,

My expectations were very, very low.

But basically, the explanation is

these are robotic motorized roller blades.

There are eight roller blades on the bottom of each one.

Put your foot in, and you strap your foot in

with your shoe still on,

and that's how these work.

Then the idea is you just keep walking

like a normal person with your normal stride,

and because of the motors and the wheels,

It'll accelerate the way you walk by up to 250%.

So, for those wondering,

They're claiming it'll have a maximum speed,

once you get going, of about five to seven miles an hour.

But then I saw the site's demo videos,

and I saw Casey Neistat stat's video,

You've probably seen that,

They're called the Shift Moonwalker shoes.

You're supposed to just be able to walk naturally,

and then the motors and the wheels kick in,

and it's a natural acceleration,

And you just start to magically cover more ground

than you normally would if you were just walking,

so I had to try 'em.

Basically, okay, they work as advertised,

meaning that you have to try to walk like normal

and heel-toe it,

and after a few steps, you start to hear the motors kick in,

And it almost feels

like a controlled rollerblading experience.

Controlled means you don't just go as fast

as if you were free rollerblading,

but you are more stable

Because you're wearing your normal shoes,

and then you're strapped into these platforms,

and these things are heavy as hell.

So there is a bit of a learning curve,

and you just start to walk around

And you feel ridiculous

When you first learn them

and you start to accelerate more and more quickly.

Turning is hard

because you can't turn while that foot is down.

All eight wheels are on the ground,

so you can only turn

with the foot that's in the air before it lands.

All of this, you can get used to over time,

so there's a learning curve,

but what you don't get from the videos on the site

is just how heavy these things are

and how loud they are as you're walking.

They're like clomp, clomp, walking around,

and the whirring of the motors at the same time.

You can hear someone coming from a long way away with these.

So, as I'm using them, I start to think about the question,

which is, would you prefer this over a hoverboard,

Or over an electric skateboard or something,

Or just actual rollerblades?

And so, the pitch is that the advantage of these

is that you can walk with the normal energy of walking,

and it just sort of effortlessly glides you along

at a faster speed.

Kinda like one of those runways at the airport,

But it's kind of not exactly true

because of how heavy they are

and the extra energy needed to pick up your feet.

But if you get up to the top speed,

I will say the amount of energy you're spending

is less than trying to jog at that speed.

But the entire time, I couldn't get out of my mind,

One of these things, which had its day, the hoverboard,

is going to be a faster top-speed

and less energy than walking,

And if you wanna go up or downstairs or something,

You just get off and just carry it.

Or one of these, an electric skateboard,

something like a boosted board,

has a higher top speed than both of these,

and is also less energy than walking,

Also, you would have to just get off

and carry it up the stairs.

So the advantage of these

would be that you get to keep them on more often,

and that it feels more natural

because of the walking motion.

Theoretically, though, you could leave these on

as you go up and down stairs

if you're feeling bold.

I'll leave you with this, though.

They do charge via USB type C,

so there's a plug in the back of each of them,

and they last five to seven miles of range

on one battery charge.

They are water resistant, and they cost $1,400.

So, five out of 10.

Anyway, I'm glad I got to testing,

'cause I was really curious what they would feel like.

(grunts) Let me know what you think I should test next

on "Dope Tech".

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