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Meet the world’s first AI massage robot



Meet the world’s first AI massage robot

Do you ever feel like you need a break from the stress of everyday life? Do you wish you could just relax and enjoy a soothing massage? 

So many of us are looking for ways to unwind and recharge our batteries. How can we do that when we are busy with work, family, and other obligations? That’s where Phill the massage robot comes in. 


The world’s first AI massage bot, “Phill.” (Philonlabs)

A game-changer in the world of wellness 


Most of us have tried massage chairs, pointed Theraguns at sore spots and enlisted the help of other forms of alternative massages to get rid of aches and pains. Still, the Phill Robot is not just another piece of tech. It’s the world’s first AI-powered massage robot, promising an unparalleled massage experience tailored to individual needs and preferences. 

Its main selling point is quite remarkable. It is designed to reside right next to your bed, merging the best of design and functionality. Imagine plopping yourself onto your bed and setting Phill to a Thai back massage. Am I dreaming? 

You may do a double take at the photos of Phlll thinking it’s a sophisticated surgery instrument. The only thing getting operated on here are noninvasive pressure points.

AI Massage bot

The world’s first AI massage bot, “Phil.” (Philonlabs)


The robot’s advanced artificial intelligence capability empowers it to learn and remember your massage preferences, making each session feel unique and personal.  


While conventional massage devices offer standard functionalities, Phill adapts, learns and provides recommendations to ensure every massage is as effective as it is relaxing.  

Innovation meets relaxation 

Phill’s got an impressive 35-inch range combined with 15 pounds of force. That means it doesn’t just know how to reach those tricky spots but also ensures the pressure’s just right.  


When it comes to looks, we give Phill a 10/10 when you realize it can double as a modern piece of furniture. Phill’s sleek design doesn’t just catch the eye; it’s practical, too. Its patented foldable arm easily transforms into a cool nightstand for your bedroom. Now that’s bang for your buck, right?


Phill is packed with different attachments 

Phill’s more than just good looks, though. It comes packed with different attachments. Whether you’re into a deep massage ball experience or just a light touch with the caress of a feather-like touch, Phill’s got you covered.  

It’s packed with top-notch sensors, powerful motors and the latest microcontrollers to ensure your massage is smooth and precise. Oh, and setting it up is an absolute breeze. Just plug it in, sync it up with the Phill App, and you’re good to go.  

AI Massage bot

The world’s first AI massage bot, “Phil.” (Philonlabs)


How to reserve Phill the robot? 


Now although this device sounds super useful and helpful, I’d sure like to try it out before shelling out over $2,000 on it, the going pledge amount on Indiegogo in order to reserve one.  

Kurt’s key takeaways 

Phillonlabs invested over two years perfecting Phill, a testament to their dedication to blending wellness with technology. However, as with all tech wonders, it comes with a mix of excitement and skepticism. 

Would you let Phill be your personal masseuse? Trust it to knead away your pains and aches? Or does the idea of an AI-powered massage robot hint at a sci-fi scenario gone hilariously wrong? Let us know by writing us at

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The Fiat 500e is a tiny, affordable EV that’s only emission is classical music



The Fiat 500e is a tiny, affordable EV that’s only emission is classical music

Stellantis announced the all-new 2024 Fiat 500e, a tiny, affordable electric car that could be the perfect antidote to all those oversized, bloated electric SUVs and trucks that are coming out soon. The tiny EV will be available in North America in early 2024.

The Fiat 500e is a great example of the kind of vehicle that makes a lot of sense for cities and maybe even some suburbs. It’s electric, so it won’t spew pollution into the air. It’s small, so it takes up less space and is, on balance, less dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who share the road.

The Fiat 500e is a great example of the kind of vehicle that makes a lot of sense for cities and maybe even some suburbs

Starting at $34,095, the Fiat 500e will squeeze 149 miles of range out of a 42 kWh battery pack, which sounds paltry compared to many long-range EVs on the market today. But when you consider the type of person who might be interested in this EV, and the type of driving, the range estimate starts to make more sense.

What the Fiat 500e lacks in range and cargo space, it makes up for in charm. The 500e apparently includes a feature called the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System, which is the standard low-speed audio warning that’s required of all EVs — with an Italian twist. The low-speed audio alert is actually a classical composition called “The sound of 500,” written by Flavio Ibba and Marco Gualdi.


“The exclusive melody gives a taste of Italian culture during the first moments of every drive,” the company said.

The Fiat 500e won’t tear up the track, necessarily, with 117 horsepower and 162 lb. ft. of torque. The little EV can accelerate 0–60 mph in 8.5 seconds — not necessarily anything to write home about, but again, perfect for what we’re talking about here.

The price might also be questionable. I can already hear Tesla fans in the comments noting that a Model 3, with over 250 miles of range and a lot more space, can be had for around the same price. But Fiat is trying to make it worthwhile by tossing in a free Level 2 home charger from its subsidiary Free2Move.

The 500e can only accept a max of 85 kW of charging, which means no ultra-fast DC charging. That translates to 31 miles of range in five minutes, or 80 percent in 35 minutes.

The most important specification for the 500e is its weight: a skinny 3,000 lbs. Stellantis predicts that this makes it “the lightest passenger [battery electric vehicle] in the segment.” That makes the 500e around the same size as the discontinued BMW i3, which for a long time was the reining champ in lightweight EVs.


EVs are generally heavier than gas-powered vehicles because of added battery weight. Automakers are making this worse by prioritizing the heaviest segments like SUVs and trucks. Smaller, more efficient EVs could help address the bloat in the segment, as well as help address other crucial issues, like battery material scarcity.

The Fiat 500e will feature three drive modes: Normal, Range, and Sherpa, which maximizes energy efficiency by limiting the top speed to 50 mph and reducing power from 87 kWh to 57 kWh. Lightweight and low speed? Be still my beating heart.

Of course, the Fiat 500e is not for everyone. And given how SUV-and-truck-pilled American car buyers are these days, Stellantis will have its work cut out for it. But the Fiat 500e may arrive at the right time. Smart cars are hard to find these days, thanks to many automakers declining to sell them in North America.

But Fiat, with a parent company that makes more than enough revenue from the aforementioned truck and SUV segments, can afford to test the waters for small, lightweight EVs. Could it be that Americans, pummeled by increasingly menacing-looking trucks and bulletproof EVs, could be ready to go small again?

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The Verge’s favorite holiday gifts under $100



The Verge’s favorite holiday gifts under $100

Apple EarPods with USB-C

Here’s a fun fact: Apple’s wired earbuds still feature some of the best-sounding mics you can get for taking phone calls outside of a professional microphone. What’s more, they’re now available with one of three connectors — 3.5mm, Lightning, or USB-C — meaning your giftee will never have to worry about them dying midway through an important conversation.
Price: $17.98+

Baboon to the Moon Fannypack

You don’t need to lug around a full-on backpack if all you plan to carry with you is ChapStick, a phone, and a few other everyday essentials. Thankfully, there are space-saving alternatives like the Baboon to the Moon Fannypack, which offers three liters of space and comes in a colorful, spill-proof design that’s as unmistakable as it is durable.
Price: $35+

GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro Controller

GuliKit’s KingKong 2 Pro Controller looks a lot like Nintendo’s Pro controller, but its Hall effect sticks are drift-proof for better long-term reliability — something that’s especially handy for those that play their Nintendo Switch while docked. The gamepad offers a rubberized grip as well, and you can even rearrange the face buttons into an Xbox layout for playing on PC.
Price: $55.76

Nomad Stand

Although you can pick up a magnetic iPhone charger on Amazon for as little as $10, chances are it won’t be anywhere near as slick as Nomad’s latest MagSafe-compatible offering. The blacked-out charging stand offers slower 7.5W charging speeds, but it also features a glass panel and a sleek metal chassis that allows it to easily level up any desk setup.
Price: $80

REI Co-op Wallace Lake Flannel Shirt

The dream of the ’90s is alive at REI, apparently. The co-op’s handsome Wallace Lake Flannel is a hardy button-up that’s available in an assortment of retro-inspired patterns for both men and women, all of which exude lumberjack chic without ever requiring you to pick up a splitting maul and put in the actual work.
Price: $74.95

Amazfit Band 7

The number of premium features the Amazfit Band 7 offers for the price is kind of mind-boggling. For less than $50, you get a quality fitness tracker that nails the essentials while boasting abnormal heart rate notifications, stress tracking, and a nice OLED display. Add in 18 days of battery life, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a steal.
Price: $44.99+

Tekton Everybit Tech Rescue Kit

For a paltry $25, Tekton’s versatile Everybit Tech Rescue Kit provides you with everything you need to tune up your PC, iPhone, controllers, and most other gadgets. The 46-piece screwdriver kit is chock-full of tools — including a tweezer, a metal spudger, a suction cup, and a smorgasbord of quality bits — all of which lower the threshold for at-home tinkering.
Price: $24+

Echo Show 5 (third-gen)

Amazon’s third-gen Echo Show 5 is the ultimate bedside alarm clock. The 5.5-inch smart display is small enough that it won’t commandeer your entire nightstand, yet it still lets you easily catch up on the news, check the weather, and tap into whatever white noise lulls you to sleep best. Coqui frog sounds, anyone?
Price: $39.99

Epomaker TH80 Pro

The Epomaker TH80 is one of our favorite 75 percent mechanical keyboards. It’s fantastic to type on, it supports simultaneous Bluetooth connections, and it comes with hot-swappable switches that let you nail that perfect typing feel. The step-up Pro model is just as great, too, only it offers a slightly bigger battery and a few welcome functionality improvements.
Price: $80.99+

Black & Decker Furbuster

High-end robovacs with auto-empty docks and AI obstacle avoidance are great and all, but sometimes a classic handheld is all you need. Black & Decker’s rechargeable Furbuster is a great option for picking up fur, dirt, and other debris, especially since it offers a surprising amount of suction and an extra-long crevice tool for hitting those hard-to-reach areas.
Price: $74.93+

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Sony’s latest PlayStation 5 exclusive is all about dizzying cityscapes, emo angst, and the kind of web-slinging antics only Insomniac can conjure up. That is to say, it’s an excellent sequel, one that places you in control of not one but two spider-men as you take on Kraven, Venom, and a who’s who of classic Spider-Man villains. It’s superhero wish fulfillment at its finest.
Price: $69.99

Jabra Elite 4

It’s easy to overlook the Jabra Elite 4 given their sub-$100 competition — which is unfortunate given the wireless earbuds offer quite a lot for the money, including both ANC and multipoint. They’re just as reliable as the last-gen model, too, and unlike other Bluetooth buds, they aren’t locked into a single ecosystem.
Price: $59.99+

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12

There’s something magical about holding a photo seconds after capturing it, which is why Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 12 rules. The terrific instant camera is incredibly easy to use — just point and shoot — making it a great option for capturing card-size photos of family, friends, and anyone else your giftee wants to unwillingly subject to their artistic pursuits.
Price: $79+

UE Wonderboom 3

Nobody should be without a solid Bluetooth speaker, and the UE Wonderboom 3 remains an excellent option. The waterproof orb-shaped speaker is remarkably loud for its size, can last up to 14 hours on a single charge, and can pair with two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. The fact that it actually floats is just a plus.
Price: $79.99

Lego Piranha Plant

Over the last few years, Lego has launched a slew of clever botanical sets for adults that can add a touch of color to any room with absolutely no maintenance. The Lego Super Mario Piranha Plant is kind of like that, only it’s a posable 540-piece replica of one of Mario’s iconic baddies instead of a Welsh poppy or your run-of-the-mill larkspur.
Price: $59.99

Govee LED Strip Light M1 Matter

If you’re hoping to brighten a drab staircase to liven up your holiday party with some colorful lighting that can sync to the latest Bad Bunny track, Govee’s LED Strip Light M1 can provide. The tunable, ultrabright LED lights are also Matter-ready, so you can use them with Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, and any other Matter-compatible platform.

Price: $41.99+

L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins

Frigid days call for more than a decent pair of wool socks and a warm beverage. L.L.Bean’s sheepskin-lined moccasins live up to their name, though, providing something supremely cozy to slip into when the temperatures start to dip. The treaded mocs also come in several cuts and colors, ensuring they won’t look out of touch with the rest of your giftee’s wardrobe.
Price: $79.99+

Apple AirTag

Apple’s AirTags are becoming as ubiquitous as a set of keys — and for good reason. The handy ultra wideband item trackers are our go-to recommendation for Apple users thanks to their user-replaceable batteries and ability to tap into Apple’s extensive Find My network, which lets you and up to five others keep tabs on whatever belongings you can’t afford to live without.
Price: $27+

Secretly Society subscription

Assuming your loved one owns a turntable, a Secretly Society subscription is a more tangible way to give the gift of music. Each month they’ll receive a limited edition LP from one Secretly’s superb collection of labels (Dead Oceans, JagJaguwar, etc.), providing them with a new Angel Olsen, Slowdive, or Jason Molina LP to spin when they get tired of the ol’ Spotify algorithm.
Price: $75+

Amazon Kindle (2022)

If your giftee is a big reader, Amazon’s newest entry-level Kindle is the e-reader to buy. It has USB-C charging and a screen that’s as sharp as the display on the latest Kindle Paperwhite, yet it comes in a smaller, more affordable package. It even comes standard with 16GB of storage, which is more than enough for the average person’s reading collection.
Price: $99.99

Keith Haring Colorful Chess Set

When a board game has been around for as long as chess, style updates aren’t just inevitable, they’re welcome. MoMA’s gorgeous Keith Haring-inspired set features colorful humans, barking dogs, and other iconographic pieces adapted from some of the artist’s most famous works, all lacquered and offset by Haring’s trademark black outlines.
Price: $49.50+

Backbone One mobile controller (USB-C)

The PlayStation Portal may be the hot new PS5 accessory, but the Backbone One remains a more versatile gadget for playing mobile games and tapping into Xbox Game Pass and Remote Play. Not only does the mobile controller accommodate both Android and Apple devices, depending on the model, but it also features a 3.5mm audio jack, dual analog sticks, and its own software for capturing screenshots.
Price: $74.99

A Psalm for the Wild-Built

BookTok recs can be hit or miss, but the first book in Becky Chambers’ cozy Monk & Robot series is a certified hit if there ever was one. It’s a surprisingly philosophical and optimistic sci-fi novella as told through a series of quiet conversations between a wandering monk and a sentient robot who can’t help but ponder life’s biggest questions.
Price: $11.99+

Ring Pet Tag

The Ring Pet Tag doesn’t feature GPS tracking, Bluetooth, or any newfangled features. What it does offer is a simple QR code, which lets any good Samaritan who happens upon your pet start a two-way conversation with you or look up any relevant health info you want to provide on your furry friend. It even shields your personal info in the process, something traditional dog tags don’t allow.
Price: $9.99


There’s something special about gifting an analog game like Kendama in the age of Fortnite — even more so when you consider that the Japanese toy has changed little since it was first developed hundreds of years ago. The cup-and-ball game remains easy to learn but difficult to master, too, making it a good fit for anyone looking to hone a skill over time.
Price: $34.99

EWA The New MagOne

There are plenty of PopSockets alternatives out there, but we’ve found EWA’s The New MagOne to offer the perfect blend of form and function. It’s a relatively thin accessory with a built-in kickstand and a loop for your finger, yet it’s also compatible with Apple’s MagSafe tech so you don’t have to worry about tossing it on an iPhone charger.
Price: $18.99+

Red/White Verge Waffle Beanie

It’s time we all admit that we’re living in the golden age of honeycomb weaves. These days, nearly every piece of clothing you can imagine is available in some sort of waffle fabric, including The Verge’s latest beanie. It’s a great little skullcap, if we do say so ourselves, with an excellent logo and a solid warmth-to-weight ratio.
Price: $34.99

Mpowerd Luci Solar String Lights: Color

Mpowerd’s solar-powered string lights are perfect if your giftee is brave enough to camp in the fall or host a backyard shindig (weather permitting). Not only can the 18-foot string dish out six different colors and last up to 15 hours on a single charge but it also doubles as a portable charger that will let your loved one top off their phone as needed.
Price: $30.25+

The Diversity of Life

It’s hard to scoff at a proper collector’s edition. The Folio take on The Diversity of Life is a great case in point, one that adds an extra level of gravitas to E.O. Wilson’s thoughtful examination of the origins of biodiversity and the dangers humans pose to it. It’s loaded with stunning illustrations and blocked in iridescent foil, rendering it a great fit for any budding naturalist.
Price: $95

Pinecil portable soldering iron

If someone you know still uses a basic soldering iron that looks like it was bought at RadioShack to repair their electronics, it’s time for an upgrade. Luckily, the Pinecil is a fairly inexpensive gadget that heats up in seconds, has a tiny OLED display for dialing in your exact temperature, and can be powered using either a DC adapter or USB-C.
Price: $25.99+

Monopoly Deal

No one has time for Monopoly. Fortunately, the fast-paced Monopoly Deal takes the best parts of everyone’s favorite capitalist-driven board game and distills the mechanics down to the bare fundamentals. There are still properties to be bought and plenty of backstabbing to be had, though, this time around, the entire thing takes 15 minutes.
Price: $4.99+

Le Creuset London Mugs (six-pack)

Le Creuset’s Dutch oven has been a cast iron icon for so long that it’s easy to dismiss everything else the French cookware giant has done since. That’s a shame considering the company’s hefty stoneware mugs are just as classic and far more affordable, which is probably why they’ve made the wish list of several Verge staffers this year.
Price: $79.95+

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This $1,000 card can store a message in DNA



This $1,000 card can store a message in DNA

DNA data storage might sound like a far-off solution. But a startup called Biomemory is bringing it a little closer to reality with the release of new DNA cards that anyone can purchase — if you have $1,000 to blow.

DNA has emerged as a theoretical alternative to hard drives, SSDs, and other forms of digital data storage, namely because of its impressive lifespan. Science estimates the technology could potentially last hundreds of thousands of years if stored in a cool, dry environment. That’s a heck of a lot longer than the lifespan of your average hard drive, which typically tops out at around five years.

Biomemory’s DNA cards promise a “minimum” lifespan of 150 years. The $1,000 price tag includes two identical cards, each of which comes with one kilobyte of storage. That amounts to around the length of a short email, according to Wired’s profile of the company, so you can’t expect to store a trove of photos, videos, and documents with the card just yet. Still, it’s the closest we’ve seen to making DNA storage available to consumers.

This storage system works by converting digital information to the elements that make up DNA: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). You can see how this might work on the “DNA Translate” feature at the bottom of this Biomemory webpage, which shows how a line of text might be converted to a string of A’s, C’s, G’s, and T’s.

After the encoding process, Biomemory creates a unique strand of DNA by “chemically synthesizing it base by base to match the desired sequence” — a process that takes about eight hours for one kilobyte of data, according to Wired. From there, Biomemory dries out the data and sticks it on the circular chip on its DNA card, which Wired says is sealed to keep out oxygen.


We’re still pretty far away from capitalizing on all the possibilities DNA storage has to offer

When you’re ready to retrieve the data, you must send in one of the two DNA cards to Biomemory’s partners at Eurofins Genomics. You’ll then receive your string of A’s, C’s, G’s, and T’s by email that you can decode using Biomemory’s DNA translation feature. You won’t get the card back after the data has been decoded, which is why you get a copy. The card is effectively useless if you don’t send it to the lab (or happen to have a DNA sequencer on hand).

“After years of talk about the potential of molecular computing, we are incredibly proud to bring the first DNA data storage product to market, that not only pushes the boundaries of innovation but also aligns with our commitment to environmental sustainability and efficiency,” Biomemory CEO Erfane Arwani says in a statement. You can sign up for Biomemory’s waitlist now, with orders expected to ship in January.

We’re still pretty far away from capitalizing on all the possibilities DNA storage has to offer. As estimated in this report from Science, one gram of DNA can hold a whopping 215 petabytes — or around 215 million gigabytes — in a container that has roughly the same size and weight as two pickup trucks. But until we move past needing hours of lab work on both ends, DNA storage will likely be stuck as an experiment storing music videos, short clips, photos, or small lines of text.

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