Three new pieces of consumer kit were revealed/hinted at/drip marketed this week, all from companies trying to play catch-up with the market leaders. All three have recognised that social interaction is the buzz for this 20teen decade and have introduced elements to make creating and sharing content that much easier.
Sony are desperate to be considered a big player in the gaming market, having fallen behind the popularity of the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox. The Japanese once-giant hasn’t made a profit in four years, but they’re hoping to be back in the black this year. The new PS4 has handily dispensed with a lot of features – a price, a launch date and the blindest idea of what the console will look like, but these are mere technicalities. The two big features are a Share button, which allows users to copy their last few minutes’ gaming action and post it on social media sites so you can rub your mates’ noses in it and a TiVo-esque intuitive game suggestion feature which recognises the games you play the most and recommends others for you to buy. How thoughtful. More detail expected in June and the PS4 should be in the shops for Christmas.
It’s been a couple of years since the excitement of the Flame and the Desire, but I've been tired recently and I blame two small children and a busy work schedule. Enough about my marital problems, what about HTC’s latest release?
It looks like the Taiwanese company are making the One’s camera the central feature, with a new zoetrope feature, handily called the Zoe. She’s a nice girl who, when you take a photo, also takes three seconds of video which can then be linked together with others to form a 30-second film clip. This can then be uploaded to social media sites so you can share your trip to the zoo/wedding/GBH court hearing with your family and friends.
The 4-megapixel camera on the One works best in low light making it an asset for quick indoor shots and it’s these features which it is hoping will trump its current rivals, the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy III.
Google Chromebook Pixel/Google Glass
The public has been reticent in taking up Google’s laptop, so they've added touch screen… for no apparent reason. If you want touch screen, you get a tablet. I’m writing this on a laptop, and I haven’t had the urge to touch the screen once. Yep, there I go, not touching the screen again.
One thing that might be offputting is the fact that the Chromebook stores all your data in the cloud and there is no local storage option. We’re a cautious lot when push comes to shove and, ironically, we want to be able to get our hands on our virtual content. This can be overcome by backing up on a USB or portable hard drive, but that’s just doing accepted wisdom in reverse rather than bucking the trend and attempting something new.
What’s more interesting is the release of Google Glass, which is that one step closer to us all becoming androids or Seven From Nine. They’re currently available for around £1000 each (and you have to live in the US and enter a competition which involves suggesting uses for the specs in a cynical-lack-of-paid-for-research move just to be able to buy a pair). The glasses can take video, photos, show web content, stream the viewer’s point of view to a video call and other… er… visual things that replicate the wearer’s POV. They look fun, but as a non-spec wearer myself I’m wondering if I want to wear a pair of Google Goggles as I go about my daily business. I would imagine that glass wearers see their specs as a necessary but unwanted expense which they’d be rid of if they could – hence the rise in contact lenses and laser eye surgery. I think I may go cool and wait for the Google Ray Bans or Monogle.
And remember, for all your latest technology needs, SpecTronics UK are always on hand to give you free, unbiased help and advice.