Friday, March 8, 2013

Gadgets for 2013

Posted by K.NAVNEETHA RAO at 10:01 AM

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Gadgets, eh. What will they think of next? In my mid thirties I do my best to keep up – but this is more for necessity than to look hip. But then again ‘hip’ is no longer a groovy word is it? And neither is groovy! I think I’ll stop trying…
I speak as someone who grew up in the eighties, using a BBC computer with an amazing 32k memory! It was loaded with software by a cassette or floppy disk; the only mouse to be seen was perhaps scuttling around my feet under the desk inside my ancient Hogwarts-style school…far from palm-sized handy smartphones, tablets that we have today.
Fast-forward 30 years, and what has technology brought us? Here are a few gadgets from The Consumer Electronics Show 2013 that have caught my attention:
Pentax MX-5

MX-1 retro point-and-shoot from Pentax

I remember the days of dial phones and good old fashioned film cameras. Now I want our old cameras back! Good news: The MX-1 is just that – but without film. It has a fast f/1.8-f/2.5 lens for low-light shooting and a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor. What’s more, it has a retro, 1980s-style body. It’s a hit with me – I’m sold!

The Trakdot from Globaltrac

The Trakdot from Globaltrac

Losing your luggage is always a very annoying experience. That’s why Globaltrac has developed its diminutive GSM-powered device, Trakdot, which can be placed in your baggage. The device tracks where luggage is in the world if, for example, you fly to New York and your baggage travels to Sydney. It’s handy knowing where your luggage is – yet there’s still the hassle of getting it back. All we need now is to invent intelligent luggage that can book itself on the next flight back home.

Vuzix - M100 glasses

Vuzix – M100 glasses

Smart glasses? Hang-on. I’ve only just gotten used to my smartphone! In a bid to beat Google’s Project Glass, Vuzix’s M100 smartglasses are actually wearable computers. The headset, powered by Android, sits just under the eye and is controlled by a Bluetooth from a smartphone app. Unsure what the aim is here. X-ray vision or ice-melting sight perhaps? Sounds really fun though!

FitBit's Flex Wireless Activity Sleep Wristband

FitBit’s Flex Wireless Activity Sleep Wristband

My memory of having my fitness monitored when I was young was having the PE teacher bark at me like a drill instructor. Today it appears manufacturers are hell-bent on appealing to our own conscience to keep ourselves fit. The Flex Wireless Activity Sleep Wristband does the lot: it tracks the steps you’ve taken; distance covered; calories burned and even your sleep quality – all from the comfort of an iPhone or Android.

Flexible e-paper tablets

Flexible e-paper tablets

I grew up and graduated on PC monitors at least a foot cubed. Nowadays, ‘the slimmer the better’ is on the lips of many. Researchers at Canada’s Queen’s University have created a 10.7-inch flexible e-ink display, known as the PaperTab. On paper (I couldn’t resist the pun) and in reality the device is about as thin as can be. Bend and earmark the page to navigate, as opposed to swiping like most devices.

Thinkpad Helix

ThinkPad Helix from Lenovo

When is a laptop not a laptop? Answer: When it has a detachable screen?  Tablets and laptops continue to join forces in interesting ways. The ThinkPad Helix from Lenovo, a Windows 8 notebook, allows you to snap off the screen to use as a tablet.
So, what do you think? This is what they did think of next. Whether you consider them gainful gadgets or useful articles, one way to spread the cost could by using a credit card (17.9% APR variable, subject to change).
As far as age and technology are concerned, I’m still waiting for someone to invent a time machine so I can go back in time and play games consoles without my kids beating me…. Anyone have a DeLorean?
This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.

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