Gadgets of the month

30 Apr 2012

Project Glass (Image by Project Glass on Google+)

We take a look back at some of the biggest gadget news this month and look ahead at what’s to come.

Vodafone Ireland Gadgets of the Month is made possible by Vodafone Ireland


This month…

Google’s concept AR glasses – ‘Project Glass’

Google unveiled its concept for augmented reality eyewear which feeds users information on the weather, social networking, video calls, IMing, transport information and much more.

Called ‘Project Glass,’ it displays information to the user through the heads-up display and runs on Android. It also released a video showing how the glasses could be used.

The concept attracted a lot of attention, with many speculating on its possible uses.

Not only that, but Google said it would sell it at a price between US$250 to US$600, which is about the same cost as an average smartphone. Will this be the next big thing in personal tech or is it too outlandish to appeal to the average consumer?

Instagram, Instagram, Instagram

Instagram became one of the most talked about apps of the month, with a little help from Facebook. And by ‘little help,’ we mean ‘US$1bn acquisition.’

The photo-sharing app also attracted attention earlier this month when it released its app for Android, moving from being an iOS-exclusive app.

Instagram debuted on the iOS App Store in November 2010 and gained 1m members in a month. During April 2012, it gained a whopping 10m more members in 10 days, making its total membership amount to 40m.

Nikon’s next digital SLR camera – the D3200

Nikon showed off its latest entry-level DSLR camera, the D3200, which features a 24.2-megapixel sensor and an EXPEED 3 processor.

It’s equipped with ISO range of 100 to 6,400, which is extendable to the equivalent of 12,800 and has an 11-point autofocus system. It can also film 1080p video footage.

Beyond its image-capturing capabilities, the Nikon D3200 can wirelessly transmit images to Android smartphones and tablets – without needing a Wi-Fi connection.

It can do this with an optional wireless mobile adaptor, letting users preview the live-view screen and trigger the shutter from their Android phone. An iOS version will arrive in autumn.

The Nikon D3200 will be available from the middle of May 2012.

Coming soon…

The next Samsung Galaxy S phone

The biggest gadget news of the next month is bound to be Samsung’s next Galaxy S device, which is set to be unveiled on 3 May.

Rumours have been circulating around the spec of the Samsung’s next flagship Android smartphone. The latest come from an Amazon Germany leak, which suggest the smartphone could have a 4.7-inch screen, a 12-megapixel camera, and may run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Of course, nothing will be confirmed until 3 May, when Samsung unveils the new device in London.

Apple and Samsung CEOs to meet for patent settlement talks

Could Apple and Samsung’s smartphone patent battles be approaching an end? Things are looking a bit more positive after Apple and Samsung’s CEOs were ordered to meet for settlement talks within the next 90 days.

The two tech giants have engaged in numerous patent disputes across the globe, each seeking to block the sale of the other’s products over alleged infringements which include design and wireless technology. There have been cases in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Of course, the fact the two CEOs have been ordered to talk may mean the discussions may not result in much. Still, during Apple’s recent financial results, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he “hated litigation” and he would “highly prefer to settle versus battle.” Will this mean these lawsuits are reaching their conclusions? Watch this space.

Vodafone Ireland Gadgets of the Month is made possible by Vodafone Ireland