Gadgets of the month: IFA announcements, iPhone mania and Nest in Ireland

29 Sep 2014

Image via joingate/Shutterstock

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

Tech fans salivate at Apple’s new devices

Apple was the chief headline-grabber when it came to gadget news this month. Anticipation for its latest devices was at fever pitch at the start of September as eager fans started queuing up outside the iPhone-maker’s flagship store in New York City even before anything had been announced.

On 9 September, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus were unveiled, along with Apple’s first wearable device, the Apple Watch. Apple also revealed Apple Pay, a mobile payments system which uses a dedicated NFC chip called the Secure Element.

iPhone 6

Reaction to the announcements from Tim Cook et al was borderline Pavlovian – Stephen Fry even confessed that he was ‘beyond drooling’ at the event. Pre-ordering began with fervour and sites crashed under the demand. According to Apple, 4m iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones were ordered within 24 hours.

Due to the nature of the International Date Line, stores in Australia were the first to open up sales of the highly anticipated iPhone 6 on 19 September, which proved too much to handle for the first customer at the Apple Store in Perth.

In Ireland, the new iPhones were released on 26 September, and the Apple-mania doesn’t stop there. Reports claim that there’s another Apple launch event coming on 21 October. Brace yourselves.

Gadgets galore from Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and more

This Apple-induced fog has obscured many of the gadget announcements from earlier this month at IFA Berlin.

Samsung’s focus shifted away from smartphones for a moment and the South Korean device manufacturer showcased its new Galaxy Note range, which includes the screen-extending Galaxy Note Edge as well as the Galaxy Note 4, which has found an alternative use as the display for the Samsung Gear VR headset.

Sony took the wraps off an E-mount lens attachment for smartphone photography, as well as its new Xperia Z3 smartphone and tablet range, the SmartWatch 3 and the SmartBand Talk.

Sony reveals new Xperia Z3 range and wearable devices

Microsoft’s IFA announcement brought new Lumia devices to the table, including a lower-cost flagship Lumia 830, coming in at around €330.

Other gadget reveals this month included Dyson’s robot vacuum cleaner, coming to consumers in 2015; Motorola’s new Moto range, which includes two smartphones, the 360 smartwatch and the Hint earbud; and HTC’s Desire 820 smartphone with an 8MP front-facing camera.

Nest comes to Ireland

Big news for Irish homes came with the announcement that smart appliance-maker Nest would make its products available in Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

The release of the smart thermostat and smoke alarm from Nest, a company which was bought by Google for US$3.2bn, brings the internet of things to European homes and can potentially take these devices into the mainstream.

John Kennedy went hands-on with the smart appliances, which are available now at Harvey Norman stores throughout Ireland as well as online through Google Play and the Nest website.

First look at the Nest Learning Thermostat:

First look at the Nest Learning Thermostat

First look at the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm:

First look at the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm

Main gadgets image by joingate via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic