The week in gadgets: cheap motion capture, 512GB SD storage and a selfie hat

15 Sep 2014

The Selfie Hat by Acer UK and Christian Cowan-Sanluis

A look at gadget happenings, as Acer takes wearable tech to London Fashion Week, SanDisk creates its highest-capacity SD card, and a crowdfunded project makes motion capture affordable.

Perception Neuron captures Kickstarter funds

Beijing-based Noitom claims to have developed the world’s smallest adaptive motion capture system for virtual reality and visual effects applications.

Perception Neuron is a system made up of fingertip-sized nine-axis inertial measurement units (IMUs) called Neurons, plus a hub to collect and transmit the motion-capture data, and straps to fit the system to the hands and body.

The project sought crowdfunding on Kickstarter, offering a basic 10-Neuron package for a remarkably affordable starting price of US$200.

Perception Neuron motion capture system
The Perception Neuron motion-capture system

Perception Neuron became the most-funded Kickstarter project to come out of China and its original target of US$250,000 was smashed when the campaign closed on 13 September with over US$570,000.

Potential uses for a simple, affordable motion-capture system span the fields of animation, VFX, game interaction, virtual reality, robotics, sport analysis, medical analysis and even real-time stage performance.

The system comes ready-to-play out of the box with virtual-reality games, motion-capture software and SDKs for OS X, Windows, Unity and Oculus Rift. Kickstarter backers can expect delivery in February 2015.

SanDisk packs 512GB into an SD card

SanDisk has created an SD card capable of storing 512GB of data – its highest capacity ever.

Over the course of ten years, SanDisk has increased its SD card storage from 512MB to 512GB as demand increases for portable storage options capable of handling Ultra-HD content.

The 512GB SD card is aimed at film-makers shooting in 4K which, at four-times the resolution of standard HD, results in much higher file sizes with a minute of footage taking up to 5GB of space.

SD cards are perhaps the most widely used flash storage option, with most digital cameras, camcorders and mobile devices coming equipped with an SD or micro-SD slot. For a full-size SD card with the maximum 512GB, the price has been set at US$800.

Farewell, iPod Classic

In October 2001, Apple unveiled the first ever iPod, giving music fans the ability to carry their entire digital music library in their pocket.

Numerous iterations later, the original iPod became the iPod Classic and reached a generous 160GB storage capacity – but, sadly, this device is no more.

Without announcement or ceremony, Apple killed off the iconic original as it launched its latest iPhones and the Apple Watch. Now, the best consumers can get from Apple is a 64GB iPod Touch.

160GB iPod Classic

The 160GB iPod Classic

As the most revolutionary music device since the Sony Walkman (and, like the Walkman, one that became the default name for any device in its category), the iPod Classic is an iconic gadget with a swathe of reverential fans.

Selfie Hat storms Fashion Week

Moving on from the Apple Watch announcement, the latest in wearable tech came from London Fashion Week where a collaboration between Acer and designer Christian Cowan-Sanluis resulted in the Selfie Hat.

The sparkling pink wide-brimmed hat comes with an Acer Iconia Tab 8 tablet dangling from it, for always-on access to selfies.

A concept piece, the hat is just on show for Fashion Week, which ends tomorrow, and the design is a nod to an outfit Cowan-Sanluis previously made for Lady Gaga.

For those front-row fashionistas taken with the glittering pink accessory, Cowan-Sanluis also designed a limited-edition complementary case for the Iconia Tab 8, which is topped off with a hat of its own. Divine.

Selfie Hat by Christian Cowan-Sanluis and Acer UK

Designer Christian Cowan-Sanluis and the Acer Selfie Hat

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.