The week in gadgets: featuring Nikon’s credit card-sized camera and an iPad typewriter (video)

27 Aug 2012

Nikon Coolpix S01

A look at gadget happenings, as Nikon launches a camera the size of a credit card, LG braces us with details on its forthcoming smartphone release, Tactus Technology work on a touchscreen with physical buttons, and a design student brings a vintage touch to the iPad.

Nikon’s new fun-size camera

The Nikon Coolpix S01 is an ultra-compact camera with a body about the size of a credit card, if not slightly smaller. Fitting into the palm of your hand, the device packs in plenty of features, too, with a 3x optical zoom wide-angle 29-87mm Nikkor lens, 10.1MP CCD image sensor and 2.5-inch touchscreen display. While there’s no room for an SD card slot, the S01 makes up for it with 7.3GB of internal memory capable of storing up to 3,000 images. The camera can also capture 720p HD video and comes with a range of creative imaging effects.

LG’s Optimus G is on the way

LG is readying itself to release what it says is its most technologically advanced device to date: the new Optimus G smartphone. The device comes as a collaboration from LG Electronics, LG Chem, LG Display and LG Innotek and will be the first quad-core LTE smartphone featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. Longer battery life, a thinner profile, a display clearer than AMOLED and new touchscreen technology are all promised by the new device, which is expected for release in autumn.

Touchscreen gets more tactile

Tactus Technology is developing new touchscreen technology that will allow dynamic physical buttons to appear when needed and recede back into the screen when not in use. This Tactile Layer could eliminate the need for keyboard attachments, and may also be a preference for users who miss the tactile touch of pressing actual buttons.

The layout, shape, location and size of the dynamic buttons can be customised and isn’t just limited to the QWERTY keypad layout. The Tactile Layer works with existing touchscreen technology and uses minimal power in operation.

Tactus have partnered with manufacturers of smartphones, remote controls, medical devices, tablets, laptops, games consoles and all sorts of devices, and aims to have the first products available with this technology by mid-2013.


The iPad gets a typewriter throwback

Austin Yang, a product and industrial designer currently studying at the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), recently showcased his iTypewriter prototype at the university’s 2012 Degree Show. Part of Yang’s work on renovating vintage of equipment, the iTypewriter holds a user’s iPad in place so that the hammers will tap the corresponding characters on the touchscreen when the typewriter keys are pressed.


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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.