The week in gadgets: Google Glass at NYFW and HP’s new Windows 8 PCs

10 Sep 2012

Designer Diane von Furstenberg backstage at her NYFW show wearing Google Glass. Image via DVF on Google+

A look at gadget happenings, as Google Glass takes to the catwalk, HP introduces four new Windows 8 desktop PCs, and TomTom teams up with BMW for an integrated in-car navigation system.

Google Glass takes on New York Fashion Week

Microsoft isn’t the only tech giant getting involved with this year’s New York Fashion Week to showcase its wearable tech innovations. Google’s Project Glass wowed the front row at Diane von Furstenberg’s spring 2013 show, showing that wearable tech can be high fashion.

So far we’ve seen Google’s CEO Larry Page, co-founder Sergey Brin and a group of skydivers wearing Google’s computing spectacles, but now they’ve become a fashion must-have after models at the DVF Spring 2012 show at NYFW strutted down the catwalk sporting the glasses, and beaming back live images from the show to the brand’s Google+ page. The show ended with von Furstenberg and Brin walking down the runway wearing the glasses.

Designer von Furstenberg wore the glasses to record preparations for the show through her own eyes, and a short film of this footage, DVF Through Glass, will be released on DVF’s Google+ page and Google’s YouTube channel on 13 September.

HP reveals new all-in-one PCs

HP’s latest desktop all-in-one PCs come with the latest OS from Microsoft, Windows 8, though not all take full advantage of the platform’s touchscreen capabilities. The HP Spectre One comes with a 23.6-inch full-HD display, but users won’t be putting their grubby mitts on this screen as it ships with a wireless touchpad instead. It seems that in creating its thinnest all-in-one PC at less than half an inch thick, HP had to make some sacrifices.

HP Spectre One

That said, the high-end PC still comes with Intel’s latest processors, an Nvidia 1GB graphics card, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a Beats Audio headphone jack and up to 2TB of storage. It’s also NFC-enabled so users can simply tap another NFC-enabled device to the base of the computer to transfer files.

HP Envy 23 TouchSmart

For users that would rather get hands-on with Windows 8, the HP Envy 23 TouchSmart and Envy 20 TouchSmart all-in-ones feature 23-inch and 20-inch HD multi-touch displays, respectively. Both computers also come with third-generation Intel processors, Beats Audio, NFC technology, up to 3TB of storage and optional discrete graphics.

HP Pavilion 20

For tighter budgets, HP also introduced the Pavilion 20, featuring a 20-inch HD display. Again, the Pavilion 20 doesn’t come with touchscreen, but it does come with Beats Audio, a choice of an Intel or AMD processor and up to 2TB of storage.

As well as its new Windows 8 desktops, HP previously revealed three notebooks with multi-touch display using the latest Microsoft platform: the HP Envy x2, an NFC-enabled tablet/notebook convertible with an optional stylus; HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook and HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4.

TomTom gets cosy with BMW

TomTom has partnered up with BMW to integrate its GO LIVE navigation devices in selected models of BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, X1 and X3 cars. The devices, which are mounted to the dashboard, are specially designed to connect with the existing in-car entertainment system via an active dock. This way, directions and hands-free calls are fed through the car’s speaker system and all other audio is temporarily muted to ensure clarity.

BMW owners can visit dealers across Europe to have the customised TomTom device installed. The 5-inch touchscreen display makes seeing maps and operating the device easier for drivers and, being that it’s from TomTom, the devices come with services like IQ Routes, advanced lane guidance, access to MyTomTom, maps of 45 European countries, and HD Traffic, TomTom’s real-time traffic information that was recently updated to provide more precise information on roadworks, road closures and traffic jam locations.

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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.