The week in gadgets: Oculus Crystal Cove, Sony Flip PC 11a, Lumus DK 40 glasses and LG G Flex smartphone

13 Jan 2014

The Oculus Rift Crystal Cove in action

CES 2014 has come and gone and with it we round up some of the gadgets that impressed spectators and experts alike.

Oculus Crystal Cove

If The Lawnmower Man was a real character, he would have surely used an Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset.

Having started off as a Kickstarter project back in 2012, the team behind the Oculus Rift have been trying to make the technology that has fascinated game designers and gamers alike for over two decades, become a reality.

While their initial prototype wowed critics two years ago, the team have now shown off their latest incarnation of the VR kit called the ‘Crystal Cove’.

The new headset features a 1080p OLED display which has been implemented to fix some of the issues with motion-blur on the first prototype as it featured a more basic LED screen.

Perhaps the most impressive feature are the even greater improvements to the personal tracking system. While the previous version tracked your head movements from left to right, the Crystal Cove will also track movement when you lean backwards or forwards for that feeling of full immersion.

A release date is yet to be announced but it is expected to b released towards the end of this year.

Sony Flip PC 11a

Flip 11a

Another month, another tablet. Sony is putting itself in the tablet market once again with the release of a growing number of half-tablet/half-laptop design with a flippable keyboard.

The Flip PC features a very impressive TRILUMINOS display for mobile and their equally impressive ClearAudio+ technology.  

It also features a front-facing camera and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera is powered by Exmor R for PC and Exmor RS for PC image sensors developed by Sony.

For designers, the tablet comes with a pressure-pad pen which Sony believe will be ideal, particularly on Adobe Photoshop.

It is due for release in the coming weeks and is priced on their website starting from US$799.

Lumus DK 40 glasses

Lumus glasses

While Google Glass has been getting most of the attention in terms of smartglasses, Lumus will be releasing their own pair of super spectacles sometime this year. For the last few years the company has been developing heads-up displays for the US military but sees a chance to make a break in the consumer market. With a more stylish appearance than its Google competitor, the DK 40 differs from it in terms of there being no hardware actually included in the lenses but rather in the right-hand side frame which uses its optical engine.

The DK 40 features a slightly better resolution display coming in at 640 x 480 in comparison with the Glass’s 640 x 360.

For those looking to use it on their morning run, the glasses includes a gyroscope, accelerometer and a compass for a complete body monitoring system, something which Google Glass does not. The downsize is that it will run a basic Android OS 4.1.2 with no ability to personalise format on the go and must be done through a traditional computer.

No price has been announced but it is due for release in April.

LG G Flex smartphone

LG G Flex

The perils of dropping a smartphone are known to most people now as genuinely cracked screens have almost become the most popular screensaver.

LG however have being showing off its latest creation, a smartphone that is curved and bendable.

In a release that is certainly to give it a fighting chance in the smartphone market, the LG also comes with some impressive spec that makes it more than just a technological experiment in design.

It features a large 6in OLED screen with RGB HD capabilities as well as a 13megapixel forward-facing HD camera for the photographers out there.

Processing power is also rather powerful as it comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Processor which is capable of handing multiple apps at any one time. Storage is at a hefty 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of eMMC memory.

The question everyone will ask however is, how does it actually bend. According to its full specifications, the phone can be bent flat up to 180 degrees for a limited period of time only so don’t expect to be creating your first phone origami with the G Flex but it’s an impressive step forward in bendable technology none the less.

It might be out of reach for most people however as LG announced that it will cost an eye-watering €965 in Ireland when it is released sometime this spring.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic