The week in gadgets: promising concepts from Socialmatic and Laura Sapiens

11 Mar 2013

Concept image of the Polaroid Socialmatic by ADR Studio

A look at gadget happenings, as the Socialmatic digital camera concept snaps up the Polaroid brand, Sony introduces three new compact cameras, Panasonic brings us a new wearable camcorder, and Italian start-up Laura Sapiens succeeds in crowd-funding a hardworking mouse.

Polaroid Socialmatic coming in 2014

Socialmatic is a concept camera devised by ADR Studio that aims to revolutionise digital photography. The Android-based compact camera is designed to shoot images that can be shared instantly on various social networks and also printed instantly, like a Polaroid. Recently, ADR Studio announced that a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with C&A Licensing will allow it to use the Polaroid brand, so expect the Polaroid Socialmatic to arrive next year.

Detailed specifications will be revealed in the coming months, but what we know so far is that each printed photo will have an adhesive strip and a QR code linking to its virtual equivalent. It will come with 16GB of internal storage, which will be expandable via an SD card slot, and it will be enabled for 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Sony’s new super-compact cameras

Speaking of digital cameras, we now have three new Cyber-shot compact cameras from Sony, all of which feature an Exmor R CMOS sensor, Sony’s Superior Auto technology and Advanced Flash to better light far-away subjects.

The WX300 claims to be the world’s smallest and lightest compact, while its small body packs in 20x optical zoom, enhanced image stabilisation, fast autofocus and Wi-Fi connectivity, and is able to take up to 500 snaps from a single charge.

The HX300 has a DSLR-like body and manual controls, featuring a 50x optical zoom (which is among the highest for a compact camera), enhanced image stabilisation and fast autofocus. It also comes with a coating on the lens to reduce reflections and lens flare.

Finally, the TX30 is said to be the world’s slimmest compact camera, and this dinky device is also waterproof to 10m, freezeproof and shockproof. It features 5x optical zoom plus a Magnifying Glass Plus mode that enables 15x zoom, and is capable of full-HD video recording.


All three cameras are available now for pre-order, reaching general release in Europe this month.

Hands-free shooting – no helmet required

Sticking with imaging devices, Panasonic has a new full-HD wearable camcorder coming to us this April: the HX-A100. This compact, lightweight, waterproof and dustproof camcorder features built-in Wi-Fi, an f2.5 lens, BSI sensor and Advanced Image Processing LSI. Image stabilisation technology and Level Shot, which automatically corrects tilted images, helps to keep your shots steady, and remote recording through a mobile device is enabled via the Wi-Fi connection.

Panasonic HX-A100

The HX-A100 can shoot 1,920 x 1,080 video at 6fps, 1,280 x 720 at 120 fps or 640 x 360 at 240fps. A multi-mount option is available but you can also get a specially designed Earhook for hands-free shooting without a helmet.

Panasonic HX-A100 Earhook

Crowd-funded Ego! Smartmouse expected this summer

Start-up Laura Sapiens has already reached its stg£20,000 Kickstarter goal for the Ego! Smartmouse, with more than a month left on its campaign. The multi-tasking mouse enables users to control what’s on-screen either using the mouse on the desktop or lifting it in the air for 3D interaction. It can also be used as a remote or video game controller and is capable of storing and transferring data, so you can take your Smartmouse and your files with you to interact with any other compatible device.

The Ego! Smartmouse has been designed for comfort and usability across its range of functions. The design is also symmetrical, for left-handed or right-handed use.

All going according to plan, the device should be shipping in June or July this year. Versions with 2GB, 4GB and 8GB of storage will be available in a variety of colours.

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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.