New year, new gad­gets

Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Nicholson looks at the in­no­va­tions shap­ing our lives and what to ex­pect in 2014

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH -

1 CURVY SMART­PHONES Sam­sung has launched a curved Galaxy Round phone, while LG coun­tered with its G’Flex phone, which curves from top to bot­tom. Ex­pect to see more of this next year, in­clud­ing screens that wrap around the side of a phone.

2 SMART­WATCH GETS SMARTER Our wrists will be hot prop­erty in 2014, with smarter smart­watches on the way. Sony and Sam­sung launched mod­els early, but ex­pect to see com­pe­ti­tion from Google, LG, Mi­crosoft and even Ap­ple, long- ru­moured to be pro­duc­ing the iWatch af­ter it ap­plied to trade­mark the name.

3 4K OLED TV They were the hot ticket at IFA 2013, and 4K OLED tele­vi­sions could ar­rive in stores next year. Th­ese tele­vi­sions com­bine the two best TV tech­nolo­gies: or­ganic light- emit­ting diode screens with brighter, bolder colours and 4K res­o­lu­tion with four times the pix­els of cur­rent full high- defi ni­tion TVs.

4 VIR­TUAL RE­AL­ITY GAM­ING The Ocu­lus Rift head­set ( right) is due to launch pub­licly next year. The wire­less head­set has a 7- inch dis­play with full high- defi ni­tion res­o­lu­tion and it tracks your head and body move­ments to put you in the game.

5 SMART SPEC­TA­CLES Google Glass will fi nally go on sale to the pub­lic next year. The search gi­ant has promised to re­lease the in­ter­net- con­nected spec­ta­cles with an ex­pected cost of $ 1680. Ex­pect to see smart­glasses from Meta and GlassUp, as well as ri­val prod­ucts from Mi­crosoft, Oak­ley and Sony.

6 FOXTEL’S IQ3 Pay- TV op­er­a­tor Foxtel ( which is part- owned by News Corp, publisher of this news­pa­per) will in­tro­duce its third per­sonal video recorder. The iQ3 is ex­pected to con­nect to the in­ter­net wire­lessly, of­fer a new elec­tronic pro­gram guide, eight TV tuners to record more pro­grams si­mul­ta­ne­ously, and a one- ter­abyte drive on which to store them.

7 SEE- THROUGH SMART­PHONES They may not be prac­ti­cal but one Tai­wanese com­pany is poised to launch trans­par­ent smart­phones next year. Polytron Tech­nolo­gies has al­ready de­vel­oped a ba­sic pro­to­type of the phone that ap­pears to be a clear block of plas­tic with its speaker, mem­ory card, bat­ter­ies, mi­cro­phone and other cir­cuitry on show.

8 FULL- FRAME COM­PACT CAM­ERAS Full- frame cam­eras, with im­age sen­sors as large as a 35mm fi lm strip, are set to be­come smaller, cheaper and more avail­able. In ad­di­tion to the three mod­els launched by Sony and Nikon ( above) late this year, there are more ru­moured from Sony, Pentax, Sam­sung and, per­haps, Canon.

9 A BIG­GER IPAD Ap­ple could be in for a big year. One de­vel­op­ment al­legedly on the agenda is a 12.9- inch iPad, break­ing the size bar­rier. The new tablet is ru­moured to be called the iPad Pro and fea­ture a 4K screen.

10 SPEEDY MO­BILE DOWN­LOADS Tel­stra prom­ises to have 85 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion cov­ered with its 4G net­work by the start of next year and it will con­tinue tri­als of LTE- Ad­vanced that could de­liver down­loads as fast as 300MBps. Ri­val Op­tus prom­ises to cover 70 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion by April, and its re­seller Amaysim plans to add 4G to its of­fer­ings.

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