Eventually, practically every conceivable pair of disparate technologies gets combined into a single package—cameras and cellphones, game consoles and e-readers, chocolate and peanut butter. The combination of speakers and lightbulbs seems like it would be one of the last ideas we'd see, but, well, the future is now. GiiNii's on-the-nose-named AudioBulb brings these strange bedfellows together for the first time.
To win our Innovation of the Year award, the Lytro had to captivate us enough for us to pass over significant medical diagnostic breakthroughs and a complete reinvention of the internal combustion engine--and it did. So we're naturally excited about the opportunity to spend a little QT with the Light-Field camera. The Lytro, which is culmination of over a decade of work by CEO Ren Ng in the world of light-field photography, is the first camera that allows its user to refocus an image after it's taken. It sounds unbelievable, but after taking our own pics with the Lytro (below), we're happy to report that it's reality.
Click to launch a gallery of Lytro-taken shots, as well as a tour of the camera's hardware.
Okay, so: The obvious question here, in 2012, is "Is there any reason to buy a dedicated portable gaming system when I already have a smartphone?" And I will say yes. I'm not a hardcore gamer, and I found the Vita to be not just the most powerful handheld console ever made, but also an awful lot of fun.
Here's the thing about the Galaxy Nexus: It is the best Android phone available now by such a huge margin that I am prepared to say that shoppers should either buy it or steer clear of Android entirely. And that has nothing to do with its hardware.
I am putting forth a call to arms: Let us not care so much about hardware, Android friends. Let us not pay mind to mobile processor clock speed, to millimeters of body thickness, to HDMI-out ports and docking stations and removable batteries. The Galaxy Nexus is the best Android phone because its software was designed for humans. More than any other 'Droid previous, using the Galaxy Nexus just makes sense. And for that we can thank its stock install of something called Ice Cream Sandwich.
OnLive has been around for a little while now, but it's no less improbable than it was when it was announced (at which time some gaming blogs called it a technically impossible scam): a service that streams full games, from major publishers, right to your TV or computer, no console necessary. This week, the company will release mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.
The last time I wrote about the Kinect in any kind of big-picture way, I was complaining about how this gadget, one of the most amazing, futuristic devices we've ever seen, sits in my living room, covered in dust. It's capable of so much, and hardly did anything, I said.
Today, a new update to the Xbox 360 includes a ton of Kinect improvements--and we're that much closer to having the future in our living room.
The Kindle Touch is Amazon's top-of-the-line e-ink reader, a compromise between a tablet like the Kindle Fire (easy typing, faster navigation) and the e-ink, single-focus ebook reader named simply Kindle. But Amazon's relentless price slashing makes me wonder if there's a need for this in-between.
People throw around a lot of big phrases when they talk about the Kindle Fire -- "iPad killer" being an oldie but goodie. But after spending some time with the 7-inch Fire, one thing is abundantly clear: this ain't no iPad killer. This right here is something else entirely.
The Lumia 800 is supposed to be kismet: Nokia makes great hardware, but terrible software. Windows Phone is great software, but the only phones that use it are yawn-worthy plastic rectangles. The Lumia, Nokia's first Windows Phone, is finally here, and if it's not as, well, new as some might have hoped, it's still a very, very fine smartphone--probably the best Windows Phone out there, which should make it high on your list if you're looking to buy a new phone this fall (and you live in Europe and/or are rich).
People wanted an iPhone 5. A top-secret new phone to deliver previously unknown pleasures, and to cast the 16-month-old iPhone 4 into the rubbish heap of planned obsolescence.
But the news on October 4, coming just a day before Steve Jobs's death, was a reminder that not every Apple announcement blows off the roof. So here's the 4S--faster, Sprint-ier, with a better camera to see the world, and Siri, the voice-recognition assistant to better listen to it. And the proverbial question: is it worth an upgrade?