It’s time for our best technology news of this week. Whether it is digital cameras and DSLRs, computers, laptops, computer hardware, robots or just plain sci-fi movies, you name it, we’ve probably got somebody keeping a close eye on it. So take a look at the info we’ve selected for your inspiration and to keep you updated about what’s going on out there in the world of technology!
Google to launch Nexus 7 variant for only $99 before years end
This is coupled with news of another Nexus 7 model which is expected to retail for the Nexus 7′s current price of $199. Both versions will supposedly be thinner than the current model, and feature TN panel display technology made by HannStar Display.
Incidentally, HannStar has reportedly become part of Apple’s supply chain for the iPad, though the Taiwanese-based panel manufacturer has yet to confirm that it’s working with either tech giant. Both new Nexus 7 models are expected to hit stores before the end of 2012, and if the rumors are true, we expect a $99 Nexus tablet to make a great stocking stuffer.
Lexus LF-CC Concept shows the future of touchscreen interiors
It is, alas, just a concept that is intended more to show the future design direction of the company than give a clue into an actual production model to come, but more interesting is the clues this is hinting about both interior design and electrification on the powertrain front.
The LF-CC’s interior makes use of a number of large, bright displays to present all information to the driver. Behind the steering wheel is a digital dashboard — nothing too uncommon there — but in the center of the car is a large multi-function unit that shows typical vehicle information and telematics. Mainly, navigation and the like. Below that is an even larger panel that gracefully sweeps down between the seats. This is fully touch-sensitive and replaces the clumsy, button-heavy center consoles found in many luxury cars. Think of it as a more organic evolution of the 17-inch touchscreen wedged in the center of the Tesla Model S. Finally, there’s a smartphone-sized touch display integrated into the armrest.
ILP DIGITAL CONVERSION TURNTABLE
If you’re still trying to get your vinyl collection converted over to an iPhone-friendly format, A) What’s taken you so long? and B) You might want to pick up an iLP Digital Conversion Turntable ($100). This handy gadget features an iPad, iPhone and iPod dock built-in right next to the turntable, letting you convert your records straight to the device. Of course, there’s a USB port for connecting it to a computer if you’d rather go that route, and RCA outputs mean you can still enjoy your vinyl via a home stereo when you feel like jamming out old-school.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a photographer following you around, documenting key moments in your life without ever noticing he/she was there? The Autographer (£400; roughly $650) is designed to do something similar. Meant to be worn, it features a host of sensors — a GPS, accelerometer, thermometer, and motion detector among them — that work together to decide when it’s time to take a picture. 8GB of internal storage ensures that you won’t be needing to offload your 5 megapixel memories too often, but just because you don’t need to doesn’t mean you won’t — it’s got built-in Bluetooth so you can check out your shots instantly, no wires required.
HTC 8X PHONE
Think Nokia’s the only company cranking out brightly-color phones? Think again. The new HTC 8X Phone ($TBA) is the company’s signature Windows Phone handset, packing a 4.3-inch HD LCD screen with a Gorilla Glass 2 covering, Beats Audio for an improved headphone experience, a 2.1mp front facing camera, an 8 megapixel backside-illuminated sensor and f/2.0 28mm lens on the back, and, of course, Windows Phone 8. Arriving in November in a variety of colors, including blue, black, red, and “that’s obviously not an iPhone” yellow.
NOOK HD & HD+
2010 was supposed to be the year of the tablet. Then 2011. But it looks like 2012 might just live up to the billing. The Nook HD & HD+ ($200-$300) are the latest slates to be announced this fall, offering 7- and 9-inch HD displays, 1.3- and 1.5-GHz dual-core processors, 1GB of RAM, and between 8GB and 32GB of onboard storage. Of course, they also offer full access to Barnes & Noble’s catalog of books, magazines, apps, and videos, and as a bonus, they offer a new Nook Profiles feature that lets you easily share your tablet with others without fear of them accessing personal content.
Sony announces new slimmer and lighter PlayStation 3
Sony has announced yet another redesign to their popular PlayStation 3 console. Just like the last one that came out three years ago, this one cuts down on the size and weight by being 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the previous model.
Internally, the new console seems to be pretty much identical to the old one, with no new announced changes. Only difference is that you now have 250GB and 500GB models, selling for $269.99 and $299.99 respectively.
LEICA M CAMERA
It’s full frame fever season, and it looks like Leica is the latest company to catch the bug. The new Leica M Camera ($7,000) boasts an all-new, 35mm format 24 megapixel CMOS sensor, the blazing fast Maestro image processor, Live View and Live View Focusing on the 3-inch, Gorilla Glass-covered display, 1080p video recording, a splash-proof magnesium alloy body, and compatibility with both M- and R-mount lenses. Arriving early next year, so start saving your Benjamins now.
PANASONIC LUMIX GH3 CAMERA
Micro Four Thirds cameras take another step towards the big boys with the Panasonic Lumix GH3 Camera ($1,300). Panny’s new flagship packs a host of high-end features into its relatively compact splash- and dust-proof body, including a new, 16 megapixel sensor with a standard ISO up to 12,800, a new contrast AF system, built-in Wi-Fi, a tiltable 3-inch touchscreen, an electronic OLED viewfinder, and 6 fps burst shooting. Most exciting for videographers will be the new ability to record 1080p video at a bit rate of up to 72Mbps, providing an astonishing level of detail.
Libratone Zipp AirPlay speaker with PlayDirect streams music straight from your iPhone
The Zipp, one of the first truly portable wireless speakers to use AirPlay instead of Bluetooth. That means you can take it to the park, far away from any router-based Wi-Fi network and still establish a point-to-point connection between the Zipp and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
A technology called “Airplay Direct” was first rumored by The Telegraph’s Matt Warman back in August, just before the iPhone 5 was revealed. Although Warman said the technology to enable point-to-point connectivity between iOS devices and AirPlay speakers would be shown during the iPhone event on September 12th, it’s not until today that we’re getting a highly publicized first glimpse. Libratone’s PlayDirect, however, is not AirPlay Direct in that it’s not Apple’s solution, per se, nor is it a Libratone invention. As we understand it, the technology was dormant in the AirPlay chipset, unused by Apple — it was Libratone that pushed to make the point-to-point connectivity a reality. You might recall that AirPlay is built upon the BridgeCo chipset that can be found in any number of generic network-enabled audio devices.