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By Jessica Rediker on December 19, 2012 in Gadgets
Phones are getting bigger, tablets are getting smaller, and we no longer have to see pixels on our computer screens. 2012 has been an interesting and game-changing year for gadgets. Here are a few of the innovations and products we’ve watched breathe new life into the world of technology this year.
Lytro Camera At first glance this rectangular prism looks like some kind of advanced kaleidoscope. Most people would never suspect it could be a camera, but it is, and a very unique one at that. The Lytro camera captures “living pictures.” Recording every ray of light in the scene, it creates much more than a standard 2d image. It is difficult to put into words exactly what the images look like but simply put, it creates a multidimensional photo that can be refocused or have its perspective skewed afterward. To see what this looks like, check out the Lytro gallery and play around with photos by clicking, dragging and zooming them.
The Tablet Turning-Point While tablet technology is nothing new this year, it would seem that there is a new trend in the world of portable technology. The tablets that first emerged on the scene as hopeful laptop replacements are becoming more powerful, but smaller. The Google Nexus 7, for example boasts a quad core processor, an unheard of battery life (300hrs on standby!), and a stunning visual display – all contained in 7 inches. The Nexus 7 wasn’t the only teeny tablet to be launched in 2012, Apple’s iPad Mini also hit shelves.
I’m not sure that anyone was ever too bothered by seeing individual pixels when being up close to their device screen, but this year Apple made sure its users wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. By cramming 326 pixels into every inch they’ve made it virtually impossible to pick out a specific one when using their iPhone 5, iPads or Macbook Pros. It seems this is an innovation that people are jumping on board with, and Adobe even released updates for Lightroom 4, PhotoShop and Illustrator to support this higher definition viewing experience.
Google Glass Google wants to have a monopoly on how the world experiences life in the future. From tracking everything you search, to integrating with many of the websites you use, to knowing exactly what every nook and cranny of the world looks like, Google knows all. Google Glass, or “Project Glass,” is the research and development of “augmented reality,” vision. Imagine being able to view the world like a smartphone screen, through your own eyes. You can snap a picture or shoot video, make a phone call, get directions or surf the web, by simply wearing a pair of glasses. This is what Google has set out to accomplish and while they are not the first to launch this idea, they are certainly the most well received by the public. The glasses were even worn down the runway during Diane von Furstenburg’s 2012 Spring fashion show.
Web Connected Cameras
A camera has always just been the thing that people use to take photos, until now. Brands like Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Samsung have all released Wi-Fi enabled cameras, encouraging immediate sharing to social media sites and transferring to computers. As I said before, the line between smartphone and camera is being blurred by this new desire to have a one-stop-shop gadget that can do anything your heart desires, which won’t necessarily be a bad thing once it becomes the standard. An interesting example of this technological grey area is the Samsung GALAXY Camera that runs Android and can be used to do everything your phone would except for make a call.
The conception of social media, blogging, and vlogging brought along with it the ability to document your life – in tweets, using Facebook timeline, or by viewing your old written or video posts.
The idea of recording snapshots of your life is not new, but it is being revamped with the help of a new app called 1 Second Everyday.
The app, created by Cesar Kuriyama, takes one second video moments and compiles them into a mini-movie that summarizes days, weeks, months, or even years of your life. Everything is displayed on a neat calendar and the user can either select a one second moment from video that is already on their device, or shoot video from within the app itself.
The result is something brief, but memorable and capable of containing an entire chapter of one’s life, as Kuriyama described on his app’s fundraising page.
On the day I turned 30 years old, I started recording 1 second every day for the rest of my life… and I think you should too. When I turn 40, I’ll have a 1-hour video that encapsulates my 30s. If I live to see 80 years of age, I’ll have a 5-hour video that summarizes 50 years of my life.
By pledging $1, iPhone users can install the app and begin documenting their days, though those with Android devices will have to wait for future development.
Check out the video Kuriyama made to capture the story of his 30th year of life.
Russian photographers Vitaly Raskalov and Alexander Remnov are part of a new movement called “skywalking,” where daredevil photographers climb to great heights and take photos – without any safety equipment. In the gallery below you can see a number of unreal photos taken from the tops of towers and buildings, seemingly with no fear for their safety.