James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.
With IFA 2012
having come to end it's possible to finally take stock of a week in which Berlin once again became the center of the universe (at least so far as consumer electronics were concerned). As you'll see, it wasn't all
about product announcements and prototype demonstrations. Here are five miscellaneous trends, oddities, curiosities and trivialities that, for whatever reason, made an impression upon Gizmag at IFA this year.
As we were getting our mits on Samsung's new Galaxy Camera
, Gizmag also took the opportunity to spend some time with the company's equally dewy Galaxy Note II
, which, come October, Samsung hopes will be injecting some "phab" into the growing phablet market. It will arguably become Samsung's flagship mobile device.
By any yardstick, Samsung is having a good IFA. With its trio of product announcements, the Galaxy Note II
smartphonetabletthingie, the Galaxy Camera
, and its range of Ativ Windows 8 devices
(not to mention throwing the biggest party in town with its Unpacked event) it's an enormous understatement to say that Samsung made its presence felt in Berlin this year. The Galaxy Note II may be the headline act (more on which very soon), but in our opinion the Galaxy Camera, the EK-GC100, is the most interesting of Samsung's newly-announced gizmos. Having had more than one opportunity to give the thing a try, here are our initial thoughts.
It may not appear among Sharp's press releases, but arguably its most compelling stand at IFA this year was dedicated to the new IGZO display technology. Sharp is making bold claims for IGZO: first, that it affords significant energy savings over conventional LCD displays; second, that that the technology could be inside Apple mobile devices in the near future.
I see your 84-inch 4K TV
, and raise you one 145-inch 8K Super Hi-Vision monster of a display. First seeing light of day back in April, this collaborative effort from Panasonic and Japanese national broadcaster NHK has a resolution of 7680 x 4320 (more than 33 million pixels), and, being a plasma screen, is the first 8K display without need of a backlight. Naturally, Gizmag jumped at the chance to see it in the flesh at IFA 2012.
Michael Jantzen may operate in the sphere of architecture, but he doesn't think of himself as an architect. Instead he describes himself as "an artist and inventor who often uses architecture as an art form." Much of his work is conceptual, but his compact, transforming M-Velope shelters, which he described to Gizmag as "sculptures that you can sit inside" (and definitely not
as gazebos) have stepped out of the conceptual and into the physical realm. Jentzen shared his latest design (above) with Gizmag.
If, during your next hotel stay, you're met with a lock on your door like that pictured above, it's time for a conversation with management. This is an Onity HT series lock. Cody Brocious claims that the company has sold 10 million of its various locks to hoteliers, accounting for half of all locks worldwide, and appearing in one in three hotels. Described by Onity as its "flagship product," the HT series lock is its big seller: Brocious reckons there are 4 million HT series locks out there. Why does this matter? It matters because on July 24, Brocious took to the stage at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas to demonstrate how to unlock one in a matter of milliseconds using gear you and I can buy off the shelf from Radioshack for under 50 bucks.
A new startup named TOHL, comprised of a handful young Georgia Tech graduates, has set up shop in Chile in an effort to "change the way people think about pipelines." Using little more than a helicopter and a coil of flexible high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, TOHL laid a kilometer (0.6 miles) of water pipeline by helicopter in a "record-setting" nine minutes, despite windy conditions and mountainous terrain. TOHL claims this is "the first ever completely aerial installation of a pipeline." Now company President Benjamin Cohen is taking to Kickstarter to ask for US$30,000 to build the company's first "full-scale" installation.
Stockholm-based architectural studio Jägnefält Milton has unveiled Black Lodge, a conceptual low-tech reclusive escape designed specifically for the luxury resort of Furillen on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Pyramid in form, the lower sections of each side open up to create what designer Konrad Milton described to Gizmag as "more of a campfire situation."
Videos released by California-based tech research company Aerofex appear
to show successful test flights of a prototype hover bike that gains lift from two large ducted rotors, similar in principle to Chris Malloy's Hoverbike
prototype we've previously covered. Aeroflex claims its hover bike allows the pilot intuitive control over pitch, roll and yaw without need of artificial intelligence, flight software or electronics of any kind.