2013’s revolutionary gadgets?

Forget smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks. Four new gadgets are in town to steal the spotlight. If you are tired of looking at a plain screen that has nothing new to offer or would like to explore 3D beyond movies, you might find smartwatches, smartglasses, flexible screens and 3D printing interesting.

This season, wearables are in

While most of us already feel like our smartphones are an extension of ourselves, engineers are pushing it to the next level. Although glasses and watches have been fashion statements ever since they were invented, they’re about to be taken by technology on whirlwind with the new hands-free approach designed to make sure you are always connected.

Smartwatches

Back in 2010, Apple released a wrist case for its iPod nano. Fast forward 3 years and the rumours of the iWatch are stronger than ever. Despite lacking an official confirmation on the expansion of the iFamily, Apple is allegedly building the device soon-to-be released. This is why the wearable watch market might just be the next battleground for the Apple vs. Samsung battle. Especially since Samsung has already confirmed it has a smartwatch in the works.

So what exactly should we expect out of this gadget?

Even though only time will tell, we might expect to see similar features to smartphones, albeit restricted. This will most likely include email, sms and incoming call notifications, vibrating calendar reminders, live social media feeds, music management and lite apps, to name a few.

gadgets-iwatch-vs-google-glassFinal designs? We doubt it!
When either gadget is released to the public, chances are the final product will not look like the ones shown above. Yet we are expecting some similarities in the overall design for both of them.

Tired of looking at the same hands and dial, every day, hour after hour? Well, smartwatches will allow for the customisation of these elements as often as you like.

Smartglasses

The wearable technology market has more to offer than watches. Google Glass, while still a prototype, is advertised as the next big thing from the Gmail creators. The “Explorer” edition is the current version, available only to testers and developers in the US.

What can Google’s goggles do?

Worn just as any other pair of glasses, this device has a display, built in camera and microphone. It lets you showcase an image in your field of vision, take pictures, film, search, and translate - all while on the go. The inherent dorkiness of Google Glass (as seen before with the segway and bluetooth headset) may mean this product will never go mainstream, but nevertheless it still an important step forward for mobile technology. However don’t expect any UV protection from them!

gadget-flexible-screenNo more cracked screens
These new screens would endure common – and costly – problems such as sitting on your smartphone or dropping your tablet.

Flexible screens

The era of rigid displays is over thanks to LG’s and Samsung’s flexible screen, which is nothing less than wonderful news for all clumsy consumers. The flexible plastic display, said to be bendable and unbreakable, is already in production and is meant to debut on smartphones later this year. Can you image twisting, bending and rolling your mobile device while receiving a call or texting someone?

How is this possible?

The biggest problem towards bendable screens was glass. Glass does not bend but rather breaks. So, by using organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels that have their own light source and by fusing the circuitry to control each pixel into a plastic film, they were able to eliminate the rigid component from the displays. This makes these screens thinner, lighter and more efficient than previous glass displays.

3D is much more than just a TV or a movie

3D printing is the creation of a solid object printed one layer at a time based on a digital design. This, besides from being massively impressive in my opinion, may be the next revolution to the manufacturing process; just as e-commerce was to the selling of goods and services. Manufacturing will not be just for factories anymore: It will be present in work environments, homes, schools… you name it! Although not widely available to the public yet, there are a number of online stores eagerly waiting to receive your order for their printers to do their magic.

What are the uses for 3d printer?

gadget-3d-printingBefore and after
The original object is scanned to create a digital rendition, then layers that are printed out one at a time to create an almost exact replica.

The sky’s the limit as new uses for this technology continue to emerge everyday. Professionals putting it to use on prototypes, models and component manufacturing. Technology enthusiasts make use of it on scaled figurines and models, toys and even home improvements. Imagine getting replacement pieces done for broken appliances!
Want to be wow-ed even further? Read the story of this lucky duck that got a prosthetic limb printed to replace it’s faulty one. Growing organs in labs doesn’t seem so far away now, does it?
Unfortunately, controversies have already arisen over printed guns and the threat of copyright infringement.

Hit or miss?

Probably not all 4 of them will live up to their expectations. A lot of new products and trends die even before they are born and these are not exempt. Which one do you think will be the most successful one and why?

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Written by

Analytical by nature, Mora is always on the lookout for new tech trends and releases. Bridging the gap between IT and businesses is how this avid reader enjoys the best of both worlds. Her curiosity and dedication have earned her the EmpireOne's Business Systems Analyst role.