Here comes the new year, and with that we can expect a couple of things: 1. a new iphone coming out in the summer 2. some variation of an ipad that microsoft will copy and remake. However, there are a couple things we didn't see coming this year. Like for example these interesting little gadgets.
Teenage Engineering OP 1 Synthesizer
This two-octave keyboard synthesizer is as fashionable as it is musical, a sexy little sidearm for the electronic musician. It features a set of keys, knobs and button controls with an LCD display that allows its player to create analog-style waveforms on the fly. Playback is available from the on-board speaker or via output connections for a speaker system or even that Balance music interface above. Even non-musicians lust after this thing, showing just how important a good, attractive industrial design philosophy can be.
BioLite CampStove and USB Charger
Our favorite gadget of the year wasn’t the iPhone 5, it wasn’t a shiny new tablet or anything similar, it was a new take on a technology that is thousands of years old.
This thing makes fire AND charges your iphone. Genius.
Nikon D600 DSLR: Full Frame for the Masses
This was a very exciting year for full frame photography. If the “full frame” term is confusing to you, we’ll elucidate– camera manufacturers produce cheap digital cameras by producing small light sensors packed with megapixels. These small sensors only see a small portion of your lens, so the photos you take are automatically “cropped” by as much as 33%. A “full frame” sensor is a larger unit that covers the full width of your lens in some of the highest resolutions.
Nikkon is the cherry on top.
Form 1 3D Printer
FormLabs launched the Form 1 3D printer on Kickstarter earlier this year, asking for $100,000 to fund its manufacture. It grew like wildfire, receiving $3,000,000 in funding before its time was up.
The promising technology of 3D printing allows users at home to craft objects that are designed in software. You can render a 3D object and then send the file to the Form 1 3D, and it will build a model of that file out of plastic in a matter of minutes.
Nokia Lumia 920 – Windows 8 Smart Phone
Sure, there was a new iPhone in 2012 and plenty of new Android devices, but the biggest story from these platforms were the legal troubles between them. More than a billion dollars and a few apologies were exchanged between these companies, but their new mobile offerings were a bit bland by contrast. Meanwhile, Nokia rolled out the Nokia Lumia 920, an exciting little device that sports a fresh OS, namely Windows Phone 8, and a host of hardware features that match or best its iPhone/Android equivalents.
Google Nexus 10 Tablet
The big news on the tablet market this year was the entry of the great sleeping giant, Google Inc, who revealed the Google Nexus 10 Tablet in 2012. The Nexus 10 was the immediate market leader in terms of feature offering this year, including a 2560 x 1600 pixel display– a resolution even higher than Apple’s latest iPad offering. While the google tablet may match most of the other features of the 2012 tablets, this Nexus 10 has another leg up– it doesn’t use proprietary hardware connections. It features a standard micro USB and an HDMI connection, both of which open a new world of creative applications that devices like the iPad can’t match.
Diesel Vektr Headphones
Headphones are about more than just sonic performance, as the visual factor is important for a body-worn device. In 2012, the best looking pair of headphones we saw were the Diesel Vektr Headphones, a bold and geometric set of cans with a crystalline shape.
Nintendo Wii U Console
Seriously. Is this not, an AWESOME concept?
Gaming can be a great release even for the creative type, and this console is made for creative hands.
Balance Computer Music Interface
This little black box packs a big punch for the computer musician, and its design was an award winner in 2012. Balance is a computer music interface that converts acoustic sounds into digital files for use in the Propellerheads Reason software music system. Musicians can connect a microphone, guitar or other instrument directly to the Balance interface and record in real time with a track in Reason. Audio interfacing is a common technology, but rarely does it look this sexy.
Google Project Glass
Google’s Project Glass was revealed in 2012 as a new visual way of interfacing with the digital world. Project Glass provides a “head’s up display” for a wearer to view location-based data (maps, restaurant reviews, visual searches) and social information (messaging, video calls, status updates) while navigating throughout their day. This gadget is still just a prototype, but Google continues to move forward with the technology. In a few years, this type of tech could change the way we interface with our digital world, and the way our digital world interfaces with us…