Check out the Best 5 Gadget Innovations of 2012:
1. Google Glass
Project Glass is a research and development program by Google Inc to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD). The gadget would display information in smartphone-like format hands-free and could interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands.
The prototype’s functionality appearance (aluminium strip with 2 nose pads) has been compared to Steve Mann’s EyeTap. The operating system software used in the glasses will be Google’s Android.
Google Glass project is being developed by Google X Lab, which has worked on other futuristic technologies such as self-driving cars. This project was announced on Google+ by Babak Parviz, an electrical engineer who has also worked on putting displays into contact lenses; Steve Lee, a project manager and “geolocation specialist”; and Sebastian Thrun, who developed Udacity as well as worked on the self-driving car project. Google has patented the design of Project Glass.
2. Surface Tablet
Microsoft Surface is a series of tablets designed and marketed by Microsoft. It was announced on June 18, 2012, by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. The Surface comes in 2 versions: one with Windows RT and another with Windows 8 Pro.
The Windows RT model uses an ARM CPU, while the Windows 8 Pro version will use an Intel CPU. Both models are able to install new applications via the Windows Store, however only the Windows 8 Pro model allows the installation of traditional third-party desktop programs.
3. AR.Drone 2.0
The Parrot AR.Drone is a radio controlled flying quadrotor helicopter built by the French company Parrot. This drone is designed to be controlled with iOS devices (such as the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) and with Android devices, (such as the HTC Hero and the Sony Ericsson Xperia). The unofficial apps are available for the Samsung BADA and Symbian devices.
4. Lytro Camera
Lytro, Inc. is a light field camera startup company founded in 2006 by Ren Ng, a light-field photography researcher at Stanford University. Lytro’s product is targeted to consumer use, while the first company to enter the market of plenoptic cameras, German company Raytrix, has targeted its products to industrial and scientific applications of light-field photography.
In 2011, Lytro demonstrated capability to produce a camera that allows users to change the focus of a picture after the picture is taken. Plenoptic cameras such as Lytro’s are a new type of camera that dramatically changes photography for the first time since the 1800s.
The company’s first camera went on sale October 19, 2011 in 8 GB (US$399) and 16 GB ($499) versions, and began shipping on February 29, 2012. Also in February 2012, the company won the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal’s Idea and Innovation Award in the consumer technology category.
5. Samsung Galaxy Note II
The Samsung Galaxy Note II is a smartphone–tablet computer hybrid designed, developed and marketed by Samsung. It is the successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note, and is the second device in the company’s Note series, which places emphasis on the use of a stylus. Employing a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, the device sports a 5.55-inch (141 mm) diagonal display with 720p resolution, 2 GB of RAM, and a maximum of 128 GB storage (by using a 64 GB microSD card with the 64 GB model). Upon its launch, it was the first Samsung phone to come with Android version 4.1 “Jelly Bean” as standard.