Revisiting 2014 : 10 Most Epic Gadgets Released in 2014
From Virtual reality to 3D printing, the past 12 months have been a whirlwind of impressive new gadgets and game-changing innovations. Apple launched a handful of devices including iMac with Retina 5K display, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and most notably, the Apple Watch. It was big year for Virtual Reality as well with Google’s, simple yet intelligent, Cardboard project, Samsung’s Gear VR and Oculus Rift’s $350 development kit coming into the market this year.
We look into 2014’s most epic and innovative releases:
10. YotaPhone 2
YotaPhone 2 was officially announced earlier this month and is already setting benchmarks when it comes to innovation. The YotaPhone 2 has got some considerable improvements over its predecessor. It features a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display and a 4.7-inch QHD e-Ink touchscreen, which is way better than the 4.3-inch screen of the previous model. The e-Ink paper display on the smartphone is similar to the e-Ink display we find on Amazon’s Kindle readers. It shows notifications, clock, weather, and is great for reading books and other readables in an eye friendly display.
9. Google Cardboard
Google Cardboard is a fold-out cardboard smartphone mount that, when combined with lenses, a magnet, a piece of hook-and-loop fastener, rubber band and held against the face, affords a virtual reality experience. Impressive, right? This is a DIY project from Google can can be made right at your place with minimal investment. In order to build it, all you need is a pair of lenses with a 40mm focal distance to keep the phone’s screen in focus some magnets, velcro and a rubber band. Thats it, with this tiny tinkering, you’ll be ready to hit the virtual reality experience. And if you don’t want to take the efforts of making one, you can always find ready made Cardboard headset for just $20-$40.
8. Vibso headphones
Build by designer Renaud Defrancesco, Vibso headband is made of a transparent acrylic glass and sends music vibrations across its surface to the user’s ears. The VIBSO headphones play music via Bluetooth and has a vibrating electromagnet that is hidden under an opaque plastic cover on top of the head and helps create the sound for the wearer. The electromagnet works like a speaker and has a connecting element that causes a membrane to vibrate and create sounds. The membrane, in this case, is made in a two-mm-thick transparent acrylic glass. Defrancesco used acrylic glass because it transmits sounds well and is flexible and easy to form.
7. Epson Wireless Workforce WF-100
Touted as the world’s smallest and lightest mobile printer yet, the WF-100 comes with built-in wireless and Wi-Fi direct capabilities to hook up to your laptop, tablet or any Android phones. The printer uses a rechargeable battery that charges via a USB port. It can print both A4 as well as 4X6 inch photos. It prints at the speed of 6.7 pages in a minute for black and 3.8 pages per minute for color.
6. LIX – 3D Printing Pen
London-based startup LIX created the smallest 3D printing pen in the world, a device that enables users to doodle in the air. Milled from aluminum and measuring 164mm x 14mm, it allows users to make objects in just a few seconds, including calligraphy, accessories and one-off prototypes. With functionalities similar to 3D printers, the USB port chargeable LIX pen quickly melts and cools colored plastic, which enables the pen to create rigid and freestanding structures on demand. Drawing in the air, now its cool or what?
5. DJI Phantom 2 Vision+
The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+Quadcopter comes with a GPS based navigation system, flies for up to 25 minutes, and has the capability to take still photos and shoot streaming video. The $1,200 price tag may make you lose the interest, but this drone is known of its exceptional flying capabilities and its powerful camera.
The Blackphone is a smartphone developed by SGP Technologies, that provides encryption for phone calls, emails, texts and internet browsing. SGP Technologies is a joint venture between the makers of GeeksPhone and Silent Circle. Blackphone’s Security Center in PrivatOS gives control over app permissions, such as the bundled Silent Phone and Silent Text services that encrypt communications so no one can eavesdrop on voice, video and text calls.
3. GoPro Hero4 Black
GoPro’s latest offering, the Hero4 lineup builds on the legacy and comes with great new upgrades. On the top of the line-up is the Hero4 Black, which comes at a price of $499. It shoots 4K video at up to 30 frames per second, giving you some incredible eye-popping visuals. Apart from that, it shoots Full HD (1080p) at 120 frames per second so you can play with some sweet slow-motion action shots. And of course, it offers 12-megapixel photos for folks who want a selfie at an epic destination.
2. Oculus Rift Developers Kit
The Oculus Rift DK 2 is an amazing piece of hardware, and while it’s far from ready for consumer use, it delivers a highly compelling experience that shows exactly how easy it is to get lost in virtual reality. From a gaming perspective, there’s no doubt that this is one of the most interesting new pieces of hardware. Oculus claims that the display works at 75 Hz, which is above the standard 60 Hz refresh rate. On their website, Oculus calls its display a low persistence OLED display, to eliminate motion blur and judder, two of the biggest contributors to simulator sickness. The 5.7 inch Note 3 display might address the pixilation issue and probably save people from the day long motion sickness they feel after wearing these headgears.
1. Apple Watch
Among other things, 2014 marked the return of Apple. Its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus rollout was usual – full of giddy anticipation and excitement. The two models did not just break sales records globally, but they put Apple back on the front row. Apple also launched another product which is probably 2015’s most awaited device called the ‘Apple Watch’ (not iWatch). Apple is entering a completely new market category by bringing out the first Apple Watch. This smartwatch, expected to be out in early 2015, will come in three variations – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition. The wearable will be compatible with iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6 and 6 Plus.