Cool Stuff! Oh Cool Stuff! The symbols of the 21st Century! The inventions that have made our life easier and which have popped out the tummies of the average adult even before the age of the belly.
My point of view about Cool Stuff is that even though they are customarily seen as being labor-saving, they have either multiplied it or shifted the burden of labor to others, because the purpose of Cool Stuff is not to induce labor-saving but their rationale lies in economy which is itself dependent upon its marketing and sales which in turn solely depends upon the uniqueness of the invention. The truth in the society of the consumer is what sells and in reality, the practical usefulness of a product is secondary to its sales capacity. This is the context in which technology as a whole evolves in our society. But this notion cannot allow us to ignore the general commitment technology plays in the lifestyle and values of the consumerism and in the distribution of power that it serves.
2011 served as a superlative year in the area of Cool Stuff whereby many sophisticated and modern technology came to the fore, bamboozling the wider market and raking in millions of bucks and swashbuckling consumers. With the standard and the level set last year, this year the technology geniuses will have bigger shoes to fill and looking at the products that the companies have promised, there will be little room for disappointment; rather excitement has befuddled the consumers and the Cool Stuff geeks alike. Here is my view of the top 10 Cool Stuff that are expected to be released this year:-
10. LG 55 inch OLED TV:-
Last year, LG showed a small OLED TV which garnered great excitement. This year, with the unveiling of the 55” OLED TV, LG has promised enthusiasts that their excitement was merited. At only 4mm thin and weighing about 7.5Kg, it is the world’s thinnest, lightest and largest OLED TV. The beauty of this TV does not just lie in its appearance or either the picture quality which is super. It is a fully 3D compatible and also compatible with other LG TVs that support 3D. It offers better contrast, brighter contrast and increased energy efficiency. Its thin appearance makes it disappear when viewed from a side-on angle and its lighter weight makes it easy to mount on a wall. Although the pricing is yet to be disclosed, it is rumored to cost around $10000 and according to experts, it will follow the same path as LCD i.e. decreasing prices as the time progresses. So all you TV lovers get ready for the new level of exciting viewing that will blow your brains away!
9. SONY NETWORK MEDIA PLAYER:-
In a year when every TV maker seems to be building full Internet connectivity into their displays, Sony’s Network Media Player powered by Google is a lifeline tossed back to all the poor, unconnected TVs already out there. It streams online video from services like Netflix and HBO Go, and can be controlled with an iOS or Android smartphone, but what is actually more exciting is the hardware. The exclusive remote control has a full, backlit QWERTY keyboard on one side, and more traditional buttons on the other, with a less traditional trackpad. Other companies should sit up and take notice if you want to revolutionize the TV, start with a revolutionary remote. The player, and remote, will be out this summer, though prices haven’t been announced.
8. NOKIA LUMIA 900:-
If you liked the Nokia LUMIA 800, then you’ll love 900 even more. The partnership between Nokia and AT&T has resulted in a lot of fervor among Nokia enthusiasts and it is said that the LUMIA 900 will utilize AT&T 4G LTE network, making it the first Nokia device to do so promising greater speeds upon its usage and addressing the needs of the consumer who is looking for contents and staying connected. A 4.3” AMOLED screen is there which enables great viewing equally in sunlight and in dark light and gives crisp clean colors resulting in fantastic viewing. It has a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera which comes with Tango so that you can do you video chatting directly from this device. It has the same polycarbononate chassis as LUMIA 800 which has a really great feeling on the hands and which adds to its beauty. It has a Carl Zeiss 8 megapixel camera thereby enabling better picture qualities. With the Windows OS, a 1.4GHz processor and 16GB of storage capacity, this is what Nokia believes will set a benchmark in their smartphone market. It is slated to be released later this year and no word on the pricing has yet been disclosed.
7. DISH NETWORK’S HOPPER:-
Dish Network sets a new standard for the set-top box and it is a move that could have an impact on cable companies. The Hopper, its less-than-techy name for the receiver box, boasts a two-terabyte hard drive that can hold up to 2,000 hours of content. With a single button, subscribers will be able to record an entire evening’s worth of programming on all five networks (a stab at HULU). And the company will stream popular films from Blockbuster Home to the box each night, meaning even people with slow Internet connections will be able to enjoy the service.
6. ROKU STREAMING STICK:-
Using the new HDMI MHL standard the ROKU Streaming Stick plugs into a port on newer TVs. It instantly gives any compatible set access to all of ROKU’s online content from providers such as Netflix, MLB, Pandora and RDIO. The stick requires no dedicated power, has Wi-Fi built in, and should launch later this year for under $100.
5. PROJECT FIONA:-
The gaming brand RAZER has created a tablet that will take gaming to the next level. As well all know, tablet gaming today is only good enough for casual games like Angry Birds which is usually fun but gaming lovers are a spoiled lot which usually prefer network gaming in real time with phenomenal graphics. So all you gaming freaks get hold of this little beauty. According to RAZER, it is the only tablet in the world that is designed specifically for PC gaming. So which features usually make this baby a real bad-ass in the world of gaming? First of all it has got the most powerful processor in a tablet form factor, running an INTEL 3rd gen Core i7 processor (wow!) thereby making it compatible with all the present PC games available, enabling it to serve a dual purpose of a PC and a Tablet. Rather than using the tablet’s 10.1 inch touchscreen, the gamers will grab hold of the two controllers featuring buttons and joystick located on either side of the tablet. And if you are not comfortable with the controllers, then there is also the compatibility of a keyboard and a mouse associated with it. So gaming lovers you don’t have to wait much longer. It is slated to be released at the end of this year and at prices less than a $1000. Woohoo!
4. FUJIFILM XPRO 1:-
Fujifilm’s first entry into the inter-changeable lens camera (ILC) category is a stunner, a gorgeous slab of aluminum, synthetic leather, and precision-milled nobs and dials that manages to be featherlight, thanks to its magnesium build. The price is also a little stunning estimated to start at $1600 for the body alone, but the X-Pro1 is beautiful inside, too, with a new color filter array helps it meet, and sometimes exceed, the image quality of full-frame SLR sensors. The camera and three lenses will be out later this month, with nine more planned over the next two years, as well as a mount for Leica lenses planned for later this year.
3. LENOVO IDEAPAD YOGA:-
There are a lot of Ultrabooks on display, but Lenovo’s stands out. It is stylish and can morph into four different form factors, ranging from a standard laptop clamshell, to a tablet, to a tent-style (standing on its ends) to an easel, showing the screen to onlookers across the table as users control the keyboard. It is also loaded with processing power and 8GB of RAM. It should hit shelves by the second half of the year.
2. APPLE IPAD 3/HD:-
With the new Siri equipped iPhone garnering all the attention, the limelight on the newest version of the successful iPad series of Apple has decreased to an extent. The current iPad 2 has a 900MHz dual core ARM Cortext-A9 Processor. Now Apple is aiming to make the competition tougher by inserting an A6 Quad Core Processor in iPad 3 making it almost as powerful as any desktop PC currently available. In addition to the hardware, iPad 3 will also be sporting iOS 5 and with it its newest features reaching horizons beyond those one’s mind can reach. It has also been rumored that it will be 3D supported and features Retina Display, allowing mindboggling resolutions as high as 2048×1436 pixels. Another feature to please the hygienic population is the fingerprint proof technology, on which Apple is currently working tirelessly. This fingerprint technology will employ oleophobic materials thereby subtracting the oil and fingerprints on the screen. Although no fixed date of release has currently been reported by Apple, it has been rumored to release in late spring. By the looks of the past statistics of the sales of iPad (it has been reported that 15.63 million units have been sold in the last quarter alone), all hell is going to break loose with this latest offering by Apple. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed for this one.
1. IPHONE 5:-
As it was last year, the most anticipated release in the world of Cool Stuff this year is iPhone 5. The 4th generation of iPhone is already available in 3 types and has already earned a lot of praise till the time of this writing. iPhone 5 is expected to go one step further; both in terms of profit and technology. So what makes this device the most anticipated? It is mainly because very less is known about it. The manufacturers at Apple are tight-lipped about the features of iPhone 5 and the progress they are making. It has been rumored to include both Retina Display and Face Time as well as the newest sensation Siri which enables users to send text messages, make calls and set reminders and much more simply by using their voice. Not much else is known about this newest masterpiece of Apple and judging by the success of the previous generations and the surprises they brought, I am expecting the 5thGen of iPhone to be the best of the lot to date!