by Jaye Sonia
Well all, it’s October and the weather is finally reasonable, something I’m sure we’re all applauding. Hopefully, you’re getting outside, grilling up something nice, and enjoying the cool nights with friends or family (I know I am). Fall doesn’t bring just cool weather, though. It also brings cool tech, cool games, and the ghosts of 2013 sneaking in early. Exciting stuff, all around.
First up – and no, I haven’t bought it just yet – is the iPhone 5. Personally, I’m curious to see how it performs next to the Galaxy S3 or Nokia Lumina, both of which are out and very much competitive. I’m especially interested in seeing how the phone operates with its native Apple Maps, which will replace Google Maps (something I’m sure we’re all used to). Even if Apple Maps does stun users with its ease of use and interface, I have my doubts that it will have full support here in Kuwait. To be honest, I’m not holding my breath it’ll work here (Siri was a good indication that a lot of the Middle East wasn’t getting full support). As much as I like Apple, I think we’ll probably get more mileage out of Google’s global satellite network (and the various Androids still married to Google).
Of course, with Samsung gaining momentum and popularity here in Kuwait (even in light of Apple’s mountain of lawsuits against them), it will be interesting to see just how the iPhone 5 performs come Hala February – will it be on your shopping list?
If we look at the long term, then looking at some of the hardware actively married to Google might be in order, as well. With the new Google Glasses slated for late 2013 or early 2014, it might just be smarter to look at devices (phones and tablets) that perform well as part of larger technology nets. If you’re planning on buying the Google Glasses (est $1500 U.S, KD410 when they drop), having the right phone for them, even if its something you’ll pass on to a sibling or loved one, might be smart. And yes, I know you’re probably reading and thinking, “Well, Jaye, by 2014, the Galaxy 3 isn’t going to exactly be current, you know.” You’d be smart to think that, too (not to mention right). But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great starter phone to hand down to a younger generation. There’s more than one way to recycle, after all.
This technology net (hey, that’s what I’m calling it) is something Apple has been doing for a while, too. Regular Mac users already know how nice the whole cloud-based interface is across multiple devices. It’s easy, intuitive, and smooth – probably one of the iPhone’s (and all of Apple’s products) selling points.
Speaking of devices, let’s talk tablets. I’ll admit that I skipped the iPad 2 when it dropped, nursed my iPad 1 for all its worth, and finally grabbed (this summer, in fact) the iPad 3 with some extra airline miles I had laying around (hey, free tech is the best kind). I was hard pressed to make my choice, though. Frequent trips to Best Buy (while I was Stateside) found me looking at both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Google Nexus 7. Both of these tablets are visually stunning, run smooth, and offer intuitive interfaces that made me very happy. Ultimately, I went with what I know (being a long time Apple user) and I’m happy with the decision (FaceTime!).
That said, I’m still eyeballing a second tablet. If I do break down and grab one, I’m sure it’ll be something like the Nexus, especially if a good deal presents itself.
We have more than just tablets and phones to consider as 2013 creeps up, though. I’ve already mentioned the Google Glasses, so I’m going to change gears and talk about some of the fun tech I hope we’re going to see more of in the coming year.
I’m just going to say it – Neurowear is the next big thing. What exactly is it? In a nutshell, it’s a device that you wear which interacts with your brain waves (based on technology developed to build better prosthetics for injured soldiers and handicapped – see neuro prosthetics). While it was originally developed for solely practical purposes, it is starting to take a more cosmetic turn.
Right now, the most popular device of this type is a set of wearable cat ears! Pioneered by Japanese tech firm Neurowear (www.neurowear.com), these ears are gaining international exposure rather quickly. I got a chance to look at some in the U.S. over the summer (check out the YouTube demo) and was very impressed. They’re not something I’d run around wearing, but they are incredibly cool, especially if you’re looking for something unique and fun.
If you don’t feel like ordering them from Neurowear directly, you can pick them up on Amazon.com (for about $110 U.S, KD31). I fully expect to see them in the Avenues no later than January!
Well all, that’s enough for now. Next month, let’s chat gaming!!