Most Instagram fans must have wondered what it would feel like to pick the Instagram App icon and make it a real camera. That's the main idea at the heart of the Instagram Socialmatic. It features 16/32GB mass storage with SD card slot, GPS, wi-fi, Bluetooth and 3G connections, 4:3 touch screen, two main lenses (first for main capture, second for 3D filters), webcam application and QR code-capturing, optical zoom and LED flash. Socialmatic gets a little "futuristic retro" with an internal printer to make your Instagram photos look just like Polaroids, except that they're printed on Instagram's very own Paper Sheets.
With your Instagram nickname and a QR code printed on the front of every printed photo, everyone can follow you simply by pointing his/her Socialmatic at the QR code. Instagram Paper Sheets have an adhesive strip on the reverse side, just like a Post-it. At the bottom of each printed photo there's a space in which you can write something to remind you where the image was taken and with whom, or how you felt at that special moment in time.
And since Facebook bought the application for nearly $1 billion earlier this year, Socialmatic puts Facebook and Instagram App features together with InstaOs 1.0. The Instagram Socialmatic is only a concept, but it could become real _ real soon. The company proposing to build the camera, ADR Studio, has found a private investor as well as a business partner and says it is close to signing contracts with hardware and software manufacturers. If everything goes to plan, project founder Antonio De Rosa says he hopes to have a working prototype by the end of the year and the cameras in consumers' hands by the middle of 2013. De Rosa predicts the Instagram Socialmatic will retail for around 14,000 baht.
PARROT AR.DRONE 2.0
Hailed as the next-generation quadricopter with intuitive iOS controls, the AR.Drone 2.0 remote-control quadricopter combines the best of many worlds, including modelling, video gaming and augmented reality. It can be remotely controlled by either an iPhone or an iPad and features a number of sensors, including a high-definition front camera, vertical camera, an ultrasound altimeter, absolute control mode and interchangeable hulls for indoor and outdoor use. With this new device you can now record video and take pictures while in flight and directly share them on YouTube and Picasa. You can also use the AR.Drone in video games such as Ar.Race, a one- or two-player game involving an obstacle course. Or you could fly and do battle with other Drone users via wi-fi. The AR.Drone 2.0 is now available at the Apple Online Store for $299.95 (9,000 baht).
SAMSUNG GALAXY CAMERA
SAMSUNG GALAXY CAMERA
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is a 16MP BSI CMOS compact superzoom/Android smart device hybrid which was first unveiled at the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung _ a consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin) a few weeks ago. Combining a 21x, 23-481mm equivalent zoom lens on the front with a 4.8-inch touch screen on the back, it runs Android 4.1 (known as Jelly Bean), the latest version of the operating system, and has built-in wi-fi where you can also get wi-fi direct for sharing photos instantly with your friends' smartphones. There's also 3G and 4G LTE on-board, for instant uploading to the cloud no matter where you are. Beneath its surface, the Galaxy Camera shares most of its key specifications with the company's flagship Galaxy SIII smartphone; with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor at its heart, it lacks only the ability to make and receive calls.
The Galaxy Camera isn't the first Android-powered camera, though _ that honour belongs to the Nikon Coolpix S800c _ but Samsung's interface tweaks and extended connectivity make it a much more exciting device. Although we've heard nothing solid about the pricing and official release date, rumour has it that the first stock will arrive here later this month and that the price tag will be around $500 (15,360 baht), before VAT is added.
B&O'S PLAY RANGE
B&O'S PLAY RANGE
Bang & Olufsen is known for its enticing designs and off-putting prices. With this god-awful recession on, we can imagine more and more people being put off by high pricing. But B&O is moving with the times and has launched the new, "affordable" Play range _ its first offspring being the Beolit 12 portable AirPlay speaker. Although the price is still high for most people ($799.95 or 24,580 baht apiece), this device is all about practicality. It's a portable speaker with a built-in rechargeable battery lasting up to three hours if using AirPlay, or eight hours when using the 3.5mm auxiliary jack.
Looking rather like a vintage lunchbox or a transistor, the Beolit 12 is a solid rectangle of metal and soft-touch plastic that you can carry around using the leather strap. The device is actually a nod to the radios of the 1960s and 70s, but with a novel twist: wireless streaming over built-in wi-fi. Connecting with iOS devices in the usual AirPlay manner, the USB port on the side can be used to connect in a wired manner, while also charging them. The 3.5mm jack is also on hand for all non-Apple devices.
Available at Bang & Olufsen retail outlets and the Apple Online Store.