No Playstation 4 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this year!

On Monday, January 16, 2012 0 comments


Sony's head of videogaming division, Kaz Hirai confirms there will be no new platform at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. For years Kaz has stated that he expected the Playstation3 to have a 10-year lifecycle. The 10-year anniversary of the PS3 would be coming up in 2016. If that is the case, the PS4 would come to market a 2 to 3 years prior to allow for one platform to wind down while the newer gaming console builds up momentum.

This echoes statements from Sony Computer Entertainment's President Andrew House who has said earlier that there would be no new hardware platform at the June show. Andrew went so far as to say last December that Sony is "just entering into this great period for PS3".

Nintendo's New Wii U
It will be interesting so see how the coming years unfold with new platforms due from Sony's competitors. It is still unclear if Microsoft will show it's hand at E3 this year but we are certain that Nintendo's Wii U featuring a new "second screen" tablet-style controller will be front in center at the show.

What are you expecting will be Microsoft's or Sony's big features in their next-generation consoles?


LarryLarry Pacey, award-winning designer tracks the latest news on consumer products, electronics, appliances, smart devices, networking and the gadget lifestyle.
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Please comment below and share your thoughts. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to email me at wouldntmind@gmail.com.

Just my 2-cents,
Larry



CES 2012: Withings Weighs in on Babies!

On Tuesday, January 10, 2012 0 comments

You've heard be talk about the Withings Wi-Fi scale and how it will monitor your daily weigh-ins and will even post the results to their central online service for tracking your weight discretely. OR it can automatically post it to Facebook or Twitter if you are so inclined.

I really love the device for its simple elegance of execution. It is smart. Smart devices always impress me. You can create multiple profiles for everyone in the family and hen you stand on the device, it even figures out which member of the family is standing on it and posts the results to that individuals history. All of this is done wirelesses...no fuss!

Well, Withings is introducing another scale. This one is the Withings Smart Baby Scale and it is compatible with the WiScale app already available for the original scale. The babies weight is automatically recorded the same as the original version and features the ability to monitor the weigh-ins via the app, emailed to a preset list of recipients or posted to Facebook and/or Twitter to keep doctors, friends or family up to date with baby's progress.

You can remove the basket as the infant grows into a toddler for extended use. And think of all that blackmail material you will have when junior grows up! Priceless ;-)

Look for the scale to be available by June 2012 and the app is free on iTunes.

You can check out the other great Health 2.0 products from Withings including the Withings Wi-Fi Scale and Blood Pressure Monitor already available on Amazon...


Please comment below and share your thoughts. Also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to email me at wouldntmind@gmail.com.

Just my 2-cents,
Larry


CES 2012: Panasonic line-up and the "Year of 3D Content"

On Monday, January 9, 2012 0 comments

Panasonic spent a great deal of time talking about their infrastructure and technology projects that span well beyond our focus of consumer products. But there were several key product discussed that are very interesting.

The year of 3D Content
Panasonic highlighted the importance of 3D and the rapid adoption of 3D televisions. While all manufactures are pointing out that people are transitioning to 3D faster than they did High-Def...don't let a good story get in the way...the truth is the manufacturers are more rapidly offering the 3D on a greater percentage of the pricing chain. Especially since they are looking for selling propositions to drive TV sales in a flat segment of the marketplace and in the introduction of some low price competitors namely Vizio.

The other area of import for all the 3D television manufacturers is the lack of content. This is an area that all manufactures are getting out of the shells and trying to partner or drive additional channels of 3D content.

90% of Panasonic's plasma televisions. 40% of their LCDs and 4 out of 6 BluRay players will feature 3D capabilities.

3D was clearly the focus and Panasonic demonstrated their HDC-Z10000 3D camcorder that will retail for over $3,000! But that product is really geared for the up and coming film makers that I am sure you all will become. The exciting first's is that this camcorder is Broadcast quality and has a very short focal range for offering 3D. You can focus on objects only 18 inches in front of the 3D lenses.

Home Theater
Already talked about the importance of 3D for Panasonic but let's look at the televisions...
In 2012, Panasonic will continue to push plasma technology with three product lines; GT, VT and ST. They will have two product lines of LCD televisions; WT and DT. More specific details as we can checkout the booth tomorrow.

The big news in the television line-up is the evolution of Panasonic's internet connected services that includes Skype functionality and some exclusive applications including Flixter, a new interactive children's book series in partnership with Disney and a Miramax movie app. The televisions appear to be gaining enough processing power to finally multitask some of the apps in concern with your TV viewing.


On top of that, the team from the original social network, MySpace announced a social platform on Panasonic televisions called MySpaceTV that allows you to dialog and share content with your friends on and off the television. Imagine chatting with your friends while watching your favorite show or sporting event. Or the ability to track what shows are more popular to your friends.


Tablets
Panasonic is taking their Toughbook rugged notebook strategy and applying it to the tablet marketplace with a Toughbook Android Tablet. It is so tough, they actually dropped it during the demo today and it really looked like it was unplanned.

We'll definitely get more details at the show and will update as more information becomes available.


Please comment below and share your thoughts. Also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to email me at wouldntmind@gmail.com.

Just my 2-cents,
Larry


CES 2012: Samsung Does It Big

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Samsung took the stage and walked us through a wide range of products introductions covering a gambit of categories. There was talk about televisions, smartphones, tablets, computers, home appliances, cameras...the list goes on. There was a consistent motif with Samsung, LG and other vendors...the solutions have to be simpler to use.

Smart Appliances

In the category of refrigerators, Samsung has been the top seller for the past four years. These smart appliances feature interactive touch-screens, mobile apps and connectivity to help manage your daily life.

This year Samsung is introducing a Smart Washer and Dryer set that will track your wash and notify you when it is ready for the next cycle.

Home Theater
Samsung spent a great deal of time talking about the television and how it will return to being the center of the home. New functionality and capabilities will continue to be added creating a hub for the family and the home.

The ES8000 is the new flagship in the companies LCD SMART TV line-up and features a new dual-core processor, the ability to upgrade the core processing platform for future-proofing the device and a host of system and network services.

Some of the more interesting features is the ability to control your tv via body gestures and voice. And a host of new connectivity solutions between these main television displays and secondary displays such as the company's line-up of smartphones and tablets.
It was clear that Samsung, like other television manufacturers are realizing that they are part of a full ecosystem and need to be more actively involved in the content creation. Samsung was also talking about partnerships and deals regarding content in the form of new interactive features or applications like their newly announced deal to be the first television to offer "Angry Birds" the extremely popular tablet and smartphone game.

There is a great deal of talk about the other services of the new SMART TV's to really create this hub in the family. Photo and video sharing, family fitness monitoring, a kids zone and a full marketplace of downloadable applications.


And not to be outdone by LG's announcement of a 55-inch OLED television with its extremely vibrant color capabilities and thin form factors, Samsung also announced by the end of the year, they too would be selling one.

Smartphones, Tablets and Samsung's "Things in the Middle"
Apple's late leader Mr. Job's once said that the iPad's 9" display is the perfect size to complement the iPhone. He is referring to the fact that the iPad's screen gives you more real estate and you need to create dedicated but new application interfaces to properly take advantage of the larger screen.

The way Samsung pumps out 10 sizes (exaggerating) between the iPhone all the way up to larger than an iPad...they seem to be out to prove him wrong!

Samsung Galaxy Note
To that end, Samsung announced the Galaxy Note that definitely splits the difference between a smartphone and the traditional tablet sizes. This smart-phone-tablet features a 5.3 inch HD Super AMOLED vibrant display and includes a 256 levels of pressure pen unlike the old-stylus' on phones. This pen can detect how hard or lightly you are pressing and adjust the ink drawn to match.

The Galaxy Note is an exclusive with AT&T.

Another big announcement in the tablet corner is the update to the original Galaxy Tab. The new Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE features the Super AMOLED PLUS display technology which is stunning to see in person, an IR port to allow for home remote control type behavior and will be launching exclusively with Verizon.

PC Computing
Samsung has seen success with its original Series 9 laptop and is introducing its successor at CES. The new version features a single form aluminum body and finger-print resistent texture. This 15 inch laptop weighs in 2.5 lbs and measure .5 inches thick. The display is extremely bright and the keyboard is backlit. The computer is said to boot up in 9.8 seconds and have a 10 hour battery life.

And to keep with the trend of this year's show, Samsung also introduced the all-new Series 5 Ultrabook. This ultra-light laptop still comes with a 14" display and a DVD drive even in this small form-factor.

Cameras
There was talk about their camera line-up which seems to lean on their connectivity and ability to upload straight to email, Facebook and YouTube but to date I have not been blown away with this product line. Not to say they won't get better but this is something we'll have to wait and see.

You can read more about the products being introduced at CES 2012 in our Product News and for more information about Consumer Electronic trends check out our Editorial and Product Insights.


Please comment below and share your thoughts. Also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to email me at wouldntmind@gmail.com.

Just my 2-cents,
Larry

CES 2012: Fujifilm Introduces X-Pro1 Interchangeable Lens

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Fujifilm has had great success with the original X100 retro-styled, mirrorless digital camera system that delivered image quality on par with some full Digital SLR cameras and with an all-new 16 megapixel CMOS sensor and EXR processor looks to up the game with the new Fujifilm X-Pro 1 before competitors start nipping at their tails. 

The X-Pro 1 incorporates a new second-generation Hybrid Multi viewfinder that allows seamless switching between the optical and digital viewfinder and offers three prime Fujinon lens choices. You have the choice of an 18mm (23mm equivalent)/F2.0, 35mm (53mm equivalent)/F1.4 and a 60mm (90mm equivalent)/F2.4 Macro. 

The camera will be available in February 2012 and pricing will be announced by the end of the month.

You can read the full press release below and you can follow my progress through CES at WouldntMind.com Editorial and WouldntMind.com News.

Please comment below and share your thoughts. Also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to email me at wouldntmind@gmail.com.

Just my 2-cents,
Larry


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Valhalla, N.Y., January 9, 2012 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation proudly introduces the debut of its newest and most advanced addition to its premium, high quality X-Series digital camera line-up – the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 interchangeable lens digital camera system. 

With a brand new, custom developed 16MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensorTM, incorporating a newly developed filter array and Fujifilm’s proprietary EXR Processor technology, the FUJIFILM X-Pro1 is poised to deliver superlative image quality that will rival currently available mid and high-end DSLR models. Taking another decisive step into the premium camera market, Fujifilm has taken the X-Pro1 to the next level featuring a New 2nd Generation Hybrid Multi Viewfinder and three prime interchangeable FUJINON lenses. 

The FUJIFILM X-Pro1 digital camera not only promises to carve out a distinct position in the premium camera category, but it also promises to reward X-Series loyalists with a camera system that surpasses their expectations.

“Fujifilm puts great emphasis on producing outstanding image quality, and with the X-Pro1, we are proud to offer an interchangeable lens system that performs to the highest professional caliber,” said Go Miyazaki, division president, Imaging and Electronic Imaging Divisions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation.  “Each element is the product of Fujfiilm’s commitment to uncompromising quality.  With its custom APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensorTM, unique Hybrid Multi Viewfinder and three interchangeable lenses, the X-Pro1 is poised to become the new standard for photographers.”
Setting new standards in image resolution
Fujifilm has developed a new CMOS sensor called the X-Trans CMOSTM.  The X-Trans CMOSTM sensor is capable of delivering resolution that is superior to other APS-C sensors and equal to even some full frame sensors.

The new color filter array paves the way for an ideal sensor that does not need an optical low-pass filter.  While the optical low-pass filter is indispensable for the reduction of moiré and false color generated by conventional sensors, it also degrades resolution.  Fujifilm has developed a new color filter array that is inspired by the random arrangement of fine film grain, removing the need for an optical low-pass filter to solve moiré and false color issues.  In the array, RGB pixels are arranged in 6x6 pixel sets with high aperiodicity (randomness).  Increasing the degree of randomness eliminates the fundamental cause of moiré and false colors – a problem that occurs in conventional arrays when shooting stripes and other repeating patterns.  The presence of an R, G and B pixel in every vertical and horizontal pixel series minimizes the generation of false colors and delivers higher color reproduction.

As a result of using a film-inspired array, a more powerful processor is required to process the image signal data.  So Fujifilm has developed the EXR Processor Pro. This technology will maximize the full potential of the X-Trans CMOSTM sensor, delivering high speed and high precision image processing.

Prime FUJINON XF lenses deliver the highest image quality
FUJINON lenses have long been associated with delivering high quality images, with optics used for both broadcast TV and medium format cameras.  Now the expertise borne out of this enviable optical heritage has been put into lenses for the FUJIFILM X-Pro1.

Three compact XF FUJINON fast aperture prime lenses will be available at launch.  The “XF18mmF2 R” (27mm equivalent) f/2.0, “XF 35mmF1.4 R” (53mm equivalent) f/1.4, and “XF60mmF2.4 R Macro” (90mm equivalent) F/2.4 are all bright and compact and designed to deliver sharp, clear images of uncompromising quality.  They offer precise control over depth-of-field and deliver excellent bokeh effects thanks to the design of the molded aperture diaphragm blades.  The blades are curved to create a circular image at all aperture settings, while the very edges of each blade are meticulously rounded off rather than simply cut off, which delivers a sharper image.  In addition, the solid feel of the high-quality metal barrel and detailed exposure setting in 1/3 step increments using the aperture ring fuel your desire to capture more photos with every shot.

FUJIFILM original “X-Mount” maximizes lens performance
Specifically designed to maximize the mirrorless design of the body the X-Mount has a short flange back distance of just 17.7mm. This means the rear lens elements are as close as possible to the sensor.  The wide opening allows the lens to be mounted deeper within the body – up to 7.5mm (approximately) from the mount surface – reducing the back focus distance of each lens to the minimum possible, thus achieving high resolution all the way to the edge of the image

Hybrid Multi Viewfinder – seeing is believing
First introduced in the FUJIFILM X100 digital camera, Fujifilm’s revolutionary Hybrid Viewfinder has the ability to instantly switch between an Optical Viewfinder and Electronic Viewfinder.  The Hybrid Viewfinder has added a new dimension to the pleasure of composing photographs.  For the brightest viewing image, and to keep shutter lag to a minimum, users should choose the Optical Viewfinder.  Those wanting focus confirmation, exposure information, white balance information and depth of field indicators should switch to the Electronic Viewfinder.

The Electronic Viewfinder provides an excellent “Live View” of your composition. This fusion of technologies allows users to enjoy composing their images through a bright viewfinder, but has the option to overlay vital picture taking information should this be required.

Changing between the two viewfinders is simple, thanks to the switch on the front of the X-Pro1 body.  When attaching a FUJINON XF-series lens on the X-Pro1, both the viewfinder magnification and bright frame size automatically switch to support the lens focal length. Viewfinder magnification switches to 0.37x for the 18mm lens, and to 0.60x when the 35mm or 60mm lens is mounted, letting you compose your shot with the bright, crystal clarity of an optical image.  The X-Pro1 also gives you the freedom to manually set a focal distance and switch between viewfinder magnifications.  

Cutting edge technology in a beautiful camera body
The X-Pro1’s magnesium alloy chassis and improved user interface is a testament to Fujifilm’s unyielding attention to quality and the photographic needs of the professionals.  From the exact and deliberate placement of the buttons to the precision milled dials, the X-Pro1 beautifully encompasses all that is needed to deliver high quality photography.   
The top and base are made from die-cast aluminum alloy which, combined with high quality touches like precise engraving on the top-plate and hand-enameled lettering on the lenses,
illustrates how the entire X-Pro1 system was designed and built without compromise.

This eye for detail extends to the shutter speed dial and exposure compensation control that is precision milled from solid metal.  Details like the shutter speed dial lock mechanism and the recessed exposure compensation dial are designed to prevent accidental movement of settings. The knurled finish on the sides of the dials feature rows of minutely milled squared pyramids for superb grip and confidence.

As a well-known mark of quality, the “Made in Japan” printing confirms that every part of the construction has had to meet Fujifilm’s highest standards.

The lightweight, precision-milled lens hood (included with the lens) has been exclusively designed and machined from aluminum for the FUJINON XF lens.  Its compact size delivers superb light shading performance in a design that perfectly matches X-Pro1 styling.  Diameters of the aperture ring and focus ring of the three FUJINON XF-series interchangeable lenses are only slightly larger than the barrel for sleek uniformity of design.  Precision machined from metal, the reassuring click of the aperture ring at each setting and the comfortable torque resistance when operating the focus ring enhances the shooting experience.

The X-Pro1’s leather-like finish is designed for a quality look and durability. The synthetic leather offers resistance to the elements and high durability, while an original manufacturing process produces a texture with the look and feel of authentic leather.  The X-Pro1 has also been designed with the photographer’s comfort in mind.  The natural fit of the eyepiece provides excellent shielding from light leakage, and an optional dioptic adjustment lens can also be attached.

Extending Fujifilm’s photo film legacy
In film cameras, capturing multiple exposures is the unique photographic technique of superimposing one image on another by double exposing a single frame of film.  Through advanced digital processing the X-Pro1 can simulate this technique by simply selecting the  Multiple Exposure mode and taking the first shot.  By viewing the image via the Hybrid Multi Viewfinder or on the LCD screen, you can see how the finished multiple exposure will look and then precisely frame the second shot.
Further enhancements have been made to the Film Simulation modes with the new Professional Color Negative Film Modes (Pro Neg. Std and Pro Neg. Hi) designed for X-Pro1 users working in the studio.  The X-Pro1 also offers Film Simulation bracketing, along with AE, Dynamic and ISO bracketing; plus the ability to capture the colors and tonal qualities of popular FUJIFILM emulsions through the vibrant colors of Velvia, the softer skin tones of ASTIA and the natural look of PROVIA.

Replicating the effects of monochrome film photography the X-Pro1 lets you use color filters to expand your photographic interpretation.  Heighten contrast with the yellow filter and red filter, or brighten greens and deepen reds with the green filter.  Just as professional film photographers once selected a filter and printing paper to complement their creative vision, you can easily fine tune image quality with these filters.  For those after a more nostalgic theme there is also a sepia filter.

Premium Accessory Lineup
The FinePix X-Pro1 has these additional premium accessory options that are sold separately:

Hand Grip, HG-XPro1 - Giving you more secure and balanced handling of the camera, the X-Pro1 accessory grip smoothly molds to the lines of the camera body for a uniform look. The grip helps balance the weight of the camera body, allowing for a more comfortable hold.

Shoe Mount Flash EF-X20 – Designed to match X-Pro1’s distinctive styling,  a single dial lets you choose between two modes: AUTO - automatically optimizes flash for both outdoor daylight and dark indoor shots; and MANUAL - for hands-on control.  In addition, the built-in flash diffuser has an easy one-touch process to soften harsh flash effects.

Leather Case LC-XPro1* - Beautifully molded to protect the X-Pro1, this leather case is designed to allow fast access for easy shooting.  Attention has been given to every detail, from the color and spacing of the stitches to the use of a hidden magnet rather than a snap for closing the case.  The premium case is complete with the authentic leather neck-strap and hood case.
Protector Filter 39mm and Protector Filter 52mm – These protection filters have high transmissivity without affecting the visible light, and the Super EBC coating effectively controls harmful borrowed light.  The frame of the filters has a semi gloss black finish, keeping with the high sense of design, while the inner filter ring is finished in a matte black in order to minimize reflections.

Pricing and Availability
The FUJIFILM X-Pro1 will be available in February 2012, and the price will be announced in late January 2012. 

CES 2012: LG's Home Appliances Work and Play Together

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LG is looking to take a leadership position across the home appliances market-place similar to their current leadership in the front-loading clothes washer segment which they have held for the past 4-years.
Washer and Dryers
To maintain their competitive edge, LG is introducing their fastest and largest capacity washing machine. The washer has a more streamlined user interface and includes a smartphone application to notify of simple problems like leaving the door ajar. And might I say, it is a pretty mean looking machine.


Refrigerator
LG introduced it's largest capacity french-door refrigerator at 31 cubic feet of storage. No only does this refrigerator feature a nice contemporary look but also contains some very state of the art features.

The appliance is smart, like all the LG home appliances and tracks what it's contents. And using the your smartphone you can make a grocery shopping list, scan your grocery receipts to automatically add items purchased to refrigerator inventory and even purchase items right on the display. The app will allow you to see what is in your fridge and what needs replacing while you are shopping.





Take recipes found on the fridge and send them to your LG oven


Another innovative feature is the Blast Chiller that will quickly cool two cans of soda or beer in just 5 minutes or a bottle of wine in 8 minutes. It is accomplished this through a controlled, circular chilled airflow.

Smart ThinQ
All these devices are functioning across the LG Smart ThinQ network to allow these and future capabilities.



Please comment below and share your thoughts. Also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to email me at wouldntmind@gmail.com.

Just my 2-cents,
Larry


CES 2012: LG's Smartphone Focused

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LG believes the continued success of LTE cellular technology is a key strength of their's with a large library of patents in the space. With those investments they continue to push the envelope of form and function within the Android-based smartphone marketplace.

LG Spectrum
The big news was the LG Spectrum with HD IPS display (same high-end technology used in their premium displays) with 329 pixel per inch and lower power needed than OLED. The smartphone's display is a 16x9 aspect ration to give you true high definition imagery.

Powering the device is a 1.5ghz dual-core processor, 4G LTE and an 8-megabyte camera that can record 1080p video. The phone will launch with Android 2.3 but is upgradable to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0).

The phone will launch with Verizon and features exclusive HD access to the ESPN ScoreCenter application. Product will be available on January 19th for $199.99 and a two-year contract.

Enterprise Smartphone?
LG is also focusing on enterprise smartphone solutions based on VMWare virtualization that enables the user to have two Google Android operating systems (one for work and one for personal). The Revolution LTE will be the first to support this functionality.

You can read more about CES and Future product trends at WouldntMind.com.


Please comment below and share your thoughts. Also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to email me at wouldntmind@gmail.com.

Just my 2-cents,
Larry