From Microsoft’s latest bid to topple Apple to Alexa joining the fashion police, check out the devices we’re most excited about this month
Having already challenged the iMac with the Surface Studio in December, Microsoft seems confident that the Surface Laptop is the MacBook Pro killer it has been looking for. Panos Panay, corporate vice president for Surface at Microsoft, spent much of his announcement presentation bragging about how the Surface Laptop was better “than any MacBook on sale today”. However, this swagger seems well-founded. The Surface Laptop may only weigh 1.25kg but its Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB of storage combined with its 13.5in touchscreen should still be enough to make Tim Cook slightly nervous.
Surround 360 X24 and X6
From the development of mind-controlled tech to new smartphone camera filters, Facebook unveiled a smattering of new and upcoming innovations at its F8 developer conference. But given the company’s $2bn purchase of Oculus Rift back in 2014, it’s hardly surprising that Mark Zuckerberg is serious about the adoption of VR and AR. An update of last year’s Surround 360, the company’s latest effort in this vein comes in two versions: the bigger X24 and the smaller X6. While many 360-degree cameras – Facebook’s old version included – produce a rather flat picture, this new tech is able to capture and understand the position of objects in a given scene, adding depth to the resulting video and enabling viewers with VR headsets to move around within it. Now that’ll certainly turn some heads.
Ever since the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot arrived on these shores people have been busy asking Alexa about everything from the weather to what’s on the cinema. With the launch of Echo Look, users can ask the personal assistant for fashion advice by snapping a selfie with the speaker’s camera and watch as the software compares the style with current trends to ascertain whether or not it suits the user. Unfortunately, at the moment the new speaker is only available for $200 in the US for specially invited users, meaning it’s still unclear when or even if Brits will have a machine that can admire our threads.
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is a tough act to follow for any developer but the new LG G6 is certainly giving the tech giant a run for its money. While not relying on gimmicks like the leather body of the LG G4, this new phablet is a true workhorse: with a battery that can last for almost three days, entrepreneurs don’t have to worry about the juice running out any time soon. Add to that that the 5.2-inch handset‘s LCD screen has a gorgeous 2880 x 1440 resolution, is resistant to water up to 1.5 metres and you’ve got yourself a smartphone any startup founder would be foolish to overlook.
The ZeTime is one of those ideas that was bound to happen sooner or later. Merging old-school watchmaking with modern tech, the Swiss watch manufacturer MyKronoz has developed the world’s first smartwatch with mechanical hands between the display and the touch-sensitive glass. While this may initially seem like just an aesthetic perk, it actually allows users to save battery power by not having to switch on the screen to tell the time, enabling one charge to last for up to 30 days. Add to this that the elegant timepiece includes all the regular features – like fitness trackers, smartphone notifications and alerts – and it’s easy to see why over 26,800 backers have pledged to invest more than $5.3m to the project on Kickstarter.