Hottest new tech in October revealed
Dyson’s robot vacuum and 2 VR headsets in Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR and a new console from Nintendo. Our edit of the gadgets we currently love…
Nintendo launches new Switch console
The Wii U, Nintendo’s previous big console, was launched way back in 2012 before both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
A lot has changed since then. So what does the Nintendo Switch bring to the table? Well, it’s a handheld console that looks a bit like a tablet. Games are controlled with 2 joypad sections that you attach to either end.
The controllers simply slide onto the sides of the tablet. When attached both control your one-player game. Or you can detach them and use each one independently for certain multiplayer games. You can play it handheld on the built-in screen, or attach it to a dock to play through your TV for a big-screen experience. So you’ll only need one version of a game to play handheld on the go and at home on your telly.
The games are on retro cartridges, like the old Game Boy and SNES titles. EA Sports, Activision and Ubisoft all have games in the pipeline for the Nintendo Switch. Zelda is a Nintendo institution and the highly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will debut on Switch.
Nintendo Switch will go on sale in March 2017.
Razer Blade Pro – the gaming notebook
Heralded as a desktop in your laptop, the Razer Blade Pro 17-inch is packed with more power than ever before for a notebook under an inch thick. And it’s not just for gaming. Designers will appreciate the powerful 6th gen Intel Core i7 quad-core processor that can handle video and photo editing software too – taking you from work to play with ease.
- A 17.3-in 4K IGZO touchscreen display with a staggering 8.3 million pixels for stunning visual clarity
- Ultra-smooth gaming with NVIDIA G-SYNC display technology that delivers fast game play
- The world’s first ultra-low-profile mechanical keyboard – delivering a desktop clicky experience
- Superb thermal design technology to keep it cool in even the toughest battles
The company has also announced its multi-award winning 12.5-inch Razer Blade Stealth laptop and 14-inch Razer Blade notebook are now available in Europe.
Convenient streaming and deep bass with Bose SoundTouch 300
If you want to upgrade your TV’s built-in speakers with crystal clear sound you’ll love the Bose SoundTouch 300 soundbar.
Soundbars are slim oblong-shaped boxes containing a number of speakers. They’re wall-mounted or placed beneath your TV.
Bose has spent nearly 10 years perfecting the technology behind this soundbar and it has really paid off. The biggest new feature? Connect through both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to stream music straight to the bar from your phone as well as using it to beef up your TV’s sound.
Create an even better home cinema experience by creating 5:1 surround sound with the Acoustimass 300 wireless subwoofer and the Virtually Invisible 300 wireless surround speakers – both sold separately.
What’s really clever is the ability to connect to other Bose SoundTouch speakers to create a network of smart sound multi-room audio throughout your home.
Whether the soundbar or the speakers, controlling your SoundTouch network is simple with the free, easy-to-use Bose app.
PlayStation VR delivers virtual reality to console gamers
At CES back in January we talked about how 2016 was going to be the year of VR, with headsets from Oculus, HTC and PlayStation coming.
The launch of PlayStation VR this month means all 3 headsets are now available to buy.
Oculus Rift and HTC Vive need to be connected to a high-powered PC or laptop to run. But PlayStation VR is designed to work with PlayStation 4 consoles – less powerful and much lower priced than a gaming PC.
The headset offers 360° vision for an immersive, 3D-like experience. Once hooked up to your PS4 it uses the PlayStation Camera (sold separately) to track your movements. When you turn your head the game will turn with you – every movement is smoothly replicated on screen.
You can control games with a PS4 controller, but for the best experience you want the PlayStation Move motion controllers.
Games include racing sim Driveclub VR and space shooter EVE Valkyrie – and PlayStation VR Worlds. This last title gives you short games including London Heist which puts you slap bang in the middle of a gangland robbery.
Dyson makes a robot vacuum
In a nutshell: Dyson makes a robot vacuum with twice the suction of any robot vac
Dyson is known for innovation in its design and engineering, and both are on show with the Eye 360 robot vacuum. You can schedule it from an app on your phone – perfect for having the vacuuming done every day while you’re at work. At home? Simply press the button on the vac.
It uses Dyson’s high speed digital motor and cyclone technology to deliver twice the suction of any robot vacuum.
Dyson was working on a prototype of a robot vacuum way back in 2001. At the time it said the technology for the ‘performance we demand’ was yet to arrive. Now it has.
The Eye 360 captures a 360° image of your room before working out where it is in relation to that. From there it sets a cleaning pattern, dividing your room into a grid and cleaning each grid in turn. It has a smaller design than most robot vacuums, so it’s great at getting into tight gaps – around the kitchen table for example – and cleaning the edges of your room. It can easily roll over rugs and floor edging.
Before and after its cleaning session, it parks in a special, battery-charging dock – meaning storage is really simple.
GoPro HERO5 adds voice-control for adventurers
In a nutshell: GoPro cameras get voice control, built-in waterproofing and 4K video
Mountain bikers, surfers, skaters, travellers and musicians are among the adventurers who love GoPro action cameras. With one attached to your handlebar, helmet, board or guitar you can film your latest ride, run or gig as you see it.
Now GoPro has launched 2 new cameras – the flagship HERO5 and smaller HERO5 Session. With both you can shoot video in 4K resolution – perfect for playing back on your 4K TV (if you have one). You can also start recording or, take a photo, using just your voice.
Both have their own built-in waterproof housing, so there’s no need to buy accessories for swimming and surfing. There are some important differences between the HERO5 and the HERO5 Session though – explore these differences.
Oculus Rift – the original VR headset goes on sale
In a nutshell: The headset that kick-started the current virtual reality trend is now available
Virtual reality has been the biggest tech trend of 2016, with headsets from HTC, PlayStation and Samsung hitting the shelves. But the one that started this VR revival was the Oculus Rift.
Rift first appeared in the news in 2012, when it caused a stir on crowdfunding site Kickstarter. After a further 4 years of improvements, Oculus Rift is finally available to buy.
It’s a tethered headset, which means it hooks up to a powerful PC or laptop to play games. Games are streamed to the headset’s Full HD screens, which offer a wide field of view and fast refresh rates for a more immersive experience.
You control your game with an Xbox One controller which is included with the headset along with the motion sensor to detect your movements. Your head movements are tracked – so if you look left or right or up or down the game moves with you.
When it comes to games, Oculus has worked with studios like Crytek and Insomniac Games, with the first titles including EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky’s Tale.