Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Tech round-up: iPhone 5S revealed and Valve's future of gaming
In this week’s roundup we check out some of the hottest tech from IFA, reveal the iPhone 5S’ ground-breaking feature and discover Valve’s future for gaming!
CUTTING EDGE: Exciting New Tech From This Year’s IFA Conference
As some of you may know, we recently had the IFA technology Conference in Germany and there was some impressive tech worth mentioning.
First off, the ultra-thin keyboard by Cambridge company CSR. Not only is it thin, it’s also flexible so you can curl it up in a bag! It uses Bluetooth to connect to your tablet or phone and could be an amazing addition to next-gen cases.
Secondly, Ricoh showed off their 360 camera. This pretty much does what it says on the tin with the company believing it to be the future of photography, they might just be right if it wasn’t for the £329 price tag!
Moving swiftly on to our final piece: the Haier Eye Control TV. Yes that’s right, eye controlled television, this could make gesture based Smart TV’s a thing of the past.
The technology was first unveiled a year ago but now the system is more refined. After completing a quick configuration process, you can navigate through menus and multimedia with just a look and a blink. Quite incredible.
APPLE: iPhone 5S Comes With Fingerprint Reader and ‘Touch ID’
So you might already be aware that the new iPhone 5S sports an innovative fingerprint reader, we even suggested the possibility a few weeks back. What you may not know about is Apple’s patented ‘Touch ID’ program designed to work with the new sensor.
Currently, this will allow you to unlock your device and even authorise iTunes payments but more features are coming very soon. Apple will continue to develop the platform, adding extra functionality for its users.
They have assured customers that you can use any finger for identification with support for up to five different prints stored right onto the phone itself.
The home button has received a scratch-resistant finish and we see the addition of a steel detection ring border to allow the sensor to work effectively.
Fingerprint scanning technology has failed in the past but perhaps the Apple touch might help it become a new standout feature for iPhone.
ANDROID: Play Music App Gets New ‘Genre Radio’ Feature
Google has recently released an update to its Play Music app, which includes a new ‘Genre Radio’ feature. This is only available to ‘All Access’ users, the name for Google’s subscription-based music streaming service.
Simply go to the ‘Explore’ or ‘Radio’ tab within the app, select your favourite music genre and you can enjoy unlimited tracks. This really puts them in direct competition to services like Spotify but with a 30-day ‘All Access’ free trial and subscription only costing £7.99 a month after that, Google could just pull ahead.
It makes them more affordable than the competition and has the added benefit of a huge potential user base from those who already enjoy other Google products.
Will be interesting to see how this service develops to keep it in line with the competition and is definitely worth checking out.
GADGETS: The Nokia Lumia 925 Review
We recently checked out the Nokia Lumia 925 (pictured) on Three and were quite impressed with its design and features.
On paper, the specs don’t blow you away but the Lumia 925 packs a decent 8.7 megapixel camera, a dual-core Snapdragon processor, 2000 mAh battery and 4G capability.
This phone feels good in the hand, the screen is bright and vibrant plus we noticed no obvious lag on the Windows Phone 8 operating system. The on-board HERE Maps features from Nokia will also be of great use to many people.
Not only are they innovative and eye-pleasing; they really provide helpful information when you’re out and about. Overall, this isn’t the best Lumia phone on the market, others boast more impressive cameras or knock-out specs but if you’re looking for an affordable, mid-range device then I would say the 925 really stands out.
You can check out our full review over at I AM GEEK in the Reviews section.
GAMING: Valve’s Upcoming ‘Steam Box’ And Game Sharing
In an interview with the BBC, Valve’s CEO Gabe Newell announced that they will be sending out prototypes of their new ‘Steam Box’ games console in the next few months.
This is obviously based around the company’s online ‘Steam’ service, which offers games for download and is hugely popular in the market. The new device is meant to make access to this service even easier but there are still kinks to be worked out and no price set at the moment.
Steam has over 50 million users worldwide, offering titles for PC, Mac and Linux machines, which they want to make more accessible with their new ‘Family Sharing’ feature.
Users can authorise up to ten devices to view their games, with friends able to request authorisation if they see something they like.
Naturally this could affect profits for the company and not all titles will be included for technical reasons but Valve plan on rolling out a trial for the new service sometime this month. Keep your eyes open for it.
James is a freelance technology and science writer from Bucks.
His interests range from gadgets and apps to movies and gaming, really anything geeky!
Visit his website www.i-am-geek.net for the latest news and reviews.