Tech Gear You Should Keep an Eye on for 2013

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We check out four different gadgets that are going to revolutionise our way of living in 2013.

WORDS Rachel Worsley

After a technologically turbulent 2012 that saw our best tech companies lose their way (quite literally, as it turned out with Apple Maps), there’s nothing like starting afresh in 2013 with the newest gadgets. In our increasingly wired world, we uni students can’t help but get stuck into the cutting-edge, so here are four promising sets of technology to keep an eye out when slugging through another semester at university.

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TOP ENTERTAINMENT PICK: Horizon Table PC

Want to brighten your experience for your tutorial? As long as you’ve got space around, try out the Horizon Table PC. It’s the size of a coffee table, weighs 6.8 kilograms and priced at $1600. Always felt that old Monopoly or Scrabble set took up too much space in your room? The Table PC will allow you and three others to hunker around it and play electronic versions of them. Perhaps air hockey takes your fancy? The Table PC comes with optional plastic strikers. Whilst costly at first glance, it’s the perfect portable and social entertainment device if you’re willing to split the costs with some of your friends. On sale in the second half of 2013.

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TOP MUSIC TECHNOLOGY PICKPandora Radio

Technically, Pandora isn’t new. It’s been around since 2000, but after licensing issues, was relaunched in Australia late last year and is set to make a large impact in 2013. Unlike internet streaming stations such as Spotify, users don’t control the music that is put out. Rather, users create playlists by typing in existing artists that they like and Pandora starts playing similar songs, with users indicating thumbs-up or thumbs-down to show their preferences. According to Pandora founder Tim Westergren, “radio never had the ability to personalise” and Pandora’s incredible collection of independent artists (about two-thirds of their million-plus tracks are produced by independent artists) allows listeners to encounter new and interesting music. It is a win-win situation for all, with independent artists gaining exposure to approximately 175 million users around the world. The Pandora radio station is available as an app on Google Play and the Apple App Store, or you can head to www.pandora.com.

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TOP ‘COOL TECHNOLOGY’ PICK: Samsung ‘Bendable Phone’

Smartphones have everything from your personal MP3 player to your study apps that are supposed to stop you from procrastinating. Samsung has just decided to top that all with a prototype ‘bendable’ phone. The technology at the heart of this is organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. By spreading them over a thin plastic screen rather than glass, these liquid crystals allow for the phone to be bent into a tube shape. Perhaps not quite like folding it like a laptop just yet, but certainly worth keeping an eye on. It’s just something else to procrastinate with, besides all the numerous distractions.

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TOP FITNESS TECHNOLOGY PICK: HAPIFork

A new semester of study often means coming back to skipped meals or random snacks throughout the day. Even worse, some of us might even eat more as we battle exam nerves and assignment stress. The HAPIfork comes to the rescue. Designed to help you lose weight by slowing down your eating, it measures the time that you bring your fork from your plate to your mouth and back again, and vibrates if you’re eating way too fast. Unfortunately, it doesn’t register the healthiness of what you actually eat: you could be leisurely eating greasy KFC or wolfing down a bowl of Greek salad and the fork will punish you for devouring that salad. Look out for it in April for $99.

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If you thought tech gear was crazy enough, spare a thought at some of the more interesting technologies on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, such as iPotty, a toilet-training device with an iPad-holder attached for the restless toddler. Now that’s technology people keep an eye out for.