Top 10 devices for summer 2014

Micro Electronics

by Ben Sullivan| 18 July 2014

From flying drones in the park to reading that blockbuster on the beach, these gadgets will have your sizzling summer covered.

Google Glass

Google Glass, Google's very own wearable glasses, was released this month to the British public. For around £1000 you can sign up to be a 'Glass Explorer', and be one of the first Google Glass users in the UK.

The gadget features a high resolution display that offers images equivalent to a 25-inch high definition screen from a distance of 8ft away, apparently.

We got one in to try out, and whilst not quite attaining the feel of a 25-inch HD screen 8ft away, it definitely was crisp and clear and not a strain on the eyes.

They are also equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, in addition to a 5MP camera that allows capturing 720p videos.

Google Glass can be connected to internet and offer further required information with voice commands such as 'take a picture' or 'search'.

The apps are the highlight here, with a fun Zombie themed running game that plays scary audio commentary into your ear and a stargazing app that responds to the direction and angle your head is pointing in.

glass

Android Wear smartwatches

Google released its own Android-based smartwatch operating system last month, and also announced the three smartwatches that it will feature on.

Dubbed 'Android Wear', the platform pushes Android into wearable technology.

According to Sundar Pichai, senior VP at Google, "we've barely scratched the surface of what's possible with mobile technology.

"That's why we're so excited about wearables - they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word."

Features like Google Now, a huge success on Nexus and Android devices, will be available on smartwatches to aid with everyday tasks and habits. Google Now does this by hoarding all the information that's thrown at your watch, then using it to provide suggestions. Like when your next flight is, where the nearest shoe shop is, or...well, really anything!

So far, the three watches announced are the Motorola Moto 360, LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. Read all about them here.

wear

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft's self-proclaimed 'laptop replacement' could turn a few heads this summer.

The tablet's got a 12in 2,140 x 1,440 resolution screen with a DPI of 216 ppi and other specs include a MicroSD slot, USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort and of course Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 5MP cameras both front and rear.

Already on sale in the US, the device will hit UK shores in August. For the cheapest option, at £639, you can pick up a machine that boasts an Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. With the i5 and i7 version, of which the i7 is set to go for £1,649, you'll get storage up to 512GB and 8GB RAM.

surface

Parrot Drone

Parrot's AR.Drone 2.0 is an easy to fly, relatively professional quadcopter style drone that has an onboard video camera and can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet.

With an easy take-off and landing button, as well has safety features like stabilising itself when the controls are released, the Parrot drone is a great introduction to the professional RC flying world, or if not that, just a bit of fun in the park this summer.

drone

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