Innovate

HR-IMG_0403What to expect from the cutting edge of consumer electronics this season

Group test – VR video cameras incoming!
Virtual reality headsets let you immerse yourself in a film by looking wherever you like. Now a new breed of camera lets you shoot movie footage in every direction at once so you can watch it back any way you like on your Oculus Rift. We look at each 360 degree snapper’s pros and cons.

Quantum Leap VR
16 HD cameras mean this is perfect for live streaming virtual reality video.
USP: Renders video in real time, so footage is ready to watch as soon as you want.
Price: TBC.

Nokia Ozo
Surround sound and absolutely no cables make this the ultimate VR camera.
USP: Works wirelessly so can be attached to drones for amazing overhead footage in every direction.
Price: US$60,000 – this one’s meant for film production crews.

Nikon KeyMission 360
Tiny, and shoots video in super-sharp 4K resolution – that’s four times more detail than HD.
USP: Wearable, making this the perfect GoPro camera alternative for geeks.
Price: TBC, but this one’s for consumers so it’ll be affordable.

Asus ZenFone Zoom on sale
It’s taken months, but Asus’ curious new 13-megapixel camera phone is now finally on sale worldwide. Unlike most smartphones, there’s an optical zoom on board, so that you can zoom in on a shot without losing quality, much as you would a dedicated compact camera or DSLR. You also get a huge 5.5-inch HD touchscreen, speedy 2.5GHz processor and the latest Android software. Not bad for around US$399 unlocked.

Under Armour Invasion
Fitness wearables are in right now, but it’s not just the likes of Nike, Garmin and Fitbit you need to be on the lookout for. Clothing and sports analytics brand Under Armour is getting in on the game with its new UA Healthbox. It’s a wristband, smart weighing scale and heart rate monitor all in one pack, complete with a dashboard to keep track of your routine and fitness levels in minute detail. Under Armour worked with reputable smartphone manufacturer HTC on the gear, and while the whole suite will cost you US$400, for fitness buffs, it’s the complete package. The Healthbox is on sale now.

Bragi Dash: Ultimate headphones?
These completely wireless headphones began life as a project on crowdfunding website Kickstarter but are now on sale to the general public. These discreet Bluetooth earbuds let you store and listen to music using 4GB of internal storage, control your tunes with gestures and even keep track of your heart rate on a run. They’re super-high quality and super comfortable: the only thing stopping you from wearing them all day is the three-hour battery life. The good news is that the carry case doubles up as a battery charger. Just be careful not to lose them. US$299 from www.store.bragi.com