Tech talk

Latest tech gossip from around the globe

HR-Android-One-SmartphonesGet real!
If you’ve not heard of Oculus Rift yet, you soon will. The virtual reality headset – bought by Facebook for US$2 billion – is changing the way we play video games by offering truly immersive 360 degree in-game experiences. Crescent Bay, the latest Oculus Rift model, offers better head tracking, built-in headphones for surround sound, a sharper screen and lower latency, making VR nausea a thing of the past.

Arrival of the new Android One
This trio of smartphones that form the Android One programme might be the most important releases of 2014 for many. The phones, from Indian manufacturers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobile, are priced at just INR6399 (Approximately US$105), but more importantly, they’re approved by Google, which developed the Android operating system, and they offer the same software and app support as much more expensive Android phones at an affordable price for developing markets. Google’s Android boss says the initiative will roll out to the Philippines and Indonesia next year.

Great design! Amazon Kindle goes on a voyage
Amazon just extended its lead in e-readers even further. The latest model, the Kindle Voyage, is not only its thinnest Kindle ever at just 7.6mm deep, but its most powerful too. There’s backlight built in so you can read in bed even without a night light, and the touchscreen is so sharp (300 pixels per inch) that for the first time ever reading an eBook looks identical to crisp printed word on paper. Alongside the Voyage, which retails for US$199, Amazon has also reduced the price of its basic Kindle model even more with prices from US$79.

Is Blackberry back?
It’s no secret that BlackBerry has struggled in recent years, churning through CEOs and watching the likes of Apple and Samsung gobble up its market share. Now, though, it’s back with arguably the most concentrated, pure business phone ever made. The new BlackBerry Passport offers a huge 4.5-inch square touchscreen for all your apps and games, but it’s meant for working on the go above all else: alongside the handy three-line physical keyboard it comes packing a huge battery, powerful quad-core processor and of course the robust email service BlackBerry is known for.