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Tech & Now: Gadgets, et al.

December 18, 2016

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It’s that time of the year again. The one where everyone whips out the best-of lists and tells you what you so badly missed out on. Here, at SnapTimes, we don’t do that (yet. Give us an year; we will make up our own lists). What we would like to show you is just how things have changed in an year, and what better illustration for it than the Tech section? It is mind-numbing how last year, even last month’s ground-breaking innovation is today’s normal. Come, walk with us

Firefox OS

Then:

Firefox OS was publicly demonstrated in February 2012, on Android-compatible smartphones.

Now:

The community-driven project was announced to achieve big things, with the initial rollout on smartphones, followed by announcements of moving onto connected devices and onto the Internet of Things. Then, in early 2016, it was discontinued. So, Firefox OS is dead.

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift

Then:

Virtual Reality gaming is here, in the form of Oculus Rift. Its vision is to produce Immersive virtual reality technology that’s wearable and affordable.

Now:

The company was purchased by Facebook. After bringing down costs of the VR (Virtual Reality) units, Facebook is slowly making it another part of its empire. Pop-up stores in America, built to let normal people try VR units, are brought to them by ‘Facebook’s Oculus’. Coming soon, Facebook VR.

Google Driverless Car

Then:

In August 2012, the Google Driverless car team announced that they have completed over 300,000 autonomous-driving miles (500,000 km) accident-free.

Now:

What we saw in 2012 was Google retrofitting existing cars with its technology. Now, Google has a fleet of its own cars, affectionately called by some commentators as ‘marshmallow bots’. They use GPS, 3D laser mapping as well as a type of radar to understand their surroundings. However, they still cannot drive in heavy rain, snow, as well as have problems with busy intersections.

Google Glasses

Google Glasses

Then:

Google offered a one day sale on April 15, 2014 allowing the general public to purchase the Glass for a whopping $1500.

Now:

Most tech websites will tell you that Google Glass was a failure, with Google not selling it any more. But there seems to be more than that. There is rumor of a Google Glass 2, and a growing belief that ‘the real’ Google Glass is under development. Let’s see.

The Eye Tribe

Then:

The Eye Tribe software enables eye control on mobile devices, allows hands ­free navigation of websites and apps, includes eye activated log in, enhances gaming experiences and cloud ­based user engagement analytics.

Now:

The Eye Tribe Tracker Pro is available at $199, in a market of above $10,000 eye trackers, and as opposed to the initial version (aimed at developers), it can now be used by all customers.

Update:

Razer Edge Pro

Then:

The Razer™ Edge Pro is the most powerful tablet in the world.

Now:

No official comments. But there’s been no successor yet, and it wasn’t even sold worldwide. Razer makes laptops, headsets, gaming keybords, the likes. It has even been rumored to be working on an Android smartphone. The tablet, however, looks like a dead end now.


About the author: Hitesh Shetty
Dreams of writing a bestseller and changing the world. When awake, tries to figure out how to do both.

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