Sony DEV-50V Digital Recording Binoculars: Bring Nature Close


For many people, their phone is now a camera and their music player is now a phone. Doubling up on functions, however, works best when the two purposes are connected. Enter Sony’s new DEV-50V digital recording binoculars. Improving on the previous model, the DEV-50V is almost one third lighter, and with splash and dust resistance it allows for easy viewing and recording of various far-away scenes. The SEV-50V is ideal for nature-lovers, with rare or unusual wildlife now easier both to see from a distance and easier to record, whether via HD video or digital photographs in a very nice 20.4 megapixels. Of course, it is also of benefit for sports-watchers and holiday-makers.


The DEV-50V offers a host of technological tricks to make taking video as easy as possible. The main draw for many may be the weight reduction to just over 0.75kg, but inside the housing (99% recycled material), is some very fancy software and hardware. The XGA OLED Tru-Finder allow for clearer images via improved contrast and resolution. Active Mode image stabilisation with Optical Steady Shot minimizes blurs even at full 25X zoom, so that tiny robin or bluetit is easily seen and admired. Inbuilt GPS lets you keep an accurate record of your favourite locations. Autofocus smooths out the viewing experience, which is something anyone used to the tricky focusing of normal binoculars will welcome. For early morning or late evening pursuits, the Hyper Gain function offers increased brightness in dim lighting conditions. Late night football game with the action way down at the other end of the pitch? No problem.

The Dev-50V offers HD and 3D recording, which is appealing to gadget-fans, although 3D viewing devices still don’t have widespread penetration. However, for those that have already invested in a 3D TV, the June launch of the DEV-50V is sure to be even more anticipated.

Samsung NX300-3D Camera: Film in 3D


Samsung has announced what it says is the first one-lens 3D system on a camera that can produce 3D video and still images.

The NX300 is the new flagship model for the NX series of compact cameras and alongside its launch Samsung has announced its NX 45mm F1.8 2D/3D lens. When operating in 3D mode it uses a pair of LCD filters, which each project slightly different images onto the sensor of the camera. When used with the Samsung NX300 it produces 5 megapixel 3D stills as well as 1080/30p HD video in 3D.

The NX300 compact camera features a new 20.3 megapixel AOPS-CMOS sensor for high levels of detail, as well as a wide ISO range (100-25600), which should allow images to be grabbed even in very low light conditions. With a 1/6000 sec shutter speed and 9fps continuous shooting mode, you shouldn’t miss anything!

There are 14 different settings for Smart Mode, including Light Trace, Action Freeze and Creative Shot, as well as i-Depth, which makes it easy to adjust the depth of your image without moving off your intended subject,

The Samsung NX300 has a retro look and comes in either white or black with a contrasting silver band. Images can be shared instantly via smartphone and tablet thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Samsung NX300 was launched at CES and there is no price or release date as yet for the UK. The 45m 2D/3D lens will be sold separately.

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Harman Kardon BDS: Get home theatre without the drama

If you like your audio integrated, your video on a vast scale and your technology wires-free, the new Harman Kardon BDS home theatre series could be just the ticket – packing in a multitude of features to unite and maximise your multimedia.

The range features Harman’s TrueStream wireless streaming, which delivers audio via an integrated Blu-ray player to run real-time content from the web, for example YouTube, as well as a variety of portable sources. It also features Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay wireless technology so you can access – and broadcast – content from all imaginable avenues.


So basically, if you want to reproduce your films, music or any other media content from any of your kit that knows how to share, the BDS home theatre system brings it all to the big screen via Blu-ray. Complete with surround sound and1080p high definition picture quality if you like your pictures big and your audio booming.

If you don’t want to pay for extra spec, or you like your kit to fit the job, you’ll be heartened to hear that the series comprises five models – each one built around a different 3D Blu-ray player – but all featuring the same Harman Kardon audio, supreme connectivity, sleek lines and looks. There are two 2.1 systems and three 5.1s, each packed with the TrueStream and Bluetooth syncing, 65W RMS audio power, 3S Blu-ray playback, HDMI hook-up and Dolby Digital / DTS decoding. If there’s not enough devices broadcasting straight into your lounge room after you’ve hooked up this little lot, you can even download a remote control app and control it all from your favourite iOS or Android device!!!

The inbuilt TrueStream technology on every model connects the Harman Kardon series to up to eight Bluetooth devices – even Apple iOS or Android, Windows Mobile or Blackberry kit – so you can create your own gadget multiplex in the one room. With input sources including TV, Blu-ray disc, DVD, CD, radio, USB and mobile internet / content, you can streamline the technology you want on show, while any more unsightly, yet perfectly functional elements can be discretely hidden away – visible only via their Bluetooth identities.

Prices range from £999.99 for the most modest and catchy-named BDS 775 to £1099.99 for the customary all-white 7773W system. Cheaper than a lifetime of cinema tickets in any case.

Ex3D eyewear: Putting some style into 3D glasses


When it comes to fashion, 3D glasses are never high on the list of must-wears. They are bad enough at home, when you are in the comfort of your own privacy, but at cinemas there is no hiding from the fact that you, well, look a bit stupid wearing them.

However, the embarrassment could be coming to an end thanks to Ex3D’s new range of stylish 3D glasses. Using M3D lens technology, and designed with style in mind, the range of glasses will ensure you look almost as good as the picture you’re watching. With the exception of Clash of the Titans, of course.

With 3D TVs selling more than ever, and no end of new films released in three dimensions, the time has never been better to invest in a pair of these glasses. Starting from only £25 each for a pair with plastic frames or from £50 for metal frames, the glasses not only look good, but are affordable too. They even offer UV protection, meaning you don’t just have to wear them in front of the box, you can see the whole world in glorious 3D!

If you would like to find out more information on how to get your hands on a pair of the new Ex3D glasses, visit

CATIA Natural Sketch gives digital sketching a whole new dimension

They say many of the cutting edge products we use today began as simple sketches or doodles on a pad. Just ask any automotive designer about it and the first thing they’ll tell you is they always sketch out an idea first. So, it makes sense in our digital world, to utilise the power of computers to replicate sketching doesn’t it?


Up to now though there has been a distinct void between artistic two dimensional sketching software and the seriously heavy duty three dimensional modelling software used in the construction or automotive industry for example. There are also drawbacks to starting an idea in 2D and realising it is perhaps not feasible after all when it is converted to a 3D model. All that time and mental energy wasted.

CATIA Natural Sketch however, is a breakthrough three dimensional sketching program which finally combines the intuitiveness of a creative artist’s two dimensional painting skills with the power of accurate and realistic three dimensional modelling.  The possibilities for skilled users are endless and the cost savings in time and effort are likely to be significant.

Developed and produced by Paris based Dassault Systèmes, a highly respected name in the developing 3D software market, CATIA Natural Sketch has already received plaudits from both artists and engineers alike. Pauline Deltour, a Product Designer remarked: “Discovering the new CATIA for Creative Designers solution was very fascinating as it enabled me to literally draw in 3D.  It offers a direct translation of the idea I have in mind into the 3D world and takes care of all the uncomfortable steps of the process.”

Quite frankly, any product that is offering an opportunity to save time and costs without compromising on quality and imagination will be seen as a potential life saver in any form of industry.

Scroll Excel 7” Tablet: 3D vision for under £150

The tablet market is getting increasingly congested as manufacturers fall over themselves in an effort to bring the next best thing. Whilst the IPad may still be taking the moral high ground, there are many other suitors looking to get up there as soon as possible in all shapes, sizes, weights and prices.


The Scroll Excel 7” tablet is a perfect example. This 7” capacitive tablet runs Android 2.3 and boasts a Cortex A8 1 Ghz processor, 512 MB RAM and 4GB Memory for £129.99. The major selling point with this model though, is it handles 3D content which can be output directly to a 3D TV or monitor via a mini HDMI cable.

Produced by UK based technology brand Storage Options, this is the first tablet to be able to process 3D content at this price bracket, particularly when you consider it also supports many of the features you would be seeing on higher priced models such as wi fi, 360 degree scrolling, e book support and 1080p output.

Paul Evison, marketing manager for Storage Options was quick to point out: “this is easily our fastest and most responsive tablet to date. The user experience when internet browsing, or gaming, is really impressive and has only been seen before on far more expensive products. We also believe that this is the first tablet to market with the ability to output 3D video to a 3D TV. This additional feature should appeal to those who already have a 3D TV but aren’t sure where to get their content from. In a way the Scroll Excel bridges the gap between 3D content that’s available on the internet and actually getting it onto a 3D screen.”

The Scroll Excel 7” tablet price point certainly proves that tablet market competition is getting hotter and that can only be a good thing for all of us.

The Scroll Excel 7” tablet is out now for £129.99

Panasonic’s small wonder – the DMC-3D1

Compressed twin lenses are the secret behind Panasonic’s announcement that it has produced the smallest 3D compact camera ever.

The Japanese corporation has just announced the DMC-3D1, which is expected to be on sale in the UK in December and which offers both 3D photo capabilities, along with 3D video recording.


So how does it do it? Well the secret lies in the fact that the camera giant uses a compressed twin lens system that offers folded optics. The two lenses are 25mm wide angle types, which have a 4x zoom, along with a 12-megapixel MOS sensor (which can only be used in 2D mode – for 3D you’ll be working with 8 megapixels). The sensor is noise reducing, allowing for sharper image capture.

When it comes to shooting video, you’ll have at your disposal an 8-megapixel version that can capture Full HD 1080p video at 8fps.

Control can be handled using the 3.5inch Smart Touch screen (the screen doesn’t allow you to view 3D images or video though)

If you’re not that bothered about 3D capabilities (and we’re still as yet not sure how interested the great British buying public is in this) there are other benefits to having two lenses – for instance, you could be shooting video with one lens, while using the other for taking still shots (handy at a wedding or party for capturing candid still portraits). Or you can catch a wide-angle image, while zooming in on a specific detail.

Panasonic is also claiming that battery life will be just as good as that on a standard 2D snapper.

No UK price has been confirmed as yet, although the Panasonic DMC-3D1 will be going on sale in the US for around $500.

Smartphone gaming, convergence and the LG Optimus 3D

Convergence is one of the big watchwords in smartphones and mobile devices manufactures have long been promising us “one handset to rule the all”. And in many cases it’s quite a valid case. My iPod is all but dead to me, as most smartphones offer a comparable listening experience. In fact with their always-one Internet connection, an all-you-can-eat data plan and apps such as Instacast and Spotify, in many ways they surpass dedicated PMPs. You can even get built-in Beats by Dre audio on some handsets. I consider PMPs to be well and truly converged (look at the iPod’s waning fortunes in Apple’s recent results and how they didn’t bother to update the iPod touch). Whilst big fat DSLR cameras aren’t going anywhere, point and shoot cameras and Flip-style camcorders are also looking increasingly unnecessary. The recently released Nokia N8, Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S all have great cameras. But what about gaming? We had a look at one of the top-tier gaming handsets and saw how it fared as a convergence devices.


On paper the LG Optimus 3D has a lot going for it – the huge screen and glasses-free 3D should make for a incredible mobile gaming experience. The size is a definite advantage, and although a little awkward to use as a phone you do appreciate the screen real estate when gaming. Games such as Asphalt and N.O.V.A look amazing. However the glasses-free 3D fails to live up to expectations, and despite being an impressive feat of engineering (and amazing thing to demo with your mates) is still very much on the side of “headache-inducing” rather than awe inspiring. More often than not I found myself hitting the 3D kill switch (great name for a band if you’re looking btw) just so I could actually enjoy the game. Maybe a 3D slider like the Nintendo 3DS would be a better approach.

For simpler puzzle games or anything where the touchscreen added, rather than detracted from the experience however, the Optimus 3D was great fun to use. I didn’t have time to get fully lost inside an RPGS but I can imagine exploring worlds with that huge screen would be enjoyable. However the perennial problem for touchscreen phone gaming – a lack of dedicate hardware gaming buttons, means that it will still be a while before “hardcore” gamers (unlike softcore Leisure Suit Larry gamers) will be able to leave their handheld console of choice at home.

The LG Optimus 3D is out not from Three