Exciting products still to launch in 2012

On Thursday, August 16, 2012 0 comments

Before I jump to the obvious stuff (Apple gear), let us comb the rest of the universe to see what we have coming down the pipe for the remainder of 2012.

Windows 8
Microsoft has a big bundle of "new" heading our way this fall with the launch of Windows 8. This complete makeover will pretty much reinvent the Windows desktop metaphor into a tile setup of icons that Microsoft use to call Metro but now it is just Windows 8. If you have seen the new interface on the latest Microsoft phones, you have a good sense of what Windows 8 will look like on your laptop or tablet later this year. You can expect a gauntlet of new computer hardware to come rushing in behind this OS release.

The Windows 8 category of product I am most interested in is the hybrid tablet with a keyboard configuration. To clearly compete head-to-head with Apple, Microsoft is launching their own tablet called Surface. You can see the launch introduction of Surface in this video...

I've seen prototypes of additional crossover tablets with keyboards from a couple manufacturers and am excited to see a tablet that runs my Windows applications natively. Will this replace my iPad...I'll dig into that more when Surface and the other tablets launch later this year.

Windows 8 also plans to support the Microsoft Kinect gesture technology originally offered as an accessory for the Xbox 360 to help navigate your computer's content. This could be a pretty cool innovation to advance the overall user experience. Very "Minority Report"...

We can look forward to Windows 8 and Surface launching on October 26th.

Canon's New Mirrorless Camera
At the top of my personal list is the recently announced Canon EOS-M. This is a new mirrorless camera that allows you to swap lens in a form-factor substantially smaller than a digital SLR camera.

What stands out about this camera versus those that came before it, is that Canon is offering an adaptor that allows you to leverage their large 70+ lens library on the camera. All of these lens auto-focus and behave well with the camera. It also features a rather large APS-C sensor which is substantially larger than most smaller cameras in this segment. The APS-C image sensor is what you find in most Digital SLR cameras.

Combined, this sensor and array of lens in a small size makes this arguably one of the first serious compact solutions to hit the market. It starts to feel like I am not severely giving up anything yet getting a smaller package to haul around. The only compromise I can see is the lack of a viewfinder and a full-size sensor found in the much higher-end cameras like my Canon 5DM2 or the newer Canon 5DM3 and Nikon D800.

Now this setup isn't cheap and is definitely targeting consumers looking to upgrade from the point and shoot category. For $799 you get the camera and a slim-profile, 22mm pancake lens which is a good starting point as long as you don't need zoom. This configuration is great for just walking around, street photography and intimate settings like dinners, parties or other get togethers. You can order a 18-55 zoom lens (pictured on the camera above) for $299 and the M-Mount adaptor will allow you to connect Canon's larger Digital SLR lens for $199. I have already preordered this...can't wait for its arrival.

Pocket Power - Sony RX100
This very small but powerful camera just launched but I thought it warranted a mention. I have talked about how the best camera is the camera you have with you! I regularly am let down by the camera in phones...sure I use them in a pinch but prefer to have a more capable camera whenever possible. Something that can handle lower light situations, fast moving objects or offers an optical zoom. That said, it still needs to be small and pocketable unless I plan to haul a larger DSLR. Today that "go to" camera is the Canon S100 but this new Sony RX100 is causing me to consider switching.

Why? Well the primary reason rests in Sony's substantial image sensor that is 3x larger than the Canon...while still packaged in a similar "pocketable" size overall body. Typically, the bigger the sensor, the more light the camera can capture resulting in more vibrant, clearly lit and better detailed images. This 1-inch sensor also offers double the pixel resolution versus the S100 at 20.2 megapixels. While this image sensor is smaller than the really big Digital SLR cameras...it is still substantially larger than any point and shoot you are probably looking at. This camera also has a fast focus, high resolution display and an f1.8 lens that lets you shoot in very low light environments. This is the largest sensor in a pocketable camera available...pretty amazing.

The biggest hurdle that you will need to settle on is the price difference. The Canon S100 is still a camera I would "HIGHLY RECOMMEND" that easily justifies its premium $360'ish price. The Sony RX100 clocks in at a whopping $650! Now it is a lot of camera and if you want what is arguably the finest pocketable camera, I would also "HIGHLY RECOMMEND" this little beauty!

Now Let's Talk Apple...

Credit: 9to5Mac
iPhone 5
This product is so hotly anticipated it is negatively affecting Apple's sales of their current iPhone offerings. What's so new? We'll for the full story we will need to wait until September 12 when everything will be announced. But the highlights assumed right now is that the phone is a bit taller to accomodate a slighter bigger display. There is a new 8-pin connector on the bottom of the iPhone replacing the existing 30-pin that has been standard for so many years. Yep...that means all your peripherals that had docking connectors will need to be replaced...unless someone comes out with an adaptor???

We should expect a more powerful CPU at the heart of the new iPhone...most likely something like the A5 found in the new Ipad. Better camera? Probably. Near Field Communications (NFC) - A new wireless solution that could be leveraged to allow you to make purchases easily with your phone by simply swiping in the area of a retail scanner? 50/50 chance of that showing up.

All I know it Apple needs a new phone. Something that will help it compete with the latest crop of cool Android Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Credit: 9to5Mac
This rumor has persisted since the introduction of the iPhone and iPad. Every year it seems to pop up as we get closer to either products refreshes. Steve Jobs mentioned that the 3.5" form-factor of the iPhone was great for portability and the 9-inch form factor was great for broad-based reading and extended use applications. And with these two size formats, you create unique and distinctive user experiences. Steve thought that a middle-sized form factor would be a bit of a compromise, either just stretching the phone experience or shrinking the iPad experience to "too small" proportions. But I am sure Apple is looking for a new, mass-market format to drive sales revenues forward and this is obviously a category to crack.

Apple looks to be locked in to a September 12th set of announcements that should include a new iPhone, a potential mini-iPad and definitely some iPod announcements. Another project in the wings but it is doubtful it will show it's face this year...is an Apple television. That will probably show up next year. I am also waiting until next year for an update to their very aged MacPro desktop computer. A new version looks to be slated for later next year.

Overall A Pretty Awesome Year in Tech
This year we have seen a lot of great new products including Apple's new Macbook Pro's with Retina displays, the New iPad, Samsung's Galaxy S III, Canon's 5DM3, Nikon's D800, etc. These are just some of the headline grabbing product. We have seen some wonderful travel compact cameras, a wide range of smart-devices, a slew of new home appliances...the list goes on.

We are truly in the eye of the storm and should see some pretty amazing product announcements starting in September and October...leading into the holiday season. Keep your eye on our site and we will endeavor to keep you abreast as these product stories unfold!

LarryLarry Pacey, award-winning designer tracks the latest news on consumer products, electronics, appliances, smart devices, networking and the gadget lifestyle.For the latest news follow me on:

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Please comment below and share your thoughts. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to email me at wouldntmind@gmail.com.

Just my 2-cents,

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