On the spot

On the spot: Out with the old…

And in with the new. Technology changes at high speed, and today’s must-have is tomorrow’s has-been.
3 January 2012
Colin Habberton, GROW Academy

This month, Brainstorm asked local industry reps to gaze into their crystal balls and provide some predictions on the gadget that every geek will be lusting after this festive season. For tech freaks, we think, things are about to get, erm, expensive...

➜ With Star Wars Kinect being released on 25 November, every geek worth his salt will turn to the force and Microsoft Kinect to live out a lifelong dream – actual lightsabre battles and using force powers! Star Wars Kinect is the long-awaited Microsoft Xbox Kinect title from Lucas Arts that allows you to experience the breadth of the Star Wars universe, from lightsabre battles to pod-racing!

Andre Joubert, MWeb Business

The game features both coop play as well as competitive and duel modes. Is the force strong with you? Marnus Viljoen, CTO, FOXit

➜ It’s not about a single gadget, or even really about gadgets at all. The hot, hot gadget for this festive season is likely to be overtaken by something that’s hotter, sexier and smarter by Easter (if not by Valentine’s Day).

It’s really about how one uses a combination of gadgets – smartphone and tablet (of whatever flavour) and notebook – to gain unprecedented freedom and power in one’s work and play.

Basha Pillay, Gijima

And that’s about superfast, uncapped bandwidth that’s affordable, robust and reliable, delivering connectivity to the cloud and myriad apps that bring the gadgets to life. Andre Joubert, GM, MWeb Business

➜ The Motorola Motoactv, because it will be December and with geeks now ruling the world, nothing stops us from raising our games, and our heart rates, getting into shape for summer. What would jogging, hiking, climbing be if it wasn’t enhanced with a small bit of tech?

Now, not only can we keep track and not get lost, we will be getting ourselves into shape to keep our partners, business and personal, happy and in touch. All a geek needs to keep 2012 fit, healthy and fun!

Colin Habberton, initiator and co-founder, GROW Academy

Craig Brunsden, AxizWorkgroup

➜ This year has been the year of the smartphone. The wide selection of devices featuring myriad new technologies promises to be a major driver of consumer demand.

Top of that list has to be the Apple iPhone 4s. The new phone has an updated processor, camera and storage capacity but, most significantly, it boasts a groundbreaking personal assistant, called Siri. For the first time, artificial intelligence has been successfully incorporated into a smartphone.

Siri does not just listen to your questions, but is able to interpret what you mean as well, in similar fashion to the HAL 9000 in the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. This technology will to have techies and geeks in a froth.

Basha Pillay, head of innovation, Gijima

Richard Smedley-Williams, Inovatio Distribution

➜ I wouldn’t hesitate to say the iPad 2 is the hot gadget for 2011. Geeks and consumers alike won’t be able to resist the sleek, lightweight design and out-of-the-box ease of use.

With iOS 5 released recently, which includes updates like iCloud, users can store and wirelessly deliver files to more than one device.

This, combined with the productivity advantages, competitive price and vast array of available apps, make the iPad 2 irresistible.

Similar to the time mobile phones were introduced, those that now use iPads and similar tablets just can’t imagine life without them. Craig Brunsden, chief marketing officer, AxizWorkgroup

Marnus Viljoen, FOXit

➜ The gadget every geek will be lusting after this festive season is the XP-Pen – a digital tablet that connects to a computer and comes with a touch-sensitive pad and stylus that functions like a mouse. Imagine drawing your own Christmas cards – quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

These tablets, which are compatible with Autodesk SketchBook Pro and most Windows-based design programs, are most often used by artists and designers but can literally be employed by anyone – including kids – to create their own pieces of digital art. Richard Smedley-Williams, MD, Inovatio Distribution