Samsung Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4

Samsung

Following on from the excellent but now tired S3, Samsung wants to come out fighting again with this launch. It’s got everyone’s attention.

Need a new phone? March 14th. Put it in your calendar and keep your eyes peeled for that is the launch date — via a swanky New York event — for the new Samsung Galaxy smartphone, thought to very logically be called the Galaxy S IV. Or S4. Or S Four. Or S IIII… You’ll see that written a thousand different ways, but the basic message is the same — it’s the next Galaxy smartphone. Timed neatly to follow Christianity’s Easter celebrations for the resurrection of Christ (OK, they probably didn’t plan it like that, but all the help you can get in this market, eh…?), the inbound mobile is expected to be generation leap forward for in-hand communication.

What do we know about it? All rumor. Size-wise, the screen could be up from the S3’s 4.7-inch display to a 5-incher with Full HD; the camera could be up to 13-megapixels; Android 4.2 will quietly get everything done behind Samsung’s own user interface, which may also feature a 360-degree camera trick called Samsung Orb; there could be touch-free motion control like Samsung’s not-always-brilliant Smart TVs and, of course, a bigger battery to power all this new fun. But that’s just a snippet from the rumor mill of what to expect. Following on from the excellent but now tired S3, Samsung wants to come out fighting again with this launch. It’s got everyone’s attention. Roll on March 14. Until then, here’s a supposedly leaked image of what the S4 might look like. Best enjoyed while scoffing down Easter eggs.

Does anyone want a real Instagram camera?
All together: no. Before we reveal more on this new development, let’s remember what Instagram is. It’s a Grade A social network with a cool photography trick. It’s a fun, entertaining, interesting and instant way of communicating with one person, 10 people, or hundreds or if you’re really popular, thousands of people around the world. It’s simple. And it’s a free app (for now) that’s inside your phone.

Enter Socialmatic. Boasting a real world camera that posts to social photo feeds but also prints your image there and then. Hmm. The firm came up with the concept based on Instagram’s logo last year, but has now moved closer to reality thanks to licensing the Polaroid brand for the product, which packs WiFi and 3G plus 16GB of storage. None of this makes me want to own a Socialmatic, because I’ve already got one: it’s the free app in my iPhone. Add in the fact it’s another box to carry around and as a camera, it’s probably not going to outperform your compact (and certainly not your DSLR) and chances are that beyond the novelty (which wears off after about 30 seconds of staring at it), you won’t want one, either. If the jury’s out, check out the video below. We did. Still no dice.

Mylo: a lovely gesture
Here’s better news from the world of new technology. Myo is part ancient Greek forearm decoration, part mini-Stargate and part thing from the future that uses motion sensing and the electricity in your muscles — yes, inside your body — to control your computer, your phone and other digital devices. If that sounds impressive, it’s because it is. Creator Thalmic Labs has harnessed some sort of strange power that detects the very beginning of movement of our muscles via clever sensors in the wearable band and translates it to what we want to happen on-screen, using low power Bluetooth 4.0 to let the technologies pair.

Impressively, pre-orders for the $149 rechargeable device breached 10,000 within two days following its launch late last month, which means this thing will launch (and there’s $1.5m of funding being injected to ensure that it does). Pre-order yours now and expect your arm to be telling your computer and whatever else what to do when it starts shipping late 2013. Bonus: you’re only charged when it ships and they’re shipping anywhere in the world for a flat fee of $10. Pre-order. Now.

Kick for power: it’s Soccket
Brilliant innovation alert: the Soccket is a football that creates energy the more you kick it around. Or you can look at it as a generator you can volley against the nearest available feet, wall or goalposts, because the Soccket takes the kinetic energy from its own movement and stores it in its belly as electricity which can be used later. Created both for the developed and more importantly, the developing world, the idea is that play funds energy: 30 minutes of kicking this thing around will power a simple LED light (supplied with the Soccket) for three hours, which for a family that lives in darkness through poverty, is a life-changing gift.

Made of EVA foam and only slightly larger (and just one ounce heavier) than a standard football
, the Soccket is airless and deflation-proof, so it’s a resilient little thing. It’s currently being piloted in North and South America, but needs more funding. By buying your own Soccket, you can make sure more resource-poor families receive light (and some fun exercise to boot). Sign up for yours here, and be sure to see what cigar sadist but all round good bloke Bill Clinton thinks of it.

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Samsung Galaxy S4

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