Archive for December, 2011

Popular Science’s Top Innovations of 2011

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Popular Science magazine has released its list of the Top Innovations of 2011.  Topping the list is the Lytro Light-Field camera, which allows photographers to focus pictures after they’re taken. The Wacom Inkling doodle digitizer also made the list (we wrote about the Wacom Bamboo Stylus in a recent post). 

One of the gadgets on the list that caught our eye is the Kycero Echo, an Android phone that mimics a tablet with a second 3.5-inch touchscreen that can be snapped into place alongside the primary screen.  This creates a total screen resolution of 960 x 800, just slightly less than a 7-inch tablet.  The pair of screens share one image by default.  App creators are also expected to code games and other apps that display different coordinated images on the two screens.

Find out more about the Kycero Echo and the other Top Innovations of 2011 on the Popsci website.

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Consumers Return Record Number of Gadgets

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

According to the Chicago Tribune, American consumers are returning electronic gadgets in record numbers – even when the gadgets aren’t defective.  These returns generate huge costs for manufacturers and retailers.  Eventually those costs, which added up to $16.7 billion in 2011 alone, are added to the price of products. 

Sales data from the Consumer Electronics Association indicates that almost 70% of returns are categorized as “no problem found,” while 27% of returns are attributed to buyer’s remorse.  When consumers return products that are not defective, chances are good that they were unable to set up or learn how to use them. 

Gadgets that were included in the survey included computers, mobile phones, HDTVs, digital video cameras, gaming consoles and software.  The situation seems to indicate that consumers need more support and training and that gadgets need simpler designs.

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