A comprehensive guide to all the latest gadgets, websites, games and computer industry news. Click looks at the latest product launches from the world of technology.
Browse content similar to Launches. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Five, four, three, two, one.
And it is a go for launch.
There was a time when a launch meant a launch meant a launch.
It was something big, something special.
Something to remember.
Something could go into orbit or go up in flames.
Ignition sequence start.
These days, launches also look like this.
And this week in September, the tech world is going launch crazy.
Apple is fuelling the good ship iPhone.
Sony has started a PlayStation countdown.
And everyone else has been over at IFA, launching
everything they can.
But are any going to be stellar?
Or is everyone just having a launch because they feel they should?
Let's find out.
If you're ready.
Let's do launch.
And if you can't get to space, these days, space can come to you.
There is Jupiter.
And all its moons.
It's whistling past Uranus.
And onto Neptune.
Yes, I've got my hands on the first device to use
Google's Project Tango, something we saw in prototype
a couple of years ago.
This is a 3-D sensing system that can learn about the landscape
that it's in.
It uses motion tracking, area learning and twin cameras
to determine and remember the distance to everything it sees.
And that should lead to a more intelligent augmented reality
experience which means you won't be just play gimmicky games any more.
You'll be able to do sensible things too like furnish your office.
Pick a room that needs a spruce-up and then you can drop
in a new stool or two.
This is not the first interior design application I've seen
but the addition its depth perception should make this kind
of thing more accurate.
And if you want to rip up the room and start again,
there is this rather finicky tape measure which does kind of show
the limitations of those senses at the moment.
However, on the few occasions that we have got it to work
probably, I can confirm 1.5 metres, that it is right.
Which is better than most tape measure apps I've used.
That is the smart furniture sorted and now we need a smart home for it
to go in.
Now we go to Europe's largest tech expo, IFA.
There are many new smart home technology concepts launched at IFA.
Over the past few years, we have learned about
the Internet of things.
From refrigerators growing herbs to quick drying hair extensions.
And of course, the connected home.
So for ?,1500, you can get this connected system from Laurastar.
So for ?1,500, you can get this connected system from Laurastar.
You might wonder why that it is useful.
You can use the app to make the perfect movement.
There are no sensors in this ironing board cover but you have folding
lines here to perfect your technique with kids clothes and men's shirts.
There's also a fan to keep things cool.
Connected kitchen concepts are already here including this
rather impressive display from Panasonic.
The concept of this future kitchen is that it is really
in the background.
The comfort and the ease of use is in the foreground.
This includes a sake fridge which maintains temperature
and humidity and recommends recipes for your drinks and is connected
to sensors in the fridge which keeps an eye on when ingredients
are running low and orders them from an online shop for you.
All this data is passed on to a very clever hub which starts warming up
at the right temperature to cook your selection.
The induction heaters even extend your kitchen table so you can
keep your food warm.
When you finish cooking, you can relax and watch television
on a transparent glass door in your cupboards and also receive
a notification that your laundry has been filled
in by the robot next door.
And slightly more practical than a laundry robot,
Chinese company Haier has made a washing machine with two drums
and an app to control them when you are away but the question
is, how many people are using any of this stuff at the moment?
There's a very strong technology push right now.
In terms of features,
all appliances are connected.
The consumer part is slightly lower.
I'm sure it will grow and our brand will be fully ready
to serve the consumer.
Robots are being integrated to smartphone concepts as well.
These cuties are called Sanbots, similar to the robots we saw serving
food in China.
They are designed to do a wide variety of jobs including healthcare
assistant and security guard.
People sometimes say I am too chubby to be a security guard.
But I am pretty nimble.
It has three cameras, projectors for eyes and sensors over
the body and will do a dance on command.
But the cutest home robot I have
seen yet is Sony's concept Xperia Agent.
He made me a coffee and played me a song afterwards.
It could be a rival to Amazon's Smart speaker,
the Echo, and represents Sony's plans to expand into intelligence
robots which have an emotional connection with their user.
This could expand into manufacturing facilities, logistics,
elderly healthcare, just to name a few and so we will start small,
maybe with things like a home robot but there is so much more in terms
of applications with our technology and we intend to cover those areas
in a big way.
Putting all these technologies to the test, Panasonic announced
a future smart city project right here in Berlin.
By 2018, 69 flats will host families representing Germany's demographics.
They will test everything from facial recognition
to artificial intelligence platforms to assist elderly residents.
It will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and solar panels,
have electric currents and collective decision-making
on areas of technology to develop.
This could bring smarter and more connected ways of living
to all of us before the next decade.
Welcome to the week in Tech.
While Apple, Sony and others have been screaming from the rooftops,
the hottest news came from Samsung.
After cancelling orders for the Note 7, after issues with units
exploding, UK consumers were told they would be able to get new ones.
In a 'whose side are you on' twist, Warner Brothers inadvertently
requested its own website be taken out of Google's search,
suggesting it was in breach of copyright.
Hopefully my furniture and books will arrive.
Amazon on taking on food-delivery groups Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
Amazon's restaurants will be for prime users only.
It is only available in some postcodes.
And finally, a Pokemon GO player in Russia could face up to five
years in jail after filming himself playing a game in charge.
Video blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky is in jail charged with mocking
religious beliefs while he awaits trial.
He is appealing the charges.
Time for another launch.
If you want to hurtle into no man's sky on a videogames console,
you will need to be a PS4.
It is an exclusive, you know?
But will it be the current PS4 or the new PS4 or the other new PS4?
We were as well but here is Mark Cieslak with full launch coverage.
PlayStation head honcho Andrew House did not waste any time announcing
the worst kept secret in games at this week's at Sony's presser
in New York.
We will introduce a PS4 system that is slimmer,
lighter and more energy-efficient.
BizarelyReports online of PlayStation 4 Slim is being made
available for sale
on eBay weeks before the console was even officially announced.
Weird distribution issues aside, the Slim is just that,
a PS4 that has been on a diet, which shares the same specification
as the current machine.
The big news was saved for the announcement of the console
previously known as PlayStation Neo but now dubbed PlayStation 4 Pro.
More powerfukl with 1 terabyte hard drive and upgraded hardware
which supports improved graphics when used with a 4D TV.
There is HDR, or high-dynamic range visuals.
Weirdly, it doesn't have the UHT Blu-ray player.
While the improved graphics are a big upgrade in resolution
from the high-def images created by the current machine,
the HDR will help by introducing extra brightness and improved
contrast to the pictures as well.
Games such as Horizon Zero Dawn were demonstrated with
the machine's improved graphics.
Sony also suggested games could be reworked to improve high-resolution
images of which the game is capable.
It also has extra processing grunt and pitch which will be used
to improve the visuals.
But is this ecosystem a good thing for gamers?
It means there is a lower-priced console for those who cannot afford
to buy the higher spec but at the same time
there is a better model out there and anybody who has the lowest
spec model will want to spend their time with the higher spec model.
Sony is not alone in the new console stakes.
Nintendo has a new machine waiting in the wings dubbed the NX.
There is not much being confirmed about it yet though we do know that
technically, it is going to be less powerful than its rivals.
Microsoft already has its Xbox One S Slim which also
supports HDR in games and streaming for video,
plus it has an ultra HD Blu-ray player and it has its own hardcore
piece of upgraded hardware in the works called Project Scorpio.
Microsoft has something of an advantage, having already
brought out the Xbox with the Blu-ray player which makes
it an attractive proposition.
They now have the chance to see what Sony is going to do to get
the PlayStation four Pro to pull it apart,
to see what's inside and make sure they can better it with a console
that comes out towards the end of next year.
For now, Sony has fired the first shot in the latest
round of the console wars.
The PS4 Pro launches on the 10th of November.
Silhouettes, beautiful things.
But sometimes we really do want to see the detail,
and although our eyes can manage it, our cameras can't cope
with the difference between a really bright background and a foreground
that is in shadow.
Which means you can only expose for one or the other.
Personally, I would prefer the background.
And it is only this year that a decent range of TV sets
are beginning to offer a fix.
It is called high dynamic range, or HDR, and it will show a greater
range of brightness from content filmed on new HDR cameras.
Now, different systems do it in different ways,
but one way of achieving it is to capture each frame of video
more than once, with different exposures, so that you can see
the detail in the bright bits and the dark bits at the same time,
something made abundantly clear by this Nasa project,
which turned an ordinarily overexposed rocket burn into a thing
of detail and beauty.
Well, don't know about you, but I am ready for another launch
now, so let's head back to IFA, to see which next-gen TVs have
caught Jen's eye.
Smolensk ion over the years
We have seen a lot of innovation in television over the years
at trade shows.
In fact, it has been 50 years since LG created its first television.
To celebrate, here at IFA they have put together this
rather remarkable display.
It is made of 216 55-inch curved TVs.
There are almost 500 million pixels on display here.
But it is not the amount of pixels that have caught our attention this
year, but the quality of them.
High-definition televisions create more contrast,
with brighter whites and more details in the shadows,
leading to a more realistic picture.
TVs classified as HDR have to meet the standard of brightness.
This is measured in something called nits.
It measures the intensity of visible light.
There are two kinds of HDR television we have looked at,
ones with dots or ones with Oled displays.
We went behind the scenes to see the quantum dot technology.
So new particles.
So these are quantum dots.
That's right, they are so small we have to put them into liquid,
so we can actually show it.
When the light hits the layout, we can see the different sizes that
provides different colours.
Quantum-dot TVs are essentially a new type of LED-backlit LCD TV.
But there is less light wasted in the sets, and the quantum dots
can create a pure colour.
To demonstrate, Jose measured the purity,
and showed us on the TV set as well.
A spike in the reading shows the colour purity.
These Samsung TVs are capable of achieving over 1,000
nits in brightness.
In comparison, a regular LCD TV can achieve about 100.
Heading across the conference floor, Panasonic is backing
These TVs can't yet produce the same levels of brightness as the quantum
dots, but they don't have a backlight, so each pixel
on the TV can be turned off, leading to darker blacks.
The key with Oled is they can create perfect black.
And what Panasonic have worked on a lot is taking that panel,
which can create perfect black, and using our advanced processing
to be able to show the shades of grey just above black.
So you are not having just blocks of black on the screen,
you are seeing detail in that black area.
And why is that so important?
Well, that is the movie experience.
Our whole Panasonic ethos is "as the director intended."
So we actually have here in this display, we've got a reference
monitor, a reference Oled monitor, the kind that is used on film sets,
and what we are trying to do is reproduce that on our screen.
So I would say Oled is better for when you sort of pull
the curtains, watching a movie at night, whereas LED is great
for bright rooms, perhaps lots of people watching the football
in the day.
But they have both got their place, I think.
There is another thing to think about when choosing a HDR TV.
There are two standards for providing HDR content.
One is called HDR-10, it is open-source, used by most TV
companies, and the other is Dolby Vision.
With more data, it is available in more colours, but it is not
available for all TVs.
One company has it for both formats.
If you go and see the other companies, they improve the same
picture quality with cinema and TV.
It is not really fixed at this moment, some people are using HDR
Dolby Vision, so no-one really knows what is going to be the standout
in the market.
So it is good to have both for their TV, for future-proof.
And, if all that wasn't enough to think about,
the BBC and NHK have approved a new standard called
Hybrid Log-Gamma, compatible with both HDR sets.
Yes, not the catchiest title.
Have you ever rushed for the car and driven off,
only to later realise that you've forgotten something important,
you've left it behind?
Well, if you are that type of person, you may be familiar
with these sorts of things.
These are little tags that you can attach to your valuables,
and they talk with Bluetooth to your smartphone.
And if you leave something behind, and the distance gets too great,
this and your phone will bleep.
This car takes this idea further.
You connect your phone to the car, and up on the screen comes a list
of all the items that you should have with you.
And I know I have got my umbrella, for example,
because it is tipping it down.
There is the tag.
If I want to find my keys in the car, just press
that button there.
There we go.
There is Mr Moppity.
Now I don't remember bringing my wallet with me,
so hopefully that is here in the car.
There is the tag, inside a wallet which needs some
serious accounting done.
I promise I will do that this summer.
Annoyingly, the thing I have forgotten is my rucksack.
It does, however, give me a map showing where it was last seen,
which was just across the way, through the deluge.
So if you will excuse me...
Once more into the breach, dear friends.
Right, launch time again, and arguably no-one does launches
like these guys do launches.
Apple's events create more hype than any other,
and these were the scenes on Wednesday, as the iPhone 7
blasted onto the scene.
It is now waterproof, it has stereo speakers,
and the larger version now has two cameras,
a wide-angle and a telephoto, which means you can choose your shot
size without losing quality by using a digital zoom.
But by far the biggest impact was made by the removal
of the headphone port, something that has been a standard
in devices for decades.
Your choices now are buying new headphones that use
Apple's Lightning connector, buying new, rechargeable wireless
headphones, like these new EarPods, for ?159 -
Or using your current headphones and this adaptor.
Oh, and the Apple Watches now are water resistant,
and will tell you if there are years Pokemon nearby.
Dave Lee is our man in San Fran, and he was at the launch.
How is it going?
You have had a couple of days to ruminate on Apple's announcement.
How would you rate this launch?
Well, we didn't think it was going to be a massive,
massive improvement on last year's iPhone,
and it wasn't, really.
Incremental improvements, not a huge year in the history
of the iPhone.
But I think people, as ever, were impressed with what Apple has
come up with.
OK, so the big talking point is the removal
of that headphone connector.
So do you think, when you open your iPhone 7 box, you are going to get
a nice pair of iPhone 7-compatible headphones in there?
Well, you are not going to get the wireless ones, I can tell
you that much.
They are $159 if you want the new cool, wireless AirPods,
as they are called, but you will get an adaptor.
It is a bit ugly looking, could be a bit fiddly if you have
to have that always with you in your pocket.
But that is their workaround, and Apple are sticking to it.
They think that will do the job.
Thank you for being there.
Stay there, keep watching.
Thank you for having me, Spen.
No, you hang up!
So there we have it.
A week packed with launches, but have any of them been the moon
shot we want them to be?
Have any of them boldly gone, or even gone boldly?
We have headphones that are a bit better, consoles incrementally
improved, and TVs with slightly more colour.
And everyone make sure you remember where you were when you saw...
Pokemon land on a smartwatch.