2008 has almost drawn to a close and its time for the world as a collective whole to draw breath gather its thoughts and throw out those lists of changes in the year that made people sit up and take notice.
While the first half of the year could have been called a Mac(intosh) attack (first there was the Macbook Air, then the 3G iPhone) and the second half of the year was the approaching ecopocalypse there was still other news and gadgets out there that caught people’s attention.
Here’s what we thought were the memorable gadgets to come out of Asia for 2008…
Asus Eee Netbooks
It could be their size, their price or the fact that, for a while, the makers of Eee laptop line put the Linux operating system on their laptops above windows and OSX but you didn’t have far to come accross a release about this Taiwanese company this year.
The latest entry onto the market were two models which made everything thinner and added a 3G modem in the November release of the Eee PC S101, Eee PC 1002H captured almost as much attention as the start of the year.
Much of the buzz around the HTC G1 surrounded the Google Android operating software (which was actually being worked on by a US company called Android before Google bought the company in 2005 and worked them into the team) announced in November 2007.
However, Taiwanese company HTC, (better known beforehand for touch phones like the HTC touch and computers like the HTC Shift) was the first off the line when it came to making the hardware to go along with the software.
Many of the reviews of the HTC G1 have been mixed so far but signs are improving.
Chinavasion Projector Phone
2008 was very much the year for phones and the Chinavasion projector phone was another that grabbed the attention from a lot of people. This could have come from two places…
Pico projectors were just as much hot property as cell phones with companies vying to be the first to release a commercial pico projector and gadget blogs trying to guess when that would happen.
3M looked like it was going to be first in line to get the mass produced projector onto the market when Chinavasion did more than beat them to the post. It did a little web 2.0 mash up to create a cell phone/projector.
Mind you, given the current Chinavasion track record, perhaps it is not such a surprise.
Softbank 823SH Tiffany
Japan, famous for their love of cell phones, gadgets and anything strange.
So it should come as no surprise when a Japanese phone provider, Softbank Mobile went “ecopocalypse what ecopocalypse?” and put out a smart phone with a case made completely of silver and diamonds from New York jewelers ‘Tiffanies”
The Softbank 823SH Tiffany has 537 diamonds, weighing 18.34 carats, encrusted in the case and cost around the 13 million yen mark (that’s 130,265 dollars to US dwellers). If you want one better get your skates on because according tothe company only 10 will be made initially.
Pyocotan’s Noriko San Goggles
While we’re on the topic of ‘aint Japan strange’ this piece of technology hit the interwebs around October. The length of time people spend commuting in Japan isn’t exactly anything new, neither is the fact that people go to sleep on commutes and miss their stop.
Japanese hacker, Pyocotan, came up with a new spin on the old-fashioned sign around the neck and the smell of cheap booze, Noriko-san googles which showed off the destination you were heading to… would people wake you up though?
Cassette MP3 Player
While launched by the company Chinavasion in late 2007 the Cassette MP3 player didn’t really capture the blogger’s attention until the start of the next year. Once people grabbed the idea they held onto it and for at least 12 months it was on somebody’s lips somewhere.
Perhaps the success of this MP3 player was that it was cheap, cute and let people use equipment that might have been destined to be sold out of the boots of cars at flea markets and underneath motorway overamps.
Styson i Knock
Another cheap and cheerful gadget from the greater China area (OK Taiwan) is the i-Knock. This gadget would be handy for the ‘social networking set’ hooked to their Facebook pages and instant messaging services it knocks itself out (and plays a tune if you program it nicely) every time you get an instant message. The perfect place for any unused photos of the ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend
Hopefully the end of 2008 will herald the end of the i- movement. This vowel movement makes me want to punch babies.
Samsung Touch Sight
While still in concept stage this would definitely have to be one of the coolest things to come out this year. The Touch Sight is a camera for the blind that takes a picture using braile and sound which owners can store and share with friends.
Chinavasion Super Cool Mobile Phone Wrist Watch
The cell phone watch idea has been for a long time, ever since a 1946 Dick Tracy strip at the very least, but it really didn’t hit the market until half-way through this year.
This cool cell phone watch was the start of a torrent of wrist phones and the wonderful realisation of the childhood dreams of many middle-aged men.
Tokyo Flash Watch
There hasn’t been too many months go by that one of these watches didn’t turn up in the gadget blogs.
They require special knowledge to work out, they use digital time if they don’t and they’re silver… it’s a wonder they weren’t first thought up in the 80’s
See the blog in all its glory at http://gadgetfreaks.wordpress.com or see what wholesale electronic gadgets are available online from China at companies like Chinavasion.