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All posts by Martin Carstens: Staff reporter

Martin Carstens: Staff reporter
Martin is obsessed with technology and the future. His work life includes positions at UK based Hotcourses.com, Discovery Invest and currently, Gearburn.
  • Genius or pure insanity? The Brick is CES 2014’s most memorable phone

    Among the sea of handsets on display at CES this year, none stood out quite like The Brick. Swimming defiantly against the tide of bleeding edge smartphones, The Brick by Binatone, is a love letter to 80s “culture connoisseurs.” Yes, it’s a real product and it’s apparently selling “pretty well.” While the phone has inevitably received attention from the hipster crowd, it has attracted praise from people who long for simplicity amid the pace of today’s feature one-upping. Not surprisingly, with its simple interface and large buttons, Binatone tells us that the phone has found its way into the home...

  • Our vote for best digital fitness device at CES 2014: Skulpt Aim

    Squint your eyes while looking at the lineup of fitness gadgets at International CES this year, and they become almost indiscernible — that’s because they basically all do the same thing. Little wearable gadgets that clip onto your clothing or wrap around your wrist, diligently calculating your calorie consumption based on your body movements or heart rate. These devices are great for managing body weight, but what if you’re interested in monitoring your body’s muscle composition? Up to now, both indie and big brand-backed digital health gadgets were targeted at the consumer concerned mostly with maintaining an amicable relationship...

  • Sony announces Z1 Compact, Z1S, Core ‘fitness tracker’ and more [CES2014]

    Sony has just finished its press conference at this year’s CES and largely continued the overarching story, which, so far, has been all about 4K. The company harped on its “scene to screen” coverage of all things UHD, ranging from production to screening. Sony laid out its plans for this year and highlighted its TV, smartphone and camera lineup, and had something to say about wearables as well. TV Sony has been distributing 4K to Bravia TVs through its Video Unlimited service. Today, it expanded its online distribution with announcement of a Netflix partnership. Yup, it turns out LG wasn’t the only...

  • Beast mode: Asus unveils world’s first quad-mode, Dual-OS laptop [CES2014]

    After some 4K TV announcements by LG, Panasonic and Sharp at International CES today, Asus Chairman Jonney Shih jolted us awake with his usual energetic flair, revealing Asus’s 2014 lineup which includes new phones, a gamer-oriented monitor and the craziest four-in-one laptop-tablet we’ve ever seen. What Asus is calling the Transformer Book Duet TD300 is being touted by the Taiwanese company as the world’s first quad-mode, Dual-OS laptop and tablet. Asus, who alluded to the TD300 in a campaign pre-CES, revealed that the Dual-OS laptop-tablet hybrid runs on a fourth generation Intel Core CPU – likely Bay Trail – and...

  • LG’s plans for 2014: smarter TV’s, texting your washing machine [CES2014]

    Lenovo had its moment in the sun last night and this morning it was LG’s chance to woo the press. A smarter TV A packed room watched as LG detailed its SmartTV line-up for 2014, 56% of which will have the fabled webOS at their core. From what we saw, webOS has been transformed into a polished, user-friendly TV interface and might be a much-needed breath of fresh air in a market that is saturated with an estimated 160 million SmartTVs — many of which contain complicated, tacky interfaces (Samsung, shame on you). A far cry from its Palm beginnings, webOS injects a...

  • KEECKER is the closest thing to R2-D2 we’ve seen yet [CES2014]

    You’ll have to look hard to find this one at CES 2014, but it’s a jaw-dropper. Imagined and brought to life by ex-Googler, Pierre Lebeau, KEECKER has just taken the wraps off its smart, connected robot. This is no Roomba. Billed as a “connected computer for lifestyle and home entertainment,” this little guy is equipped with a powerful video projector and 360 degree audio and video capture system. It’s sort of like an internet-connected projector meets media PC — on wheels. KEECKER allows you to project movies, listen to music, browse the web, make video calls, play video games and...

  • The coolest gadgets of CES 2014 so far [CES2014]

    The press got a sneak peek at what will be unwrapped in the coming week. We battled through the crowd to find the most interesting gadgets at the pre-show, and here’s what we’ve come up with. Catterpillar Inc (CAT) isn’t exactly renowned for making phones, but the company just dropped something right out of 1990 — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The B100 is a feature phone that can be dropped from a height of 1.8 meters onto solid concrete, submerged in water for half an hour and can even withstand temperatures from -25 to 55 degrees celsius. Unlike...

  • Kolibree unveils the world’s smartest connected toothbrush [CES2014]

    One of the big trends at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year, is digital health. Moments ago, Kolibree, took the veil off its connected electric toothbrush — a world first the French company says. Kolibree’s war on periodontal disease involves a BlueTooth-connected smart toothbrush and a free mobile app that analyses your brushing habits. The one-two-punch will monitor your brushing sessions, and make recommendations for boosting your dental care. The data about how you brush automatically syncs with your smartphone and scores your efforts based on things like: how long you’ve brushed and whether or not you’ve accessed...

  • Cheat sheet: iPad Air, iPad mini, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and OS X

    Apple today re-introduced the iPad, calling it the iPad Air, a thinner, lighter version of the iPad with a dramatically smaller bezel. The iPad mini saw an update to its face, now featuring a 2048 x 1536 “retina” display as well as the 64-bit A7 chip that shipped with the iPhone 5s. On the desktop computing side, Apple provided a closer look at the Mac Pro, its cylinder shaped re-imaging of the power-user’s desktop computer. It will ship in December. Apple’s MacBook Pro line also received a significant speed bump, despite retaining its tried and tested design, for...

  • Cheat sheet: Apple’s iPhone 5s, 5c event in a nutshell

    If you’ve been monitoring the rumour mill in the run-up to today’s Apple event, Tim Cook and company probably didn’t reveal much that surprised you. iPhone 5c Yup, the low-cost “unapologetically plastic” iPhone 5c is real, and it’s replacing the iPhone 5. As rumoured, with the 5c Apple is diverging from its typical path that sees the latest pre-event iPhone become its entry-level proposition. The iPhone 5, which Cook revealed had the most successful first year of any iPhone Apple had ever done, has reached the end of its life, or has it? Think of the 5c as an iPhone...

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