High-tech megaphone will translate your speech in real-time

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An airport worker holds the Megaphoneyaku, which can broadcast messages in three languages.
An airport worker holds the Megaphoneyaku, which can broadcast messages in three languages.
Photo: Tohru Watanabe/Mainichi Newspapers

A blaring megaphone is an effective way to get people’s attention. But what if the people in the room speak a multitude of languages?

A Tokyo airport is trying to solve the language gap with international travelers with a megaphone that lets the user communicate in three different languages. A worker speaking one of three languages, Chinese, Korean or English, can have their message broadcast in the other two.

If you think Apple’s packaging is good, wait until you see these

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Apple doesn't have anything on the packaging for these products.
Apple doesn't have anything on the packaging for these products.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Opening a new Apple product for the first time is pretty close to a holy experience. Part of that is because Apple spends so much time perfecting product packaging so it’s simple, elegant and secure without compromising on intuitiveness.

However, it’s a mistake to think Apple is the only company that pours thought and care into something as basic as a box. In light of the recent rumor that Apple will be working with third-party accessory makers to co-design packaging for their products in Apple retail stores, it’s clear many other companies care as well. It’s about being eye-catching without straying from uniformity, it’s about being simple yet still adorned.

With this spirit in mind, take a look at some of the other electronic companies out there getting extremely creative with their product packaging. The goal for these seems to be making the boxes as gorgeous as the products themselves – and they succeed.

Samsung outranks Apple where it really hurts… in the patent department

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In an effort to prevent rivals from stealing its ideas, Apple patents everything it invents — from the iPhone and the iPad, to app icons and even “magic” tactile gloves. But compared to its biggest competitors, Apple’s patent portfolio from 2015 looks surprisingly bare.

Microsoft, Sony, Google, and LG have all outrank Apple in the patent department this year, while arch rival Samsung has absolutely crushed it.

Gadget Watch: Phones with Leica lenses, and Leicas without LCDs

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The mammoth Photokina photo fair is going on this week, and that means tons of photo goodies. Small, manual cameras with big sensors are the game this year — unless you’ve got $20,000 to burn, in which case Leica’s new novelty camera might be up your street. We round these out with Gadget Watch's usual collection of bags, cases and gadgets.

The mammoth Photokina photo fair is going on this week, and that means tons of photo goodies. Small, manual cameras with big sensors are the game this year — unless you’ve got $20,000 to burn, in which case Leica’s new novelty camera might be up your street. We round these out with Gadget Watch's usual collection of bags, cases and gadgets.


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Sci-fi toys spring to life in filmic photos

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Who said Greedo doesn't fire first?
Who said Greedo doesn't fire first?

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By day, Robert Larner works for an investment firm. By night he directs Stormtroopers, Transformers and Daleks.

Using toys, camera tricks and a keen sense of story, the photographer delights Flickr and Instagram fans with movie stills. But the movies don’t exist.

The Scotsman grew up a discerning cineaste with a taste for the Indiana Jones, Back to the Future and Ghostbusters movie franchises, but his greatest inspiration — in film and toys — was Star Wars.

“I could probably track my interest in toys via Star Wars,” Larner says. “When I was a kid in the early ’80s, I was completely swept up by the original Kenner 3.75-inch range. Then, in the ’90s, the remastered movies came out along with whispers of the prequels so the Star Wars toy range was reintroduced, so that caught my interest again. However, it was when Lego had the bright idea of making Star Wars Lego sets in 1999 that I really got sucked in and I haven’t looked back since!”

Panasonic GX7 Now Official: Officially HOT, That Is

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GX7_main.jpg

I know, I know. This is technically the third post I’ve written about the Panasonic GX7. But it’s also the first post since it has existed as anything except a Schrödinger’s Rumor.

The GX7 is Panasonic’s best-looking Micro Four Thirds camera to date, in terms of both styling (it’s retro-hot) and design choices. It’s also priced to go up against cameras like Fuji’s X-series, at $1,000 for the body alone, and $1,100 for camera and 14–42mm (28–84mm equivalent) kit lens.

Panasonic Planning “Rangefinder” Style Micro Four Thirds Camera With Built-In Viewfinder

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You gotta love the destruction of the point-and-shoot camera industry at the hands of the cellphone. After years of trying to woo us with more and more hard-drive-filling megapixels, camera makers are finally being forced to give us what we actually want. And it doesn’t hurt that these features are exactly those things that are difficult to put into phones: Big sensors and – now – viewfinders.

The latest convert looks like it’ll be Panasonic, with the newly-leaked GX7.

For $1,799 This Guy Will Build You A 32-inch Android Or Windows 8 Tablet [CES 2013]

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For $1799 This Man Will Build You a 32inch Android Tablet_Snapseed

LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – Big ass tablets “Table PCs”  have been all the rage at CES this year. Lenovo and Panasonic think that you want to throw a dance party on a big iPad on the floor. It’s amazing, but not in a good way.

Rather than waiting for everyone else to jump in on the big ass tablet craze – we’re looking at your Samsung – did you know that you can actually just pay Steven Hu, of T.S. MicroTech, to make you your own 32-inch Android tablet? Heck, he’ll even make you a 65-incher if you pay him enough.