Sony World Photography Awards is an annual competition for professional and amateur photographers. Professionals compete in their own categories whereas amateurs can participate in open competition. In addition to the five main competitions (with prizes) Professional, Open, Youth, Student and National Award, the judges commended 40 photos in each subject category.
There are some amazing shots picked up by the judges in the Travel category. Some photographers have traveled far and invested a lot of effort and time in getting unique and exceptional shots, whereas someone else has been lucky enough to have a window seat on an airplane when the sun has peaked through the clouds above London. A quick snapshot taken on an iPhone produced an amazing image.
The full gallery of photos commended by the judges in the Travel category can be viewed here.
Many people have collected a stack of books that they are going to read during their vacation. Today, it makes sense to store those books on an ereader for saving space and weight. If you worry you might damage or lose your tablet or laptop while reading at a pool, airport, beach or at an outdoors café by a busy market square in Vienna, carry a low-cost ereader along for your trip.
Here are some budget ereaders to choose from.
Sony PRS-300 – a compact and light ereader. Sony doesn’t manufacture ereaders anymore, so you’ll be shopping for refurbished products for as low as $20. You can purchase ebooks from any bookstore apart from Amazon, and read them on the Sony ereader.
Onyx Boox Classic is a touch screen, Wi-Fi enabled ereader for about $70. The manufacturer sells products directly their web site and delivers globally.
Pocketbook Basic 2 – Pocketbooks are primarily marketed in Europe, but can be purchased elsewhere as well. The basic model for about $80.
Amazon Kindle – you can’t go wrong with the Kindle – even the entry level models are highly usable devices. The price varies, today this basic model was $79. The Paperwhite model with front light was $119. The only thing to remember is that you can read ebooks purchased only from Amazon on the Kindle.
The sales of ereaders specifically designed for reading ebooks has gradually been declining during the last year. Likely explanations are that most heavy readers already have an ereader and others use tablets for reading ebooks. In any case, Sony has introduced a product that may show us one of the ways we will read in the future: smartglasses.
Smartglasses is like any other product that gets the prefix smart. When you add computing power into a watch, it becomes a smartwatch, or you add computing power into a mobile phone, it becomes a smartphone. That’s what is happening with eyeglasses as well. Google introduced their unsuccessful eyeglass frames a couple of years ago, but few people found them useful. Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition is a huge step into the right direction in the emerging world of smart-everything.
The Developer Edition means that the product is still under development, but Sony wants software developers to study it and create clever applications that make use of the new possibilities provided by smartglasses. My proposal: someone please write an ereading app for the Sony SmartEyeglass.
Having text displayed into the eyeglassses would be the perfect way to read wherever you want: you don’t have hold anything in your hand (hands-free reading), you don’t have to carry any extra devices with you (books are stored on your smartphone), you don’t have to worry about having enough light (the text is displayed on the SmartEyeglasses screen), and you can flip pages by pushing a button in the control unit.
Sony has envisioned a few applications for the SmartEyeglasses: sports results and statistics on the go, assembly instructions of a machine (hands-free), and street navigation. Street navigation displayed on your eyeglasses could be an instant hit for millions of people. View the video below for a demo.
Sony is selling the Developer Edition of the SmartEyeglass for GBP 620 in the UK, so we will have to wait if this particular product model ever becomes a mainstream product (if not, one of its successors will). The real computing power in Sony SmartEyeglass is on your smartphone. All data, like ebooks and apps are stored on the smartphone. The phone and the SmartEyeglass are connected via Bluetooth, so that the eyeglasses function as a Bluetooth headset as well. The small control unit for the SmartEyeglass is connected to the device with a cable which may not please everyone.
Success, however, requires sleek, chic, user-friendly and street-credible smartglasses. Sony is not there yet, but SmartEyeglasses is a very promising concept, and way ahead of all other similar products.