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THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

Last Minute Tech Gift Ideas

With one more weekend left before the Christmas holiday, retailers and consumers are knuckling down for the final sprint toward the seasonal-shopping finish line. And if you’re like us, you’re more than happy to have an extra shopping weekend (since you’ve still got presents to buy).

Don’t worry, shoppers! We’ve got the gizmos that will keep the technology nerd on your list thinking you spent all year looking for the perfect gift.

Canon PowerShot SX260 Digital Camera
Canon-SX260HS
Take travel photography to the next level; use the SX260 HS GPS image tagging to track your journey on Google Maps. 

Retail Price: $199
Who’s It For? The photo blogger who likes to travel
Why Should I Buy It: Exceptional image performance

Canon’s PowerShot SX260 HS offers 12.1 megapixel quality via a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor. It also has a powerful 20x Optical Zoom. Add a 25mm Wide-Angle lens, PhotoStitch (which takes photos and turn them into a panoramic image) and GPS image tracking and you’ve got a powerful compact camera. Canons’ optical image stabilizer helps make every shot a winner.

Kindle Fire HD Tablet
kindle-fire-hd-8.9-inch
With a 1.5-Ghz processor and Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics chip, the Kindle Fire HD is able to go toe to toe with the iPad. The $499 Kindle also gives you 16 GB more storage than the iPad, at the same price.

Retail Price: $499
Who’s It For? The Amazon Prime member who hates Apple
Why Should I Buy It: As iPad alternatives go, it’s the best of the bunch.

Want to serve up movies and games beautifully and lightning quick? Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD sports a 8.9-inch display and 4G LTE Wireless. In nerd speak, that’s a dual-band, dual Wi-Fi antenna and a screen that boasts a stunning 1920×1200 HD display. For ebook readers, the tablet has a polarizing filter and anti-glare technology. All this plus free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content, and access to the Kindle library—with more than 22 million pieces of content (only Apple has more)—makes the Kindle Fire perfect for anything.

iPhone 5

The fastest iPhone yet…at least until the iPhone 5S. 

Retail Price: $199
Who’s It For? Anyone who still has a iPhone 3
Why Should I Buy It: Aside from a tablet, it’s the most sought-after electronic gadget going this holiday season.

This is the smartphone that changed the game and now steps it up with 4G LTE. The iPhone 5 features a thinner and sleeker design, plus a new 4-inch screen. Returning from the previous version are the Retina display and Siri. But these are just a few of the things that make this iPhone the greatest one yet. It’s backed by the Apple app store, which recently celebrated serving up its 1 millionth app .

Wii U

Nintendo’s latest video-game console combines a variety of technologies into one amazing interactive experience.

Retail Price: $349
Who’s It For? Your kids
Why Should I Buy It: For the under-14 set, it’s the third-hottest tech gift this holiday season.

Wii U takes Nintendo’s Wii to the next level; what the Wii did for motion controllers, this machine does for gaming options. Play with a big-screen TV or game on the Wii U GamePad’s 6.2-inch, 16:9 LCD touchscreen. The Wii U GamePad has motion control, front-facing camera, rumble feature, microphone and stereo speakers! In fact, there are so many bells and whistles on this thing that even Nintendo hasn’t figured out what they’re all for.

Technology Camp
digital-media-academy-technology-camp-at-stanford
Kids learn how to create the future while using the latest technology. 

Retail Price: $695
Who’s It For? Your 10-year-old Steve Jobs
Why Should I Buy It: To give your kid get a head start on creating the future

This Christmas you can give your child the hottest electronic device and hope that they don’t grow out of it. Or you can really put the technology hook into them with a week or more at a technology camp like Digital Media Academy. Think of it—you’re kids aren’t just playing games, they’re making them, and even getting paid to do it. From learning App Development to Programming and more, a week at tech camp could be a life-enriching experience for your kid. And make you the best Santa ever.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

What Are Google Glasses?

Introducing the Next Big Thing: Google Glasses, high-tech eyewear for the Digital Age. The glasses, which are still in development, will overlay graphics onto reality – basically putting a heads-up display right in front of your eyes.


Google has not announced a price point or release date for the gadget, but insiders have hinted the glasses may be available to consumers by the end of the year. 

How They Work
Google Glasses could potentially be an iPhone killer. How? Well, like your iPhone, they would provide access to encyclopedias of information, but using something called augmented reality, the glasses would basically overlay information and graphics as you’re walking through the real world. Want to get directions to the coffee shop? The glasses would put “virtual signposts” (that only you can see) in your field of view, in order to navigate the way.


This view – from behind the glasses – provides an idea of what type of augmented-reality features might look like. Information about specific locations is available at a glance.

Got a dinner appointment with a friend? The glasses will display a notification right in front of your eyes. The possibilities (and ease of use) have the potential to make the smartphone – dare we say it – obsolete. Just imagine a digital landscape laid out in front of you that serves up restaurant reviews (while you’re standing in front of the restaurant), reservation times and a menu – all virtually.

A Day in the Life of “Project Glass”
Once put into use, Google Glasses will be wirelessly connected to the Internet and feature the functionality of a smartphone. The wearer would be able to control that functionality via voice commands, as well as camera functions for capturing still images and video clips.


The technology may still be a year or so off, but just to be discussing the potential instantly causes our minds think of sci-fi classics that predicted a heads-up displays, like “The Terminator.”

Google created a video based on “Project Glass” (Google’s name for the Google Glasses project) to show how the glasses would work during a typical day of errands in and around New York. In the video, we see the world in first-person view and what users would see. For example, while pouring a cup of coffee, the guy in the video happens to glance upward and the display shows a tiny clock, a notation about the temperature outside and a personal memo about visiting a friend, as scheduled for that night.

Take a look:

However, Google Glasses is an idea that may take some getting used to. Internet pranksters are already posting videos that mock the futuristic headgear, including a Google Glasses World of Warcraft parody.

Then again, there was another gizmo a few years back that once might have seemed like nothing more than the product of a slightly nerdy fantasy, and it caught on pretty well. It was called the smartphone.

As far as production of the actual glasses, it’s unknown if Google will license the technology to a hardware producer, but it’s possible they could also partner with a glasses manufacturer like Ray-Ban, Maui Jim or Oakley. The glasses are expected to be fashionable as well as practical.

Powered by Android
When Google Glasses eventually appear on the market, they will harness the processing power of Google’s Android. The Android OS is one of the most successful platforms today and the fastest growing mobile operating system in the world.


Google founder Sergey Brin was recently spotted in public wearing a stylish pair of Google Glasses. 

If you’re looking to get firsthand experience developing apps for Google Android, why not go to an Android App Development summer camp? You could learn to make games and apps that someday might even be playable on those cool Google Glasses.

What do you think of Google’s Glasses? Would you wear them?

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posted by Phill Powell in Featured,News Blog and have No Comments