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Top tech: five of the coolest gadgets this week


By Henry Winchester


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Date Added: 4th June 2014

With improved touch screen support for Photoshop and other cool gadgets, check out our latest round up of techy goodness!


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© Microsoft

The idea of manipulating and abusing reality dominated science-fiction in the 90s, but it seems that it's becoming a big part of modern technology. Google's Project Tango is a great example: these devices will scan the world around you and build accurate 3D models, so blind people can navigate complicated offices, and 3D artists can map the world around them.

The Scribble Pen, also featured this week, is a subtler example of the way that computers and reality are interacting: this nifty stylus scans in colours and then allows you to draw with them. Even Watch Dogs, Ubisoft's promising game, features a near-future vision of Chicago in which everything can be hacked. It's all very cool and exciting.

1. Autodesk 3D Printer

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© Autodesk

It shouldn’t come as a huge shock that Autodesk’s first venture into hardware is a 3D printer, after all the design megacorp’s software is used around the world to create 3D models. What’s interesting is that it’s also creating an open-source software platform â€" dubbed Spark â€" to iron out the many creases involved in 3D printing. Both the software and the espresso machine-esque hardware will be available later this year.

2. Scribble Pen

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© Scribble

Ever struggled to find just the right colour? The Scribble Stylus ($80/£48) is an awesome little tool which can scan real-world items and tell you their exact hues. We’ve seen colour capture devices like this before, but where it gets really clever is in its companion, the Scribble Pen ($150/£89). This works like a mini inkjet printer, allowing you to draw in the colour you’ve just sampled. It could become essential if you still love creating prototype sketches in the old-fashioned way.

3.Photoshop CC Touch

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© Microsoft

Using Photoshop on a tablet is many a digital artist’s dream, but it’s been hampered by a lack of touch screen support. Fortunately Adobe has announced a proper touch-friendly version of the popular image manipulation software, so you can use it on a Windows tablet and it won’t feel like you’re doing brain surgery with a JCB. Adobe has announced touch support for more of its products in the future, too.

4.Project Tango

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© Google

Google’s latest attempt to augment reality sounds weird, wonderful and like a potentially awesome tool for 3D artists. Project Tango consists of devices which use multiple cameras and depth sensors to scan the world around them, building complex 3D maps of everyday locations. Google will send out 4,000 sample tablets containing the hardware from the beginning of June â€" we can't wait to see what they're capable of.

5. Watch Dogs

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© Ubisoft

Ubisoft’s latest game is an open world adventure following elite hacker Aiden Pearce as he makes Chicago go a bit wrong. He can change traffic lights, bypass security cameras and generally cause chaos in the name of avenging his niece’s death. While it may not have quite lived up to expectations, it’s worth playing simply to revel in the seediness of its vision of Chicago.

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