Tech & Innovation

December 2104 Tech Update

By Anne Whelton
12 January 2015
tech update

Bite-sized news, views and updates from the global tech industry, by Anne Whelton.

Back from the brink

Less than a month after Microsoft dropped the Nokia mobile phone brand – as reported in the last issue of Business & Finance – the newly reinvigorated Finnish brand announced the first Nokia-branded AndroidTM tablet, the N1.

Set to launch in Q1 2015 – at an estimated price of US$250 – according to Nokia, the N1 offers the innovative, predictive Nokia Z Launcher interface, which allows users to scribble a letter or two to find their content quickly. The N1 will also, over time, learn what applications are in use, and predict and highlight the applications consumers are expected to want, based on time of day and location.

“We are pleased to bring the Nokia brand back into consumers’ hands with the N1 Android tablet, and to help make sophisticated technologies simple,” said Sebastian Nyström, head of Products at Nokia Technologies, who announced the N1 at the Slush technology conference in Helsinki in November.

“The N1 has a delightfully intuitive interface and an industrial design to match it. This is a great product for Nokia fans and everyone who has not found the right Android tablet yet.”


  • Runs on the Android Lollipop operating software
  • Aluminum design with a finish in both Lava Grey and natural aluminum colors
  • 7.9″ laminated display
  • 2GB of memory
  • 32GB of storage
  • 2.4Ghz Intel© AtomTM quad-core processorNokia N1 tablet











Electric Ireland feathers its nest

Electric Ireland and NestThe Web Summit, which took place in early November, has meant a busy month for tech deals, one of which is the partnership between Electric Ireland and Nest to bring the Nest Learning Thermostat™ to their customers throughout the country.

The Nest Thermostat, which launched in the Irish market in September and can be controlled by a smart device, helps homeowners save energy and stay comfortable by learning temperature preferences and creating personalised schedules.

The Electric Ireland/Nest deal will see new Electric Ireland customers who sign up to a two-year plan receiving the Nest Thermostat and installation for free, while existing customers can get the thermostat and installation for €99.

Dance into the light

lightbulb speakerWith Christmas just around the corner, many people will be thinking about how to keep their guests entertained, whether it’s during the Christmas dinner or at a New Year’s Eve bash.
Luckily, we have just the thing. Introducing the Olixar Light Beats Bluetooth Speaker Bulb. Not only will this handy little device illuminate your room with light, it will also light up your surrounds with music.

Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices and LED-based – meaning low energy consumption and less heat generated from the bulb – simply put the bulb in, turn on the light, press play and enjoy the dulcet tones of Perry Como to your hearts content. The Light Beats comes with a two-year warranty and is available from for €65.49

Olixar Light Bulb Speaker

Catch some Zs

Z Charge Another handy little product for the technophiles on your life who just can’t seem to put their smartphones away at lights out, is the Z-Charge.

Designed by Irish product designer Paula O’Conner and Dublin-based MyVolts, the Z-Charge is a fabric saddlebag, which is positioned under the mattress of any bed, allowing users to store and charge their phones, tablets, and other gadgets – using a bespoke power adapter – all within easy reach.

The Z-Charge is currently available on crowd-funding platform, where it has raised in excess of €40,000, starting at €49.

HP ENVY Beats All-in-OneRed with envy

Be the envy of your music-loving friends with the HP ENVY Beats All-in-One. This impressive desktop combines BeatsAudio™ quad speakers and quad subwoofers, meaning few other desktops can perform on the same scale aurally as the ENVY.

Featuring an 58.4 cm screen, you can get your hands on the ENVY for €1,049.