With summer approaching, the sun is starting to play its usual cat-and-mouse game with the British public. In addition to the odd glimpse of the large, yellow thing, another surefire sign that the seasons are changing was the arrival of Digital Summer. The showcase is one of two exclusive Digital Seasons events in 2013, and while it seems like only yesterday we were braving sleet en route to Digital Winter 2012, 16 May saw us trooping round to Holborn to ogle a new batch of tech goodies at this year's Digital Summer. From fitness gadgets to set-top boxes by way of virtualisation software, a wide range of intriguing products were on display, and we've duly rounded up some of the top discoveries we made at the event, paying particular attention to offerings we think will interest professional types. Without further ado, let's take a look at the highlights of Digital Summer 2013.
G-Technology previews G DOCK ev with Thunderbolt
It's no small feat making a storage solution stand out amongst a rash of sexy consumer gadgets like high-end headphones and mobile accessories. That's exactly what G-Technology accomplished at Digital Summer, previewing its new G DOCK ev with Thunderbolt. The two-bay storage dock houses two removable 1TB media hard drive modules with USB 3.0, and was originally launched at NAB 2013. It offers user-configurable RAID 1 or RAID 0 and also comes with a pair of Thunderbolt ports for future storage expansion, making it the kind of scalable, all-in-one solution professionals can really get excited about. But what makes the G DOCK ev with Thunderbolt really stand out is its slick design - with a perforated, all-aluminium chassis, you're not going to want to hide this bit of hardware under your desk. G-Tech told us that UK and European rollout is scheduled for this summer and that the G-DOCK ev will retail for £599.95 when it hits Blighty.
Parallels Management Suite for Microsoft SCCM
We were really taken by Parallels easy-to-understand approach to virtualisation at the last Digital Winter event, and while its core Desktop 8 for Mac software offering remains largely unchanged, it has bolstered its enterprise arsenal since we last met. Launched at the beginning of 2013, Parallels Management Suite for Microsoft SCCM is a virtualisation plug-in pitched at IT teams wanting to consolidate systems and manage Mac and Windows devices simultaneously on their network. The obvious benefit here for the enterprise is improved visibility and policy-compliance for Mac devices. Compatible with Mac machines running Mac OS X 10.6x and above, it supports Apple's latest FileVault 2 technology to help administrators secure Apple devices, while the cross-platform element of Parallels means that business-critical Windows applications can easily migrate to Mac environments. Sound like a lot to take in? Securing your workforce is never going to be easy, but Parallels Management Suite for Microsoft SCCM is one effective way to start simplifying processes.
Mophie Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 5: hands on
Mophie is a household name amongst smartphone users, and no one stands to benefit from its range of battery-boosting Juice Packs more than the enterprise mobile user. For many if not most professions, maintaining on-the-go connectivity is essential, and not just to enhance productivity - keeping abreast of emails and breaking financial news is often business-critical. Unfortunately, some devices struggle with power issues, and Apple's iPhone in particular is often criticised for the speed at which its battery depletes in heavy-use scenarios.
Enter the juice pack. Part protective case, part external power supply, it keeps your phone topped up, though some users find the wearing of a juice pack to be cumbersome. Fortunately, the elongated, svelte design of the iPhone 5 means that Mophie's latest Juice Pack Plus is noticeably slimmer than its predecessor (the Mophie Juice Pack Plus for iPhone 4/4S), weighing just 76g and measuring 17.8mm thick. What's more, the Juice Pack Plus will come available in a special (PRODUCT)RED edition that, in addition to being the philanthropic choice, is seriously stylish to boot. Oh, and there's the small matter of the 120 per cent power boost for your iPhone, which comes courtesy of the 2,100mAh battery integrated into the Juice Pack Plus. Planet Mophie continues to be a must-visit destination for owners of Apple handsets.