Geek Out! Latest Gadgets Apps and Technology is an annual session where moderators and attendees get the chance to “Geek Out” over emerging technologies newsrooms and independent journalists can use. Tech gadgets related to 360 video and social media editing were the main focus of this year’s session.
Robert Hernandez, a moderator at the session and a Digital Journalism professor at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, used his Insta360 to live stream the GeekOut17 session as a 360 video. Other session moderators were Kim Bui, an editor-at-large for NowThisNews, Henry Lopez, a digital enterprise editor at The Santa Fe New Mexican and Joe Ruiz, the weekend editor at NPR.
Session attendees shared what gear they recommend for journalists to use in their newsrooms and freelance projects. This list summarizes the different projects brought up at the session:
- Description: AirPods are Apple’s wireless earbuds. This product was first released on September 7, 2016.
- Price: $159.00 on the Apple Store
- Benefits: Useful when doing activities where a person might not want the earbud wires to get tangled. Hernandez recommended people use this product to multitask while listening to podcasts.
- Description: A lightweight, free and open source panorama viewer for the web. Photos taken on a smartphone might be blurry.
- Price: Free
- Benefits: This free tool is great for journalists who want to learn more about simple ways to create an immersive environment.
- Description: Wibbitz is a news company that uses an RSS feed to turn print stories into videos with music and text.
- Price: Newsrooms can either pay to use Wibbitz or they can choose to accept commercials at the start of their videos.
- Benefits: These videos with text and music can be created automatically or users can customize everything, such as the layout and font choices. Wibbitz uses a simple drag and drop interface and users can put licensed clips on their videos.
Samson Go Mic Mobile Professional Wireless System
- Description: This professional wireless microphone system connects to smartphones. This microphone can make mobile phones pro-level video camera that capture high definition audio.
- Price: $250
- Benefits: Newsrooms can increase the audio quality of their Facebook Live or live shots. The battery lasts for 14 hours.
RAVPower External Hard Drive
- Description: The RAVPOWER 26800mAh Portable Charger can hold six charges.
- Price: $49.99
- Benefits: The device has two USB outlets, so it can charge up to two devices at once.