Sony Nexus X was a clever fake, guy who did it confesses

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 20, 2012

Sony nexus X fake

From time to time, as a tech blogger, you are confronted with a dilemma. Cover an unsubstantiated rumor/leak or let it pass? Sure, you strive to offer only accurate information, but what if you dismiss something as fake, and that report turns out to be real? It can be a tough call to make, and from time to time, you are bound to make mistakes.

A week ago, the internet went ablaze when two pics popped up on Picasa, that allegedly showed the “Sony Nexus X”. We covered the story, because the thing looked so damned real. But after a more thorough inspection, some called it fake.

As it turns out, the Sony Nexus X was a fake, a highly elaborated one, created by Ti Kawamoto, a graphic designer that wanted to see how tech sites would react to it, but also to spur the discussion around a Sony-made Nexus device. Well, the hoaxer got what he wanted – hundreds of sites picked up the story, and readers flocked to express their excitement over the Sony Nexus X.

Yesterday, Kawamato came out and acknowledged that he was behind the two images. To avoid the telltale signs that remain when an image is manipulated in Photoshop, he build the alleged Nexus from scratch in a 3D modeling program. He then shot the images displayed on his monitor with a Galaxy Nexus, to ensure realism and convincing EXIF data. It all took about seven hours to complete, and the result (apart of some inconsistencies) turned out remarkably well.

Kawamoto presents his workflow and a timeline of the spread of the story in a neat infographic on a Tumblr page. He goes on to lay down the conclusions of his actions, covering a “a range of topics including tech journalism, entrepreneurship, innovation, and philosophy”. Yep, philosophy. Give it a read if you have a few minutes.

Were you convinced of the veracity of the Nexus X? Are you bummed that it turned out to be a fake?

  • MasterMuffin

    That was so fake I couldn’t and still can’t believe how you guys thought it was real and made an article about it! Especially the google text on the back, I can almost do the same with MS paint!

    • John A

      I thought the same thing at the time, and I commented on it too. I hope this guy has done the tech blogging world a favour by teaching you guys to check your sources better in future. I doubt it though! Its all about getting the clicks on your page, whether the story is authentic or not!!

      • MasterMuffin

        Well it sometimes seems so, I don’t know..

  • WestIndiesKING

    i hope there is some legal action against this guy. I hate when people waste time with hoax like this.

    • John A

      Come on, get real. He has done the tech world a favour imo. Maybe people will be less gullible next time and tech blogs a little more discerning when it comes to reporting leaks. I say fair play to him.

      • WestIndiesKING

        how is it fair play? its mis-information and annoying.

        • Kassim

          As John said, we should all learn to just to dial down our enthusiasm on these sorts of stories – no point going bonkers over something prematurely!

          It’s only annoying because people got overexcited about a rumour. If we take these stories with the large pinch of salt we should always do, we would be a bit disappointed when they turn out to be untrue and move on.

          This just proves that investing all your ‘hype-credits’ on something that’s not even official yet should be discouraged…

          • WestIndiesKING

            i can agree with that. looking at the design it didnt fall inline with Sony’s style so i was pretty sure it was fake. But lying is still lying

          • jyt

            It’s more of experimenting than lying.

  • NoreenD

    No, I was not convinced about the now known hoax of the Nexus X. I think that most readers felt the same way, though. As we are human, we do like to discover what’s new and discuss the topics as they are presented. But we also will question as to what we are really seeing. It’s in our nature to do so. And the truth will always find its way to the top. There will always be leaks or rumors brought to attention, but they are not to be taken as official. Ti Kawamoto seems to have plenty of his own reasons for his hoax actions. I feel that his hoax did not help anything. And, it smells like deception to me…sorry.

  • yoda

    Jesus who cares? If anything this is all great and hopefully Sony makes one now! Science fiction makes for a good read and it is not real what is the difference?

  • philnolan3d

    As a 3D artist myself this amuses me.

  • The simple fact that Google Now wasn’t apparent on a new Nexus device gave me doubts from the beginning. Other than that any body who says “I knew it from the beginning. Yeeeeaaaaah, suckers!” Is lying. Give me one logical way you could tell this was a hoax? And no, your oversized ego doesn’t count.

  • Okier09

    Also a Graphic Designer and not fooled at all, but the idea is awsome though.