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

October 20, 2012
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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?

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