Remember the Sony Nexus X story we covered last week? There were questions immediately raised that the photos were faked. Many suggested that the photos were doctored with the aid of Photoshop. Well, the person responsible for the photos has come up and said they’re not edited using Photoshop. Yes, the Sony Nexus X does not exist, nor will it look like what we were teased with last week. But more interesting was how and why the photos were leaked online, which was revealed in a lengthy but equally interesting tumblr post.
Story continues after the break.
Seven and a half hours. That was the amount of time it took the purveyor of the fine photos you saw in our original write up to plan, set up and render a realistic 3D model of the supposed Nexus smartphone by Sony. For the record, the guy didn’t seem to think it was too much effort, and to be very honest, the results were nothing short of realistic.
Realising that plenty of faked “leaked” photos were almost always edited with Photoshop, in addition to the increasing levels of skill that people possess in identifying Photoshopped photos, the guy decided that a believable fake must look real enough to pass off. The attention to detail from the conception of the device to the plane with which the table is set is very impressive. He even added scuff and scratch marks at the back of the model pre-render for that added “manhandled prototype” look.
To top it all off, because the rendered model will end up looking very sharp (like the photo at the top of the page) and nothing like blurry leaked photos, he ingeniously snapped a shot of the render from a monitor, thus achieving that realistic “leaked shot” feel.
Sixteen hours. That was how long it took between the time the guy uploaded the supposed Nexus X onto a faked Picasa account, and a blog to take the bait. Within half an hour, there were 25 articles that were published on the existence of a secret Nexus smartphone by Sony. Three hours later, more detailed reports on the subject crops up with some scepticism of the device’s authenticity. Some were mentioning that it had been Photoshopped.
24 hours after the first article was published, a total of 521 articles on the matter were published worldwide. A Google search for “Sony Nexus X” yields 90000 results. As of the time of the guy’s publishing of his detailed account of the forgery, there are about 1000 articles on the matter (including ours, unfortunately). He further estimates that by “moving his hands on a Sunday evening”, he “mobilized 250 hours of human capital” – fifteen minutes for each writer to write an article on the Nexus X.
Of course, the rug was eventually pulled – after all, this wasn’t a full-on elaborate hoax. Internet sleuths eventually found that the photo’s metadata did not tally with the time that was displayed on the home screen of the Nexus X. That, among others, was how the hoax fell apart.
The hoax wasn’t a conception of an idle mind, however. It came about, according to the guy, from how his dream Nexus phone would look like if it was made by Sony and its unique design language. From there, he wondered how long would a supposed “leaked image” of an upcoming device pops up in mainstream media and if they even check for the legitimacy of the source. Also, a side motivation was also to spur public interest in a Sony-made Nexus device – which explained the great care in the design of this Nexus X.
Interestingly, we’re still generating quite a number of hits on our Nexus X write-up from last week. Your move, Google.