Archive for December, 2006

Fujitsu Stylistic Slate gets a thorough thumbing

Fujitsu Stylistic Slate gets a thorough thumbing

Ah, my favourite cam-whore Kevin C. Tofel (the 'C' is for coquettish) has been gurning at his lens again, this time parading the slender powerhouse that is the Fujitsu Stylistic ST5112 Slate Tablet PC around and praising its twiddly bits.  After a good poke around the various ports and such, Kevin demonstrates Skype (taking advantage of the dual-mic array), the viewing angle of the screen and the various hardware controls (including buttons and biometrics)

If you've got the time (nigh on three-quarters of an hour) and the bandwidth (242mb in WMV; YouTube version coming later) then it's a fantastic exploration of a very tempting device.  There's little doubt that slate-style Tablet PCs are the sexiest incarnation of current pen-computing, and Fujitsu's combination of minimalist design and performance grunt make this a serious competitor in the market.

jkOTR Mobile Media Edition 29: Fujitsu's Stylistic ST5112 slate Tablet [jkontherun]

Speck Products releases a groovy iPod Hi-Fi competitor

Speck Products releases a groovy iPod Hi-Fi competitor

A company called Speck Products has relased a new iPod Hi-Fi competitor with a twist, by adding a retro design. The SpeckTone Retro comes in a wood case with either a lime green, black, blue or white finish. A "High Gloss Piano Finish" is added to make the SpeckTone look slick. A 28 Watt Output is included, as well as a 4" Subwoofer below it.

The SpeckTone is compatible with: iPod (5th and 4th generation), iPod photo, iPod mini, and iPod nano. A 90-day warranty is also included. The unit costs $99 and can be bought from Speck Products's website.

Rolls-Royce Convertible treads the pre-show catwalk

Rolls-Royce Convertible treads the pre-show catwalk

If you're looking for an ostentatious way to get from A to B (via your ego, naturally) and the Rolls-Royce Phantom is just too passé for your liking, perhaps these preview shots of the company's new drophead will tempt you.  Due to be revealed properly at the Detroit auto show in January, it surprises all and sundry by keeping the suicide doors, polished metal bonnet section and deck-like rear hood cover from the original 100EX concept.

Probably sporting the same huge engine in the Phantom, then cosseting the occupants in a womb of leather and timber, it's not something for the shy and retiring.  Neither, I fear, will the price be.

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Nokia stokes N95 lusts

Nokia stokes N95 lusts

If you're like me you're not only allergic to penicillin but anxious to get your hands on a Nokia N95, the latest "promises everything" uber-handset packed with high-resolution cameras, GPS, big 'ole colourful screen and more hookup options than a twopenny whore.  Sadly I can't promise you hands-on time, but I can give you this official Nokia advert for the handset.

 

I'm hoping that the final release product won't actually spin round wildly in your hands whenever you access one of the functions, because that could be a serious health & safety hazard.

Nokia [via Gadgetell]

Esquire Handbag has got the shakes

Esquire Handbag has got the shakes

No, this isn't another exciting game of "Handbag or Handbomb", that discrete little red LED is actually the visible part of what AVING are calling one of their weirdest products of the year.  It's a vibrating, flashing cellphone-reactive handbag that detects incoming calls and shakes itself about to make sure you detect them too.  Not only will it catch mobile signals but flashing screens and silent alerts, too.

Thankfully you're not limited to this rather ugly design, as they'll add the tech bespoke to whichever bag you bring in.  It's still all a bit crazy, though.

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Fuel Cell laptop dock – 8hrs but ugly

Fuel Cell laptop dock – 8hrs but ugly

I'm sure we're all pretty used to hearing that fuel-cells are the future of our mobile energy needs, but some work really needs to be done sexing them up.  This is Samsung's attempt at a methanol fuel-cell for their Sense Q35 notebook, a chunky black docking-wedge and separate refuelling block.

Yes, it puts out 20W and can give you an extra eight hours of life, but it isn't exactly in-keeping with the design of the laptop, is it.  I think I'd much rather carry an additional battery "slice", preferably one which could also charge up the other power-hungry gizmos my lifestyle seems to deem essential.

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Set your mouse free: webcam based UI developed

Set your mouse free: webcam based UI developed

Say what you like about Microsoft - and love 'em or hate 'em, people invariably do speak their mind - they've got some talented people working for them.  Their research departments are packed to the gills with boffins developing the wave-after-next of interfaces, GUIs and more, and occasionally we get to see the results.  Here, then, is something that could represent a new way of interacting with your PC - or anything else, really, which requires user manipulation.  Rather than relying on a mouse or trackpad, a bog-standard USB webcam takes an overhead view of the work surface and tracks the movement of your hand, with clicking and selecting actions operated by pinching the fingers together.  The Podtech video explains it better:

 

If you're interested you can read programmer Andy Wilson's report on the technology here.  Will we see this in a future version of Vista?  Probably not in any recognisable form, but I've no doubt that with the current hacker's fascination with making the Nintendo Wiimote control just about anything, should Microsoft Research release the code there'd be quite a few innovative applications dreamt up.

Microsoft Research [via Gadgetopia]

Lasertag gets serious!

Lasertag gets serious!

And here's me thinking I had fun with one of those little guns that fire foam disks across the living room!  This mighty looking beastie is Scorpion, a well-and-truly hacked laser tag gun made by enthusiast Mike Yates who, with his fellow gamers, stage hardcore battles in bunkers underneath abandoned military bases.  Starting from a commercially-available Hasbro gun, Mike leveraged his access to pre-release hardware to develop a 3000psi air-tank powered quad-rocket array that's fired by an authentic tank trigger/grip.

Each "RPG" rocket emits an IR blast designed to take out as many opponents as possible.  Mike can then pick off the remaining stragglers with his high-powered 1500ft-range laser rifle.  More photos of the much-adapted weapon after the cut...

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Draganfly R/C Chopper put to the test

Draganfly R/C Chopper put to the test

Having seen various sites proclaiming R/C Helicopters the "must have" toy of this festive season, I'll be interested to see the feedback from nations of new pilots trying to get to grips with their whirligigs.  There's already some great comments back on our Micro Mosquito post - both positive and negative - and now I4U News have put together a review of the Draganfly Firefly model.

They find it easier than other models to control - both in flight and in hovering - with a dedicated knob for fine-tuning directly from the remote.  Durability and battery life (around 20 minutes of flight for a half-hour's charge) are also praised. 

SlashGear would love to hear your comments about the R/C toys you've been playing with, so please do get in touch!

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Underwater camera is bulky and low-res.

Underwater camera is bulky and low-res.

It would be easy for me to lambaste this wrist-worn underwater digital camera for a) being so bloody huge, b) only having a meagre pixel count (the 32mb of fixed internal memory can manage 360 pictures) or c) being intended for outdoors-types which, as a geek, intimidate me, but I'm not going to.  Because I'm sure there's someone out there desperate to take low-quality shots of wet people, fish, plantlife and water at a depth of up to 30-feet, but who can't afford anything more than the $79.95 being charged for this.

Y'see, it's the day after Boxing Day and I'm still suffused with a gently contended glow, so mediocre products have some leeway with me.  So all you need to know is that the Digital Hero Waterproof Wrist Camera weighs less than 12 ounces, is both shockproof and waterproof (obviously) with auto-exposure and timer.

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