Archive for May 23, 2007

GPS tracker can send SMS location alerts

Look past the dubious styling - obviously designed to appeal to anyone who loves Mister Whippy ice-cream - and the Fontastic PT-9 is a pretty decent little GPS tracker.  Not only does it contain a SiRF-Star III chipset but a tri-band GSM chipset (900, 1,800 and 1,900MHz) so, at the touch of a button, your exact location can be sent via SMS to your cellphone.


More Pandora on the move: Zing WiFi player

Want mobile Pandora but don't want to shell out for a Sprint contract?  Then you'll likely be interested in the music company's Zing prototype, a customised SanDisk device running the track prediction software.  TechCrunch's Michael Arrington got to play with one, finding it "longer and thinner" than the SanDisk Sansa Connect and otherwise very mysterious.


Survey finds search-branded phone market hungry

Market research can be tricky - I know I've lied to someone surveying me, so I always try to take results with a generous pinch (or shovel) of salt.  I'd tentatively say that, going by The EQUS Group's findings, the well-recognised brand name of Google or Yahoo! would be a good place to launch a cellphone from; 55% of people surveyed said they'd be willing to buy a phone from one of the two search companies.


DIY metal-detecting robot platform

Finding buried treasure is one of those things that's on my to-do list but I never get around to catching up with, so I should probably give seasoned seeker John Corney a call; he's fashioned a remote control detector using a toy truck as donor.


Latest Teleglass HUD still looks like POS

There exist tiny displays, small and discrete enough to be embedded in the lens of your glasses but practically unnoticeable to anyone around you.  This, however, isn't one of them.  Teleglass are hawking the latest version of their spectacles-mounted display, the T3-F; a limpet-like monstrosity that drops a 2cm TV display in front of your right eye.


MIT’s furry robot is capable of human learning

For some reason I can't look at MIT's Leonardo robot without an involuntary shudder - I think it's the lifelike fur and the evil, calculating eyes.  Even scarier is to see it in motion (and there are videos after the cut), when complex facial mapping techniques have taken human expressions and reworked them for the robot's face (which has 32 degrees of freedom).


The Remote-Controlled Pool Skimmer

Tired of cleaning your pool? Well this isn’t quite as nice as having your own personal pool boy, but the Remote-Controlled Pool Skimmer might at least make things a little more entertaining.

The 8 Ball USB Hub

Want a fun USB Hub? You might as well, what’s the fun of having a boring USB Hub. Well this 8 Ball USB Hub might be just the thing for you, although, sadly it’s not a magic 8 ball.

Sprint to preload Pandora client on cellphones

As streaming music services go, Pandora has managed to sweep away initial misgivings of a computer's ability to assess and predict musical taste ("what do you mean I like The Proclaimers?!") and carve out a healthy niche of listeners tired of back to back advertising and the same old top-ten songs on normal radio.  What's been needed, however, is a way to take this personalised service with you when you go out, and it looks like Sprint is the first to step up and offer it.

Philips celebrate 10 years of Ambilight with new LED-backlit displays

For my tenth birthday I think I probably got a Transformer.  Philips is obviously a tad more generous, and is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Ambilight technology with three new 1080p sets that each use LEDs for their backlighting.


VTech ‘borrows’ RAZR’s keypad for DECT

They say imitation is the best form of flattery, but I'm wondering whether this new VTech cordless DECT phone steps a little too much across the imitation line and falls flat into copying - that keypad is very similar to the Motorola RAZR!


PSP to get Video-VOIP

Sony's PSP seems to have been losing out in column inches to Nintendo's arguably more "pick up and play" DS handheld, and so the company is looking to leverage its strong multimedia and internet capabilities to pick up those all-important headlines.  In a deal with UK telco BT the PSP will at first gain VOIP - in voice and video flavours - followed by upgrades allowing calls and messages to PCs, landlines and mobiles.