Archive for Dec 20, 2006

Samsung SCH-V960 sports new optical joystick

Samsung SCH-V960 sports new optical joystick

The new Samsung SCH-V960 features a brand spanking new input technology that the company is describing as an “optical joystick”.  I give Samsung an A+ for breaking away from the d-pad or mini-joystick commonly used on Nokia handsets.  The optical sensor button looks easy to use – simply place your finger and move a cursor to navigate through menu.  This experience is very much like moving a cursor of a mouse around on your PC.

Samsung, you had me at “360 degrees of freedom”.

It’s also Samsung’s first phone to have an Illumination sensor that adjust the screen brightness.  Other features include a QVGA display with 262k colors, EVDO, Bluetooth, microSD external memory slot, and 2-megapixel camera.

The SCH-V960 is set to launch in Korea later this month.  The price is still yet to be announced.
Samsung SCH-V960 Press Release

HTC Athena – decent photos emerge!

Wow, now I’m very excited about HTC’s Athena!  Though these photos don’t entirely tally with the spec sheet that was leaked the other day (doesn’t look like a transparent keyboard to me), everything else shapes up to a damn sexy Windows Mobile/UMPC crossover!

More photos of this cool looking device – including case and keyboard detached – after the cut.


More Choice in Bluetooth Stereo Headsets

If you’re in the market for some stereo Bluetooth headphones but the square-design of the Etymotic Research ety8 set turns you off, then perhaps one of this new pair will tempt you.  First off, the Fusion BT-55D set has a battery life of 12 hours talk-time, 10 hours of music or a whacking great 100 hours standby with a high-capacity Li-Ion battery, as well as a compact folding headset design and a plug-in transmitter dongle for your iPod (or other DAP).

Next up, the Movon Mini-Forte set also comes with a Bluetooth 2.0 dongle, but has clearly delineated music and cellphone controls: music on the right, and call on the left.  Both sets of controls are “jog buttons” meaning they can do more than just hang up or start playback.  Movon have added a feature they call ‘Multi-point’ which basically means if you get a call then your music is automatically paused.  They’ll be available in January 2007.

Movon Mini-Forte Bluetooth Headset

More photos of both headsets after the cut.


Jacob Jensen Beowatch

If you read my lyrical waxing about the Bang & Olufsen video history tour the other day, then you might be impressed with this watch.  Designed to control the essential functions of a Beocenter stereo system, despite the modern appearance it was in fact made back in 1986 as a very limited production run.  The design is by Jacob Jensen, who went on to establish his own company which produces a variety of home and electronic items that tend to be a little more affordable than B&O’s.

Communicating with the hifi via infra-red, Beowatch was also waterproof to 30m (for those impromptu dips in the pool) and accurate to -0.3/+0.5 second every 24 hours.  Considering it was only a few years ago that B&O brought out their own keyring remote control, it just goes to show how forward-thinking Jensen’s designs were.

More photos of the watch after the cut.


Piaggio Gilera GP 800 world’s fastest scooter

When I think of scooters, I generally picture a tame little Vespa. But there’s actually a whole other realm of monster rocket scooters. The latest and greatest being the new Piaggio Gilera GP 800 that just debuted in Milan as the world’s fastest scooter. This powerful 850cc scooter sports a 75hp 90 degree V-twin motor that delivers a top speed of more than 120mph, unprecedented for such a vehicle with automatic transmission.

The engine comes from the new Aprilia Mana and features an advanced electronic transmission. The engine roars to life with the touch of a button on the handle bar. Its sequential shift with 7 gears makes it easy to find the best-adapted configuration for different riding conditions.

Piaggio Gilera GP 800 the world’s fastest scooter
[Via: Newlaunches]

Maxell MXSP-100P Pouch with Speakers

Since you have to carry around your precious shiny mp3 player in protective casing anyways, why not carry it in a case that can multi-task as speakers. New from Maxell is the MXSP-100P, a very compact pouch for your mp3 player that also sports 1.2W speakers.

The MXSP-100P can provide up to 20 hours of operating time on four AAA batteries. Measuring just 145x67x85mm (5.7×2.6×3.3inches) and weighing 198g, this mini speaker/pouch comes in silver and black. No information yet on pricing and availability.

MXSP-100P, the Maxell pouch with speakers [Via: AkihabaraNews]

HTC Athena suddenly becomes interesting

When I read about the upcoming HTC Athena last week I wasn’t in a rush to post about it.  Yes, the design looked interesting, but the specs were anaemic (400MHz processor, 3.5-inch screen).  However some news passed to the::unwired may just change my mind, should it turn out to be true in the long run; their tipster claims that the true specs include such delights as a 5-inch VGA screen, a detachable keyboard made from clear plastic that fixes either over the screen or in laptop-style by magnets, an 8GB drive and a full bevy of wireless options (GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi b & g).

Oh, and throw a 3-megapixel camera with flash, 624MHz CPU and GPS into the mix too.  Seriously, it starts to sound like a wish-list, but there’s no denying that it’s all possible – the tipster, ‘xdarom’, does point out that it’s a “bit larger than the HTC Universal and more square, also it’s quite heavier than the Universal” while being “about the same thickness”.  You start to wonder what sort of price this could command, and whether it would make a good alternative to a UMPC or if the Windows Mobile OS (that it’s still supposed to have) will be the factor holding it back.

RUMOR: HTC Athena Specs Updated? [the::unwired]

DIY IM Status Toy

Taking inspiration from the Availabot and embracing the “You like that?  So make it yourself!” hacking spirit, Pierre-Philippe Coupard made his own physical IM status figure out of a cheap wooden toy and a chubby little servo.  The concept is straightforward: rather than rely on boring iconography, sounds or pop-ups to alert you to when a particular friend comes online, you can simply glance at your status figure and see right away whether they’re around for a chat.

Pierre-Philippe is generous enough to release both the build-instructions and software so you can make one of your own if you a) run Linux and b) have the necessary skill.  I’d do it myself but I lack both of those.  Damn.


ModeLabs Reveals Eco-Friendly Cellphone Concepts

ModeLabs, a French design team, claims that they have developed three truly energy- and environment-friendly cellphone concepts. All three designs focus on using the natural movements of the user to automatically recharge the phones, making it possible to have smaller batteries or even no batteries at all. In particular, is the YoYo model (pictured below) that is meant to be worn around the neck. It draws energy from the bounces and swings created by the user and can also draw additional power from the built-in solar cell.

The other two models include the U-Turn, a business phone that draws energy from the opening and closing of the keyboard, and the Runaway, a sports phone that draws energy from movements during exercise. There is no information yet on when these phones will actually reach production. Continue after the jump for more pictures.

Minox Suntimer UV Alarm Watch

If, amazingly, you are not chained to a computer in a dark stuffy room all day, and you actually venture outdoors in the sun way too often, then you need to protect yourself against deadly UV rays. A device like this Minox Suntimer UV Alarm Watch has special sensors that can detect the amount of UV radiation in the sunlight, sounding an alarm to let you know when to duck and cover.

The Suntimer watch can also let you personalize the settings by calculating your optimum UV exposure based on factors such as your skin type and the type of sunscreen you use. So even if you are stuck in an office and hardly see the light of day, it may still be a good idea to throw away that old calculator watch and take a bold step out into the sun during your lunch break. Priced around $60.

Suntimer – the sun alarm watch
[Via: Redferret]

Ballsy Radio/Alarm Clock is a gimmick

You’re no doubt expecting me to make some smutty joke about a cold ball in the bedroom, but I’m afraid you’ll have to do without.  This is a perfectly serious alarm-clock and radio, it just so happens to use a huge ball-bearing as selector for the different radio presets.

Gimmick aside, it’s all pretty basic: FM and AM with nine presets of each, battery or AC power and a backlit display.  So the $60 pricetag seems a bit steep if you ask me.

Product Page [via Coolest Gadgets]

SE 3G Bravia-Cellphone Marvel – Video

You might remember me dribbling fresh “want!” out of every orifice in mid-November at the glorious sight of Sony Ericsson’s AU W44S 3G handset.  A dual-flipping clamshell with 1Seg TV tuner, digital radio and achingly sharp Bravia screen, it was enough to make me at least look into apartment prices in Tokyo.  Well, now there’s an advert for it online, and it hasn’t done anything to dissuade my desire.

Pack up the bags, kids, we’re finding a flight!  That digital camera, by the way, is a 3.2-megapixel model capable of video recording, and there’s 115MB of internal memory before you even need consider what confusing variant of memory stick to add.  Photos of the W44S after the cut.