Archive for Dec 27, 2006

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.


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.


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!

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…


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!


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.


Teclast touchscreen video DAP

With little more than the soft settling of a twisted marshmallow on your nephew’s face, Christmas comes and goes.  But does the relentless march of capitalism break step?  No!  Of course it doesn’t, because if it did it wouldn’t be relentless, would it.  So consider spending your Christmas cash on Teclast’s latest touchscreen video DAP, the C260.

A svelte 9.8mm thick, unlike myself the C260 doesn’t need to go to the gym post-festive feasting, and the 2.4-inch QVGA display makes navigation easy, unlike myself slightly tipsy on sherry on Christmas morning.  They’re keen to boast an 8ms response time, which I’m guessing is for the touchscreen although they’re not all to clear about it, plus FM radio, a memory card slot of some description, audio recording and pre-loaded games.

It’s attractive in an LG-Chocolate-wannabe, credit-card sized way, and will carry a MRSP of around $51 (399RMB) for the 1GB version when it launches in China.

Teclast to present a card-size mp3 player with touch screen [AVING]

Is there an iPhone-less Macworld ahead?

Reports from our sister site have indicated that the keynote given by Steve Jobs at the beginning of MacWorld might not include discussion of an iPhone. Although the report is unconfirmed, a number of interesting features are said to be announced. The report contains information about the iTV, Leopard, Apple Displays, and the new iPod. The report indicates the new iPod will have a user interface similar to the drawings shown below.

Apple will also release a new them to replace Aqua, called “Black Cherry”, along with the addition of 20th Century Fox movies to the lineup of films offered in the iTunes Store. Reports of a new iPod have been eerily slow for the past few months, and this new rumor resurrects information that was posted on months ago.

No mentioning of the iPhone in Steve’s keynote address! [Via:]

A White PS3 on eBay

After seeing the PS3 market on eBay, Michael Birecki realized that he wasn’t going to make much money selling his ordinary black PS3. And so, he took advantage of his father’s car dealership/body shop and painted his PS3 a glossy white. Although Sony initially planned to release the PS3 in three colors, black, silver, and white, the black is the only one currently available.

So, unless you yourself can accomplish the same 14-hour meticulous paint job, this could be your opportunity to possess possibly the only white PS3 in the world right now. The eBay auction for this white 60GB PS3 will end on December 31st, and bids are already up to $1,525.01 as of this writing. But do note, due to the paint job tampering, you lose the warranty.
Dreaming of a White PS3 Christmas [Via: Kotaku]

EyeToy Going High Def to beat the Wiimote?

The Sony EyeToy got a lukewarm reception a few years back when it was introduced as an add-on for the PS2 that enabled whole body movement detection for an added level of game playing interactivity. But now with the popularity of the Wiimote, there are rumors that Sony is attempting to push a new EyeToy HD for the PS3 as competition.

The EyeToy, for those unfamiliar, is essentially a digital camera for the PS that can be used for both video chatting or whole-body gameplay such as dancing in DDR. Many vex that this will just be another useless and expensive add-on, while others deem it worthy with many great possibilities. What do you think? Aye or nay?

High definition Eye Toy – a better input than the Wiimote? [Via: Gadgetell]

Trinity’s New Car FM Transmitters for iPods

At first glance, they may look like a black and white pair of mini iToilets or iPotties, if you will, but they’re actually the latest Trinity DS-CHFMT Car FM transmitters for your iPod. These little potties function much like other FM transmitters on the market, except, well, they look like little potties and they sit in your cup holder instead of taking up space infront of your stereo controls.

The device has a display that shows the frequency at which the audio is being transmitted and features a new PLL chipset developed by Trinity that actively monitors and preserves treble quality from the the initial music source. It also comes with a 3.5mm minijack that allows you to stream music from generic music players. Shipping from Japan for $55.

Trinity ships car FM transmitter for iPod
[Via: iPodnn]

AOC V500, A Very Slim PMP

I’m not sure if what’s so alluring about this new PMP is really the device itself or the lovely image of Kiera Knightly used cleverly in this product shot. Nonetheless, this Chinese market AOC V500 is worth a glimpse with its super slim body, sleek styling, and 2.4-inch QVGA LCD.

The device handles audio and video formats such as MP3, WMA, WAV, MPEG4 and AVI. It also supports JPEGs for picture viewing and connects via USB 2.0. However, nothing really that incredible here besides the 9.8mm thinness, which is pretty darn thin.
AOC V500 Portable Media Player [Via: NewLaunches]