Archive for Jan 30, 2007

SlashGear ModBook OS X Tablet Video – ink drawing

If you’ve been curious about just how well the ModBook handles pen-input – and whether it’s truly a great drawing tool or simply a stop-gap before Apple bring a tablet out of their own – then you’ll be wanting to check out SlashGear’s exclusive MacWorld video of some impromptu artwork being created.

As a Windows Tablet PC user, I’m quite impressed.  Ink seems to flow relatively nicely and is pretty smooth, and while there’s some parallax from the viewpoint of the camera I’m sure that’s reduced if you’re using the ModBook head-on.  Still, not quite as slick as, say, a Microsoft tablet using the marvellous ArtRage, though.

Will people buy it?  Oh yes, I’m sure they will – and I bet the company is already planning models with smaller screens for extra portability.  Hopefully this will be the kick in the ass Apple needs to roll out a tablet of their own.


Gym or Dungeon? Is there a difference?

Exercise is, as I see it, something best endured by other people – a bit like airport cavity searches and Ebola – and while I’ve been a gym member more than once I wish I could say the same for the frequency of my visits.  So at first glance I did wonder whether this Kinesis Personal “soft gymnastics” furniture was designed to fix me to a wall with rubber cords until I agree to get on the treadmill.

Of course, it’s nothing so barbaric.  Or maybe that should be; of course, it’s something far more barbaric?  Using a system of tensile pulleys that encourage you to work out in three-dimensions, you’re at liberty to try up to 200 different exercise positions in patented “fullgravity”.  No, I’m not quite sure what that means either.

Price, as is typical with these interior/gym crossovers, is one of those “ask and find out” businesses, with sole availability through Technogym.

Technogym [via Cool Hunting]

iPod Shuffle Now in New Colors

I’m sure we all saw this one coming. How could the iPod Shuffle possibly stay silver forever. Apple is now releasing the Shuffle in a rainbow of colors as green, blue, pink, and orange. Of course, the original silver will still be available, but all will be priced the same at $79. And at that price, you might be able to afford getting all the colors so you can match whatever your wearing accordingly, at least that’s what Apple hopes you do.

Continue on for more product shots and Apple’s kind suggestions on how you might color coordinate your clothes now.

Now you see it, now you don’t

For those of you that don’t want to stare at a blank screen when your TV is off, here is a classy new gadget that will transform your TV. The HideandChic from Media Décor is a picture frame that you place around your wall-mounted flat-panel. With the push of a button, your choice of contemporary art will unroll, turning your blank screen into a piece of art.

If you think this sounds like a high-class decivce, just wait until you see the high-class price tag. You can expect to pay around $14,000 for one of these. With a price like that, I think I would find a way to bear actually having to look at my TV. (After all, isn’t that what they’re made for?)

Media Decor’s ‘Hide And Chic’ System [via oh Gizmo]

Lightmare LED Watch : Do you know the time?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been itching for a new watch that makes me stop and think about what time it is. The new Lightmare will certainly do just that. With 30 LEDs strategically placed around the face of the watch, it tells the time by lighting up the the inner ring to depict the hour, and the outer ring represents five-minute increments. There are also four lights in the center that represent each of the single minutes and two that show am and pm.

Although the design may not be the most practical, it is certainly unique. The features are what you would expect from most watches. A stainless steel casing, a polyurethane strap and water resistant up to 30ft. So if you’re looking for a watch that’s going to turn heads, this one’s for you. Just be prepared to stare at it for a minute when people ask you for the time.

Lightmare LED Watch [via Thinkgeek]

Can a robot find you a life-long companion?

So you’re out there in the real world (scary isn’t it) trying to find that special someone, but you can’t ever seem to find the courage to chat up a total stranger. Now, imagine that you had a monkey that could help you break the ice. No, not a real monkey, but more of a robot monkey. Echo Robotics is hoping that this is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.

Essentially what the Echo Robot does is store personal information about you that can be exchanged with other Echo Robots to determine if you’re a good match for each other. The monkey (or any number of different animals) then informs you through a series of movements that the other person may in fact be someone you’d want to get to know.


Big things do come in small packages

In the market for beefy new PC but don’t want a bulky tower? Then Lenovo’s got a tiny powerhouse that will be right up your alley. This bite-sized computer named the ThinkCentre A55 can be configured with some pretty hefty hardware. It can handle an Intel Core 2 Duo, 500GB hard drive and up to 4GB of RAM. Surprisingly, the price range is in line with many of the full-size desktops currently on the market with a starting price at $579.

The A55 stands at 3 inches tall, 12.2 inches wide, and 14.1 inches deep. With this tiny form factor, Lenovo is trying to target schools, medical facilities, and other markets where space is always limited. The A55 is expected to start shipping in February of this year.

Lenovo A55 PC is Smaller Than the Average SFF [via Gizmodo]

Say hello to my little friend

Everyone knows that wandering alone in dark places can make one a bit nervous. You never know who’s out there, and what they might do to you. Sure, you can carry pepper spray, but to be effective you need to actually get it in their eyes. Stun guns are great, but they tend to be bulky and expensive. At least that used to be the case, the Lightning Rod from Street Wise will change all of that.

This 6” rod packs quite a punch. 800,000 volts is usually enough to deter even the most aggressive attacker. The stun pen is also an led flashlight, so you’ll always be able to see where you’re going. It also has 3 different safety devices, a cap that must be removed, a safety lock, and a red led that lets you know it’s live. But the best feature by far is the price. At $34.95 no one should wander down dark streets without one.

Electro-Weapon: 800,000 Volt Lightning Rod Stun Pen Flashlight [via Gizmodo]

ZAP-X SUV is 644bhp electric monster

ZAP-X SUV is 644bhp electric monster

Prius owners watch out.  That mild-mannered SUV in your rear-view mirror might not look anything special, but it's not only gunning for you at the traffic lights but in the economy stakes too!  Back in 2006 Lotus Engineering did their technical thing with the Aluminium Performance Crossover concept at the Geneva motor-show, a V6 petrol-powered demonstrator intended to show off their skills at making a lightweight but strong body structure and chassis.  Now ZAP have partnered up with them and decided to throw out the V6 lump, replacing it with four in-wheel electric motors.

If you're thinking that means "city runabout", you'd be wrong.  Potentially charged in just 10 minutes, the ZAP-X will have a 350 mile range on a single "tank" of electrons and develop the equivalent of 644bhp, making its 155mph top-speed sound all too feasible.  Four-wheel drive should hopefully keep that fancy body stuck to the road, too.

Continue Reading

Seagate put wireless storage in your pocket

Still smarting, I’m sure, from his spat with just about all of the big tech blogs the other day, Robert Scoble takes time out to announce his sponsor, Seagate’s, latest wheeze.  A shirt-pocket sized portable hard-drive called D.A.V.E. with single button (unsurprisingly a power button) and USB port, you might be wondering how it lives up to even the mediocre billing Robert gives it.  Well, it’s the built-in Bluetooth and WiFi that Seagate is counting on to pull in the punters.

Anyone who wants mobile media, would like to add more storage space to their cellphone or PDA, is interested in creating an ad-hoc social network of shared presentation, document or any other sort of files, will likely be seeing possibilities now.  It sounds a whole lot like BluOnyx’s Mobile Content Server, which SlashGear covered back in December last year; now Seagate (who are supplying the 10gb and 20gb drives) haven’t spilt the beans on their partners yet, but with all the talk of software APIs and the dimensions (61 x 89 x 12 mm) being so similar to BluOnyx’s mock-ups, it’s not too great a stretch to think that they’re sharing more than just a storage ethos.

D.A.V.E. stands for Digital Audio Video Experience, and the device will have 10hr continuous operation battery life or last 14 days on standby.  It weighs just 2.5 ounces (70g), and can tell within centimetres of a drop that it needs to park the drive’s head, before locking them totally.  I’ll be interested to find out more, after Seagate present it at the Demo Conference.

Seagate Press Release [via Scobleizer]

Vista’s visuals on the small screen

While Vincent gurgles happily as he unpacks his Vista goodie-bag, James Kendrick is enjoying the Vista experience shrunk down to a far smaller screen.  Only this time, it comes not from Microsoft but smartphone software developers JGUI.  If the thought of going from the beauty that is Aero to the poky confines of your Windows Mobile Smartphone (and let’s face it, even Crossbow isn’t that pretty) fills you with dread and the slight taste of bile in your throat, then maybe it’s time that some of the flagship OS gloss filtered down a little.

Vista Smartphone Interface could be described as a skin on steroids, but even then it’s doing it a disservice.  As James’ video shows, it recreates the whole Today screen as a dynamic slideshow – navigation between pages is smooth and slick, even widgets are recreated.

Trying it out couldn’t be simpler, as the basic Today tweaking is a free download.  The advanced version is priced at $19.99

Vista Smartphone Interface [via jkontherun]

Can Pandora make mobile music special?

Can Pandora make mobile music special?

If I were manning the product development team for one of the big hardware companies, I think I'd put my feet up on the desk and relax a while.  After all, there are legions of fans and critics across the globe dreaming up new gadgets and refining tweaks for existing ones - who needs to pay an in-house team any more?  Case in point: Geek Limit's PandoraPod music player concept, a Bluetooth and WiFi enabled DAP that not only has 4gb of internal storage but can stream a user's personalised Pandora music channels.

Pandora has already fuelled a number of tweaks and hacks as music-lovers find new ways to take enjoy the company's clever playlist algorithms.  Building on an existing Insignia mp3 player, the PandoraPod is the first one designed to take the system mobile (as far as I'm aware).  Usual Pandora-guiding features like track rating and even selecting songs to buy (whether that be instant downloads or queueing them up for purchase when you're back on your computer), it sounds like the ideal solution for anyone who gets tired of the music they've got.

Are you listening, Insignia/Pandora?  Or does any other DAP manufacturer want to take on the challenge?

The Pandora Music Player [Geek Limit]

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