Archive for Jan 25, 2007

Buffalo’s Big WiFi Booster

If you’ve got a weak WiFi signal, get a boost with Buffalo’s new external WLAN adapter, called the AirStation WLI-U2-SG54HP. The device plugs into your USB and suction cups to the back of your monitor. And apparently, size does matter when it comes to wireless antennas, as this one’s large size translates into better performance with a 210% boost in wireless connection and an expanded range of up to 170 meters.

The WLI-U2SG54HP is Vista compatible and security comes by way of WEP 64/128bits, WPA-PSK and IPv6. We’re not sure when the device will be available, but when it is, you can expect to pay around 30 Euros (US$39) for one.

Buffalo’s WiFi Adaptor Will Boost Signal 210%
[Via: OhGizmo]

ErgoQuest 500 Lets You Work in Bed

We all know sitting long hours at the computer is not healthy, but for many of us, our occupation leaves us no choice. The ErgoQuest 500 from Office Organix makes the best of it by providing a flexible system that lets you recline and even lay in bed as you work. Employers probably wont be furnishing the office with these anytime soon, but if you work from home, this might be a good solution for your home office.

The ErgoQuest 500 comes with a motorized monitor tilt platform that can tilt monitors up to 150lbs from 0 to 55 degrees and also accomodates LCD monitors. The motorized legs also raise and lower the table with up to 400lbs of equipemtn from 31 to 50 degrees with the push of a button.

Ergopod 500, Surf the Internet in Bed
[Via: Neatorama]

Samsung’s Got Another World’s Thinnest Cell Phone

Samsung is claiming yet another world’s thinnest cell phone title with its Ultra Edition 5.9, which is a whole milimeter thinner than its previous world’s-thinnest Ultra Edition 6.9. But being thin doesn’t mean having to be thin on features, as this phone packs in a 3.2 megapixel camera, a built-in media player, Bluetooth, and 80MB of internal memory for songs and videos.

The tri-band GSM Ultra Edition 5.9 is expected to ship in March. Price has yet to be announced. This one is definitely not for the back pocket.

The Slimmest at the Moment: Samsung Ultra 5.9
[Via: Slashphone]

Perceptive Pixel’s Revolutionary Interface

Imagine the iPhone interface, but much larger and much more awesome. Imagine navigating an interface much like the one in Minority Report. We may not have to imagine much longer. An innovative computing interface is being developed by research scientist Jeff Han from NYU’s Courant Institute. We’ve seen footage of his presentations from early last year, but this latest video demo from his company, Perceptive Pixel, gives you a full dose of his creation.


ASUS’ Vista-ready Motherboards

Remember that ASUS could-be-a-SideShow gadget yesterday?  Well, our predictions were confirmed with the news from the company that they’re offering a selection of new motherboards specifically designed to work with Microsoft Vista.

In addition to the “ScreenDUO” SideShow module, which can synchronise information from the PC or websites, display RSS messages and meeting schedules (among other things), the ‘boards come complete with a remote control for power, media control and quick-launching certain apps.  Trusted Platform Modules and a start-up accelerator for use with Vista’s ReadyBoot feature round out the package.


More on the HTC Athena – size comparison with TyTn

The HTC Athena (or should that be Ameo?) details just keep spilling out, and it’s surely just a matter of days until we have the first English language review.  Today it’s the turn of to get some live shots of the Athena looking resplendent in a charcoal black casing, including some telling size-comparison shots such as the one below of it lying next to an HTC TyTn.

The cost and functionality keep people doubting just how realistic a purchase the Athena might be, but I’m certainly reserving judgement until we find out just how well it performs…


A new Omnibot for the 21st Century

When I was a young whippersnapper, in-between cleaning chimneys and begging for scraps of festering meat and stale bread on street corners (there was food at home, I just enjoyed the human interaction), I used to lust wantonly for Tomy’s Omnibot 2000.  They had a few on the top shelf of our local toyshop, and I would beg my parents to buy me one.  Sensibly, however, they refrained – it was expensive and, looking back, not very good (I’m being polite in deference to the warm childhood memories).  However, I’m expecting them to retroactively throw open their chequebook and buy me what Tomy have brought out now.

This, friends and soft-skinned varmints, is the Omnibot2007 i-SOBOT.  Standing just 165mm tall and weighing in at a mere 350g, Tomy are heralding him the world’s smallest biped robot; whether that’s true or not I don’t really care – what’s important is the price.  $312 gets you the basic model, $418 adds in a colour video camera which can stream footage over WiFi; available in July and October respectively, they vigorously undercut rivals and make having a home-entertainment robot a real possibility for a far greater number of people.

Check out more details and photos after the cut, as well as video of the little guy in action!


Plantronics weaves Bluetooth into Quiksilver & Roxy

Last year Krunker reviewed a jacket that used Eleksen’s fabric-keyboard technology to put iPod controls on your sleeve.  Now they came to the conclusion that it was a great thing (if you often listen to your iPod while outside), but perhaps Plantronics latest endeavour with Quiksilver and Roxy to put Bluetooth-enabled headsets and headphones into a range of jackets and helmets. 

Now, instead of running cables round a variety of rubber gussets (oh how I love that word!), drop your Bluetooth-equipped cellphone, DAP or iPod-with-Bluetooth-dongle into your pocket and relax in the knowledge that you’re connected.  Both mens and womens ranges will be available, with prices starting from $249.95 for helmets and $340 for jackets.


ANYCOM Introduces FIPO to Bridge Bluetooth Technology and Apple iPod

ANYCOM Introduces FIPO to Bridge Bluetooth Technology and Apple iPod

FIPO enables the use of a mobile phone to listen to music, in one of the most popular places, the car. The device uses Bluetooth technology and streams audio to the car stereo system. To use, simply plug FIPO into the connector designated for an Apple iPod, and it will begin its search for paired devices. After auto-pairing, the devices will have exchanged control commands, like play, pause and next. This allows the user to control the mobile phone in the same way they would control the iPod while in the car; through buttons on the steering wheel or car stereo.

iPod hi-fi systems or speaker systems dock specifically with the iPod and stream tunes to wherever it is in use. Now, instead of an iPod the FIPO can be plugged into those speaker systems and receive audio streams from any Bluetooth device.

Mass production of this product in the United States and Europe will begin February 15, 2007 and will be available for an MSRP of $99.00.

FIPO Bridges Bluetooth and iPod Docking Specification [via bluetomorrow]

DIY Internet-controlled Security Platform

If you’ve ever looked longingly at the web-enabled security droids becoming more prevalent (and of, I sometimes wonder, dubious effectiveness – what if someone steals your $10,000 droid?) but haven’t the bank balance to fund your robot addiction then maybe you could take inspiration from Dean Shelato.  He’s set himself the project of taking a 4-foot long robot car and outfitting it with all the WiFi and webcam gubbins you’d normally only find in patrolling machines many times the price.

His prototype – which uses a $20 RC toy as chassis rather than the $200 one Dean has his eye on – carries a Linksys WRT54G WiFi router that, via a Maxport serial-to-ethernet bridge web server, gets instructions from a “Cubloc” microcontroller.  Eventually (i.e. when he spots on on eBay cheap enough) an Axis 206 IP-webcam will provide live video from the platform.


OS X to become platform promiscuous?

CNN Money are reporting that Parallels and VMware, the big names in virtualisation software that allows, for instance, OS X to run Windows concurrently on your MacBook, are both boasting of their ability to install OS X on non-Apple Intel-based hardware.  If that’s too complicated a sentence for you, allow me to boil it down: OS X on your Dell, people!

Okay, so there have been plenty of case studies about people who – with some judicious tweaking – have got the Apple OS running on their Windows or Linux machines, but what sets the two virtualisation specialists apart is the element of simplicity they’d bring to the process.  No complicated file editing, oh no; just slot the OS X disc in and hit install, to have all of that lauded GUI goodness served up on your $300 Dell special.  I can’t see Steve Jobs being too happy about it, frankly.

CNN Money [via eHomeUpgrade]

Matrox banishes your noisy PC

I’m sure there are people out there reading this who have held off from buying a KVM switch because, frankly, they’re a bit dodgy.  It only takes one missed switching-keypress and an instinctive jab at the space bar to inadvertently close an important programme before you start doubting the reliability of most consumer models, and when you add in the limitations in range of both USB and PS/2 cabling, they can be more of a liability than a boon in mission-critical environments such as trading floors, security control and AV production.  That’s where high-end Remote Graphics Units (RGU) step in, and of all the brands one of the most well-known and trusted is graphics specialist Matrox.

So when Matrox release a new one, people with important keypresses to be made take notice; I bet they’ll be all over this.  The F1220 lets you extend one or two displays, audio, two IEEE 1394 FireWire ports, and up to six USB devices, including keyboard and mouse, by up to 820 feet (250 meters), and supports both monitors running at up to 1920 x 1200 thanks to the in-built 128mb of graphics memory.


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