Archive for July, 2009

Easy Piano for Nintendo DS

easy_pianoI’m not certain what it is with video game accessories these days. It’s almost like you can’t release a successful game without one. It would appear that Easy Piano has stolen a page from the Guitar Hero playbook by including a fake instrument with their game.

You will note the eight note full-octave keyboard peripheral that attaches directly to the DS itself, and playing it is, of course, part of the game. The end result looks like a sliced section of a Casio keyboard.

Eventually, the user will be able to play one octave’s worth of Mozart, Beethoven, as well as other fare like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Jingle Bells”. It also includes a recording function so the player can save his or her own one-octave hits.

I’m sure you detected the hint of sarcasm in my last paragraph. I guess it is because I feel that if you are going to make a “Piano Hero” type game, then couldn’t you make a keyboard with a full 88 keys? That way, the player could play the piano for real after he or she is finished playing the game, unlike the instruments on Rockband.

See, video games can teach you something. If you want to check it out for yourself, then you’ll have to wait until November.

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Robot Deliveries of the Future

urban_moleAs city streets grow more and more crowded, it is more difficult for delivery trucks to get through them. The solution is to deliver the packages through the sewers.

Yes, that network of tunnels designed to move human waste from our homes could be used to bring packages to our homes. All of this is possible with the proper application of robots.

Some researchers are working on inventing the Urban Mole. Instead of digging through the dirt, the Urban Mole is designed to carry packages such as signed documents, groceries, and Amazon.com orders. Of course, there are limits, and my source has said it can probably deliver nothing bigger than a shoebox.

Of course, I don’t know how good of a condition your packaged materials would be if they have just been swimming through sewage. Perhaps it will be required from every Urban Mole to take a shower before it knocks on the door.

Another problem that I forsee is what do you do when there is some sort of breakdown in the system? Do you send someone in the sewers to fix it? That’s one of those “dirty job, but someone has to do it” thing.

This is one concept gadget that I don’t think will ever be made, but you never know. I have seen I, Robot, and I believe that robot delivery people will be walking, not swimming.

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The WeSC Pickups Headphones

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Although this is probably one of the more odd sets of headphones out there, it’s always nice to see anything that changes things up.  Anymore, it’s almost difficult to find headphones that seem even remotely unique.  These are, if nothing else, are definitely unique.  They are also one of those things you’re either going to love them or hate them.

They’re pretty basic as far as specs go, after all, they are just a set of headphones.  They do offer a lightweight design with an adjustable metal headband.  They also have ear cups that are nice and padded to keep them comfortable.  They come in two different colors, you can pick them up in either the bright yellow or what they call orange.  If it’s orange, it’s probably considered more of a burnt orange.  You can purchase the WeSC Pickups Headphones for $60 from Urban Outfitters.  Admittedly, that’s not exactly the best price out there, but if you want something a little different, it might be worth paying the extra cash.


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Underwater camcorder needs no case

This Underwater camcorder can record video to a depth of 10 feet.

This Underwater camcorder can record video to a depth of 10 feet.

Hammacher has an underwater camcorder which snorkelers can use to video to a depth of 10 feet without a case. Ironically named “The Shirtpocket Underwater Camcorder” (since diving isn’t really a shirt sleeve environment), it seems loosely based on the Samsung/Aptek style with 2 1/2″ LCD color screen and SD expansion slot. The 8MP camcorder chip can record up to 60 minutes of standard definition MPEG4 video or take up to 300 digital still photos with the included 2GB sd card.

The expansion slot can support memory up to 8GB. Additionally, it carries a 4x digital zoom capability. One additional feature, the camera serves as a voice recorder and can double as an mp3 player.

USB connections allow for direct upload to your PC and the rechargeable Li-Ion battery has a life of just shy of two hours with a real time recharge time.

Cost is $200.

Hat Tip - Hammacher


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The Kitchen Timer Retro Wall Clock

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Here’s a kitchen gadget for those that enjoy retro designs and don’t have a whole lot of counter space.  It may not do any fancy tricks, but it keeps things simple and takes away the need to have an extra timer laying out on the counter.  This would be especially great for those that feel like they need multiple timers whenever they cook, which on occasion I have had to deal with that myself.  Having one timer on the oven just doesn’t always cut it.

Just hang this clock within reach and you can easily glance to see the time, as well as reach to set the small timer at the bottom of the clock.  To give you an idea on size, the dimensions of the clock are 8.5 x 12 x 2.5”.  The clock comes in a total of 6 very retro colors, black, chartreuce, red, silver, turquoise and white.  You can find these cool clocks for $29 from Pure Modern.  Which is a touch on the pricey side, but it’s not too shabby either.

Source: RetrotoGo


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Splitter Bot Earphone Splitter lets one more listen in

splitterbot

Even tiny robots can be extremely useful and this is one of them, not to mention he’s incredibly cute too.  Not so cute that no man would be ashamed of carrying him around though, which is a difficult balance to walk.  However, robots can usually get away with looking just a little on the cute side, while still being considered awesome.  The tiny white robot doesn’t do a whole lot, but he will help you share your music with one other person.  That is, instead of carrying portable speakers and forcing everyone around you to listen in.

To work the little guy you just plug in your MP3 player into the robot.  Then you can plug in two different sets of headphones into him as well.  It’s pretty basic stuff.  Plus he has a small keychain attached to him, so if you wanted to you could keep him on your keys.  That way when he’s needed he’s already easily within reach.  You can purchase him for about A$19.60, which converts into about $16, plus whatever it would cost to get it shipped to the US or UK.

Source: NerdApproved


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New Logitech Webcams go HD

Logitech's new line of webcams come with 720p HD Video Capability

Logitech’s new line of webcams come with 720p HD Video Capability

Logitech has announced a line of new web cams - some of which, have the capability of pushing 720p high definition video. Clearly, the days of under lit, blocky and washed out web cam videos are a thing of the past.

Among the seven cameras announced, some an upgrade to the Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000. Now called the Webcam Pro 9000, the updated camera has a 2 MP sensor and Zeiss optics which gives users a nice high definition option while engaging in video chat which is far easier thanks to the built in microphone. And with software built in, still pictures can be enhanced up to 8MP with auto white balance adjustment for low light or even ambient bright light conditions. There’s also video effects for fun add-ons to make those web chats much more entertaining.

Other cameras include the WebCam C600, which has a similar 2MP sensor and 720p capability, but with a budget generic “glass” lens to make it easier on the pocketbook.

In the lower end, come standard VGA definition C250 and C200 cameras. All come with standard laptop clip for easy affixing, or desktop stands for more a basic setup. Prices start at $99 for the Webcam Pro and move down to $30 for the VGA quality webcams.

Available in the US and Europe starting next month.

Hat Tip - Digital Trends


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Wink Glasses Refines your Blinking Habit

wnk44323-thumb-550x550-21576When I first saw the Wink Glasses, I thought they were those joke/novelty glasses that have those weird pictures that change if you tilt them. Yeah, I probably should know the proper name for this technology, but I don’t. I’m also not doing a good job at describing it, but remember those cheap plastic glasses that make you look like you’re winking or blinking?

No, the Wink Glasses are no joke, as they are designed for those who taking gaming too seriously. Did you ever hear of those stories about how video games reduce the player’s blinking ratio, and how it can lead to long-term damage over time?

Well, the Wink Glasses are designed to detect whether the user is blinking and then fogs up the glasses if the user doesn’t blink at the normal five-second mark. I suppose this encourages you to blink, even if it spoils your game.

I’m not certain how long it takes to charge this particular wireless device, but it can apparently hold an eight-hour charge. Of course, if there is an outlet or USB port nearby, the Wink Glasses can always be attached there for power.

If you are interested in the Wink Glasses, then you might have to be in Japan to get them. They won’t hit the market on August 10th for a price of $150.

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WowWee Cinemin Swivel projects films everywhere

wowwee-cinemin-swivel-pico-projector-0I’m sure most of the readers are familiar with WowWee, makers of some of the coolest toy robots on the market. I’m also sure that many of you are aware of the Pico Projectors designed to project video files form mobile devices.

Welcome to the new age of the Cinemin Swivel, a mini-projector with 480 x 360 resolution, a three-hour battery life, and an adjustable 90-degree hinge.

It is designed to work with the iPhone, iPods, and other mobile devices, as well as laptops. Once it is connected, it projects what the user wants, wherever the user wants. My source does not say how big the projection is.

I’m not certain how good the sound is, as it has a tiny speaker, and I’m not certain who wants a tiny projector. I suppose it might be nice to project my favorite DVD on a screen and pretend that I am watching it in a walk-in theater, but it isn’t really my dream to project my films wherever I want. I mean, if I was on the bus, does anyone else want to see my vids but me?

The Cinemin Swivel is available for pre-order in U.S. and Europe for about $349.99.


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LG reveal HDTVs with Vudu service built-in

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LG is an old hand when it comes to flat screen TVs with High Definition capability, and it is nice to see them introduce yet another improvement to their new line up of HDTVs in order to go one up against other competing brands. This time round, the Korean consumer electronics giant has rolled out broadband-capable HDTVs that are able to access the instant high-definition (HD) movie service from VUDU Inc. The HDTVs that fall under this purview will include LG’s LH50 1080p LCD series and PS80 Plasma 1080p series, where they will be come with “NetCast Entertainment Access” from next month onwards. This unique partnership between both companies will see consumer obtain access to thousands of HD movies at the touch of a button without having to go through the usual motion of flipping through a catalog at a video store as of yore.

The VUDU service enables consumers to instantly buy or rent from an extensive library of movies and TV titles. This industry-leading catalog will comprise of over 2,000 high-definition movies, and best of all is, you don’t have to worry about forking out any more monthly fees. In addition, there is no need to purchase, install, or connect any additional hardware for you to get started. Consumers can easily enjoy movies in VUDU’s unique HDX format, with Full HD 1080p resolution, plus Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound to tickle their visual audio senses.

VUDU’s streaming movie service is pretty reliable as well, delivering a near-instant viewing experience as movies begin almost immediately after selection, even those that come in high definition resolution. Not only that, you can fast forward, rewind and browse chapters without having to worry about slow buffering, just in case you want to watch only the best parts of your favorite movie. Movie buffs will be pleased to note that the VUDU catalog is updated weekly, while newly released movies from major studios are typically available months before they make their way to subscription-based services. LG’s 47″ LCD HDTV (model 47LH50) and 50″ plasma HDTV (model 50PS80) with NetCast Entertainment Access will retail for $1,699 and $1,799, respectively.

Press Release


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