Archive for August, 2010

USB Rose Speaker with MP3 Player

Most women at least appreciate the look of a nice rose, which I suppose could be the reason that cheap gadget makers keep throwing them into their designs.  If you enjoy the plastic roses that have been tossed into past gadgets, then you might like this little rose.  It doesn’t just light up and look pretty though, this rose will play your music out loud while adding a little mood lighting to your room.

This is a small speaker that can hook up to iPods, MP3 players and any other device that you want audio from like your cellphone or PC.    In addition to that it also functions as an MP3 player itself by having a USB port and a SD/MMC card slot.  It has a built-in Lithium Ion battery to keep it powered.  Then the color lighting offers 7 different colors.  You can purchase it for $22 through USB Brando.

Source: GeekAlerts


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Weatherproof Wireless Rock Speakers

If you would prefer that your outdoor speaker looked like it actually belonged in the outdoors then here is one more speaker that resembles a big rock.  Sure, it’s a rock with holes in it, but it does resemble a rock.  This rock will play your music whether it’s sunny out or pouring down rain.  Plus, since it is so rock-like, hopefully any thieves that made it into your backyard would overlook it.

The wireless speaker can be set up on your patio, in the garden or just sitting out on the grass.  It can play music for up to 7 hours on a signal charge from up to 150 feet away.  It has a rechargeable battery, but can also be plugged into the wall through the included AC adapter.  You can hook the transmitter up to your regular stereo or your iPhone/iPod.  If you want to hear the game a little better you can even hook it up to the TV.  You can pick one up for $149.99 through Grace Digital Audio.

Source: SlipperyBrick


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Keep the kids occupied with headrest emulators

We know that kids these days who have had a taste of modern video games will probably pooh pooh the 8-bit and 16-bit titles of yore, mainly because there are no snazzy 3D graphics to look at. Well, that’s because they have a choice, but bundle them into a car on a 3-day long road trip and see whether they will change their mind or not. Instead of looking out the window and going through their favorite movies time and again, why not “torture” them with this product from Chinavasion? It is an in-car AV entertainment system which will swap out headrests on the front seats for two DVD players that have an LCD display, an FM transmitter and an NES/SNES emulator for the kids to enjoy, although the generic looking gamepads will make you lose some of that authentic feel. Heck, your $175 purchase even comes with a CD full of 550+ classic ROMS – of course, the legality of the situation is rather questionable. Perhaps this would help them appreciate Zelda in his 2D glory.

Product Page from OhGizmo


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AS&E’s Z Backscatter Vans are like scanners on wheels

Some of you might remember the Thruvision TS4 scanner, a way to see through a body without the use of radiation.

There has been much talk about privacy issues with these types of scanners. The issue just got more interesting with the AS&E’s Z Backscatter Vans.

These Vans are able to bounce a narrow stream of x-rays through nearby objects. Absorbed rays show dense material such as steel, but scattered rays can indicate less-dense objects like explosives, drugs or human bodies.

I’m sure you are probably imagining these things being used on the border, possibly to detect illegal aliens. Rest assured, that these ZBV things can identify people, but not by race, sex, or age.

Apparently, the company has customers on every continent except Antarctica, which is a little scary. Especially since I would prefer not being scanned too closely. I can’t see any embarassing features from the five or so people trapped in this transport, apparently.

You know how in movies, there are these spy vans that hang outside areas that are under surveillance? Imagine if they had one of these scanner things on it. I suppose that a lot things could be seen in a ZBV, right?

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Heated Dining Room Table

It never fails, no matter where I go I am always the one that’s frozen.  Everyone else could be almost sweating and I’m resisting the urge to shiver.   If you’re also cold natured, then this is definitely the table for you.  This Japanese design will keep you warm while you sit in that drafty dining room.  Of course if you’re the only one cold, you’re going to end up roasting whoever else is stuck at the table.

The table is from Hidakagu and has a 360 watt infrared heater underneath of the table itself.  It is designed to keep your legs and lower torso warm.  The table was actually inspired by the traditional Kotatsu, which is a low table/blanket/heater combination that wasn’t designed for dining.  This table takes the two and combines them.  Unfortunately, I don’t see a whole lot of information on purchasing these just yet.

Source: OhGizmo


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Ithaca College Tots program uses Wii Balance Board

I’m sure that most of our readers who are parents know how important it is when a child learns to walk. I have three young children who have gone through that particular rite of passage, but I take for granted that there are a lot of toddlers who can’t walk at all.

In all honesty, I am not certain I would know how to raise a child that couldn’t learn to walk, but a study at Ithaca known as Ithaca College Tots on Bots helps babies with physical disabilities using something that many households have: a Wii Balance Board.

As you can see, the toddler sits on a specially made chair that sits on a Wii Balance Board. That board has some wheels on the bottom, and a baby can go along by simply leaning in the appropriate direction.

This toddler Wii-board wheelchair also has sonar that will avoid crashes, and there is a remote control that is enabled so an adult can take control at will.

I suppose that adult wheelchairs could be made with this same technology, but something tells me that I don’t know the half of it when it comes to this. If you want to leave a comment and agree with me, I wouldn’t hold it against you.

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Motion Activated Wall Switch Spy Camera

You can’t seem to trust anyone these days, which could very well be the reason behind more and more spy gizmos that are hitting the market. Here we have the Motion Activated Wall Switch Spy Camera which is pretty much self explanatory – it will record video whenever it detects movement within range, storing all footage onto a microSD memory card (up to 8GB) for your review later. Not only does it do video, but it also records audio so that you can be sure whatever your partner is discussing with a member of the opposite gender remains strictly business and nothing personal. It is a snap to install, and uses very little juice so you won’t notice a huge rise in your monthly power bill. With a 13 days standby time and 6 hours of recording, it will store all video in the MP4/AVI format at 640 x 480 resolution, snapping 2-megapixel stills as well if the need requires. Too bad the range of 3 meters is a tad short for a larger room, but otherwise it should do OK in a bedroom. The camera hold isn’t too discreet if you ask us though, but that’s what you get for $37 these days.


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Samsung outs 90 and 30 Series Monitors with HDTV Tuners

Samsung grabs the headlines yet again with 90 and 30 Series Monitors which will come equipped with HDTV Tuners, letting viewers switch between work and play easily, boasting enhanced picture quality without taking up additional space in your living room/work area. Both the 30 and 90 series monitors can function as a small TV if you happen to live in an apartment, but it will not compromise in terms of quality since it can deliver full HD resolution while boasting Picture in Picture (PiP) for multi-tasking users to use their computer for work while watching the latest news reports in a corner of the display without the need for another monitor or coughing up extra for more connections.

These monitors will be equipped with a couple of HDMI inputs for easy connection to multiple HD devices, be they cable boxes, video game consoles or Blu-ray players amongst others. Samsung’s Connectshare feature will also introduce a new dimension where multi-media capabilities are concerned, enabling users to instantly view and listen to music, movies and photos on the monitor from a range of devices such as a memory stick, portable media player, or digital camera through a plug-and-play USB connection. As for enhanced viewing options and productivity, the 30 and 90 series monitors will also boast Samsung’s MagicAngle that lets you enjoy full brightness and color range when viewing the monitor from above, below or to the side. Other magical options include Magic Eco, Magic Return, Magic Color, MagicTune and Magic Bright.

The 24-inch LED 90 series is definitely a looker, featuring a Touch of Color Mystic Brown finish accented with a chrome-coated quadruple stand. Just like all other Samsung LED technologies, the new 90 series monitors is eco-friendly in the sense where it will consume up to 40% less juice compared to non-LED displays. As for the 30 series which will come in 21.5-inch, 23-inch and 24-inch screen sizes, is finished in a sleek black with a clear acrylic bar along the bottom bezel. Not only that, the 30 series will boast a rear wave pattern for added attraction when seen from the side. Expect the 90 Series to hit the market next month for $419.99, with the 30 Series starting from $269.99 and going all the way to $329.99, depending on its size.

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Venturi Buckeye Bullet breaks 300mph Hydrogen speed record

I always like seeing this cars that look more like rockets, designed to do nothing more than just go really, really, really fast.

This is one of the latest of these super-fast vehicles, known as the Venturi Buckeye Bullet. It was built by student engineers, at Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research.

It also runs on hydrogen, and it just achieved an average speed of 307.7 mph at a two-run pass at the Bonneville Salt Flats on August 24.

I must admit that I have never been to the Salt Flats before, but if this picture is what they look like, then it looks like a frozen over ocean. I like how the Venturi Buckeye Bullet looks a lot like a shark in the midst of these frozen-over waters.

As for the “car”, for lack of a better word, is about 36 feet long and is only 1.5 inches from the ground. The battery pack in the Venturi Buckeye Bullet V 2.5, is capable of providing “instantaneous power of more than 600 kW. The pack reportedly uses 1,600 cells’.

I believe that the speed record for this particular vehicle is the fastest for any hydrogen-based vehicle. I have heard that the actual land speed record is over 700 miles per hour, with a non-hydrogen vehicle.

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Mag Gun for FPS games

This is the Mag Gun controller, and it is probably one of the most advanced FPS gun controllers that I have ever seen.

I have included a video after the jump if you want to see it in action, and it has a lot of action to see. You will note how the controller has a joystick on it that will control in-game movement, and it looks like all the other major controls are located in a very convenient place.

Another thing you might note is how it has a wide-angle camera that can be calibrated with just touch of a button. It also has a sensitivity dial atop of it for some serious user adjustment.

Best of all, the Mag Gun appears to be compatible with practically any console. I believe that the video specified the Xbox 360 and PS3, but there is nothing about the Wii. Somehow, I am not surprised at that.

Now, if only someone would go and mass produce this thing. That’s right, this is not an official product as yet. It made a debut a recent Hong Kong gaming show, and since it was available for purchase there, it can probably be purchased privately.

Personally, I think that someone is going to purchase this an change the market of FPS games so that Halo, Gears of War, and Medal of Honor can be played with a lot more realism.

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