Isophone concept lets you take phone calls in sensory deprivation

So what is it that we are looking at here? Is it some sort of high tech dunking test to see if someone is a witch? Or is it some rejected concept for the Cone of Silence for last summer’s Get Smart movie?

Would you believe it is a telecommunications device that blocks out all peripheral sensory distractions? This is exactly what the Isophone is designed to do, keeping your head above water as your body floats.

So there is nothing to distract you from your precious phone calls as your body is in a sensory deprivation tank. Okay, here’s the problem that I have with this particular device: the phone calls that would require this level of concentration would probably require me to take notes. How am I to take notes when my hands are underwater? I’m going to need a whiteboard and one good Sharpie.

The Isophone was designed by James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, and is currently just a concept. I would like to suggest a way of marketing this product. Have it ready to use at a hotel pool in Las Vegas at CES 2010. I will personally bring my bathing suit for that one.

I would also like to see this Isophone do more than just take more phone calls. I would love to watch television on an Isophone without hearing my phone. I also wouldn’t mind having this Isophone for when I write my Coolest Gadgets postings, so I can write without distraction.

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Asus Eee mod should really be out, now

Of course, the big tech news today is the official unveiling of the Kindle 2. Usually, when a BIG gadget hits the market, it overshadows news that could just as easily change the tech world as we know it.

Case in point, this modded Asus Eee PC that some Japanese modder came up with, presumably in his or her spare time. Considering that Asus had a very good year last year with their netbooks, so why not create a new market for mini-tablets?

Interacting with this upgraded Eee is as simple as using the buttons on its face, and then a stylus that can interact with the touchscreen. The removal of the keyboard reduces the weight of this netbook considerably, making it weigh in at about 1.68 pounds.

So what is being invented here? A giant-sized Nintendo DS that does not fold up? That’s what it reminds me of. Still, I would probably buy one of these netbooks for when I’m doing assignments on the road, like at CES.

By the way, did you hear that Google is not using the term “netbook” on their Adwords? I guess they think that only Psion should have rights to that word. That is going to tick a lot of people off.

Is there any possibility of this non-netbook being mass-produced and sold to everyone? If so, can I get a review model? Please?

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Solar Climbing Orangutan makes for a mindless yet fun toy

Want to have a toy that goes on and on and on without the use of Energizer or Duracell batteries? That’s not a problem with the Solar Powered Orangutan, although it does look like a carved out piece of Lego from certain angles. All you need to do is set this Orangutan on a piece of string, expose it to some light and voila - it will get to work, climbing up to the very pinnacle according to its ability. You will need some assembly with this toy though, and it will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete the whole setup. The only tool you need? A simple screwdriver. $14.99 is the asking price for this piece of mindless fun.


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BlackBerry and Optimus Maximus collide with new concept

This next device is a concept from a designer named Billy May which is a mix of the BlackBerry 7130 and the Optimus Maximus.

For those of you who have been asleep for the past few years and don’t know what the Optimus Maximus is, it is a keyboard with every button an individual OLED screen. This can be good for making shortcuts to your favorite websites by putting a picture of its logo on the shortcut button.

We already reported on its much-delayed release last year, and I suppose that putting Optimus Maximus technology on a BlackBerry is the next logical step for OLED keyboards.

It doesn’t look like this version would be a true QWERTY, because the keys are little too big. I’m guessing the technology for making tiny OLED keys for BlackBerry models like the 8830 just isn’t there yet. Then again, this picture here looks like a Photoshop CG model, or an actual picture of a BlackBerry 7130 with logos pasted on the keys.

Well, there is nothing I love more than covering concept technology like this. There are only three questions I have: First, can someone actually make this concept a reality? Second, would someone pay for this, even if it is really expensive? Third, isn’t the iPhone already doing this?

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LeapFrog Scout puppy for kids

LeapFrog Enterprises aims to entertain all you kids out there with yet another new product, this time round featuring the playful LeapFrog character “Scout” the puppy. There will be a quartet of new learning toys for kids who are aged between six months to three years, offering personalized play, on-the-go learning fun and assistance in building preschool readiness skills. These Scout-themed toys are all part of the LeapFrog Learning Path, a free online resource that provides parents with additional insight into what skills their child explores during play. You know something? While technology advances and helps parents provide the best learning environment possible to the kids, how come the general decline in moral values are there compared to our forefathers who had very little in terms of material wealth and playthings, and yet had the enviable moral integrity and honesty? Food for thought, eh? Still, that doesn’t mean toys like the LeapFrog Scout puppy is bad, after all, it does help you identify your child’s strengths to best position him/her at school later on.

Both green My Pal Scout and purple My Pal Violet will target those who are six months and older, and can be connected via USB to help parents further customize it with their child’s name and favorite things including color and food. A customized playlist can also be drawn up from an online database of songs and lullabies which can be downloaded to the plush for entertainment at a late period. The puppy pals are smart enough to incorporate the child’s name and favorite things into activities, songs and dialogue so that it can engage your little one in a personalized way - while mom and dad take some time off to rest, we suppose. The objective of My Pal Scout and My Pal Violet is to introduce learning skills such as first words, daily routines and counting.

For those who want their kids to pick up the alphabet, then the AlphaPet Explorer helps kids play at their own level with Scout as an ever ready helper. This portable learning toy comes with four modes to engage your pre-schooler, helping him/her build preschool skills such as letter recognition and fine motor coordination. My Pal Scout, My Pal Violet and AlphaPet Explorer will retail for $19.99 when it hits major retailers this summer.

Press Release


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India announces the $10 laptop … for $20

NOT the computer, just an example

NOT the computer, just an example

With great fanfare, the Indian government announced their $10 laptop, now known as the “Sakshat” and stated that the laptop would sell for twice the planned cost … $20. Still, not to bad. And although there’s no picture of this price breaking design at the moment, here’s an overview of what’s under the hood:

The Sakshat will have about 2GB of storage, presumably flash/solid state, with WiFi, Ethernet and use only about 2 watts of power. That’s really the only information so far. No specs on what size screen (although we’re guessing it’ll be on par with an average netbook, so say about 8-10 inches), or how much on board RAM it will have, and we don’t know about it’s processor either. What we do know is that the Sakshat is expected to ship in six months. The laptop will also include free e-books of all textbooks used in the Indian School system and the government promises to pay about 25% of any broadband fees to students in college.

So, really, all we learned from this epic announcement is pretty much the name of the computer and that it’s going to cost twice as much.

Hat Tip - The Big E


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The Mousetrap Coffee Table

This has got to be the most disturbing way to catch mice I’ve ever seen.  It doesn’t mutilate them or rip them into little pieces.  Which, admittedly would be horrific as well.  No, instead it puts the caught mouse on display, directly in your living room.  I’m sure you’ll have no problem at all getting guests to keep their visits short with this thing lying around.  I admit, it is an interesting concept, but I don’t really want a mouse watching me while I try to curl up on the couch and watch a movie.

Basically, there is a hole in one of the legs, which the mouse will likely use trying to reach leftover crumbs that are on the surface of the table.  When they do crawl in, it activates a motion sensor that will then trap the mouse inside of your table.  Hopefully, you don’t leave on vacation, only to come back to a decaying surprise.  The mouse then falls into the microbial fuel cell underneath the table.  That cell is what generates the power to keep the iris motor and sensor going.  This was designed by Auger-loizeau and Alex Zivanovic, hopefully we won’t be seeing this sold at a local furniture store anytime soon.

Source:  Gizmodiva


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The Smash Alarm Clock lets you get out morning aggression

Here’s a great way to kick off the morning.  There is no better way to greet the day than to start it with a bit of violence.  No one really likes their alarm clock, for a great deal of reasons really.  First of all it is dragging you out of bed and to top it off, most alarm clocks are just plain annoying.  I know it’s had to occur to you on at least one occasion to pick up the clock and chuck it at the nearest wall or at the very least to pound it into tiny pieces.

This alarm clock allows for you to get that frustration out every morning.  To make it stop that obnoxious beeping stop, just punch the top of the alarm.  It might even make it fun to wake up in the morning.  You get to look forward to actually having a valid excuse to hit something every single day.  Then if you get frustrated midway through the day, just “accidentally” set it for five minutes from then.  Sadly, it’s still a concept design, but hopefully something like this will hit the market sometime soon.

Source: OhGizmo


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LeapFrog releases Tag Junior system

LeapFrog’s brand name is strongly associated with the edutainment industry, and it comes as no surprise that their latest product is a toddler-sized “book explorer” known as the Tag Junior book pal. It will be out this summer, so kids can always get themselves prepped up for school during the summer holidays before they actually dive headlong into their books when school opens. The Tag Junior system was specially designed to cater for little hands and aims to help young ones build a lasting interest in and love for reading - something that is sorely missing among the youth today who would much rather want to be entertained passively by a game or movie without using their own brain to think. The Tag Junior system has its own nine-book library that will feature classic books, favorite characters as well as original titles that we’ll look at right after the jump.

The Tag Junior pal is a character-based handheld device which allows toddlers to interact with specially printed board books. All your little one needs to do is touch the book pal’s base anywhere on any page of a Tag Junior board book, and the page will be read aloud, accompanied by sound effects that will further enhance the images while a soundtrack is played for that added immersive adventure. Of course, when I was much younger and running around in my diapers, Enid Blyton’s tomes were extremely precious to me, and I didn’t need no soundtrack and effects to help me stay absorbed in the Faraway Tree or the chaotic scenes found in the Naughtiest Girl in School. Well, this is better than having junior grow up while getting an education from MTV, I suppose.

The Tag Junior book pal works best with children ages 2 to 4 years, and will retail for $34.99 while individual Tag Junior board books are $10.99 a pop.

Press Release


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4moms Goodnight Sleep Trainer teaches your baby to sleep all night

Tired of all that pesky parenting?  Well now you can pick up the 4moms Goodnight Sleep Trainer and take at least some of the thinking out of parenting.  All joking aside, it’s a pain to figure out how long to let your newborn cry before you rush to their aid at night.  If you rush too soon then they get attached and expect it, if you stay away too much then you’re neglecting your child.  If you are getting overly anxious about doing the right thing, then maybe it is time to turn to an electronic device such as this to help you out.

In reality, you could replace this by getting a book that teaches the method and keep a chart going.  However, that’s a bit more of a pain to do.  Instead, you can hit a button to let this device know when your child starts crying, it will then let you know exactly how long to wait before comforting your child.  It starts out that you immediately go in, and increases the time from there.  Eventually your child learns to sleep through the night.  Of course they recommend to discontinue use if your child is ill, but until then, hopefully you can get your baby to the point that you can sleep for once.  You can purchase the Goodnight Sleep Trainer for $29.95 at Target.

Source: Ubergizmo


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