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Monthly Archives: May 2006

The People Track Panorama

studio9 panorama

By David Ponce

“So what’s this?”

“It’s really cool! See, you turn your head left or right, and the image on the screen turns left or right. That way, it’s your head that controls what you see!”

“Yeah, but don’t you have to be looking AT the screen to see what’s on it?”


Please accept my apologies for this lame attempt at humour. Just know that the “People Track Panorama” is a new kind of presentation tool, developed jointly by Studio9 and TUM.

To get more of an idea of why I think it’s lame, come inside and check out the video.

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TokyoFlash High Freq.2

TokyoFlash High Freq.2 (Image courtesy Wrist Dreams)By Andrew Liszewski

I’m usually not that impressed by the watches for sale on TokyoFlash but I do think the High Freq.2 is one of their better designs. The ‘3D’ display uses an equalizer effect where the dots of light are pushed up to the top row then float back down until they ‘fall off’ the face. Two of the lights remain on for an additional 5 seconds afterwards to indicate the seconds then also ‘fall off.’

The watch also apparently uses very little power since it has an advanced LCD screen needing only 1 LED to illuminate the entire watch face.

The High Freq.2 is available now at TokyoFlash for $141.07.

[TokyoFlash High Freq.2] VIA [Wrist Dreams]

U3 USB Stick Technology

By Bruce Eaton

Not the newest tech but rather, relevant tech. U3 is a software technology that turns USB sticks into more than just portable storage but actual drives, by enabling them to run software straight from them. The guys over on Gadget Madness bought and used a Kingston Data Traveler 2gig USB Stick with U3[Affiliate link -Ed.] and had nothing but fabulous things to say about it:

One word comes to mind: IMPRESSIVE!

While the Kingston Stick itself doesn’t look all that great, the U3 software did what it promised, allowing for you to take your programs with you. No more using a crappy web-based email but how about Thunderbird with all your settings. They also allow for password protection so only you can access your programs on your stick. Programs can be downloaded from U3 where they have lots of selections such as Winamp, WinRAR, and Skype. Check it out for yourself.

[U3] VIA [Gadget Madness]

Jellio, Model Car Inspired Artwork

jellio drive-in

By David Ponce

As a kid, I think the ultimate gadget was the scale model, at least for me. Probably the endless hours in close proximity to that model glue accounts for at least some of my current retardedness. Still, it’s nice to see a company make a piece of artwork that also happens to be somewhat of a tribute to the toy. Mario Mariscano and Chris Lenox over at Jellio make the “Drive-In”, a 44 inch square, wall piece. In contrast to the now sold-out “Turbo” that featured a 70’s muscle car, the “Drive-In” is inspired by the classic chrome-heavy hot rods of the 50’s.

This being a limited edition, it’s not cheap, at $3,000. However, if you choose to pre-order, you can shave $500 on that price.


Elecom USB Laptop Cooler

By Bruce Eaton

Preparing you for the hot summer and also all those fancy new Macbooks that can cook an egg, Elecom has released a USB Laptop Cooler called the SX-CL02MSV or USBLC [guess which name I made up]. Using two fans, this baby pumps air directly under your laptop, helping to remove a lot of that heat that builds up under there. The fans have two settings, High Mode drawing 2.0W and Low Mode drawing 1.2W, so your computer won’t feel the drain at all through that USB port.

Coming in two colors and even two sizes, 230x114x29mm or 300x230x29mm, there is no reason you will have to have a laptop that charbroils your tabletop. The smaller one coins in at $36 and the larger at $50 pretax. Now if only they could make a USB attachment for cooling my undercarriage.

[USBLC] VIA [AkihabaraNews]

Sima Inflatable Home Theater Kit

Sima Inflatable Home Theater Kit (Image courtesy Sima Products Corporation)
By Andrew Liszewski

You don’t need to be having a feud with the neighbors to enjoy this inflatable Home Theater Kit from Sima but I’m sure blasting Top Gun from your backyard will annoy them anways.

The 8-foot inflatable screen uses a bright vinyl material and is compatible with either a front or rear projection setup. The whole thing will inflate in about 4 or 5 minutes using an included pump and has self-sealing air valves that allow for a quick deflation. The theater even comes with a pair of 100w weatherized speakers if your definition of home theater includes the term ‘stereo sound.’

The Inflatable Home Theater Kit is currently available from Brookstone’s website for $999.95. Whether or not dropping a grand is worth it to upgrade your bedsheet draped over the clothesline theater is up to you.

[Sima Inflatable Home Theater Kit] VIA [BornRich]

Thermotropic Protea Lamp

Thermotropic Protea Lamp (Image courtesy Inhabitat)By Andrew Liszewski

A thermotropic response is what causes a plant to grow towards or away from a soure of heat, and when the same idea is applied to a lamp you get the Protea. When the lamp is left on allowing the bulb to slowly heat up the metal petals that make up the lampshade gradually move away from the hot bulb giving the impression of a flower opening in the sunshine… though upside-down.

While designer Karl Zahn originally envisioned this project as a visual reminder as to how much wasted energy an incandescent bulb gives off in the form of heat, I think most people won’t care and will probably go out of their way to leave their lights on longer than normal just to see this lamp open up.

Of course like everything even remotely affiliated with ‘design’ the Protea lamp isn’t cheap and will set you back about $150 from Boiler Design Office.

[Thermotropic Protea Lamp] VIA [Inhabitat]

The iDea, An All-In-One Docking Station

iDea wireless home dock

By David Ponce

The iDea Wireless Home Dock for the iPod and PSP actually sounds like a product I’d like to own. It allows you to dock, simultaneously, any iPod, and your PSP, and an MP3 player and a Sony Walkman phone. Not only will you be able to charge your devices all at once, but you can also broadcast your multimedia throughout your home easily.

See, along with the dock, you can purchase optional wireless receivers. So, if you wanna watch what’s on the video iPod on the TV, you can. You want to listen to your music on your home stereo? No prob. Bought some UMD and you’d like to see it on a bigger screen? Ditto.

Hell, you get the idea. There’s so many features, I don’t have room to list them all, so make sure to give that site a look.

Problem is, can’t find a way to buy it, let alone how much it is. Anyone?

[Product Page] VIA [Gizmologia]

Auto-TXT, A Bluetooth Based Car Theft Prevention System

ezurio bluetoothBy David Ponce

Recently announced at the Telematics Detroit conference, a British company called RDM will begin offering the Auto-TXT service, a theft prevention system that uses your cellphone and Bluetooth.

Here’s how it works. Start with a car equipped with a Bluetooth module from London company Ezurio. Then, teach the system to recognise your Bluetooth-enabled cellphone. Once programmed, it becomes a secondary key for your vehicle. When the car starts, the system will look for your cell. If it doesn’t find it, the vehicle will be considered potentially stolen, even if it was started with the proper keys. You can then track it using conventional methods, or even better: remotely disable it.

Expect to see Auto-TXT in Jaguars and Land Rovers all over Europe, starting this year. If you want one for yourself, expect to pay between ?500 and ?600, depending on whether or not your want the Remote Disable feature.

[Auto-TXT] VIA [TechnoRide]