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Monthly Archives: April 2007

Fujitsu Pocket LOOX N100 Handheld GPS

Fujitsu Pocket LOOX N100 (Image courtesy Popular Science) By Andrew Liszewski

I’ve only recently started using a GPS device for driving purposes and I have to admit that so far I’m not exactly impressed. To be more specific while it tracks the location of the vehicle accurately enough the route planning and audible directions leave quite a bit to be desired.

It’s for this reason the new Pocket LOOX N100 from Fujitsu caught my attention. It’s the first GPS device to actually specify what driving lane you need to use in order to properly make an upcoming turn. With the device I’m using right now I’ve actually missed plenty of turns when driving in unknown areas simply because I was in the wrong lane.

As for other features the Pocket LOOX N100 uses the NAVIGON Mobile Navigator software, includes maps of the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, has a 1150 mAH rechargeable lithium ion battery and unfortunately relies on Mini SD cards (it includes a 2GB one) to help keep its physical size down.

It’s available now from Amazon for $485.47.

[ Fujitsu Pocket LOOX N100 ] VIA [ Popular Science ]

Craftworks Toolbox Refrigerator

Craftworks Toolbox Refrigerator (Images courtesy After 5)
By Andrew Liszewski

If the thought of installing a full sized fridge in your perfectly maintained garage seems tacky or out of place then you’ll like this alternative. The Toolbox Refrigerator from Craftworks is designed to look exactly like a rolling tool chest complete with rugged red exterior and faux drawer pulls.

But the whole front opens up to reveal a fairly decent sized interior (4.4 cubic feet) where you can store snacks and drinks. It even has interior lighting for those late nights and a locking mechanism to keep the kids away from your grown-up beverages. The top of the fridge also functions as an easy to clean counter for making sandwiches or other more ‘elaborate’ meals. Now all they need to do is release a Toolbox Toilet and you’ll never have to go back in the house again!

The Toolbox Refrigerator is available from After 5 for $349.99.

[ Craftworks Toolbox Refrigerator ] VIA [ Home Improvement Ideas ]

Honda Type R Child Racing Seat Accessory

Honda Type R Child Seat (Image courtesy CARSCOOP)
By Andrew Liszewski

Honda just released the Civic Type R Sedan in Japan and as part of the car’s accessory list the company will also be selling this custom Type R child racing seat. I’m not sure if it’s only available in this red and black finish or if it can be custom ordered to match your own car’s interior. What I do know though is that it’s definitely a lot cooler and safer looking than the phone books and bungee cords my parents used when I was a kid.

Unfortunately the special Type R seat seems to be limited to Japan at the moment and can only be purchased from a Japanese Honda dealer for about $370.

[ CARSCOOP – Do it like dad: Honda Type R Child Seat ] VIA [ Autoblog ]

Samson Zoom H2 Portable Surround Sound Recorder

Samson Zoom H2 (Images courtesy Samson)
By Andrew Liszewski

Unlike most portable recorders the Zoom H2 Handy Recorder from Samson actually uses 3 onboard directional microphones located in the center and positioned on the left and right sides. This setup apparently allows for “unparalleled stereo imaging” and can even be used to make surround sound recordings of your garage band.

For maximum flexibility, you can record from the front or rear of the H2 and at 90° or 120° in up to 96 kHz/24-bit WAV format, as MP3 up to 320 kbps. Additionally, you can record 360° in 48kHz/24-bit format which will allow you convert your recordings to Surround 5.1.

The device includes all the options needed to capture great sounding audio including manual gain control buttons on the front panel for riding levels on the fly and an auto-gain function as well. SD cards are the storage medium of choice and with a 4GB card the Zoom H2 can capture 2 hours at 96kHz, 6 hours at 44.1kHz or up to 138 hours in the MP3 format. Unfortunately though the unit only includes a 512MB card so you’re going to want to upgrade right away. It also includes a USB connection for transferring files to your PC and the unit will run for about 4 hours on 2 AA batteries.

The Zoom H2 should be available sometime in June for about $200.

[ Samson Zoom H2 ] VIA [ Popular Science ]

Audio Recording Device Blocker

Digital Or Tape Recorder Blocker (Image courtesy Spycatcher) By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re constantly worried about your friends, family, boss, co-workers or even internal affairs setting you up then carrying around this audio recording device blocker 24/7 might be a good idea. It emits a sub-audible tone which cannot be detected by the human ear but will end up drowning out any audio recordings when played back.

The built-in rechargeable batteries will last for about 2.5 hours which is a bit limited for those that are truly paranoid but the unit can also be plugged in. For digital recorders it has an effective range of about 0.5 to 2 meters but for tape recorders that range is increased to about 3 to 8 meters. It also includes a remote control that can be used to switch the blocker on and off since you’re no doubt going to want to be discrete about using it.

The Tape Recorder Blocker is available from Spycatcher for about $3,800 which isn’t cheap but I guess if it helps keep you out of prison it’s probably worth it.

[ Tape Recorder Blocker ]

Wireless Rain Center For Gadget Lovin’ Gardeners

Wireless Rain Center (Image courtesy Frontgate) By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not always the norm but sometimes technology and nature can play nice together. For the green thumb who spends just as much time reading gadget blogs as they do gardening comes this wireless rain center. It will keep track of the daily and total rainfall levels in your garden and send that info back to an indoor receiver where it’s displayed on a large, easy to read LCD.

The rain monitoring bucket is easily installed in your garden (or wherever you’re curious about rainfall levels) and is self-emptying for easy maintenance. The wireless receiver has a range of about 330 feet and includes a user-defined rainfall alarm for the past 24 hours.

The Wireless Rain Center is available from Frontgate for $39.50.

[ Wireless Rain Center ]

Philips Applies For Furry Displays Patent

Philips Fabric Display Patent (Image courtesy US Patent & Trademark Office)
By Andrew Liszewski

Philips really seems to be thinking outside the television box these days. First they come up with their Ambilight technology (which I’m still not sold on BTW) and now they’re looking into creating displays made of fur. Instead of LEDs or some other technology each pixel on the display would be made of a colored piece of fabric covered in different colored hairs.

When the hairs are all lying down flat you’d only see their color. But when an electrostatic charge is applied all those hairs would then repel each other and stand on end revealing the color of the fabric below. By precisely controlling the charges being applied to each fabric pixel you can in theory produce a fully functioning display.

Of course while the technology could be used to produce a TV that’s soft to the touch Philips instead sees it being used to incorporate displays into clothing or other items made of fabric. So instead of throwing paint on a fur coat PETA might one day be able to show their public service announcements on them.

[ Philips’ Fabric Display Patent ] VIA [ New Scientist Invention Blog ]

Floating Jellyfish Pool Lights

Floating Jellyfish Pool Lights (Image courtesy Frontgate)
By Andrew Liszewski

Jellyfish are an impressive creature to watch but from what I’ve heard aren’t that fun to interact with. So if you’ve ever thought about keeping one as a pet this might be a better alternative. These floating pool lights are designed to look somewhat like real jellyfish including the long, dangling tentacles. Except of course these ones aren’t capable of stinging you.

Each one requires 4 AA batteries that are used to power lights inside the dome which will also cause the underwater tentacles to glow thanks to fiber-optic cables. They’re currently available from Frontgate who recommend unleashing a whole flotilla for larger pools “to create a crowd-pleasing effect.” But at $59 each I think most people will be content with only 1 or 2 floating around.

[ Floating Jellyfish Pool Lights ] VIA [ The Green Head ]

Sinking LED Clock

Sinking Clock (Image courtesy Ross McBride) By Andrew Liszewski

There’s not much to be said about this ‘Sinking Clock’ since that photo pretty much sums up the whole idea. It’s an old-school red-on-black LED based clock that’s cropped off on one corner so when placed on any flat surface it gives the appearance that it’s sinking.

It was created by Ross McBride who you might remember from an earlier post about the Time Table. His recently updated website shows off quite a few of his clever designs but like with the Time Table none of the items are currently available for sale, including the Sinking Clock.

[ Sinking Clock ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]