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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dunhill Biometric Wallet – Probably A Little Overkill

Dunhill Biometric Wallet (Images courtesy Dunhill)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you live in a busy urban area and spend your time engulfed in crowds of people on the street, or bumping into the masses on the subway, it’s probably not a terrible idea to be a little extra cautious with your wallet. You never know when your pockets might get picked. But there’s cautious, and then there’s downright paranoid, which I think can be said of anyone who drops $825 on this biometrically protected wallet from Dunhill.

The wallet can only be opened by swiping your fingerprint, so while would-be thieves might be able to get their hands on it, they won’t be able to open it. And attempts to crack it open will be mostly thwarted by its sleek carbon fiber outer shell. I mean it’s not completely indestructible, but it should be frustrating enough to deter most people. The Biometric Wallet can even let you know if it’s been taken or forgotten thanks to a Bluetooth link to your phone which sounds an alarm if the two are more than 5 meters apart. On the inside you’ll find a real leather finish with a stainless steel money clip, but I’d expect nothing less when they’re asking almost $1,000 for it.

[ Dunhill Biometric Wallet ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

Future Steering Wheels Could Test Your Blood Alcohol Level Through Touch-Based Sensors

Hands-on Steering Wheel (Image courtesy Driver's Ed Guru)
By Andrew Liszewski

Those court-ordered breathalyzers that prevent a car from starting until you blow an acceptable blood alcohol level are effective, but they’re not exactly quick. And they have to be installed as an after-market component. But a new system, being developed by the North American division of a research company called QinetiQ and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, could already be built-in to vehicles as they roll off the assembly line, invisible to the driver.

Instead of having to blow into a tube, the vehicle’s steering wheel or door handles would be equipped with new touch-based sensor technology that can read a driver’s blood alcohol level through their skin. And the results would be calculated almost instantaneously, taking less than a second. So far functioning prototypes have been demonstrated so the technology is definitely enroute, however the head of the NHTSA, David Strickland, says that it won’t be employed until it’s “seamless, unobtrusive and unfailingly accurate…” Yeah, probably a good idea.

[ The Economic Times – Future cars to decide if driver is drunk ] VIA [ Slashdot ]


Acoustable (Image courtesy Acoustable)
By Andrew Liszewski

The coffee table in your living room probably already serves as everything from a work desk to a foot stool to the occasional dining area. In fact you’d probably miss it more than your TV if it ever disappeared. Even more so if it happens to be one of these Acoustables which feature a built-in sound system, adding ‘home stereo’ to the list of your coffee table’s duties.

Acoustable (Images courtesy Acoustable)

Made of a unique polymer and mineral blend which supposedly combines the advantages of both stone and plastic, the Acoustable is also water and fire resistant, which I guess is a good thing. All of the wiring and hardware are stashed out of sight keeping it aesthetically pleasing, and even the black membrane that sits just below the table’s surface letting the sound out looks more like a design element than a technical requirement. As for cost? It’s another one of those ‘contact us for more info‘ which roughly translates to ‘we want to prepare you for the sticker shock.’

[ Acoustable ] VIA [ designboom ]

The Chaheati Chair Keeps Your Rear Warm

By Chris Scott Barr

It’s cold outside. If you’re reading this somewhere that is warm, then I envy you. My thoughts are currently of very warm things, such as this Chaheati Chair. This might look like your average folding chair, but it is anything but. While most other such chairs simply give you a place to sit, this one gives you a warm place to sit.

This chair features a heating element that is guaranteed to keep your rear (as well as your back) nice and toasty for up to six hours at 100-degrees. If you’re attempting to endure some seriously cold weather, then you can crank it up to 145-degrees and still milk a good 1.8 hours out of it. That actually seems like it would almost be too warm, but who am I to judge. This awesome chair will set you back $90, which seems well worth it if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the cold.

[ Chaheati ] VIA [ Dvice ]

Automatic Weapon Ammo Counter Maybe Blurs The Line Between Video Games And Real Life A Little Too Much?

Automatic Weapon Ammo Counter (Image courtesy Michael Ciuffo)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m sure there might be practical uses for this first-person-style ammo counter which clips on to the end of an automatic weapon and keeps track of how many rounds have been fired, like say for the military and law enforcement. But that’s not really the vibe I get from Michael Ciuffo’s YouTube video showing it in action. I suspect it was created more as an homage to titles like Call of Duty, than a way to assist those in combat.

It does seem to be pretty accurate though, and while there are no details about the tech it uses to count the rounds, there apparently has already been enough reaction and demand from the video that Michael’s planning to put the counter into production.

[ YouTube – Bullet Counter official test ] VIA [ Kotaku ]

Nintendo’s ‘Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS ‘ Bluetooth Keyboard Accessory Will Work With Your iPhone Too

Nintendo's 'Pokemon Typing DS' Bluetooth Keyboard (Image courtesy Nintendo)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s hard to find fault with Apple’s own wireless Bluetooth keyboard, but if you’d prefer to punch away at something designed by Nintendo instead, this is the first pic of the keyboard accessory that will be included with the upcoming Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS. The game is basically the same idea as those Mavis Beacon programs you might have used in school to learn how to properly type, but with more entertaining challenges, and a sure-fire way to keep kids interested; Pokemon!

Since the DS is lacking in Bluetooth connectivity the actual Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS game cart will include the necessary Bluetooth hardware (at least that’s how I interpret Google’s translation of Nintendo’s Press Release) which means the keyboard can’t be used with other titles that require typing. However, while Nintendo won’t guarantee everything is smooth sailing, the keyboard apparently also works just fine with the iPhone and Android based smartphones. The game and keyboard are slated to hit store shelves in Japan in April, though pricing info, and availability outside Japan, is still unknown.

[ PR – Nintendo’s Third-Quarter Results Briefing ] VIA [ Joystiq ]

Dr. Who Ride-in Dalek Is The Perfect Kids’ Gift If You Like Getting Asked What A Dalek Is

Dr. Who Ride-in Daleks (Image courtesy Zappies)
By Andrew Liszewski

Listen, I’m not saying this ride-in Dalek toy isn’t amazingly cool, I just don’t think it’s targeted at the right demographic. Dr. Who has never really been a Saturday morning or after-school type TV series, and I feel that 99% of the kids out there today will have no clue what a Dalek is. I mean I didn’t even know how to pronounce it correctly until I watched this promotional video of kids who are unrealistically excited to ride around in these.

Available in 5 colors, each Dalek stands ~50 inches tall, features 360 degree steering, 10 Dalek sounds and sayings, lights and is powered by an included 6V rechargeable battery. The not so cool parts? They’ll set you back ~$317!! (£199.99) AND are only recommended for kids aged 3-6. Lame!

[ Dr. Who Ride-in Dalek ] VIA [ Nerd Approved ]

Canadians, Listen Up: We’re Giving Away A Toshiba 3D Laptop!

By David Ponce

Snow, cold, dreary and politically inanimate… These could be words mistakenly used to describe Canada. I’d use others like safe, healthy and every now and then… full of free laptops! That’s right dear OhGizmo! readers: Toshiba Canada has partnered with us to give our Canadian readers a Satellite A660 3D laptop valued at $1,899.

The cool thing is the laptop in question is the higher end A660-0T4 with the following specs:

An Intel® Core™ i7-740QM processor, 6GB DDR3-1066MHZ ram, 640GB 5400RPM hdd, Blu-ray Disc™ Rewriteable and DVD SuperMulti drive, Harman Kardon built-in speakers, NVIDIA GeForce GTS 350M with 1GB GDDR3 memory, 15.6″ 16:9 HD TruBrite™ 120Hz 3D Ready TFT with LED backlight and NVIDIA® 3D Vision™ Kit with glasses and built-in internal laptop IR emitter

So how do you win this beauty? Well, we’re going to make you work a little more than usual for this one, so read on.

1) The contest is open to all Canadians 18 years of age and above (except residents of Quebec (sorry folks)).
2) It will run from Today, January 31st, until February 7th, 2011.
3) There are 5 ways to enter, or 5 different types of ballots if you’d prefer to see it that way. Which means that you can enter up to 5 times!

1. Follow OhGizmo on Twitter.
2. “Like” us on Facebook.
3. Follow Toshiba Canada on Twitter.
4. “Like” Toshiba Canada on Facebook.
5. This last one is for anyone eligible already following us on Twitter or Facebook: simply retweet this promotion!

It’s going to be fun keeping track of all this, but we’ll do our best and will announce the winner in the week of February 7th.

Good luck!

Review – Thermaltake MEKA G1 Mechanical Keyboard

Thermaltake MEKA G1 Mechanical Keyboard (Image courtesy Thermaltake)

This post is syndicated with permission from

Thermaltake has taken a dive into the gaming world with their new set of peripherals with the Tt eSPORTS series. This week I got to use the Thermaltake MEKA G1 Mechanical keyboard, which is one of two keyboards currently in the series. The MEKA is a great keyboard, with excellent response time, USB 2.0 inputs, and my favorite feature – “clacky” mechanical keys. Let’s get to the review.

The MEKA G1 comes equipped with two mounted USB 2.0 ports, as well as onboard headphone and microphone jacks to make connecting your peripherals faster and more efficient.  The keyboard comes with a removable palm rest, which I found very comfortable and stylish. Another great feature of the G1 is the heavyweight military-grade 1.5m braided cable that leads to a PS2 connector, as well as a USB connector. These features alone make the MEKA G1 more than a standard mechanical keyboard right out of the box.

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