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Tag Archives: Peripherals

THQ Reveals Their uDraw GameTablet For The Wii

uDraw GameTablet (Image courtesy THQ)
By Andrew Liszewski

If any of you are having Mario Paint flashbacks right about now, you’re not alone. Many of us have secretly pined for Nintendo to bring their classic art and animation ‘game’ to the Wii since the Wiimote seems like it would be an ideal drawing tool. It’s yet to happen though, but if anyone wants to express their artistic side on the Wii there’s now another solution from THQ.

Their just announced uDraw GameTablet is a small 4×6-inch handheld tablet that gains wireless functionality and power from a docked Wiimote. It also includes a wireless pressure-sensitive stylus that THQ feels provides finer control than a Wiimote. There’s even an SD card slot somewhere on there according to their press release allowing you to save and print your artwork on a PC. The uDraw GameTablet will be available this holiday season for $69.99 and comes with the art-based video game uDraw Studio. At launch you’ll also be able to pick up two other tablet friendly titles; Pictionary and Dood’s Big Adventure for just $29.99 each.

[ uDraw GameTablet ] VIA [ Kotaku ]

Razer DeathAdder Mouse Strikes A Blow For Lefties

razeradderleft

By Evan Ackerman

It’s about bloody time somebody recognized the hundreds, nay, thousands of years of suffering that my people (that would be, left-handed people) have dealt with. Finally, Razer has designed a mouse specifically for us. This lefty version of their DeathAdder gaming mouse has the same slick and subtle curves that the right-handed version does, just reflected over to the sinister side. And that’s sinister as in left, not sinister as in ‘sinister.’ Honestly, there’s no need to be afraid of left-handed people… Here are some left-handed facts to get you better acquainted with us:

-Somewhere between 8% and 15% of people are left-handed, and only half as many women are left-handed as men.

-The Incas thought that left-handed people had special spiritual powers. Pretty much everyone else thought that left-handed people were either just unfortunate, or pure evil.

-Left-handed people tend to be smarter than average. They also tend to be dumber than average. In other words, lefties are more likely to be at one end of the spectrum than in the middle.

-On average, left-handed men who graduate college are 26% richer than right-handed men who do. Nobody knows why, and this doesn’t apply to women.

-50% of left-handed people use a mouse right-handed (and I’m one of them).

You want to know why 50% of left-handed people use a mouse right-handed? It’s the man, man. The establishment. The right-handed industrial complex. So thank you, Razer, for helping us break free of the oppression and tyranny of the right-handed world… Who cares if nobody buys your mouse because we’re all used to right-handed ones? You’ve struck a mighty blow this day, a mighty blow for the forces of all that is just and good and right in this world!

Er, wait. Left, I meant left.

As far as specs go, the DeathAdder is more mouse than you’ll ever need (3500dpi Razer Precision 3.5G infrared sensor, five independently programmable “Hyperesponse” buttons, and it’s wired as all serious gaming mice are), and it’s yours for $60.

[ Razer ] VIA [ HotHardware ]

Cleankeys Touch Keyboard Gives Germs Nowhere To Hide

500x_keyboard

By Evan Ackerman

You don’t have to be a hypochondriac to get freaked out by the amount of nastiness that’s probably living on and around your computer keyboard. And not just living, but also eating, pooping, dying, and having lots and lots of unprotected sex. Ick. Traditional keyboards are full of all kinds of nooks and crannies that are to bacteria what the back of a Volvo is to high school kids, and just like with high school kids, you can only eradicate about 5% of them with a disinfecting cloth.

The Cleankeys keyboard eliminates all of the hiding spots that you’d find on a keyboard with, you know, keys, by being completely 100% touch sensitive. This means that if you wipe the keyboard down with a disinfecting cloth you get rid of 99% of the nastiness in one fell swoop. Since the average keyboard has 3,295 germs per square inch, that leaves a mere 33 germs per square inch to deal with on the Cleankeys keyboard. Incidentally, the average toilet seat has about 49 germs per square inch. Cleankeys: it’s cleaner than your toilet!

Actually using the Cleankeys keyboard would take some getting used to, since there’s no feedback when you push a key. Cleankeys says that it’s about 30% slower than typing on a standard keyboard, but “that time is typically made up many times in the time saved cleaning.” Mmmhmm. They keyboard is entirely washable (you can stick it under running water), includes an integrated trackpad, and is available with a plastic or glass top for $400 and $450 respectively.

[ CleanKeys ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Chatman Is The Only Friend You’ll Ever Need

chatman

By Evan Ackerman

The internet can be a lonely place. You have no idea who you’re really talking to, whether they claim to be a 48 year old guy in his mom’s basement or a hot lonely teenage girl (like me), which is why instead of real people, you need Chatman. Chatman is a friendly yellow PC accessory who has no secrets and is “destined to become every kids new best mate” thanks to some fancy artificial intelligence software. Chatman spies on your instant messages, web surfing, gaming, and social networks and somehow “gets involved” by “tell[ing] you exactly what he thinks and how he feels about the discussions exchanged.”

In addition to moving eyes, arms, ear things, and an LED emoticon mouth, Chatman has 3 personality options, 25 moods (whatever that means), and over 500 different actions. You can program Chatman with new actions and stuff, but before he’ll use them, they have to get approved by his parent corporation. Incidentally, while Chatman won’t actually prevent you from visiting no-no websites, he will tattle back to your parents and verbally chastise you. There isn’t a lot of information on these features specifically, and that makes it all seem a little bit sinister, like Chatman is actually designed to be some nanny software in a kid-friendly and “fun” (sort of) disguise. Your friendly, round, and yellow little bit brother should be available around Easter for nobody knows how much.

[ re:creation ] VIA [ Pocket Lint ]

USB Scent Flowers Are Doing It Wrong

usbflower

By Evan Ackerman

If you’re selling a borderline useless USB accessory, you have to keep in mind who your market is. Do you really think that people who spend so much time in front of their computer that they need a peripheral to make it smell better are going to be attracted by scents like Ocean Breeze, Purple Lavender, Pink Jasmine, or White Chamomile? Of course not. Those are outside smells. Instead, you should try scents like Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Bacon. Or you could try even more familiar scents for the hardcore gamer, like Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and Shame.

In the mean time, though, you’ll have to content yourself with the aforementioned flowery smells. $9.99 gets you a USB Scent Flower plus three refill cartridges that should last you a couple months.

[ USB Flower ] VIA [ Chip Chick ]

Eggy Portable Mini Speakers Come From My Fantasy Chicken

eggyspeakers

By Evan Ackerman

Somewhere in South Korea lives a chicken. This chicken lays eggs that are, in fact, reasonably attractive and potentially useful computer peripherals. Break one open (the two halves are joined by magnets) and inside you will find 4 watts of yolk-y audio goodness with a built-in digital amplifier. Designed for things like PMPs and Netbooks, the Eggy speakers are USB powered, and while the picture makes them look seamless and slick, the USB wire and audio-in wire and the wire that connects the left and right speakers are sure to make a mess of things, and I also have no idea where the little speaker stands come from. So, the concept is pretty cool, but in real life things may look a bit different.

S&J Co. has the right idea here: instead of designing electronics, just wait for some freak of nature to design them for you… If you have an infinite amount of chickens laying an infinite amount of eggs, you’re pretty much guaranteed that one of those eggs will be a pair of speakers (or anything else you want, for that matter). I’m sure S&J Co. doesn’t actually have an infinite amount of chickens (an infinite amount of anything presenting some significant logistical challenges), but that doesn’t preclude them from getting lucky with a finite amount of chickens, which is obviously what happened.

The Eggy speaker will be putting on an appearance at CES 2010, and if S&J Co. picks up some distribution channels, we should all feel very sorry for their poor mutant chicken.

[ Press Release ]

Thanko Raremono USB Shortwave Radio

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By Evan Ackerman

I don’t know how they do it, but somehow, Thanko manages to keep coming up with gadgets that are silly and borderline useless for most people and yet are potentially just perfect for just enough people that I don’t quite feel comfortable making fun of them. And even then, this USB radio is a more useful than most, considering that it receives AM, FM, and shortwave.

There’s an external antenna jack, and the actual tuning is done via software. You can record anything you’re listening to directly to MP3, and you can even schedule different recordings on different frequencies, sort of like a really cumbersome and old-school Podcast. But I guess if you don’t have internet, then it could be a great solution for you.

‘Course, if you don’t have internet, then you’re not reading this, so what do I care?

$45 at Thanko.

[ Thanko (Translated) ] VIA [ DVICE ]

Jelfin Mice Are Squishy, Squeezable, Shaped Like Balls

jelfin

By Evan Ackerman

Are you finding that your mouse is both not aerodynamic enough and not soft enough to effectively throw at people or animals without risking injury related lawsuits? Jelfin has the solution for you, with a mouse that’s about the size and shape of a baseball and covered in squishy gel. It’s supposed to be ergonomic and super comfortable, kinda like a stress relief ball, and includes two buttons and a three dimensional optical scroll wheel.

And a “travel can,” for whatever that’s worth.

This sort of reminds me of Apple’s terrible little round mice that came with the iMac. SORT OF reminds me, just because it’s round and strange… I’m not saying that the Jelfin is going to be terrible or anything, but as with any unorthodox peripheral as critical as a mouse, I’m inherently skeptical, simply because mice have been around for a while, and there’s an accepted shape that seems to work. I will say that this mouse would be infinitely more appealing if somehow the ball shape could be used to enable a few additional axes of control, kind of like a Space Navigator or something. Just a thought.

The Jelfin mouse is available in 5 colors, none of which are black or white or anything else normal, for $35 right now on Amazon.

[ Jelfin ] VIA [ Gearlog ]

Smartfish Tru:Motion Wigglymouse

smartfish

By Evan Ackerman

Computer mice come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and styles, but generally, they have one characteristic in common: a flat surface on the bottom to keep the mouse stable. I mean, you want your mouse to be stable, right?

Right?

Don’t you?

NO. NO YOU DON’T. IT’S BAD, STABLE IS BAD. Or at least, a stable object that you use repetitively has the potential to maybe cause you some mild discomfort or pain. The Tru:Motion mouse from Smartfish can help alleviate repetitive stress injuries by wiggling around to better conform to your natural hand and arm position. The mouse pivots on its base (a stable base) from side to side and front to back to allow you to keep your wrist more relaxed.

I’m hoping that the mouse in the picture above is just a prototype design, ’cause a mouse like this is targeted at hardcore computer users, most of whom probably expect more than two or three buttons. Personally, I need a minimum of five to be productive.

Smartfish also makes a wiggling keyboard and a wiggling game controller, and they’re somehow working on a PDA, a laptop, a touchscreen keyboard, and power tools that incorporate the same actively ergonomic technology.We’ll see the mouse out at the beginning of August for $60, and the keyboard will follow at the end of August for $150.

[ Smartfish ] VIA [ DVICE ]