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Tag Archives: Wireless

Stupid Product Of The Day: Text Bands

By David Ponce

We’re torn between thinking there’s some kind of genius, kid’s-mind-controlling magic going on here, and thinking the Hallmark Text Bands are just one of the worst products we’ve seen in the last little while. To be honest, we’re really leaning on the stupid side. They’re these wristbands that kids are supposed to wear and use to exchange texts from a distance. But here’s where the fun starts. The texts are limited to 10 characters. And you only have 3 buttons to type them out! So the kid is expected to scroll left and right, select a letter and press enter, then move on to the next. No wonder it’s only 10 characters! But even if we assume that a kid will be happy to painstakingly enter and send messages like seeyoul8tr, the range at which these things communicate is… 10 feet! Well, for crying out loud, at that range why not just say what you want to say? It… boggles the mind.

And yet, children have been known to make mind boggling decisions, so should they somehow fall in love with this product, know that it’ll only cost you $15.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

RED5 RC Plane Lets You Spy On Your Neighbours

By David Ponce

This is the Spy Hawk. It’s a remote controlled plane with a 5megapixel camera in its nose and an LCD screen in the controller. It sends live footage right back to the controller from up to 400m away, and if that footage needs to be preserved, it can be recorded onto a 4GB SD card at the press of a button. The card doesn’t need to be much bigger than 4GB anyway, because you’ll only get about 15 minutes of flight time on a single charge. But at least it’ll be a fairly stress-free experience due to the plane’s many built-in flight stabilization features. Just get it up to a certain height, press “autopilot” and a gyro will make sure it stays level, even if a gust of wind tries to knock it off course. It’s made from EPO crash resistant foam, so it should be able to withstand some dings and knocks, although don’t go thinking it’s indestructible; your possibly illegal snooping drone still needs some degree of care and flying skill. It’s $305 (£249) and can be pre-ordered now for shipping in early August.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

xPrintserver Gives You Trouble-free Wireless iDevice Printing

By David Ponce

Unloading a document off your iDevice and printed onto some dead tree sheets is easier said than done, especially in a corporate environment. Sure, there’s AirPrint, but there are tons of different printers in your office and they may or may not play well with the technology. That’s where xPrintserver comes in. It’s an iPhone sized device that plugs into your network and automatically discovers all the printers. Connect to it through your mobile device and print away. The xPrintserver comes preloaded with drivers for over 4,000 printers, including from brands like HP, Brother, Epson, Canon, Dell, Lexmark, and Xerox. Yes there are app that may do the same thing already for free, but remember this is for the office. And as such, you might be able to chalk the $150 price tag up to a legitimate business expense.

xPrintserver will ship in January 2012.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Tamagotchi’s Back For Its 15th Birthday

By David Ponce

Tamagotchis were so annoying, much like receiving endless Farmville requests on Facebook is still annoying; this editor had no interest in seeing how much poop your virtual pet had produced. And it appears that neither of these distractions are going away. To celebrate the toy’s 15th anniversary, Bandai is releasing the Tamagotchi iD L. As you can imagine, it’s gotten quite the technological makeover:

features full color, and tons of different scenes as you explore the digital world with your pet. There are 32 different characters to choose from, with 11 of those being exclusive to the iD series. You can also connect to other Tamagotchi owners wirelessly. You can swap items with other pets, or, if there’s a love connection, join the two pets in marriage (after a proper courting period, of course).

Yes… marrying pets. And the worst part of all this is the price: $113 plus $20 for shipping. Just pray your kids don’t see this post.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ ChipChick ]

Wireless Bicycles On The Way

By David Ponce

We’ve never come to see the snaking wires on a bicycle as that much of a hassle, yet there is research underway to get rid of them altogether. And unlike existing wireless gear-shifters, reliability is somewhat of an issue when it comes to braking. The worst that happens if your bike doesn’t shift is that it doesn’t shift. Miss out of the brakes and it could be a fast-track to the bottom of a ravine. So researchers at Germany’s Saarland University have developed a prototype wireless braking system with 99.999999999997% reliability. The number of nines on that figure is important: it means it would fail three times out of a trillion braking attempts, which isn’t so bad. There’s no handle either, everything is accomplished through pressure sensors in the handlebar that apply braking force proportional to your grip (past a predetermined threshold). A receiver box interprets the signals and stops the bike “within 250 milliseconds. At that speed, a cyclist traveling at 30 km/h (18.6 mph) would have to react at least two meters (6.6 feet) before the point at which they needed to stop.” It’s not ideal but they’re working on improving this figure.

There is no clear path to marketplace at the moment, although lessons learned in this project could help engineers develop wireless systems with very high degrees of reliability.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Wacom Refreshes Their Bamboo Line, Makes Wireless Functionality an Option

Wacom Tablets (Images courtesy Wacom)
By Andrew Liszewski

Since today will probably be dominated with news about Amazon’s possible tablet announcement, yesterday Wacom decided to spill the beans on the refresh of their Bamboo line. The low-cost tablets now feature a very flat profile with a minimal bezel around their stylus-friendly surface. The line now consists of the $79 Bamboo Connect, with a 5.8×3.6-inch work surface. The $99 Bamboo Capture, also with a 5.8×3.6-inch work surface. And the $199 Bamboo Create, with a larger 8.5×5.4-inch work surface. The last two, the Capture and the Create, also support multi-touch allowing you to use your fingers instead of the stylus for controlling the cursor, or gestures for triggering other functionality.

Wacom Wireless Option (Image courtesy Wacom)

To keep the costs low, the Capture and Create also connect to your PC via a USB cable by default. But you can cut that cable with this $39 Wireless Option that includes a compact dongle for your computer, and a wireless adapter and battery for the tablets. They provide a wireless range of about 33 feet, and fully recharge off of a USB connection in less than 6 hours. (Wacom’s website is a little vague as to how long your tablet will actually run wirelessly.)

[ Wacom Bamboo Connect, Bamboo Capture, Bamboo Create ] VIA [ Electronista ]

Gaming on the Go with Wireless Internet

The following article is sponsored by Clear Wireless. -Ed.

By David Ponce

Are you worried that while you are on vacation, your level 24 rogue isn't going to be getting any attention? While you are on a long trip with your family, are you missing the big raid? When it comes to MMORPGs and persistent worlds, it can make you go stir crazy when you realize that all of that action is going on without you. Thankfully, with a strong wireless internet set-up and a laptop, you never have to worry about missing the boat again!

With a Clear Wireless Internet system, you aren't going to have to worry about losing out on all the best loot. Just connect your gaming rig, and get to what is really important! Of course, the big concerns when it comes to grinding away at the baddie du jour are things like lag and having a low FPS, but with a strong Clear Internet connection, it isn't a problem at all. You are going to see it as if you were wired in at home.

No matter the situation you find yourself in, you are always going to have a way to be connected. You have no excuse when the rest of your guild is upset that you missed out on some of the biggest loot in the history of the game! So get yourself hooked in and ready, so when the next expansion comes out, and you aren't anywhere near your desktop, you don't miss out on some of the cleanest and fastest gaming imaginable. With the right set-up, lag won't even be be in your vocabulary.

Panasonic’s DY-PS10 Pocket Media Server Is Unfortunately Japan-Only

Panasonic DY-PS10 Pocket Media Server (Images courtesy Panasonic)
By Andrew Liszewski

Unless you live in Japan, or have some means to procure one from that country, I wouldn’t get too excited about Panasonic’s new DY-PS10 compact wireless media server. Because thanks to wireless restrictions in other parts of the world, it can only be sold there. The svelte, black monolith of a device looks like a portable hard drive, but it’s got no storage of its own on board. Instead, there’s a slot for SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards, built-in wifi and a rechargeable battery.

The idea is that you take the SDXC card out of your other Panasonic products, like cameras, camcorders, DVRs and then slap it in the DY-PS10 where it’s then streamed over wifi to portable devices your iPhone or iPad. A 64GB SDXC card can hold about 88 hours of standard def video on it, and the 1,400mAh battery runs for about 10 hours after a 4 hour charge. It will be available September 15, again, in Japan only, for ~$192 (¥14,800).

[ Panasonic DY-PS10 Pocket Media Server ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Cideko Air Keyboard Chatting Is Targeted At Skypers And Those Who Like Awkward Product Names

Cideko Air Keyboard Chatting (Image courtesy CompuExpert)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not particularly thin, doesn’t have a full size keyboard, costs $99.99 and has a limited battery life of just 10 hours. But CompuExpert still feels they can sway consumers looking for a wireless keyboard for their living room HTPC with their new Cideko Air Keyboard Chatting. That is as long as said consumer is really into Skype or chatting online. That’s because the newest addition to their wireless keyboard lineup features a built in-microphone and a headphone jack, so you don’t have to shout across the room when talking with others.

It also foregoes a trackpad, or other tactile cursor navigation solution, for 3D motion controls. So you’ll have to wave it around in the air like a Wiimote if you don’t already have a wireless mouse by your side. (FYI, We strongly recommend having a wireless mouse by your side.) Available now from Amazon, Newegg and presumably other retailers who already carry CompuExpert’s products.

[ Cideko Air Keyboard Chatting ]