News Archive for 06/12/08

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bioMETRX smartSTIK-MD guards medical history

12/08, 6:00pm

smartSTIK-MD USB drive

The new bioMETRX smartSTIK-MD is designed for hopsitals and doctor's offices, where sending medical information digitally can pose a threat to privacy. Like some other secure USB drives, doctors and patients must first scan their fingerprints with the embedded reader before they can load or download information. The MD comes bundled with various medical applications, and is ready to accept records, X-rays, test results, prescriptions and more. The drive will begin initial sales in 2007 for the cost of $65 per unit.

Tokyoflash Biohazard watch scans for aliens

12/08, 5:25pm

Watch scans for aliens

When owners push a button on the Tokyoflash Biohazard, an animation is triggered which mimicks searching for nearby alien DNA. In reality, the helix at the top counts off the hour, while the blue and green bars at the bottom measure off five- and one-minute increments respectively. The date registers as a percentage of alien DNA -- "12.05%," for instance, is December 5th. Impatient people can push the button again mid-animation to jump straight to the time. The strap and frame of the watch are stainless steel. Tokyoflash is currently exporting the Biohazard for $138.

Tilt-sensor Nintendo DS card in works

12/08, 4:55pm

Nintendo DS Tilt Sensor

NTR-Motion said Friday that it will soon release the DS Motion Card, a tilt-based sensor for Nintendo's DS and DS Lite handheld consoles. Similar to the Nintendo Wii's remote or Sony's Sixaxis controller for the PlayStation 3, the Motion Card combines an accelerometer with a gyroscope to measure both the angle and force of the DS as the user moves and pivots the system. This is the first such device for any handheld gaming system, NTR-Motion claims. Using the motion-sensitive features requires a DS that can run homebrew code, according to the company, but multiple art and game programs have already been written to take advantage of the design. Pre-orders begin today at DSPassMe for $25, with shipments set to begin in early January.

Encore testing Mobilis classroom computer

12/08, 4:50pm

Encore Mobilis tablet

An Indian company is joining the competition to create educational computers for the poor. Encore Software has created the Mobilis, sending 50 to the Brazilian government for classroom testing. The Linux-based computer has a seven-inch touchscreen and an optional built-in keyboard, as well as features like a modem, an Ethernet port, and CF and SD/MMC card readers. Clients can even choose to equip it with GPRS or a fingerprint scanner. It remains an extremely light machine despite all this hardware, weighing only 26 ounces.

The Mobilis is a rival to computers like the Intel Classmate, which was in turn preceded by the OLPC XO. Some have criticized all three efforts, noting that they may still be too expensive, or really serve to generate a future market base for their respective companies.

NECOM readies "Well-mouse" with built-in palmrest

12/08, 4:15pm

NECOM Well-Mouse

NECOM today demonstrated its unique ergonomic controller, codenamed the "Well-Mouse," at a conference in the company's home of Korea. The three-button scroll mouse is equipped with a flexible wrist pad at its base that follows the user's movements and improves the comfort of the mouse regardless of its position relative to the mousepad or the user's grip. NECOM promises an optical sensor with 800DPI accuracy when the Well-Mouse goes on sale in mid-December for the equivalent of $22 US.

RJTech ships cross-emblazoned 1500MPQ player

12/08, 3:45pm

RJTech Cross Music Player

RJTech today hoped to cater to Christian music enthusiasts with its 1500MPQ flash player. A cross dominates the front of the player; the LCD is hidden from public view to let the listener view lyrics and track information. Unique to the player is its choice of battery: although a rechargeable battery is built in, users can also power the device for up to 8 hours by way of a single AAA battery should the main source fail.

The company has also positioned its jukebox as a basic entry into the digital field that supports MP3, WAV, and WMA music in addition to data files. Storage is equally modest, ranging from as little as 64MB to as much as 512MB. No prices are listed for the shipping 1500MPQ, which can also be found with a sun logo as the 1400MPQ. [Courtesy of Chip Chick]

NPD: PlayStation 3 sales fall shorter than expected

12/08, 3:10pm

PS3 Sales Fall Shorter

Sony failed to meet its already lowered expectations for PlayStation 3 shipments when it launched the console on November 17th, according to an NPD report obtained by Bloomberg. Despite reducing its forecasted shipments to 400,000, Sony is said in the report to have shipped only 197,000 systems in its North American launch and is likely to fall far short of the 1 million units promised by the end of 2006. The company's game system has been plagued by numerous technical problems relating primarily to the Blu-Ray optical drive at its heart, cutting the number of useful systems the company can sell.

Other consoles fared much better, NPD says. Nintendo's Wii sold 476,000 during November, while the Xbox 360 in fact led sales figures with 511,000 systems sold in the month, buoyed in part by sales of the heavily promoted Gears of War. Both Microsoft and Nintendo are said to be thrilled with the response to their less expensive systems and are preparing for the possibility that they will sell more than first anticipated for the holiday.

Sheng Jay NavMonster integrates Ethernet port

12/08, 2:35pm

NavMonster GPS unit

Taiwanese company Sheng Jay Automation Tech has uncovered the NavMonster SJ-5289, a GPS unit with a strong emphasis on media features. The display is a seven-inch, 16:9 touchscreen with 262,144 colors, and it supports file formats such as 3GP, AAC, MP3, and MP4. Data is loaded through CF, SIM, SD, and MMC cards, or the provided mini-USB cable. The unit can even go online using an Ethernet cable, or else wirelessly through an adapter or a CF-based WiFi card. The GPS element supports 3D navigation and has a database that covers all of Europe as well as Canada, the United States, China, Taiwan, and South Africa. Multiple languages are supported including English, French and Spanish. The American debut of the NavMonster should be at next month's Consumer Electronics Show.

Option unveils Mac-ready HSDPA ExpressCard

12/08, 2:35pm

Option HSDPA ExpressCard

Option today revealed the GlobeTrotter EXPRESS 7.2, the company's first ExpressCard/34 adapter to support the upcoming 7.2Mbps speed increase of the HSDPA standard, which is expected to arrive for cellular providers such as Cingular next year. Option says it emphasizes simplicity with its design. The receiver automatically detects networks available to the owner, including UMTS alongside the older EDGE and GPRS standards, and automatically switches to the fastest connection. Software drivers are also non-issues, the company claims, as the necessary software is embedded in the card and will automatically prepare a Mac OS X or Windows PC without user intervention. Option is preparing to ship the EXPRESS 7.2 to major carriers in January but has not made specific companies or prices known.

Nokia 6300 bound for US

12/08, 1:50pm

Nokia 6300 Bound for US

Nokia's recently announced 6300 has been approved for release in the US, according to an FCC filing. Officially launched with European callers in mind, the 6300 is a quad-band GSM phone that can operate properly in North America as well as its native continent. Its 2-megapixel camera, FM radio, and 135MB of internal memory are expected to remain intact. US carriers Cingular and T-Mobile are likely to be initial suppliers when the phone becomes available in early 2007 and should sell the phone at retail stores near its $328 European price.

ASUS debuts V2 laptop with built-in HSDPA

12/08, 1:30pm

ASUS V2 Laptop

Appealing to business travelers who need truly high-speed Internet access regardless of their location, ASUS on Friday launched its V2 laptop. The computer is one of the few to ship with integrated support for mobile broadband through HSDPA and connects at rates as high as 3.6Mbps. The boost opens up the possibilities for laptop users away from their normal connections, ASUS claims: the connection is theoretically ten times faster than existing technologies. A number of computer manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo, and Sony build laptops with support for HSDPA's predecessor EDGE, which is also an option with the V2, ASUS says.

The new portable also improves over the still-produced V1 to the more recently introduced Core 2 Duo processor. The newer, 14-inch systems begin with a 1.66GHz processor, 80GB hard drive, and a 256MB Mobility Radeon X1450. A sharp 3-megapixel webcam, Bluetooth, and a fingerprint reader are equally part of the core design. ASUS has not mentioned cost or launch dates as the exact details vary by region and by store.

TripleCharger handles multiple sources, devices

12/08, 1:15pm

EM TripleCharger

With finding ways of charging gadgets being an ongoing concern, ElectronicMetro is selling the TripleCharger, a product that can charge multiple devices through multiple sources. Prongs let you plug the charger into a wall socket (110-240vac), but it also has a lighter plug for vehicles, and should you be unable to find an alternative, a slot fits a pair of 2.9V batteries. The base adapter costs $20 but requires specific adapters for gadgets such as cameras, phones, audio players, and gaming handhelds. An adapter for the Nintendo DS Lite normally costs $10 separately for example, but at present, Metro is offering special bundles for the adapters at no extra cost.

L.I.P.S. bags shelter, cradle laptops

12/08, 12:15pm

Laptop-cradling bags

While many cases offer soft surroundings for laptops, Tech 21's L.I.P.S. (Laptop Impact Protection System) bags actually suspend laptops in a cradle, guarding them with a steel frame and an additional layer of padding. Several different models are available; the standard is the Pro Carry Case, which holds computers up to 17 inches in size and has a luggage strap, a zip-down workstation, and separate sections for accessories and documents. The Ladies Carry Case is limited to 15-inch laptops, but has an interior lighting system to find small objects. Business travellers will appreciate the Trolley Case models, which add handles, wheels, and compartments for clothing. Prices for L.I.P.S. bags start at 55 ($108) for the Pro Carry Case and run closer to 95 ($186) for the Pro Mobile Trolley.

PDC boasts of do-all Guide Dog media device

12/08, 11:55am

PDC Guide Dog

PDC claims to have developed one of the world's first truly universal handheld devices, the Guide Dog. Using a 4-inch touchscreen, GPS receiver, and antenna, the navigation system is said not only to provide GPS mapping but also to serve as an MP3 audio and MP4 video player, an Internet access tool, a 3D game system, and a VoIP phone.

The company also suggests controversially that external attachments will extend the Guide Dog with most any commonly desired ability: such as DVB-T over-the-air broadcasts and hands-free calling. Storage is promised through SD cards as well as the company's own undocumented Personal Storage Disc flash card format. No pricing or availability has been set for the mystery device, though the company will claim a presence at January's CES show.

Fagor Nicostopper controls access to cigarettes

12/08, 11:20am

Nicostopper controls cigs

Ordinarily a kitchen specialist, Fagor has produced the Nicostopper, a device resembling a media player that instead controls your access to cigarettes. The product holds up to 10 cigarettes, and only releases them on a gradually extended schedule, slowly weening you off smoking entirely. Some preferences can be set after the cigarettes have been loaded. The color screen displays a self-help message with each stick delivered. Fagor is currently selling the Nicostopper for $300.

Cowon D2 gets launch date, updated specs

12/08, 11:10am

Cowon D2 Launch

Cowon this morning officially revealed its product page and launch details for its D2 portable media player. Although the media jukebox had already been introduced by the company in November, the more formal announcement expands on the D2's features and reveals improvements in battery life. Cowon says its newest device achieves its minimal size by using a touchscreen responsible for controlling nearly every function: users tap at onscreen icons to play music, radio, videos, or mobile TV -- even while the related visuals play in the background, according to the company. The D2 is also unique in its inclusion of a high-powered, 74mW amplifier for the headphone jack that delivers higher volume at lower settings and suits the D2 to external speakers.

Crucially, the D2 can sustain its activities for longer thanks to last-minute refinements to its battery use. Music has witnessed the greatest improvement, stretching from 45 hours to 52 hours of continuous play by Cowon's estimates; runtime for DMB TV broadcasts has been extended by an additional hour to 9 hours. In its shipping edition, the D2 will be available in 2GB and 4GB models compatible with Macs and Windows PCs beginning December 19th. Pricing remains unlisted.

A video of the interface can be found after the jump courtesy of iAudiophile.

Ideazon ships MERC Gaming Keyboard

12/08, 10:35am

MERC Gaming Keyboard

Ideazon has just announced that it will expand its gaming keyboard line with the MERC. As opposed to the company's earlier Zboard, which rearranged or removed the majority of keys and was intended only as a temporary stand-in during gaming, the MERC remains a full QWERTY keyboard while adding a 34-key gaming section optimized for quick responses during first-person shooters and other action games: common interaction, movement, and weapon commands are within easy reach, Ideazon says. Media keys are also built in for navigating music and videos in normal use. The MERC is programmable within games but supports the use of MOD files that automatically define controls for some of the most heavily-played titles. The company is selling its latest keyboard for $32.

Logic 3's Shuffle-like iPod remote

12/08, 10:35am

Shuffle-like iPod remote

Handheld specialists Logic 3 have returned with the MIP117 RF remote, designed to resemble the first-generation iPod Shuffle. A receiver plugs into your iPod's dock connector, at which point you can perform standard functions such as pause, skip and adjust volume, or additionally, jump straight to your Albums and Playlists folders. The remote is compatible with 3G to 5G iPods as well as minis and nanos, though it should be noted that earlier players may not be fully compatible with all controls. Power comes from a lithium cell battery. The 117 is on sale now for 30 ($59) in the United Kingdom, but it may eventually arrive at Logic 3's American store. [Courtesy of Chip Chick]

ThinkGeek carries Nintendo Controller remote

12/08, 10:10am

Nintendo Controller Remote

ThinkGeek today listed the officially-licensed Nintendo Controller Universal Remote. Styled after the gamepad used for the console maker's original Famicom system(known elsewhere as the NES), the remote uses the inherent buttons of the 1980s controller to manage functions on most standard TVs. The directional pad is used to adjust both channels and volume, while the Select button changes inputs and Start toggles power. Two AAA batteries (not included) are necessary to use the remote, ThinkGeek says. The remote is in stock today and ships for $20.

A-DATA releases microSD Trio card with SD, USB

12/08, 9:50am

A-DATA microSD Trio

A-DATA today released its microSD Trio, a card the company says eliminates the need for a special card or reader for every device. An SD card shell houses both a slot for a microSD card and an extractable USB connector, giving owners of many cellphones and music players the choice of transferring information to and from their computer directly or through an SD card reader. The shell can also serve as a fully functional SD card in itself for cameras or other larger handhelds, A-DATA promises. The Trio is available bundled with 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB microSD cards and ships today, though the company does not provide an official price. [Courtesy of Chip Chick]

Fujifilm Z5fd, S5 Pro get US launch information

12/08, 9:25am

Fuji Z5fd and S5 US Launch

Fujifilm today confirmed details of the US launch of two higher-profile camers in its range. Introduced at the Photokina expo, the S5 Pro DSLR is now slated to be the company's first camera release of 2007 and will see an official launch in February for $1,999. The pro camera has garnered attention for its use of dual sensors for the main image and highlights, creating an effective 12.3-megapixel image, as well as its high ISO 3200 sensitivity.

Following shortly afterwards will be the point-and-shoot Z5fd, Fujifilm says. Previously confirned only for Japan and the UK, the Z5fd will now make its American debut in March for $229. The 6.3-megapixel camera brings face detection for portraits as well as an adaptive flash and a relatively high ISO 1600 sensitivity to the compact camera form factor.

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