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Console peripheral experts SplitFish announced late Friday that it has launched its EyeFX glasses in stores. Attaching to a PlayStation 2's Dual Shock controller with a pass-through cable, the EyeFX is said to generate an immersive 3D effect for many of the Sony console's 3D games, such as the Ace Combat series or TimeSplitters. Not every game is compatible, SplitFish is careful to note, but the design does not require discs or explicit support from developers to work properly. The EyeFX should be in stores now for $50 and is likely to be adapted for the PlayStation 3 and other HD-capable consoles in the near future, according to the company.
Firebox today opened up sales of the Plus Deck Cassette Converter. It mounts in the 5.25-inch bays of most Windows PCs and gives two-way control over the defunct tape format. Owners can capture the audio from cassettes in digital form as well as edit and even record new ones using digital sources. An auto-reverse mechanism keeps tapes playing or recording without having to flip sides. Direct controls for navigation are on the deck itself in addition to headphone and microphone jacks, allowing owners to listen to and author tapes without the software acting as a proxy. The Plus Deck retails for $196 with taxes. [Via Gearlog]
Sotec has shipped a new Skype-capable phone through its partner Comfix. The SKP-001 is the company's first VoIP phone and offloads much of Skype's software functions to the handset. While ultimately dependent on a local PC and connected wirelessly through a USB dongle, Sotec's phone can access a given Skype account's address book, call history, and negotiating three-way conference calls. Battery life is a highlight of the phone's usefulness, according to Comfix. Talk time is measured at a long 15 hours; in standby mode, the SKP-001 can last for 1200 hours before a recharge. It debuts today for $100.
RedSave has begun offering the simply-titled Womens' MP3 Watch. Emphasizing style, the wristwatch is meant to stay fashionable without drawing attention to its dedicated music functions. The player stores 128MB of MP3 songs and also serves as a flash drive for general data; its slim frame also permits voice recording in MP3 format. RedSave claims 12 hours of continuous playback using the built-in battery, which can be recharged by connecting to a computer through USB or by plugging the watch into a special AC adapter. The timepiece works with Macs and Windows systems and is already in stock for £90 ($176). [Via Shiny Shiny]
Low=cost TV maker Vizio intends to quickly drive down the price of 1080p-capable HDTV sets, according to an interview with CNET. The company says it will produce a 47-inch set at the full HD resolution that should break the $2,000 price threshhold, well under the $2,500 or higher prices that prevail in the current market. "We don't believe anyone can call $3,000 affordable," says Vizio head William Wang. The as yet unnamed display should ship before late January and could potentially arrive by the end of 2006.
The US-based company has grown remarkably in recent years due to its aggressive pricing, frequently undercutting larger manufacturers while offering similar-quality sets. Its most recent effort included a $999 42-inch plasma accompanied by discounts on other existing models.
The painting-focused Korean company Artmu today unveiled the DEF-080PM digital picture frame. The 8-inch, 640x480 screen hides an MP3 player and speakers that can accompany photo viewing or operate on their own, with navigation controls found both on the back of the frame as well as in a bundled wireless remote. Built-in storage consists of 128MB of flash memory but can be expanded by as much as 2GB more thanks to an integrated SD card slot, Artmu says. A calendar mode is also an option. Versions of the frame can be had with blue, red, or silver bezels at a price of $270 US.
Microsoft's Bill Gates objects to digital rights management as it exists today, according to a report by Mike Arrington of TechCrunch on a recent bloggers' convention at the Microsoft campus. When asked his opinion about DRM, Gates freely said that the restrictions "cause too much pain for legitimate users," who frequently encounter arbitrary limits on devices and may not be aware of their usage rights. The executive suggests that people choose to buy and rip CDs instead and that options should exist for alternate business models, such as paying for unlimited access to a particular artist's songs.
Gates' statements have come as a surprise to some at the convention, as Microsoft's recently released Zune is linked to the DRM-restricted Zune Marketplace online store and applies protection to songs shared through the WiFi "squirting" feature, even when the source tracks are unrestricted.
Philips is developing new VoIP phones with WiFi access, according to a filing prepared by the FCC. The VP 6000 and 6500 will presumably allow VoIP calls from any wireless hotspot, though Philips has not indicated what software it will support, whether it be AIM, Skype, MSN, or some custom application. The cellphone-like design incorporates a number pad and a direction pad, along with a 2.2-inch screen that supports resolutions up to 176x220. Notable for any phone is the camera, which pivots 240 degrees vertically to be used for video calls or to record others. It's unclear when the 6000 and 6500 might ship.
British system builder Evesham has added to its portable range with the 17-inch Quest A430. Aiming to please both entry-level and serious notebook owners who need a desktop replacement, the A430 can be configured modestly for cost or aggressively for performance. The base system begins with a 1.6GHz Turion 64 X2, integrated GeForce 6100 graphics, and a 1440x900 display at a price of £749 ($1,469) after tax. Enthusiasts, however, can scale as far as the A430 Plus, according to the company: the £979 ($1,921) system upgrades to a 1.8GHz processor, a much improved 256MB GeForce Go 7600 for video, and a sharper 1680x1050 screen alongside expected increases in memory (increasing to 1GB) and hard drive space (120GB). Either model can be customized and ships today. [Via Tech Digest]
The Nimzy Vibro MAX lets you produce sound from nearly any hard surface, including wood, glass, or plastic. Precision vibrators essentially transform a surface into a very large 20W speaker, eliminating the need for satellites or subwoofers. The MAX itself is a tiny two inches in height, and 2.4 inches in length and width, while still incorporating a digital amplifier and a receiver for the bundled remote control. Users can adjust bass, treble and volume levels separately. Widget is selling the Vibro MAX for £80 ($157).
Hoping to create an alternative to the predominantly Windows-based home theater PC market without distancing itself from the mainstream, TVease is now carrying the Hannibal Wicked Edition in its range. This and the company's lower-end models ship with a fully configured installation of Ubuntu Linux with the open-source MythTV client installed, providing immediate access to the computer's DVR functions without added setup time. The system ships prepared for heavy-duty recording, TVease says, with a dual Hauppauge TV tuner. A BitTorrent client is preloaded along with access to live Internet services such as TV and weather.
The Wicked Edition of the Hannibal system is the company's flagship model, and adds a full 1TB of hard drive storage plus 802.11g WiFi to the system's 2.66GHz Celeron, 256MB of RAM, and GeForce 6200 video card. A 9-in-1 card reader, FireWire, USB, and an internal PCI slot give room for expansion. TVease ships the system for $1,099.
Japanese outfit Sunconnection has introduced the SC-VP128SD, a new media player that resembles a gaming handheld like the Gameboy Micro. Instead of playing games, however, the 128 plays MP3 and WMA audio files, and can play videos converted into the ASF format, primarily MP4 files. A camera records still shots and video, while a microphone allows for voice memos. Storage comes in the form of external SD cards or 128MB of flash. Pricing is approximately $83 US.
European maker V7 has shipped its first North American GPS unit, the MyGuide 1000. Essentially an export of the PMD 1400, the MyGuide has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 64MB of RAM and 32MB of flash memory, and downloads its maps through SD or MMC cards. The bundled SD card comes has maps for all 50 US states, as well as Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and the whole of Europe. The battery is a rechargeable lithium-ion unit. Newegg is selling the MyGuide for $250, though coincidentally, not to Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico.
Thanko on Friday released its USB Optical Liquid Mouse in time for the holiday season. The base of the mouse contains a snowglobe and an LED that gradually cycles through seven colors while in use. The front of the mouse is just as festive, according to Thanko. A white LED illuminates the mouse wheel, while clicking the mouse buttons on its grinning face triggers an audible laugh. Thanko's latest peripheral plugs in via USB to Macs and Windows PCs, has an 800DPI optical sensor, and sells for $8 from Japan.
Alltel today says it has added the Treo 700wx to its lineup. The provider is the second to carry the upgrade to the existing 700w Windows Mobile phone, and primarily extends the active talk time from 4.5 to 5 hours in addition to software refinements. In Alltel trim, the phone supports the network's EVDO broadband and keeps all its existing Bluetooth functionality, including the option of serving as a Bluetooth dial-up modem for remote locations. The phone is available now at a retail price of $670, but drops to as little as $350 after rebates when joined to two years of data and phone service.
MINOX has produced two miniaturized digital replicas of the Leica M3, an iconic rangefinder camera first built in 1954. Though they've both been turned into autofocus compacts, they retain the metal framing of their predecessor. The newest version has a 3.2-megapixel CMOS sensor which interpolates images to an equivalent of five megapixels, and stores its photos on 32MB of internal memory, or SD cards up to 4GB. Video clips are recorded at VGA resolution. Further unlike the original, the new M3 has only digital zoom, and lacks manual shutter and aperture control. Pricing and availability is unknown, though the earlier variant is being sold for €229 ($302).
Online shop ThinkGeek today began stocking the Fragpedal Deluxe, a pair of USB-attached controllers that are built as companions for gamers or any computer user who needs extra controls without removing their hands from the mouse and keyboard. Each panel carries two toughened rubber buttons that can be programmed in multiple ways depending on the user's preferences: in addition to a straightforward button press, the buttons can be set to only issue a command when released, to send alternating commands, or even to respond to multiple short taps as would a mouse. A shift button can also change three of the buttons to handle alternate functions.
Though the Fragpedal includes a utility to fine-tune controls, ThinkGeek is quick to add that the controller is designed to work without drivers and will work in Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. It ships as of today for $70.
Cellphone producer HTC's upcoming Athena phone will be designed for serious text messaging, according to details and photos leaked by BengalBoy. The large handset will have a comparatively large QWERTY keyboard that can be fully detached from the phone to save space. A 3.5-inch touchscreen allows dialing and other common tasks. Performance is stressed in the system as well, according to the site: a 400MHz Samsung CPU, 64MB of RAM, and an unusually large 256MB of ROM to store built-in software should ensure quick response times.
As is common with HTC's latest smartphones, the Athena will have a wide range of connnection options and will speak to Bluetooth as well as WiFi devices. A SD card slot is provided for added storage. No firm launch details have been given for the Athena, though a release is most likely early in 2007. A complete image is available after the jump.
Online retailer Gadgeter has just begun selling the USB Mouse Hub. At heart a standard 800DPI optical mouse with a scroll wheel, its USB cable both retracts into a holder and has a two-port USB hub to connect lower-powered devices without consuming ports on the system. The hub also incorporates a mic input to place a microphone in a more comfortable position and is ideal for Skype callers with laptops, Gadgeter claims. The pointer is small enough for travel and is compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs. It ships today for £13 ($25) after tax.
Electronics maker LG is working on a potentially breakthrough phone design, according to the Hungarian site MobilPort. The KE850 (pictured) borrows the minimal front buttons of the company's Shine slider but uses a larger, 240x400 touchscreen to do away with the number pad entirely. Dialing, messaging, and other functions are handled directly from the screen itself, as with some larger PDAs. While few other details are available, the phone's interface provides a Mac-like control scheme and is designed to let the user switch quickly between core functions such as phone, media, and document functions. An official announcement is likely in the near future and will reveal whether or not the KE850 will be available outside of Korea.
Extra photos of the interface are available after the jump.
Apple's heavily rumored iPhone could be released as soon as Monday, according to a bold claim by Gizmodo's Brian Lam. "It isn't what I expected at all," he says. "And I've already said too much."
While an established author of the technology news website, Lam does not elaborate on the hardware or his sources. If true, the launch would be highly uncharacteristic of Apple, which seldom launches new devices on Mondays and generally refrains from introductions in December due to a combination of supply constraints and the proximity of the MacWorld San Francisco expo in early January.
Dell today made a preliminary launch of its new E228WFP display. Listed early on the Dell Australia and Japan websites, the 22-inch screen is the first of its size from the company and is aimed directly at cost-conscious users: input focuses solely on DVI with HDCP encryption support as well as a VGA port, with no USB hubs or TV connections as found on some of Dell's other models. The E228 delivers performance suitable to gaming, Dell says: as with the latest 22-inch panels, Dell's iteration is capable of a 5ms gray-to-gray response time and an 800:1 contrast ratio. The display sells in Australia today for the equivalent of $547 US but has not yet been announced for North America.
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