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Another new concept from Yanko Design is the ROEM, a reader that exploits the emerging technology of e-paper. The paper displays text and images in monochrome, using a minimum of power while still being bright enough to combat glare. And while chargable through conventional means, the ROEM also has a backup in the form of piezoelectric material, which can return power to the battery simply by "fanning" the device. Users scroll through their material with a one-handed interface similar to a mobile phone. Aside from books and images, the ROEM should further be able to run simple software such as a dictionary, a music player, and an image enhancer. No production timeline has been set out.
Oticon said on Friday that its new Delta earpiece could potentially revolutionize hearing aids. Acknowledging the frequent complaints of bulky and ugly earpieces, the company has shaped the Delta to minimize its impact both inside and outside the ear. The triangle-shaped amplifier contains both dual microphones, for optimally capturing sound without interference, as well as the battery that powers the hearing aid. A thin, skin-colored wire is the only link between the amplifier and its earring-sized speaker. Oticon offers the Delta in up to 17 colors that can either match the wearer's hair or skin or contrast sharply as a fashion piece. The Delta is sold today through doctors and other health care agencies. [Via SlashGear]
Underwater housing experts Sea & Sea today expanded their range of protective cases with the DX-400D, a hard shell that surrounds the entirety of Canon's Digital Rebel XTi (also known as the EOS-400D). Purposefully built for divers and other professionals who need perfect waterproofing, the DX-400D gives full access to the camera's controls but has a powered leak sensor that will warn a diver should water seep into the enclosure. The durability exceeds that of normal plastic cases and is rated for depths as great as 200 feet. Sea & Sea notes that the housing will be ready for American and Japanese buyers shortly at a price of $2,000. [Via Sci-Fi]
Gadget retailer Thanko today listed its dual-mode USB Bottle Cooler and Warmer. While such devices have existed in the past, most have preserved only one temperature: Thanko says its new device uses a Peltier system to both cool and heat drinks, either transferring heat to the holder or drawing it outside through a vent. The machinery can maintain temperatures as low as 45F for soda or other chilled drinks or as high as 122F for coffee. Any computer that can supply five volts of power through its USB port will work, the company says. A metal cup is presupplied with Thanko's cooler, which exports to the US for $42.
Herrington on Friday highlighted its Home Recording Studio music player and recorder. Vintage styling is meant to evoke images of classic stereos and reflects the player's nature as conversion tool: cassettes as well as 33, 45, and 78 RPM vinyl records can have their music converted into digital format on either CD-R or rewritable CD-RW discs. All formats, including AM or FM radio through an integrated tuner, can be played directly and controlled from a wireless remote. The company is shipping the Studio now at a price of $400.
Hammacher Schlemmer is also carrying the LP to CD Recorder today, offering similarly diverse features with more modern styling. It too ships immediately for $400. [Via Chip Chick and OhGizmo]
The music-focused company Axxen says it has prototyped a new music player named the PLEIO. The firm hopes to recreate the visual feedback of CD players on a media jukebox by placing a circular display on top that displays album art as though it were a disc, with navigation controls placed conspicuously at the center. Axxen has not divulged detailed technical information but has said the player is flash-based and will ship with a minimum 128MB of storage. The PLEIO should be ready sometime in 2007 for a currently undetermined price; Axxen says the cost should be low enough that record labels could release albums on PLEIOs instead of CDs and save listeners the trouble of first copying songs to a computer. [Via SlashGear]
European navigation company InVion is shifting its attention to North America with the introduction of its GPS-7v1. Built for frequent drivers, the 7-inch touchscreen mapping unit has its own Bluetooth transceiver for hands-free calling and is also ready for live traffic data with RDS and TMC reception. The company further touts its robust maps: an unusually large 2GB SD card is part of the package and comes preloaded with maps of Canada and the US. Although meant for cars, the system will also operate on battery power for three hours. Walgreens is the sole carrier of the the GPS-7v1 in the US and retails the device for $550. [Via NaviGadget]
Ambient Devices says it will soon sell its Forecaster Umbrella (PDF) for commuters and other pedestrians who quickly need to gauge the day's weather before a walk. A simplified version of the company's own WeatherWizard (recently launched as the Wireless Weather Forecaster), the umbrella relies on a receiver built into the handle to download today's forecast from AccuWeather. An LED warns of inclement weather through light pulses: as the likelihood of rain or snow increases, the pulse rate of the LED increases to match and will beat as quickly as 100 times per minute if bad weather is all but certain. Ambient says the umbrella is not yet ready for a public debut but should be ready in 2007. [Via Gearlog]
Confirming the suspicions of some, the Zune may already have software support for features unused by the player, notes an enterprising owner. Opened with a program called Resource Hacker, it appears that the zune.exe file contains references to options like sychronized lyrics, and most importantly, podcasting. Unlike Apple's iTunes, there is currently no provision for podcasts in the Zune Windows browser, or in the Zune Marketplace. The information suggests that the next Zune revision may involve significant changes on Microsoft's part. Other uncovered software elements include plug-in support and adjustable aspect ratios.
Chinese electronics monolith TCL on Friday announced a rare combination of home electronics and computers in its new S-series PCs. The corporation hopes to tap into China's increasing desire for luxury PCs and has constructed the S-series around a slim, desktop-sized black and white chassis that doubles as an air purifier, saving the need for a separate purifier in sometimes small Chinese homes. Entertainment is just as important, according to TCL, and the system will be bundled with a 22-inch widescreen LCD as well as custom speakers. Few other details have been revealed, though the S-series is due to ship in the first half of 2007 and is one of the first PCs announced that will ship preloaded with Windows Vista. Pricing is unknown and will depend on available hardware at the time of its release. [Via AVING]
The retailer Hammacher Schlemmer today started shipping the iRecord media converter for iPods. Claiming to eliminate the need for a computer, the device will convert audio and video from any RCA or S-video source, uploading it directly to the iPod in MP3 or MP4 format and making it immediately accessible. Hammacher also notes that any USB storage can be attached and that the device can recognize the difference between generic devices and Apple's player. Three hours of video at the recorder's native 320x240 resolution should consume 1GB of disk space, the company says. The iRecord is available for $160 from Hammacher's online store and works with all dockable iPods, though video capture requires fifth-generation models.
Cellphone designer HTC plans a mixture of new smartphones and updates to existing models in the coming year, according to Russian site HPC. In addition to the Athena, HTC is known to be working on two new phones that bring some of the company's technology to the mainstream: the Elf (pictured) will go without 3G wireless Internet or Wi-Fi but should still support Bluetooth and will have a 2.8-inch touchscreen in place of a number pad; the Panda, whose visuals have yet to be revealed, will also go without 3G wireless but will have a large 3.5-inch screen and Wi-Fi.
Changes will also be made to the phones that have been released or are just about to ship, HPC says. The still unreleased Vox and T-Mobile's Dash will see faster processors as well as support for HSDPA wireless and GPS. A variant of the Hermes, named the Kaiser, should also see a GPS upgrade. Release dates have not been leaked at the same time as the phone details, however. Click through for a complete photo of the Elf.
Korean manufacturer Dacos Technology has launched the iHolic, a new media player meant to be used as you sit back and relax. Key to this ability is the bundled remote and cradle, the latter of which can be placed on a desk, or mounted in a car. The iHolic plays various audio, image and video files, which can be loaded in up to 2GB of internal memory, or an expanded amount through the available SD slot. A T-DMB receiver picks up digital TV signals; the screen is a 2.4-inch TFT. Costs for the player have not been published in English, but it's selling to a South Korean market in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB sizes. [Via AVING]
Made by TV Compass and recently approved by the FCC, the Windows Smart Remote runs Windows Embedded and is WiFi-enabled, allowing it to pull RSS feeds from a hotspot and display them on the remote's color screen. The same technology should allow the remote to control TVs, amplifiers, cable boxes, DVD players and more. The screen also displays a personalized TV program guide. RSS services will primarily be supplied by click365, which will offer updates to news, weather and sports. As of press time, no launch window had been set for the remote.
Amaryllo on Friday heralded its new Purity GPS receiver for Bluetooth-equipped cellphones and other handhelds. The seemingly nondescript adapter is the first to launch with the low-power edition of the popular SiRFstar III GPS chip: although still capable of communicating with as many as 20 different satellites to find its position, the chip shrinks power consumption dramatically. One charge of the lithium-ion battery should provide 15 hours of use and a full month when on standby, Amaryllo says. The Purity ships next month in Europe for $118; no American resellers have been announced, though the device is FCC-certified for the US. [Via NaviGadget]
Casio has just demonstrated its new Super Slim projector technology. Divided into the standard XJ-S30 and USB-sporting XJ-S35, the projector is only a fraction the size of most rivals and measures 1.25 inches thick. This is accomplished by using a heat pipe system that avoids the use of more than a thin scirocco fan to cool the inside components. The ease of setting up the projector is just as important to the design, Casio says: either Super Slim model can use an optional wireless LAN adapter to view presentations from any PC equipped with Wi-Fi, while the S35 variant can display images or slideshows directly from a USB drive and eliminate the need to bring a computer to a meeting.
Every projector in the range can display a 1024x768 image as large as 300 inches thanks to a new 2X zoom lens that uses an inverse meniscus condenser to produce a large image despite a small lens size. Brightness is rated at 2000 lumens. Casio says its projector line is available today at $1,299 for the S30 model and $1,599 for the S35.
As a sign of the growing affluence of some of China's population, CECT has debuted the IP1000, a PDA phone that's superior in some respects to its Japanese and European competitors. The display is a 2.2-inch QVGA touchscreen, sporting 260,000 colors; the camera is a four-megapixel autofocus model. Perhaps most remarkable is the phone's battery life, which amounts to 1,000 hours of standby, 24 hours of MP3 playback, and up to 12 hours when showing MP4 video. The phone also has dictionary and notepad functions. No information is available on the unit's pricing, but it should already be on sale in China.
Microsoft will use its aggressive showing at January's CES show to introduce a home server that would function as a media hub for a home network, according to sources speaking to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Allegedly named Windows Home Server, the platform is expected to be a combination of a network-friendly PC with a customized version of Windows Vista that would ease the process of sharing media with computers, the Xbox 360, and similar devices that can tap into Microsoft's Media Center software. The hardware may include media extenders or a special network router.
No specifications were leaked by the source, but if valid the announcement is likely timed to compete directly with a formal announcement of Apple's iTV or other media-related products that could be released at the MacWorld Expo due to begin alongside CES, Foley says.
Seeking to streamline the preservation of photos for even the most inexperienced users, Polaroid is today known to be working on an automated portable hard drive. Called the Media Backup Photo Edition, the drive will search an attached Windows PC for image files and copy them to its 40GB hard disk without asking for input or questioning the file type -- over 60 formats are supported. The searches even apply to compressed volumes, according to CrunchGear. No software will be needed to run the drive, and uploading the photo collection to an attached PC should require only a button press. Polaroid's drive ships in early 2007 for $129.
NEC today said it had boosted the quality of rugged notebooks with an update to its ShieldPro range. The FC-N21S (pictured) is not only shock-resistant for drops up to three feet but can also survive heavy blasts of water and runs properly even in -4 Fahrenheit temperatures. No specifications were revealed in the announcement, though the system should use a Core 2 Duo processor and will officially make its appearance in January for the equivalent of $2,540. An American launch is possible but remains unofficial. [Via Shiny Shiny]
LG's Korean division Cyon this morning revealed the SB190, a slider phone made initially for the country's well-known cellular provider SK Telecom. The new phone brings digital mobile TV to the middle of the range, an area most manufacturers neglect in favor of high-end models. Other aspects of the phone are just as capable, LG says. Owners have direct access to GPS mapping, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and EVDO broadband.
The phone should be available today in Korea, but may find its way to the US through the virtual carrier Helio, which was co-founded by SK Telecom and can already support GPS mapping features. A complete photo of the phone is available after the jump.
The FCC today approved the D-Link DWA-643, one of the first 802.11n Wi-Fi adapters for PCs with ExpressCard/34 slots. The new addition to the company's Xtreme N line is said to require the extra speed of a 64-bit ExpressCard slot to deliver its full potential: the new card can reach a maximum 300Mbps connection rate when connecting using its draft version of 802.11n, far outstrpping the 54Mbps of 802.11g. Connecting to an Xtreme N router is also simplified, according to the company; the ExpressCard module is intelligent enough to recognize the company's other devices and can connect automatically. Security is promised through optional WEP and WPA, and backwards compatibility exists for 802.11b and 802.11g networks. No official release date was revealed in the FCC filing, but the approval should herald a launch early next year. [Via MobileWhack]
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