Sharp has released a brand new 8" LCD that could end up being installed in vehicles, featuring a luminescence of 500cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 2,500 to 1. Chances are you will see this used to display various gauges that we see on our dashboard today, as well as perform a digital readout of the vehicle's current temperature, a digital speedometer with numbers (just like the Honda Civic), or information concerning which radio station you're tuning in to at the moment. This Sharp LCD display could be the only dashboard one ever needs, so you'll know where to refer to at a glance should you need to glean crucial information concerning your vehicle at that moment. One thing's for sure - the number of electronics in vehicles are getting more and more complicated, it seems that each trip to the mechanic ends up with me parting more money than I used to.
The Aptera might look pretty space age in terms of design, but surprisingly it will actually enter production. You can reserve yours today by dropping half a grand (refundable), and can expect to take one home within a year. The Aptera is said to seat 2 adults comfortably and can hit 60mph from a standing start in approximately 10 seconds, and features an electronically limited top speed of 95mph. Inside the car, everything looks pretty normal ranging from the airbags, rear view camera, GPS navigation, and CD/MP3/DVD player with XM. A solar assisted climate control system helps keep the Aptera's interior cool, and you can choose from an All Electric or Plug-in Hybrid when it comes to the engine. The former will retail for $26,900 while the latter is slightly more expensive at $29,900, although it can achieve a mileage of 300 miles per gallon. Booking one today?
Who knew that the humble umbrella could be as classy as the Davek SOLO Umbrella? This typical sun-and-rain shielding device boasts a WindFlex Frame System that comes with reinforced flexible carbon polymer ligaments and a solid steel shaft that makes it stand up against even the fiercest high winds. Heck, it sounds rigid enough to beat someone else into submission as well just in case you're being assaulted. The microweave, 190 thread count nylon canopy and water-repellent coating keeps you dry while the nickel-plated zinc alloy handle comes with an integrated clip which can be attached to a bag or strap. This $95 brolly comes with a 3-action button system and unconditional lifetime guarantee, making this virtually the only umbrella you'll ever need. Too bad it doesn't surf the Internet.
Verizon Wireless has made available its USB727 modem that was developed by Novatel Wireless, making this the smallest EV-DO Rev. A modem stick in the world. The USB727 will come with a built-in microSD memory card slot that allows you to carry up to 4GB worth of data wherever you go. It was designed to work with just about any Type A USB port and comes with out-of-box support for a wide range of operating systems including Windows XP and Vista, Mac, and Linux, allowing Verizon Wireless subscribers to stay connected in a more convenient manner at speeds and performance that are on par with traditional cable or DSL connections. Apart from the extremely tiny form factor, the USB727 boasts an integrated dual-band diversity antennae system with flip-up antennae. It can be picked up for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and new 2-year agreement.
RotoView's "Tilt and Scroll" display navigation system for smartphones and other mobile gadgets have just had its European patent granted, making a RotoView-enabled smartphone a possibility sometime down the road. This user interface requires the user to tilt the device left-right or up-down in order to see beyond what is shown on the display, with the option to center the display anytime they like. You can even zoom in and out using this navigation system, and could bring about a revolution where handheld devices are concerned. How do you see this upcoming technology impact the way we use smartphones and other mobile devices?
If you plan to up the ante in terms of realism while trashing out a boxing match with your mate over the Nintendo Wii, perhaps this pair of inflatable gloves could do the job? All you need to do is strap on the Wiimote and Nunchuck controllers, inflate the gloves, and you're good to go. Just try not to get carried away and end up punching your friend instead. They retail for less than $15, and look way less professional than this pair of gloves that we covered earlier this February. Hopefully this edition won't block the infra red signal just like that version did. If your gaming skills don’t knock your opponent out, the garish blue color certainly will.
Mio has an affordable portable GPS navigation system for the masses in the form of the DigiWalker C230. The C230 comes pre-loaded with maps of the US and real-time text-to-speech directions that help you reach your destination safe and sound plainly by ear without taking your eyes off the road. This is the perfect introductory device for those who have yet to own a GPS system of any sort, and the anti-glare display makes the C230 perfect to be fitted in vehicles or carried around as you explore an unfamiliar city by foot. The Mio DigiWalker C230 will feature 1 million point of interest locations and supports standard voice guidance in 16 different languages including English, French and Spanish. It will retail for $249.95 when it is released next month. Detailed specifications are available after the jump.
Toshiba has a new Gigabeat in town, and this time it is the V41 to go under the spotlight. This portable media player sports a decent 3.5" QVGA TFT LCD display and comes with 4GB of internal memory. It also boasts an SD/SDHC memory card slot, letting you slip in an additional 8GB worth of media. You can also record video received from the integrated 1Seg TV tuner to either SDHC or internal memory, depending on which media has more space remaining. The Gigabeat V41 supports MP3, WMA, WMA 9 and WMV file formats. A built-in monaural speaker, an external antenna terminal (3.5mm mini- jack) and private stand to view as a TV rounds off the list of features. You can pick up the Toshiba Gigabeat V41 for approximately $257 when it is released in Japan next month on the 19th.
HP and Apple are currently working together to enable users of Mac OS X Leopard to instantly receive the most recent versions of HP's printer drivers through Leopard's integrated Software Update mechanism - a move that will be welcome by users everywhere as it solves the headache of looking out for the latest drivers manually in order to achieve the best user experience possible. It would be nice to see other hardware and Apple adopt the same stance as well, making the Mac even easier to use that it already is. It is also good to see that this automatic printer driver delivery system won't clog up your Mac with unnecessary files as it will not download or add any HP printer drivers if no existing HP printer queues or HP printers are hooked up via USB to the Mac.
The Solo from Sling has just been launched, and it boasts a bevy of connections. Tipped to be Sling's most popular model, the Solo supports up to 1080i from a cable box, be it regular or digital, DVR, satellite receiver, and Apple TV. Whenever you're traveling around, you can still control these boxes at home, allowing you to change channels on the TV while streaming the show over the Internet to your computer or mobile device. Connectivity is extended to component as well as USB, although there is no confirmation as to whether the USB port allows you to hook up to an external drive or not. You can pick one up today for $180, although it is currently depicted as "Out of Stock". Pretty popular, huh?
The ingeniously named Wattson is a device that keeps track of the amount of energy your entire home consumes in real time, and it does this without the hassle of pesky wires. All you need to do is clip its transceiver to the cable between your electricity meter and fuse box and you're good to go. Not only that, the Wattson also displays electricity cost estimates while flashing LED warnings whenever you clock up too many hours on your HDTV and Xbox 360 playing Halo 3. If you're that much of a control freak, you can also join the online Wattson community to download a record of just how much energy you use and compare those results with other Wattson owners. The Wattson can be picked up for approximately $125 now - a far cry from the $687 which we posted about back in December last year.
These new notebooks from Panasonic aren't as "rugged" as the Ruffneck Zone 1, but they can handle quite a spill. They are made to be able to withstand a fall of up to 30-inches, or about desk height, and also feature a spill-resistant keyboard. That doesn't mean we suggest going swimming with one of these. One great feature of these ToughBooks is their light weight. The 10.4-inch R7 weighs in at only 2.1 pounds, with the 12.4-inch W7 weighing only 2.8 pounds, and the 14.1-inch Y7 weighing 3.3 pounds. All of the ToughBooks come with a low-voltage Core 2 Duo Processor, with a base configuration of 1 GB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive, all which can be opted for more heavy gear. These notebooks will ship in Japan through October and November.
Our sister site Uberpulse had some cozy time with Seagate’s CEO Bill Watkins. During the evening Mr. Watkins showed this SSD drive prototype. I’m sure that he would have liked to brag about the drive specifications, but he managed to refrain himself from doing so. Mr Watkins did say that Seagate was probably going to partner with one or more major flash manufacturer (SanDisk , Toshiba or Micron).
When asked about the future of “pure” flash-drives, Bill Watkins believes that the best compromise is to have a hybrid (disk+flash) that provides the best of both worlds (speed, power and capacity). Juicy details on Uberpulse
D-Link has released the NWA-556 and DWA-643, where the former enables you to hook up to a wireless network from your desktop via the PCIe slot while the DWA-643 targets laptop owners with a USB port to spare. Both devices are Draft N 2.0 compatible and boast a maximum theoretical performance of 300Mbps. Additional features include WPA/WPA2 security as well as WEP data encryption, while the 11 year warranty (what a weird number) will definitely keep either going long after 802.11 has moved beyond the 'N' suffix. What's more, D-Link has also launched a new line of Green Ethernet products that consist of energy saving desktop switches which cater to home users and small businesses, touting energy savings of up to 44% compared to what's available on the market today. The DWA-643 and DWA-556 will retail for £59.99 each and are available this month, but its Green Ethernet switches will be up for sale in Q4 with no pricing details in sight.
HP's 42" and 47" MediaSmart LCD HDTVs will soon be able to take advantage of all the features found on the Media Center Extender platform without the need for any additional hardware from as early as next year onwards, thanks to Microsoft's efforts to introduce more partners. All you need to do download a software update for your TV set and you're good to go - enjoying Windows Media Center Internet TV, that is. Well at least consumers these days seem to get more value after their purchase than we did before. Back then a black-and-white TV was just that, but then again, it took many years (decades, even) before a reasonable upgrade alternative came along.
Denon has launched a couple more home A/V systems in the form of the Smart S-102 and Smart S-302, where the former boasts a DVD player with internal 1080p upscaling and HDMI output, a 2 x 35 watt amplifier for the speakers as well as a 100 watt powered subwoofer. As for the Smart S-302, that unit throws in a beefier 2 x 50 watt amplifier and WiFi streaming capability. You'd need to check your bank balance before picking either one up though, as the Smart S-102 and Smart S-302 are rather pricey, retailing for $1,600 and $2,518 respectively.
Who knew the day would come, but it actually did. DataPlay has released the first external burner in the world that can also write Content Scramble System (CSS) encrypted content for playback on regular DVD players. In layman's terms, this means you'll be able to download DRM-protected movies and burn it onto a DVD - the only caveat would be requiring a special CSS-MR pre-keyed recordable disc that is available from Verbatim. It remains to be seen whether other media manufacturers will jump onto the bandwagon, but chances are they will if the DataPlay USB DVD Burner takes off on a large scale. Dubbed the MovieWriter, this USB 2.0 buner is capable of 8x write speeds.