Super bright LED flashlights are already pretty awesome, but slap an integrated video recorder into the mix and it's all over, man. This might be the coolest gadget James Bond never had.
It's called the LED Spy Light HD. The HD nomenclature might be a little ambitious, but you can shoot video in 1,280 x 960 at 30fps. You can also snap photos of your nemesis' secret plans in 1,600 x 1,200, And if all that weren't enough, there's also a voice recorder tossed into the mix.
The Spy Light doesn't come with any internal memory, but you're welcome to shove your own SD/SDHC card into the Spy Light.
Being a PC enthusiast and a gadget nerd go pretty much hand in hand, but have you ever wondered what it actually cost the manufacturers to assemble your army of iPod's and book reader's? Well wonder no longer because marketing research group iSuppli and Business Week have teamed up to tear down over 25 popular gadgets and have come up with what they consider a pretty accurate ball park picture of the manufacturing costs. Some of the results appear to be a bit out of date, particularly when it comes to the consoles, but it still gives a pretty good overview of how much money each product is raking in.
As you would expect most gaming consoles continue to sell at a loss, but many of the popular new smart phones actually make a fair bit of money when you factor in the kickbacks they probably get from the carriers. You can check out the full article to read about all 25 of the gadgets from the tear down, or review our sampling below for some of the more interesting snippets to save you time.
One of the coolest gadgets we saw at CES was Parrot's AR.Drone. This quadricoptor (four spinning blades) can lift off and stabilize itself in the air. But its best feature is the onboard wifi antennae and two cameras that let you control it with your iPhone! A front-mounted 640x480 camera feeds live video to an iPhone app, which you can use to steer the copter, while a downward-looking 176x144 camera assists with stabilization during outdoor use.
The AR.Drone is also programmable to recognize colors and objects for auto-piloting and potential augmented reality games. Parrot didn't announce a release date or price for the AR.Drone, but we want this NOW.
We also saw another flying toy on the show floor that made us drool with envy...
A lot has happened in the last 12 months. At the start of the year, iTunes was still peddling DRM, Yahoo and Microsoft were at bitter odds over the latter’s takeover attempts, Nvidia had the fastest consumer videocard, and the ”cloud” was still a burgeoning concept. Oh, how times have changed. Follow along as we relive and reflect upon some of the most memorable moments, products, and people to impact computer users over the last year.
What was your favorite tech product or event or 2009? Let us know in the comments!
Are you planning to do some travelling or Holiday gift shopping this weekend? There's only one way you can do both at the same time, and that's with SkyMall. It's the catalog for products that didn't quite make it into Sharper Image or BrookStone, and are too expensive to sell on infomercials. We picked up the latest issue on a recent flight, and were astounded to find terrible products on every other page. Here, we've picked out the fifty worst items, including horrendously ill-conceived vehicle accessories, impractical grooming devices, and the most terribly advertised gadgets for sale.
But let's start with the gem of a cover, which apparently breaks the rules of the space-time continuum.
The newly released Chumby One arrived in the mail today, and we couldn't wait to see how it compared to the original digital connected companion device. The Chumby, in case you haven't heard of it, is a multi-function gadget that can serve as an alarm clock, RSS reader, gaming device, or music player. It connects to the internet with Wi-Fi, and runs user-created widgets to do cool things like read your Gmail or send you Twitter updates. You interact with it through a 3.5 inch resistive touchscreen, but it also has an accelerometer inside, since it's made to be held and encourages user interaction.
We liked the first Chumby an awful lot, and the One doesn't look like it's meant to be a successor or replacement for that. In fact, we're not sure not exactly sure how the Chumby One is being positioned in the marketplace. One the one hand, it's a budget model, sacrificing the original's squishy appeal for a significant price cut.
On the other hand, it also adds new functionality that makes it a better device than the Chumby Classic.
Remember Chumby, the squishy Internet appliance with a 3.5-inch touchscreen display and WiFi connectivity? Basically a glorified alarm clock, Chumby could also stream news feeds. stock quotes, photos, weather info, and whatever else could be imagined through widgets.
Well, Chumby's back, this time without the squishy exterior and renamed the 'One.' The new model puts a bigger focus on radio features with Pandora support and the ability to access other internet radio stations. And like the original, you can install widgets, of which there are about 1,500 to choose from. The One touts a faster processor, bumping up from 350MHz to 454MHz, but otherwise the specs look to be the same.
Look for the One to retail for about $100 in a month or so.
From a distance, the Windows 7 GUI resembles its predecessor, Windows Vista. However, the closer you look, the more you'll see that Windows 7's take on the GUI is a big improvement, adding more power, more customization, and better ways to open frequently-used programs and files. Join us after the jump to learn how you can tap into the power of the Windows 7 desktop, Taskbar, and Start menu.
Gadget lovers have a device for everything. We often have 15 different ways to check the weather, 10 for email, and at least 5 with built in cameras. What we don’t have is an unlimited supply of USB ports, and we often struggle to keep our army of doohickey’s charged and ready to go. This can become an even bigger challenge when we’re on the road.
That's why we were so enthusiastic when we stumbled across the Super Travel A/C USB Wall Charger. This $25 adapter can power up to 5 devices at once with the 4 built in female ports, and sports an additional 5 pin male connector for smartphones. I just ordered one for myself, and devices like these remind us why we here at Maximum PC are such big fans of devices that charge via USB.
Beleaguered Japanese electronics giant Sony is mulling drastic changes to its corporate structure, according to the Times of London. It is on the verge of shutting down many of its Japanese factories and important divisions. The world is gradually becoming inured to hearing about job cuts – if not job cuts themselves - as the global economy sinks deeper into an apparently abysmal financial quagmire. And it is very likely that the next major news of job cuts will come from Sony; it had announced last month that it was going to hand pink slips to 16,000 employees.
Sources within Sony told the Times of London that Sony’s Japanese operations will bear the brunt of the radical changes. The changes might take effect after the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in the profligate city of Las Vegas. But analysts, especially who have been calling for an overhaul for a long time now, fear that the changes might just be too late in the day.
They want Sony’s boss Howard Stringer to enjoy greater power, if the company is to extricate itself from its old ways. The road ahead is pocked with impediments for the company as it will also have to outmaneuver the global financial crisis.