Media's vodka bottle one-ups Twitter by letting you program custom messages up to 255 characters each on its LED strip, and you can choose between pink or blue. Here's how it's done:
Press the On/Off button
Press the Enter button to enter programmable mode
Press the P-U (UP) button to select the line (1-6)
Press the P-U and P-D buttons to find the first character of your message and hit enter to save after each one
When finished, wait until you see a blinking "A" and then press the On/Off button to save
It's as easy as that, and you can input up to six messages, which are then scrolled across the bottle one after another. So really, that's 1,530 characters to work with if you have something pressing to say that you might have trouble conveying after you've downed a few shots.
Recent surveys suggest that one of the biggest barriers to adopting 3D technology into the mainstream is cost. Even if consumers are willing to put up with wearing 3D glasses, most are just not willing to pay a premium for 3D technology. But is the premium as high as you think?
According to the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the price difference between 46-inch and 55-inch 3D and 2D LED TVs is just $150, which is certainly a much lower number than we would have expected. ITRI says 120MHz 46-inch 2D LED TVs sell on average for $1,143.8 in the U.S. compared to $1,284.9 for 240MHz 46-inch 3D LED TVs.
In the 55-inch territory, 120MHz 2D LED TVs run $1,539.90 on average, compared to $1,697 for 240MHz 3D LED TVs, ITRI said. That's not a huge price difference, though the ITRI doesn't factor in the cost of additional 3D glasses, a necessary evil until glasses-free 3D displays come into their own.
Hewlett Packard this week introduced a sleek new 23-inch LED backlit panel, the HP 2310e HD. Dubbed an ultra-thin, the 2310e is only 1-inch deep and comes with a detachable stand, albeit no VESA mount.
It's a Full HD panel with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 and support for up to 70 percent of the color gamut. We don't put much stock into display specs, but for what it's worth, this one boats an 8,000,000:1 contrast ratio (dynamic, of course), 250 nits of brightness, and a 5ms on/off response time.
For the environmentally conscious, the WLED backlighting is mercury-free, the glass contains no arsenic, and both the rear cover and base are made from recycled plastics.
Look for this one to start shipping on September 29, 2010 for $289.
Vizio has begun shipping its new lineup of "leading edge" XVT (Xtreme Vizio Technology) Series HDTVs with Full Array TruLED LCD HDTV technology, a fancy term that Vizio promises is all that and a bag of the most delicious chips on the planet.
"VIZIO is solidifying its position as a technology and performance leader with the introduction of the new generation of XVT HDTVs," said John Schindler, VIZIO VP New Products. "Our dedication to high performance drives us to use the best commercially available technology. Each of our XVT TruLED sets uses a Full Array with local dimming that produces an unquestioned superior picture. Many competitive manufacturers have decided to use only Edge Lit technology in their flagship products, but edge lighting results in an inevitable compromise in performance."
The way Vizio pitches its new lineup, the company's TruLED HDTVs trump even the competition's most expensive models with uniform brightness across the entire screen, a much better off angle viewing area, and "vastly superior black reproduction."
Other features include 10,000,000:1 contrast ratios (dynamic, of course), dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, and up to 240Hz refresh rate (55-inch XVT553SV, 47-inch XVT473SV, and 42-inch XVT423SV models).
Prices range from $700 for the 32-inch XVT323SV on up to $2,200 for the 55-inch set.
ViewSonic is a big name in display manufacturing, and has announced that they plan to transition their entire line of monitors to LED backlighting by early 2011. The move is being made with an eye towards energy efficiency, as well as consumer demand. "ViewSonic is leading the way towards a greener, more cost efficient future by delivering an array of green LED products for our customers to choose from,” said ViewSonic's Jeff Volpe.
Traditional LCD panels use a CCFL bulb to light the display. Displays that use LED backlights are usually more power efficient and have much better black levels. ViewSonic released their first notable LED monitor, VX2250wm-LED, just a few months ago. Early reactions from customers are good, so we can expect more quality products like this in 2011.
ViewSonic is being careful to appease their partners that are still using CCFL technology. We take this to mean that they will still manufacture panels with CCFL bulbs, but all ViewSonic's branded products will make the change to LED. Do you use an LED backlit monitor? Have you noticed any difference from the more common CCFL variety?
NEC this week added to its MultiSync display line with a new eco-friendly monitor the company says was designed with business users in mind.
"NEC is committed to continuing its strong leadership role within the industry by contributing to a greener environment with an eco-friendly display in the quickly-growing 23-inch category," said Lynn Gu, Product Manager for NEC Display Solutions. "The MultiSync E231W uses an LED-backlit panel to increase energy savings by up to 40 percent in comparison to conventional CCFL-backlit LCD monitors. This is especially beneficial for our business customers in this economic downturn."
The 23-inch panel boasts a widescreen LED-backlit display with a 1920 x 1080 HD screen resolution. It also comes with a number of green-inspired technologies, such as a carbon footprint meter and the Intelligent Power Manager (IPM), which NEC says helps conserve energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by switching to a lower power state or automatically powering down when you're not using the display.
LCD TVs with LED backlighting are relatively new, so we fully expect to pay a pricing premium over those which use fluorescent lighting from tubes. But if history tells us anything, it's that prices tend to creep downwards over time. That isn't necessarily the case here. Citing sources from packaging houses, DigiTimes reports that LED backlight products may see price hikes to the tune of 5-10 percent.
Ironically enough, it's the strong market demand that's driving prices in the wrong direction. LED chip makers have said that they raise prices for rush orders, sometimes by as much as 10 percent. Genesis Photonics, for example, has already hiked up the prices for its green LED epitaxy wafers, while Huga Optotech, Tekcore, and possibly Formosa Epitaxy all plan to do the same.
What impact this will have on the LED TV market remains to be seen. Some vendors are expecting LED-backlit LCD TVs to see a 20-25 percent total market penetration in 2010, but not everyone agrees. Market observers are a little more conservative in their estimates, predicting 15 penetration for LED-backlit models. In addition, there's the possibility of oversupply of LEDs as chip makers increase new capacities in the third quarter, observers warn.
OKI Data announced two new series of digital color printers the company says are designed for medium and large workgroups. These include the C610 Series and the C711 Series, both of which offer HD (high-definition) Color Technology.
The printers come in four configurations. The C610 boasts a compact footprint of 17.1 inches x 21.5 inches x 13.4 inches and is capable of spitting out 32 ppm color prints and 34 ppm mono prints, while the C711 measures 17.1 inches x 21.5 inches x 15.3 inches and churns out slightly faster prints at 34 ppm (color) and 36 ppm (mono).
"OKI Data Americas understands and anticipates the needs of today’s SMB market and medium to large workgroup users, who are the inspiration for our new C610 Series and C711 Series line of printers," said Mike Garofola, Sr. Marketing Manager, Color Products for OKI Data Americas. "Not only do both of these feature-rich printer series provide professional quality and functionality, they also include color quality control with Color Swatch and Color Correct, which allows users to easily adjust and match custom colors. Both products are compact in size, yet perform robust applications desired by their targeted end user market segment."
The printers are available now and range in price from $700 to $1,450.
BenQ this week announced the release of its GL series LED monitors, all of which feature a "truly prodigious" 12,000,000:1 contrast ratio. That number's dynamic, however, so take it with a healthy dose of salt.
The new displays include the GL930 (18.5 inches), GL931 (19 inches), GL2030 (20 inches), GL2230 (21.5 inches), and GL2231 (22 inches). BenQ says all GL models come in four different models with different connectors. These include:
GL (D-Sub; DVI-D)
GL/M (D-Sub; DVI-D; Line-In; Headphone Jack)
GL/AM (D-Sub; Line-In; Headphone Jack)
The GL/M and GL/AM models also come equipped with a pair of 1W speakers built-in, while all models sport a 5ms response time and BenQ's proprietary Senseye Human Vision Technology, which is an image enhancement engine that mimics the human eye by adjusting the color, clarity, and contrast of video, while also smoothing out quick images through motion optimization, BenQ says.
Look for these to ship next week. No word yet on pricing.
GE claims to have developed an LED light bulb that distributes light like an incandescent bulb, but doesn't need to be changed for 17 years (4 hours per day). The bulb sips just 9 watts and provides a 77 percent energy savings, all while providing about the same light output as a 40W incandescent, GE says.
"This is a bulb that can virtually light your kid's bedroom desk lamp from birth through high school graduation," says John Strainic, global product general manager, GE Lighting. "It's an incredible advancement that's emblematic of the imagination and innovation that GE's applying to solve some of the world's biggest challenges."
The LED bulb sports a funky aesthetic, and there's good reason for that. According to GE, the fins around the side help direct light downward on the intended surface and all around rather than beam light out the top of a lampshade like most current LED bulbs do.
Look for GE's LED bulb to ship this Fall or early 2011 for around $40 to $50.