Gadgets On The Today Show – September 22, 2008

With Karl away this morning Cameron Williams and I chatted about three cool new gadgets coming soon or already available in Australia.

1) Femisapien – RRP $199 (try Toys R Us)

This is a pretty cool little cyber female. It dances, it learns how you want it to dance AND it will even kiss! I didn’t try too much of the kissing, however teaching it to dance was fun. The robot has a ‘learn’ mode that is selected by tilting the head to a pre-determined position. Then it is a case of giving the robot the commands.

For me it was a great little tech pet for some one not wanting a tech dog or tech dinosaur.

2) E-Books –

I mentioned this morning that Australia is being left behind other countries in the role out of the E-book. However there is one unit I know that is for sale here, however it is hard to find and costs about $900. It is called iLiad eReader and Dymocks sell it through their website.

The benefits are you can download and read lots of books, and if you visit a website such as Ebook.com you can download lots of electronic books, some are even shareware. This means you can read the first ten pages or so, to see if you like it – before having to pay for the book.
Dymocks Website – Here
Get Ebooks – Here

3) Pocket Projector V10 – RRP – $649

This is a really cool little gadget for anyone wanting a small, lightweight projector that is completely transportable. I love that it has a built in SD slot so you can simply taking the SD card from your digital camera and place it into the projector, then ‘hey presto’ you are looking at your digital images!

Small business will love this and when you get home you will be able to use it for projecting movies, picture slide shows and more.

The Pocket Projector is hitting stores at the end of this month/early next month.

Stores to get it – Office Works will be carrying it, but not yet as stock is still to ship to stores.

Visit the distributors website – www.mint-wireless.com

Read the specifications on this product here –

Specifications
Focus – Manual
Light source – LED
Brightness – 10 Lumens (LED light not LCD so has different Lumens ratings)
Projected image size
– 6” at 21 cms distance
– 40” at 140 cms distance
– 50” at 180 cms distance
Resolution – VGA (640 x 480)
Speakers – Stereo at 1W output each
Card slot – SD card reader: supports SDHC up to 8GB
PMP – Plays AVI, ASF, MP3 and JPEG files
Input/Output connections – USB 2.0, AV input (3 in 1 Audio Visual input)
Auto-off – Yes
Built-in memory – Yes
Power
– Lithium-ion battery (45 minutes on full charge)
– Runs off USB A/C adapter
Dimensions of packaging – 19.2 cms (L) x 17.1 cms (W) x 7.5 cms (H)
Package Contents – USB Cable / AV Cable / USB power adapter / Li-ion battery
x 2 / Tripod / Pouch / CD manual and bundled software (tbc)

GPS Come in a format for all of us

Look in any retail catalogue right now and you will be bombarded with offers to buy GPS units. The sector has really hotted up, especially now customers can buy a basic unit for just over $200. A basic GPS makes it easy to get from A to B, they make your trip faster because you take the best route; your car will be more efficient on fuel economy; GPS provides you with an expected arrival time; but for me the most important thing is that GPS removes any headaches from getting somewhere you have never been before.

Karl and I went through some of the many options for GPS on the market now. There are so many models, because there are so many customers with different demands for their unit.

Here are the ones we looked at:

Magellan Cross Over – Seen at retail for about $1150

Four in one GPS Unit with Street Maps for drivers, Topographical maps (for bush walkers) and Marine gps for fisherman and boaters. But hang on, I said ‘Four In One’, well the Magellan has the ability to purchase maps of 4WD tracks and take the unit off road.

Read more – Click Here

Navman F10 – Seen at retail for $230

This is an option if you want to get from A to B, with a few popular locations (like carparks and petrol stations) pre-installed.

Tom Tom RIDER – Made for Motor Cyclists – $799

This model is made for motorcycle users and is designed for ease of use and portability. It includes a touchscreen that is specially developed for use with gloves, is waterproof and includes a Cardo scala-rider™ Bluetooth® headset for in-helmet spoken instructions.

Tom Tom XL – My pick – $449 RRP

If you want a decent model GPS that not only gives great directional support, but also has a host of extra features like spoken Street Names (instead of just ‘turn left in 200 metres!) then the XL from Tom Tom is a good choice.

I find a screen less that 4.3 inches is too small for me, and this model allows has really intuitive touch controls.

The best feature that has come to GPS is the live traffic up-dates. Under the new SUNA system of real time traffic up-dates, devices like the Tom Tom XL can receive traffic information on the fly via the addition of radio antennae (it retails for $150). Once on board the Tom Tom will be advised of traffic on your route and if it is going to slow you down by more than four minutes, it will plot a new route and give you the option to take it or stay on the current path. Have a read of their website on how they do this and the Australian locations where the service is active.

Humanware – Trekker Breeze – RRP $995

This unit is designed for people who are visually impaired and will assist them in navigating their local community. It features talking GPS directions that help users know where they are and where they are going whether on foot or in a vehicle. Users can record routes as they walk them with the assistance of sighted companions. Routes can then be previewed and activated for future use.

We had a demo of the unit with the guys who import the product into Australia and the concept behind it is brilliant!

Read more about it here

Prepaid For A Healthy Wallet

A Current Affair are coming around this afternoon to chat about ways that families can make sure they are not smashed by high internet bills from their kids using internet plans that charge for extra data after the allowance runs out. If you are around your tv, tonight flick on A Current Affair from 6:30pm to watch the segment.