Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cool new gadgets I want

iNnovation: 2 Freakishly Futuristic iPhone Add-Ons

When the iPhone came out, did anyone really expect it to spawn all kinds of bizarre add-on devices that could make this seemingly innocuous smartphone powerful enough to do pretty much whatever we want it to? Well, we have a feeling some people did, because iPhone gadgets with associated apps have been bouncing out left and right. One of the most interesting (and useful) ones we’ve seen lately is this $50 dongle that turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a universal remote. It’s made by L5 Technology, who debuted the device at CES 2010. According to them, it’ll actually control any compatible device within about 30 feet via a free app from the app store. Just select the devices you want to control, drag and drop buttons where you want them, and you’re good to go.

Another handy invention to debut at CES was the Mophie credit card reader device. It’ll let you take payments with nothing more than your iPhone, a third-party app, and this little device which attaches directly to your phone. Imagine how much easier this would be for merchants than carrying around a computer to take credit cards at trade shows and other remote locations.

Neck-Mounted Camera Lets You Blog Every Second of Life

You thought those personal blogs detailing every moment of some random person’s every day were annoying? Get ready for an even more personal level of sharing: the Vicon Revue is a wearable digital camera that takes pictures all day with no effort on the user’s part. The first version released is a research model used as a “memory aid” for people with Alzheimer’s or other memory issues…but the consumer version will likely be used for photographic picblogging of the fascinating minutiae of strangers’ lives.

The camera is equipped with a whole suite of sensors that tell it when to start snapping furiously. When the wearer’s environmental conditions – like the lighting level or ambient temperature – change, it snaps one pic per second. Otherwise, it takes a new picture every 30 seconds.If you’re the type of person who is inclined to record every second of every day, the Vicon Revue offers a simple way to do that without putting a lot of work into it. And since the camera is worn around the neck instead of held up to the face, it’s possible that the people you interact with will feel more at-ease than they would with a conventional camera pointed at them.

Cool Underwater Camera Casts Off to Catch Sea Life Pics

Here’s an invention for everyone who loves watching marine life at the beach but doesn’t want to actually get into the water. The Beriscope looks like a child’s toy, but it’s actually a little more sophisticated than that. The spherical end of the gizmo – which is actually a camera – is attached to a long tether that allows the ball to descend into the water. The user then places the device up to their eyes to watch the underwater show.

Throwing the camera into the water is a bit like casting a fishing line: you rear back and then let it go with all your might. When you’re ready to bring the camera back up, just twist on the opposite hand grip and the cord retracts like magic. Everything is coated in protective rubber, minimizing the chance that the device will be broken on the way down or the way back up.

It’s easy to imagine a gadget like this being used to scout out potential diving spots or just to get a taste of what it’s like under the water for those who aren’t able to scuba dive. It would be nearly impossible to direct the ball camera to a specific place, so this camera seems best left to those who are able to go with the flow and watch whatever underwater visions might happen to float by. But if the designer, Jaewon Choi, were able to add a light to the design, we can see it becoming a hot rental item at beaches all around the world.

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