World News Now, Less Known Gadgets from CES 2009, with the Giz Wiz,
At CES reporters are looking for the big stores from the big name companies. But the Giz Wiz was looking for the more interesting often overlooked gadgets and gizmos! And he brought some of them back to the studio with him.
Fear of germs? Then here’s a keyboard for you – or anyone else who shares a keyboard.
Holy cow, its yet another keyboard!It’s the Seal Shield Keyboard. Have you heard that your computer keyboard has 400 times more germs then your toilet seat? Gross yes, but that’s what Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona claims. So what can you do about it? Well, whenever you want, you can put the Silver Seal Anti- microbial keyboard IN THE DISHWASHER! I asked the company if they’d be willing to let me do my own test: type with the keyboard --- wash it in my dishwasher --- and then use it to type again. They were more than willing to prove to me how dishwasher-safe their keyboard was. They sent me one and I put it to the test. The only difference you’ll notice when you hook up this basic keyboard is that the USB dongle has a waterproof rubber boot which has to be used before you put the keyboard in the dishwasher. They also ask that you don’t let the dishwasher go through a heated dry cycle if your dishwasher offers that option when washing the keyboard. (Mine dishwasher doesn’t have that option.) The keyboard went through the test perfectly. When I took the keyboard out of the dishwasher soaking wet, I was sure I did something wrong. But I drained it over the sink, dried it for a minute with a towel and plugged it in. They also ask you to dry off the USB connector if it gets wet in the dishwasher. Under $40. Other versions are coming including an illuminated version.
Seal Shield TV Remote, Price TBA.Brand new from the company above is their TV remote control that can be put in the dishwasher too. And coming soon, a dish washer safe Home Theatre Remote Control. Spring 09. The company said they have not set the prices yet, but the TV only remote should be about $20.
Do you have one of those small, battery operated portable TV’s? Most likely it will stop working on February 17th!
Haier 10” Portable Digital TV. There’s an overlooked victim of the upcoming digital TV changeover that has received almost no attention. Soon none of those handy little portable analog TV’s people have in their cabins, boats, country homes, etc. will not work anymore. But there’s a neat high tech solution. The new Haier 10” digital battery operated flat screen TV that’s digital ready.It has a built in telescoping rod antenna, cut can be connected to cable. With its audio/video input you can use it with a DVD player or camcorder too. It also has a built in stand and a built in battery. It will also run on AC and 12 volts as in the car or boat. Available in May, 2009. Price will be in the $180 to $200 range.
Final Version May Look A Bit Different. Stand is removable.
Here’s a way to get files from your home USB external hard drive from anywhere in the world via the Internet.
It’s the Pogo Plug.Here’s how to set it up. You plug your external hard drive or even a USB Flashdrive in one side of this device and your router in the other side. Then plug Pogo Plug into the wall AC. Then from anywhere in the world where you can get files you need from your home device over the Internet. You access it via the Pogo Plug website. This is coming in March. It will be $99, but there is a pre-order price of $79 (As of 1/30/09)
A device that let you charge your cell phone or PDA four different ways!
It’s called Hottips and this single device lets you charge your cell phone or PDA via AC with the fold out electric plug. Or your car’s lighter plug with the fold-out lighter plug. Or you can attach a 9V battery. Since the unit comes with a USB cable, you can also use that with your computer when it’s available. Can be ordered soon. You’ll also need to order the special tip for your phone or PDA.But when you change equipment, you merely have to but a new tip, not a new charging device. Hottips will be about $25, and a charge specific tip will be about $5.
Fuji EnviroMax Batteries. The company says that the materials that make up a Fuji EnviroMAX battery are derived from the basic elements of the Earth. There is nothing inside that will harm the environment if it is disposed of through normal waste systems. A few reasons why are that Fuji EnviroMAX batteries contain no harmful mercury, cadmium - nor are they packaged with non-recyclable PVC plastic. And the company says they offer the same service life as the major brands and will cost about the same. Available Spring. You can see a performance chart of the EnviroMax batteries and how they compare to other major brands on the companies website. They’ll be available in AA, AAA, C and D sizes.
A new way to prevent cables from hanging everywhere.
They’re called Flexicord Cables. Now you can have a cable that’s always the right length. They were an Innovation Award Winner Nominee at CES. These cables are available in various lengths from 1 to 10 inches. They’re on the stiff side so can bend them or wind them and they hold their shape. By custom tailoring them you won’t have tons of wires hanging everywhere on your desk or behind your components. They’ll be available in HDMI, Cat5e, RCA phono jack, S-video and USB varieties. Available Spring ’09.
Giz Wiz Gift Suggestions – under $25.From Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz.
Sure you can blow out a candle, but now you can “blow on” a candle!
Think Geek LED Blow On-Off Candles. Under $15 These high tech candles are solid wax, except for the electronics. There are two new things about these LED candles. You can blow them out, AND these LED candles will also blow on! Plus, each candle has a switch to select either a cool blue flame, or a more realistic yellowish flame. Great to use where it is too dangerous to have open flames. (The most candle-started fires happen during the holidays.)For this holiday season you can also buy a candle that can flicker “green”, or “red”. From Think Geek, a really great website for fun “toys”.
It’s a flash drive that does a lot more than let you save files.
Coby 2GB FM/MP3 Flashdrive. Under $25 Sure you can use it to save data files, but you can also use it to download music. The Coby MP-305 has a backlit LCD that shows song titles and artists. Or you can hear the latest news, weather, etc. with the built-in FM Tuner. Transfer songs into this USB Flash drive player by plugging it into the computer, no USB cables needed. It even comes with a pair of earphones so you can listen away from the computer. Although the “list” price is $39.95, J &R Music is selling it for under $20!
X-Mini Pop-Open Speaker Under $25. Just pop open the capsule that’s a big bigger than a golf ball and extend the speaker bellows. This opens the resonance chamber, which increases the bass response. It’s so small it can fits in a pocket! Take it on a trip when you want some music in your hotel room from your MP3 player. At full-charge it can power it for nearly 8 hours! It recharges via a USB cable which is included. From Think Geek.
Now you don’t have to worry that the kids are listening to music that’s too loud. iHearSafeHeadphones Under $25 The built in technology helps make sure your kids don’t injure their hearing. These headphones prevent the volume from exceeding the safe level of 85 decibels. Just plug and play, it works on all audio devices. The company makes ear buds, over the ear phones, and regular headphones with this technology. Although they are available now at the company’s website they have already won a CES 2009 Innovation Award. All sell for under $25. www.ihearsafe.com A great gift for the person who travels. Travelon Luggage ScaleUnder $7.50 Airlines no longer let a few extra pounds slip by without an extra charge. And some airlines are restricting the linear measurements of your bags. This scale lets you weigh and measure your baggage before you head out to the airport. And it’s small enough to pack so you can do the same for the return trip. If you haven’t traveled in a while be aware that most airlines now charge for every bag you check! It can anywhere from $15 to $25 for the first bag and more for the second. Check your carriers airline to find out exactly where their rules air. If you’re a frequent flyer, you might get a break. On Continental, Elite fliers get two bags checked for free. And a traveling companion on the same itinerary also gets two bags checked for free. That can be a big saving. But you still have to watch the weight and the size. Check them both easily with this useful travel gadget, which is only $7.50!
Half the population of the US is now over the age of 50. Panther Vision Magnifiers Under $20 With half the nation over the age of 50, this is one of the most searched items on my website. Not only are these magnifiers available in four different powers, they have built in LED lights that can burn for 50 hours on one set of batteries! Use them to read menus in dark restaurants, to read in bed at night, to do projects or even repair jobs. It’s like having someone hold a flashlight exactly where you want the light. http://tinyurl.com/3nt7yw
Suitable for hanging! No, not the writers & artists who came up with the stuff in this book, but the posters themselves! MAD Poster Book. Under $25.Great for the holidays, the MAD Poster Book features 15 ready to hang large size posters. One of my favorite things I ever wrote for MAD, is a satire on the famous Choking Poster. It was so much like the original I found a restaurant that actually had posted it on their wall. The Choking Poster is reproduced in this book. (No, I don’t make a penny from the book. MAD owns all rights for all times for everything they buy.) At bookstores, or on the web.
It’s under $20 at Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/469anb
The Giz Wiz Gadget Gift Guide! HP has been producing high tech touch screen desktops, but now they’ve introduced the world’s first touch screen laptop. The HP tx2z laptop has a 12.1" diagonal screen, and a unique, dual-mode display that accepts input from either a finger or a pen. A digital pen turns the tx2z into a tablet so you can draw or take notes and then automatically convert to text (the pen stores in the PC's base). A twisting hinge lets you choose from three modes: PC, display, or slate. There are three on-display launch buttons: one for MediaSmart software, another for Windows Vista Mobility Center—to get battery, volume, wireless or display data—and one for "rotating" the screen into slate mode. You should expect very decent performance with AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual Core Mobile processors for multimedia2 and ATI Radeon HD graphics for speedy processing on the go. Options include an integrated low-light VGA webcam with digital microphone for videoconferencing and VoIP3.Be aware that the touch screen is designed to work only with HP MediaSmart. That gives you the ability to touch your way through your PC to enjoy photos, music, movies, and more. You can resize photos with your finger and even turn them the correct orientation right on the screen. Price starts at $1149.00 http://tinyurl.com/63ytqa
You don’t have to carry a bunch of SD cards if you want to takes thousands of pictures on a long vacation!
Kingston Technology's Secure Digital High-Capacity (SDHC) memory cards are fully compliant with the new Secure Digital Association 2.00 specification. Kingston Technology is shipping a 32GB Elite Pro SDHC Flash memory card. It's idea for use with digital video camcorders and other high-resolution imaging devices. The new 32GB card is the largest capacity in Kingston’s Elite Pro line of SDHC cards, which currently includes 4-, 8- and 16GB capacities. The new 32GB Elite Pro SDHC memory card is optimized to meet the demands of high capacity and fast write speeds. The card can store thousands of photos and hours of high definition video. For example, the new 32GB Elite Pro SDHC card can capture more than 6,000 still images (with a 10MP camera) and over eight hours of video using 6Mbps HD Extended recording. Even in full high def you can record 251 minutes of video! Suggested price is $308.00 but the street price is about $200. So do a web search before you buy. www.kingston.com. A Click Free Device That Turns Out To Be…Click Free! Do you find it’s rare you can plug in a ‘plug and play’ device and find that it just plugs and plays without your help. ClickFree is one of those rare devices. It’s a backup system so easy anyone can use it. Yes, we all use our computers to store family photos, documents, music collections, etc, etc…But you should think of what you’d do if you lost all that information before you actually lose it. It could be a virus, a lost or stolen computer, or even that noisy hard drive giving up the ghost. Now you can protect all your information without any hassle. This 160GB (higher capacities too) external hard drive from ClickFree can store up to 35,000 songs, 320,000 documents, 70,000 photos, or 160 hours of video. But there are some nice differences between this some other backup drives. ClickFree has no software to install. Plug it into a USB port on your computer and it automatically detects and backs up over 350 types of files. When backup is complete, unplug it, and you're done! It organizes your information into categories for easy retrieval later. And this is great. Even Leo was impressed. You can use ClickFree backup to support up to 10 computers. Transfer data from an old PC to a new one, share pictures and music with friends and family, consolidate information from multiple PCs, and restore files if the hard drive crashes. Use it incrementally throughout the year to back up new files you accumulate. (The ability to back up 10 computers is based on an average of 10GB of content per computer. Obviously your actual results will depend on how much each computer needs backed up. NOTE: Not compatible with Mac computers but should change early next year. Prices start under $100 Available soon will be the ClickFree Dongle, which will let you turn your own external hard drive into a ClickFree Back-up drive. This is not on the ClickFree Website yet! It will officially be introduced at CES in January 09, but it may be on their website mid-December. http://buy.goclickfree.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=20 Here’s a Netcast on the original ClickFree Drive: www.twit.tv/dgw629
Photo from our friends at CNET.com.
The Asus Eee PC S101 Significantly Ups the Style Quotient of Computing On-the-go
The first ASUS Netbooks were plain looking and very inexpensive. But while Asus still makes low-priced Netbooks they just launched the Eee PC S101, an highly designed netbook for fashion forward individuals. The 10.2” wide active matrix LED-backlit display is capable of running at WSVGA resolution. That means it can provide more-than-ample space for viewing documents and perusing other media. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11n, and it also features Bluetooth V2.0, The Eee PC S101 builds upon their original mini-form factor, ergonomics and features of its predecessors but has added a glamorous exterior in Brown, Champagne or Graphite. The Eee PC S101 comes with an encrypted 30 GB Internet storage facility they call Eee Storage. Users´ data is safe with is the S101´s shockproof Solid State Drive (SSD). It maintains the stored data even when subjected to knocks and shocks. The SSD has further advantages over traditional hard disk drives, such as silent operation and reduced energy consumption. The SSD comes in capacities of up to 64 GB. Rounding off the Eee PC S101´s comprehensive storage capabilities is an integrated 4-in-1 flash card reader that supports more formats than other Eee PC models. Price is in the $700 to $800 range depending on what options you wish to order.
Here’s a USB drive you “plant”!
It’s called EasyBloom and here’s how it works. Place the sensor in a spot where you would like to grow a plant, or adjacent to the plant that needs monitoring. Let the EasyBloom Plant Sensor gather a ‘plant's eye’ view of that location. After 24 hours, plug the sensor into your USB port. Sensor data is uploaded to the EasyBloom website where algorithms are run that will either recommend a plant or diagnose what is wrong with an ailing plant. When in Recommend mode, the EasyBloom website will present a set of plants that will thrive in that location. In Monitor mode, you will be told what is going wrong with a plant with visual cues on how to fix it. NOTE: EasyBloom Plant Sensor is Windows XP and Windows Vista compatible. In January 2009 they’ll introduce software to support Mac OS X Tiger (v10.4) and Leopard (v10.5) users. $59.95
It the 3M Micro Professional Projector (MPro110). You can connect it to most digital video devices to project movies, photos, and files virtually anywhere. Use your Video iPod for example and this powerful, portable, pocket-able projector turns a wall into your personal theater. The MPro110 has an aspect ratio of 4:3 and a native resolution of 640 x 480 VGA, it lets you turns any room into a projection room (assuming you can dim the lights.) It lets you project video and photos from your video phone; share videos and movies from your video camera; create a spontaneous slide show from your digital camera and even project your portable gaming console while on the road. Uses LED technology for up to 10,000 hours of operation. The kit includes MPro110 power supply, VGA cable, video cable kit and battery. You’ll be using the AC adaptor a lot because battery life is just one hour, but you’ll really impress people! For more information, including device compatibility, video demo and reviews, please visit: Price is $359.95.
So you’ve taken pictures all through Europe. But you can’t remember exactly where!
With Pharos Trips & Pics and your digital camera, you can create a virtual travelogue which you can easily share with anyone. Trips & Pics captures your location and time automatically at any interval you set and then synchronizes that information with the images from any digital camera. You can then display both your photos and your route on Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, or Microsoft Streets & Trips. Trips & Pics allows you to add captions to your photos and it automatically adjusts for any inaccuracies in your camera’s time so the information is precise. The included, pocket-sized Pharos GPS logger can store up to 45 days of data and will run for 24 hours on a single charge. An AC adapter is included in the package. Trips & Pics is compatible with all digital cameras, is very easy to use, and will bring a whole new level of enjoyment to using your digital camera. $99.95
Not just another plain old GPS! For an authentic Knight Rider experience, Mio partnered with Universal Studios Navtones to create The Knight Rider GPS! Yep, hit the open road and hear exclusive voice guidance and turn-by-turn directions featuring the original voice of K.I.T.T., probably the most famous TV car of all time. The device’s integrated randomized greetings and 300 custom names will welcome you to your navigation experience. It also looks unlike any other GPS. There’s an active LED voice synthesizer display so the lights move in sync with the voice. You’ll think you’re looking at the original K.I.T.T.’s dashboard. (Come on, you have an imagination, right?) The Knight Rider GPS can even be programmed to advise drivers of speed limit infractions for those inclined to apply too much turbo boost. There’s 4.3-inch wide screen interface, more than four million points of interest, it can assist you in locating gas stations, emergency assistance, hotels and restaurants. It’s pre-loaded with maps of the U.S. and Canada, so it’s ready to operate in minutes right out of the box. it boots up by saying "Hello Michael, where do you want to go today?" But you simply use the virtual keyboard to change it to your name. On the GPS screen there’s a Trans-Am to represent your car. You can bring along your favorite music via the SD/MMC Memory Expansion slot. There’s a built in speaker, and rechargeable battery. MSRP for the Knight Rider GPS is $269.95 U.S.
Here’s a real powerhouse desktop replacement computer from HP!
It’s the Pavilion HDX18t with a 18.4” 1080P HD screen, BluRay player and Altec Lansing Home Theatre Sound! There’s HDMI output so you can connect this powerhouse to an even bigger HD screen. But just the way it is, this is perfect for video in the den, bedroom, or home office. (There’s an option TV tuner too.) This computer comes in a high tech Titanium case with a backlight touch control media center. Other features include a fingerprint reader for password control, Bluetooth, WiFi, Intel Duo Core processor and built in web cam. If you watched us record the Daily Giz Wiz, you heard Leo say it was the best video we ever had. So we’re going to record this week’s Daily Giz Wiz episodes with the HDX 18t! There’s also 16” version which offers a 1080p screen & BluRay as an option. Both models come with windows Vista and you can have the option of 32 or 64 bit versions. The 16” model starts at $1050.00, and the 18.4” model at about $1440.
So you want to get into Podcasting, and you want to do it on the run!
The answer could be the new Belkin GoStudio. It lets you record high-quality audio content, anywhere you go. Record full Podcast episodes, interviews, lectures, music, or short clips directly onto your iPod and immediately upload your content to iTunes when your iPod is connected to your computer. Two built-in omni-directional stereo microphones and built in speaker so you can hear what you recorded before you leave your guests, or a special event. There are also inputs for a music instruction or external microphones. Battery operated, so it’s totally portable. This is not for the iPhone, just for most of the newer model iPods. There’s a list of all the iPods the GoStudio works with on the Belkin website.
An HD Camcorder for under $180?Kodak makes it possible.
Kodak has jumped into mini camcorder market with the Zi6. Right now it out performs other low price camcorders by providing the ability to shoot 720p HD video! That’s correct. This camera captures video in 60fps 720p HD.Things change really fast in this digital age, but right now that’s the highest quality of any pocket camcorder. I shot some short videos and they looked great when I viewed on my HP 24” HD Monitor. If you don’t want to shoot in high def, the Zi6 also shoots stills and lower quality VGA video. That’s perfect if you want to upload your videos to YouTube. The camera has a tiny amount of built in memory.How tiny? In the high res mode you can shoot about 30 seconds of video. When I was testing it, I couldn’t figure out why it stopped recording all of a sudden. Turns out I had filled up the internal memory really fast. But that’s why there’s an SD/SDHC slot that supports cards up to 32GB. (The camera does not come a memory card.) A couple of other unique features:there’s a switch that lets you shoot video in macro focus mode. Something else that’s clever is the button you push that pops out the USB connector. It can serve as a tiny mirror for shooting self videos. The camcorder is powered by two rechargeable Ni-MH AA batteries. And the batteries and the recharger are included. And, of course in a pinch, you can power the camera with regular AA batteries, even though they may not last as long. Under $180.