Gadget Freaks

Gadgets, Technology, Motor Sports, and Cool Stuff – Dissected, Put On Ice, and Served Back To You With Wasabi

Posts Tagged ‘USB

2009 In Gadgets, Gadget Freaks Picks For 2009, Part 1

leave a comment »

The Olympics are over, the 3G iPhone, MacBook Air and first phone with a Google Android operating system has been released.

2008 is officially over.

It is time again for everyone to dust off their crystal balls and see if they can be as wrong about 2009 as they were about 2008.

Here at gadget freaks we firmly believe that you should never be afraid of a humbling experience (they build character we’re told) so we decided that we would try to make our picks for 2009.

So, without further ado…

High definition and high resolution gadgets will continue to gain in popularity

It wasn’t so long ago that, if you wanted a high definition TV or a HD camcorder you almost had to take out a second mortgage on your house to afford it.

With the latest developments in technology that has all changed.

sony-oled

HDTV technology like OLED is finally making some inroads with Sony’s OLED TV… oooh pretty (source Gizmag)

It is now completely reasonable to find a HDTV for under US$500 and a high definition camcorder for around US$200.

It goes without saying that more and more will be buying high definition 1080i TVs, HD camcorders and high resolution cameras in the coming months as even more mid-ranged products go high res.

Digital TV will take off

The world isn’t only in the middle of a perceived financial tightening it’s also going through a digital television revolution.

Much of the world is changing from analog to digital TV.

The DTV process started in 2003 and the first wave of countries converted is expected to finish the process between 2012 and 2013.

digital broadcasting standards

A map showing the spread of the first and second waves of digital TV standards in the <a href="Digital TV changeover(source Chinavasion)

US is going through a forced change in 2009 and many other countries in the developed world are proceeding swiftly through their transitions.

As a result, interest in digital TV (which has quickly been dubbed DTV) is constantly growing.

While many do not fully understand the division of digital TV standards (Chinavasion has put together a handy DTV FAQ) they are actively searching for the televisions Digital TV tuners and peripheral devices that enable them to continue to watch TV in the new millennium.

This trend towards digital DTV is going to continue into 2009.

Projectors will gain in popularity

The world appears to be nesting.

Not so long ago you would be hard pressed to find a projector designed for the home theater and even harder pressed to find a market for them.

Developments in technology and massive reductions in price have changed all that.

It is now possible to get a multimedia projector or a LCD projector for less than US$300 and there are several pico projectors on the market that can be put into peoples’ pockets.

Hell, Chinavasion has even brought out a cell phone with a projector tucked away inside, and it looks like some of the bigger phone companies are catching on with the display of the Samsung MBP200 and well known??? Logic Bolt.

Here’s the projector phone that we found in June

The growing popularity of the home projector and projector home theater is going to continue through 2009 as projector gets more coverage and consumers make their nests more comfortable.

Blue Ray will get closer towards the mainstream.

For 2008 much of the high definition home theater news focused around the battle between the two HD titans…HD and Blue Ray.

By CES 2008 blue ray was declared the winner by many of the film studios but not much happened after that.

That wasn’t strictly true.

More and more content started appearing on Blue Ray and some major players began offering blue ray equipped players at bargain basement prices.

2009 will be the year when almost everybody makes the shift to Blue Ray.

Cell Phones will continue to grow steadily in developing markets.

In the developed world there wasn’t too much going on in the cell phone world last year apart from big releases (the 3G iPhone and the HTC G1, the first phone with Google’s long-touted android OS)

HTC G1

The shape of things to come? the HTC G1, the first phone to feature a Google Android OS

This was perhaps reflected in sales with handset sales increasing by just 3% in Europe and the US last year.

It must almost be getting to the point where everyone in the western world has a mobile phone, really doesn’t want one, or is just going to the cell phones shop to get a replacement phone.

It’s quite a bit of a different story in developing nations though where cell phones are no where near as commonly seen. In China cell phones are one of the hot ticket items with no contract cell phones being the most popular.

The popularity of the prepaid phone and the unlocked phone will continue through 2009 and in the foreseeable future.

Most customers wanting to buy unlocked cell phones are looking for phones that give them high degrees of freedom and networks don’t tend to have the data support and features that companies like AT&T and Orange do.

The GSM phone and GSM in general is likely to reign supreme as a result.

There will be a new level of importance being placed on the international phone as well, largely because of the wider market. The quad band phone and quad band telecommunication device will be an almost essential item for anybody looking for a cell phone wholesale company because they want to start a mobile phone business.

Features like the cell phone camera, WAP and MMS will become increasingly common as the world moves from cellular technology 2.0 to cellular technology 3.0.

Don’t forget to check back for part two of this predictions blog

Top 5 Gadgets That Could Save The Planet!

with 2 comments

The Planet is in Peril!!! So it’s up to us Gadgeteers to do something to save it. We here at Gadget Freaks have become totally freaked out at the rapidity of the decline of species. Recently the polar bear, the largest terrestrial carnivore is now on the endangered list. In Australia ( a continent which has one of the worst rates of faunal species extinctions ) the hardy Tasmanian Devil has been listed on the endangered list. Ultimately it will be us, Homo sapiens that will be facing extinction. So let’s take a look at some gadgets and gizmos that may help to save the planet.

1- Seastead Project

First up on our list is this awesome concept house/construction. With this dwelling you can have energy self-sufficiency via wind,wave and solar power. Also you’ll have a steady supply of seafood,you can build a seal platform and a seabird rookery as well as using the support structure as a reef habitat.
Patri Friedman and Wayne Gramlich’s are responsible for the Seasteading project, which was originally conceived as a way to experiment with “diverse social, political, and legal systems.” Can’t really figure out what all those aspects have to do with floating spars topped with habitats, communications relays and solar panels, gathered into huge suspended gadget homes. They say these structures can result into self-governing enclaves. The home design is actually based on the same ballasting system that some older oil rigs used.

Each Seastead construction consists of a concrete-reinforced main pillar and tethered ballast weights. Adjusting the water in the ballast raises or lowers the spar in the water, while the small cross-section makes it resistant to strong waves, if you ever decide to place one in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Around 300 square feet of space on the upper platform can be used for residential purposes and the provided image even shows an Aeolian turbine that is able to provide the needed energy. Presumably there is enough room for many out-doors home appliances. Predicted costs are a few hundred million dollars to build a Seastead for a few thousand people, not that much considering how much it may potentially help the environment.

via Techpin

2- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

This whacky way out gadget could really help save the planet. All we need is one environment saving looney megalomaniac to round up all those that refuse to denounce greed and persist with profiteering at the expense of our fellow earth inhabitants. By simply deactivating the part of the brain that inspires greed we can rid the world of those that harm the planet.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a process in which you run an electromagnet over parts of the brain, which essentially turns them off. You may have LOL’d at the idea of Kirsten Dunst and Mark Ruffalo erasing Jim Carrey’s brain while dancing around in their underwear, but this brain altering technology is no joke. While effects don’t appear to be permanent or long-standing, doctors and researchers think it could show how the brain recovers from traumas such as stroke. Though the technology might run a teensy-weensy risk of causing epilepsy, that’s all. The video below shows grown men reciting nursery rhymes and turning into stuttering messes. [Daily Telegraph via Medgadget via io9]

3- Solar Powered Handheld MP4 and Nintendo Emulator

Here’s a third-party Nintendo emulator that doesn’t look like total garbage. Though it has the typical generic name of Solar MP4, this little device actually has some impressive features. It can play MP4 files up to 320×240 in size on its 3.5 inch TFT screen, it also has built-in emulators for NES, GameBoy and GameBoy Color games. Of course you have to use ROMS loaded via an SD card, but those are easy enough to find. It can even function as an e-Book reader with the ability to read out loud any text file as long as it’s written in English or Chinese.

Did I mention that it has a USB port to charge your other gadgets?

Via Slipperybrick

4- Surreal Spanish Solar Tower

 

The BBC has a report on the Europe’s first commercial solar power station. 600 giant concentrated heat boils water into steam to drive turbines. mirrors focus the sunlight onto a 40 story white concrete tower where the super-

I’m remembering the old joke about solar powered torches here, but even though the plant will only work for an hour after sundown, the main power draw in the south of Spain is air-con, and this station pumps out enough daytime juice to power 600 homes, with future expansion to 600,000 (that’s every home in Seville).

It doesn’t get much greener than this, but a side benefit is in the surreal beauty of the place. BBC science correspondent David Shukman paid a visit:

A concrete tower – 40 storeys high – stood bathed in intense white light, a totally bizarre image in the depths of the Andalusian countryside […] In fact, as we found out when we got closer, the rays of sunlight reflected by a field of 600 huge mirrors are so intense they illuminate the water vapour and dust hanging in the air.

It sounds like a tourist destination in the making. Remember to take your sunglasses.

 

Via Wired Blog

5- The Single Most Important Environmental Innovation

One word………….. CONDOM !!

The problem of population was first really explored by Thomas Malthus in a paper published in 1798. His idea was that, unfortunately, populations increase exponentially until all available resources are used up. Then competition and starvation halts the growth of the population. This, Malthus predicted, would happen to the population of humans alarmingly soon.
What he didn’t count on was our unique ability to create more resources from the land. We could rip up more, create machines, burn stored carbon, pave the world, manufacture powerful chemicals and otherwise subdue and control the Earth. We did it all because, by the very nature of life, we hate to see our children die, and we can’t stop, y’knowmakin‘ babies. That is the heart of our ecological crisis, and, without effective means of controlling Malthusian population dynamics, the Earth was screwed.

When effective, simple and reliable birth control was invented, first in the form of the latex condom, and then through various hormonal contraceptives, our species was given the ability to control this vicious system. For the first time in the HISTORY OF LIFE on this planet, a species is choosing not to use up every available resource and, instead, control it’s own population without the looming prospect of starvation.

Condoms aren’t solar powered or reusable or even recyclable, but they’ve made the environmental revolution possible. As simple birth control continues its spread across the globe, it leaves behind happier healthier societies with significantly less impact on the planet. That is the power of true innovation.

via Ecogeek

Written by gadgetfreaks

May 21, 2008 at 9:02 am

Five Nice Mice.

leave a comment »

Where would we be without the computer mouse. That little disposable piece of modern technology that is used by hundreds of millions each day. Here at GadgetFreaks we took a bit of a peek about the net to see what’s new and wierd as we bring you ‘Five Nice Mice’.

1- The Origins Of The Species.

According to Wikipedia, the mouse was invented in 1963 by Douglas Englebart. It was a rather ungainly device ( see below ) which used a large wheel and was constructed of wood. The builder of his design, Bill English, later went on to invent the ball mouse whilst working for Xerox in 1972. Now 83 years old, Mr. Englebart must look at what he started with his invention and have a quiet chuckle to himself as the computer mouse becomes increasingly high-tech and/or bizarre.

2 – USB Vacuum Mouse

From Japan, here’s a rather unique and quirky spin on the mouse. It’s a mouse and it’s a USB vacuum cleaner. Yes folks you heard right, this 800 dpi laser mouse incorporates a tiny vacuum cleaner with removable dust reservior, a scroll wheel and an on/off switch for the cleaner. Keeping your workspace clean just got a whole lot more gadgety !

 

3 – USB Hand Warming Mouse.

Yet another mad mad mouse from The Land of the Rising Sun. This rather neat and relatively normal looking mouse actually keeps your hands warm. Reaching a maximum temperature of 45 degrees celsius, it has an 800 dpi resolution. Looks like Mac users may be out in the cold though as it only supports Windows NT/ME/2000/XP. However, as it is plug and play and therefore needs no driver we may see Mac users warming to it! 

 

4 – Fingerprint Reader Mouse.

For those security conscious gadgeteers, fringerprint recognition technology is now available in a mouse. With it’s cool gadget grey and black design this mouse has an 800 dpi sensor sensitivity, a 508 dpi finger sensor and a 256 bit encryption algorithm. It boasts a 1 in 1000 false rejection rate and a 1 in 1,000,000 false recognition rate. It can also be used as a decryption tool for files and drives, a protection layer for website log-ins and it can be set up with 10 fingerprint samples to allow multiple users. That is one smart mouse!

 5 – The Body Mouse.

This would have to take the cake for the most grotesque, bizarre, repulsive, creepy and just downright wrong gadget we’ve seen in a while. Looking like something from a Frankenstein movie, The Body Mouse was designed in 2002 by Chris Lomaka and seems to have just seen the light of day. There are no technical details available for it and I am not sure I want to know too much anyway ! The realism of the hair, skin and nails is positively creepy….I so want one ! Great for keeping the faint of heart away from your computer ! A definite chick magnet for geeks or the perfect mouse for crazed eccentric med students or morticians with a sense of humour?

Written by gadgetfreaks

April 23, 2008 at 8:59 am

Sandisk Ducati Must Haves!

with one comment

Over the past decade or so there has been a sharp decline in tobacco company sponsorship in all sports globally. Bans on tobacco advertising in all forms of media and motorsport have all but closed off the last avenue for the tobacco industry to parade its brands to the public en mass. An increasing number of countries have outlawed public tobacco branding even in the form of sponsorship in Formula One and Moto GP. This has pushed most companies to abandon these sports in droves and leaving with them are their huge investment dollars.

A quick look at todays F1 car and Moto GP bike reveals a whole new generation of sponsors picking up the huge bill involved. In exchange their brands are proudly displayed on the machine’s livery and plastered over just about anything involved with the teams. In fact there is more diversity among the sponsor companies with IT, financial management, airlines and even power drink corporations occupying the wings and wheels of the world’s most glamourous and dangerous sports.

146_0708_02_zducati_desmosedici_gp7.jpg

One such company is SanDisk which has been a sponsor of the Moto GP Ducati Team. To celebrate, or maybe even cash in on their investment, they have released a series of computer accessories with a Ducati Moto GP theme. Boasting ‘Ultra High Performance’ the gadgets come in the style of the Ducati Moto GP team colours and are even styled like the machines and feature imagery of their #1 rider Casey Stoner.

ducaticf6.jpg ducatiusb2.jpgducatisd5.jpg

CF Card Ducati Moto GP USB SD Card

Being the Moto GP fanatics that we are here at Gadget Freaks, we want these gadgets so bad it hurts! Considering that Casey Stoner is current World Moto GP Champion and one of the most exciting and popular riders in the sport and the huge international following the historic Italian motorcycle marque enjoys, we think SanDisk are on a winner.

estoril_stonerrs.jpg
World Moto GP Champion Casey Stoner

5 Gadgets That Will Survive A Nuclear Holocaust!

leave a comment »

After the carnage of the Australian F1 Grand Prix where millions of dollars of damage was inflicted in rather slight racing incidents and looking at our USB dongle graveyard we decided to look into indestructible gadgets. So we set to work to bring you the kind of gadgets that would survive a nuclear holocaust and be found in thousands of years by future archaeologists.

Of course following any nuclear destruction of our civilization you will be needing a communication device. You know, something to call around and see who’s left. The Sonim XP1 mobile phone is reported to be indestructible and has been tested by being shot by a 9mm Glock and a Swedish newspaper, Metro, shot it with a Remington Rifle. Hmmm we want one!

sonim_xp1.jpg

As I mentioned before we here at Gadget Freaks have collected what amounts to a ‘Dongle Graveyard’. Old dongles that no longer work because they’ve been dropped or put through the wash or the dog got to them etc etc! When will someone make the unbreakable dongle? Ask no more! ‘From Russia with Love’ comes the Titan USB dongle that can withstand 2000LB of pressure. It is constructed of a space age graphite/aluminium then cased in titanium. Limited to a production run of 100 they come in 1 0r 2 GB models with the 2GB selling for around US$247. Yikes…not cheap but seemingly indestructible. Just don’t lose it!

titanium-usb.jpg

However, if you don’t want to fork out the big bucks or you are a DIY kinda gadgeteer you may want to check out this clever chap’s solution to the USB Dongle dilemma. Engineering student Russel Jones has come up with a very cool aluminium casing( that be aluminum for those over the big pond) that is fabricated around an existing USB disk. Very gadgety indeed!

_indestructible_ubs_thumb_drive_1.jpg

Another gadget that could possibly survive a nuke is this ‘Wireless Silicone Keyboard’. We’ve seen the wired version in pubs and they seem to take the punishment handed out by Lagerists ( people who specialize in drinking copious amounts of beer) without problem. You can roll it, you can fold it, you can stuff it, you can wash it, you can squash it!. It is strong and flexible and wireless and whoa look at that colour, we call it Atomic Blue.

wireless-silicone-keyboard-2.jpg

Ok so imagine this. You are sitting in your post-holocaust hovel with your indestructible gadgets and there is a cruel nuclear winter going on outside. However, we need to get food and water but it’s glowing green out there! Luckily for us we have a very smart beast of burden we can send out to gather what we need. Due to the ‘predicted’ fact that cockroaches will increase ten-fold in size and rule the post-nuked planet we innovative humans are already at work developing ways to exploit this future resource.

This Sci-Fi scenario is taking shape in Tokyo as scientists are removing the antennae from cockroaches and replacing them with PEE( Pulse-Emitting Electrodes) that can be controlled remotely via a miniature backpack carried by the roaches themselves. Researchers are even developing micro-cameras to equip the mighty roaches with. The range of applications for this technological marriage between Homo sapiens and Anastatus tenuipes is mind boggling. It sure has us here at Gadget Freaks a tad more boggly than normal! Read more………

robo-roach.jpg

Written by gadgetfreaks

March 19, 2008 at 8:35 am

Top 5 Gadgets To Make Sure You Don’t Miss A Minute Of The Action!

leave a comment »

Well race fans it’s that time of year again. Moto GP kicked off last weekend and this weekend Formula One revs up in Melbourne, Australa. We here at Gadget Freaks just despise missing a minute of the action. All the good stuff seems to happen when you get up to get a beer or you need to explain to your better half why this race is far more important than getting the lawn mowed or some other trivial domestic need. So let’s have a look at some gadgets that will ensure you don’t need to miss a moment of the action.

1- Husqvarna’s Autonomous Solar Lawnmower.

‘Never Mow Again’, it says on the blurb. Sweet words indeed if you need to spend half your day off dragging some old noisy contraption around your yard. Well those innovative Swedes at Husqvarna have come up with the world’s first ‘Solar Robot Lawnmower’. Charge it up and set it mowing. Leaving you to concentrate on more important tasks, like watching motorsports. I’d imagine it would be pretty quiet to so you won’t be interupted by a noisy two-stroke engine leaving your ears to take in the sweet sounds of screaming racing engines! Joy! Read more……

solar_lawnmower.jpg

2- The Beverage Buggy.

Ever gotten up to refresh your beverage of choice and you hear ‘ Oh that was a huge crash’ or ‘ That was the best passing move you’ll ever see’ ? Well lament no more! Introducing the beverage buggy. This little remote control device will scoot to the kitchen and be back with your drinks faster than Fangio. ( provided there is someone to load it up-see gadget #5 ) Read more…….

01425sz1i17952000.jpg

3- USB Missile Launcher With Webcam.

A must have for the hardcore motorsports fan! At last a USB with webcam to ensure pinpoint accuracy. Not only great for deterring anyone inconsiderate enough to interrupt the race but also handy to fire at Alonso or perhaps even the referee if your watching football. Be rudely interrupted no more. Read more………

usb-missile-launcher-webcam.jpg

4- Waterprooof TV

So let’s imaging a hot sunday afternoon, your solar robot is mowing the lawn, your beverage buggy is keeping the fluids up. What better place to watch the race than in the pool. Well this waterproof monitor would be ideal for worry free viewing in an aquatic atmosphere. One of our other faves here at Gadget Freaks is F1 Powerboat racing so with this monitor you can really get into the feel of things. Read more…..

wptvm.jpg

5- The Wife Remote.

Ok so we are out at the pool with our waterproof TV , our beverage buggy is keeping the fluids up, our solar robot is mowing the lawn and we have our arsenal of missiles loaded and aimed. However, it’s not enough! Honey!!! Arrrgh! Time to bring out the big guns. The wife remote has some very handy functions race fans. Combine the mute with the beer button and it’s sunday bliss. Read more…..

wife-remote-15714.jpg

And finally just in case you get home and it’s raceday and you can’t get the TV off of Oprah……….See here!

Gadgetize Your Cubicle.

leave a comment »

If you are like us here at Gadget Freaks you probably spend a considerable amount of time in the office. However, being in the office shouldn’t mean you have to go gadget cold turkey. So let’s have a look at some cool gadgets for around the office.

yhst-78359274419338_1991_80721266.jpg

Blunt Desktop Signs

Quite a cool gadget for around the office is this Digital Pen from Nokia. The SU-1B Digital Pen is a multi-functional device which can store up to 100 A5 pages of data and integrates with Outlook, Powerpoint and Word. It is also compatible with Nokia Bluetooth 1.1 phones for sending files and SMS text. One drawback with this model ( and I am sure the fine folk at Nokia will address this in later models) is the fact that to transfer data you must first disconnect from the internet and disable your Anti-Virus software. Quite a kafuffle really. Despite this the SU-1B , weighing in at 35 grams, has a bunch of other cool features that almost make it a must have gadget. Read more……

nokia-digital-pen-i1.jpg

Although not quite as function packed as the SU-1B , nor nearly as expensive, is this gadgety scribe. Hosting an MP3 player, recorder microphone and a 512mb USB flash disk this little unit is great for students, office workers and the like. It also screws apart to become a wearable MP3. Screw off the pen end and attach the neck strap and you are ready for play. Interestingly it even writes too!

mp3_player_pen.jpg


One of the coolest things to come along in recent years is Skype. We here at Gadget Freaks just love Skype. In fact we have almost lost the ability to hold a conventional conversation and when we do we express ourselves in emoticon body language! A couple of cool gadgets we recently uncovered are these VOIP Skype Phones. One from Techpin is this neat looking flip top mouse phone combo. Nice gadgety black and silver finish and speaker phone or earplug functions matched with an 800 DPI optical sensor make this a gadget that’ll have your co-workers talking about your gadgetsense at the water cooler!

skype-mouse-ear2.jpg

On the subject of VOIP Skype phones we saw this one on Youtube whilst doing our exhaustive research. Nice design. Just wish it was wireless!

And yet another must have for your cubicle is this gadgety personal comfort management station. Described at ThinkGeek as a ” Tentacled USB desktop thingy” it connects to your USB and includes a cup warmer, a mini-task lamp, mini vacuum cleaner and of course a USB port.

usb_giftset1.jpg

And for the last word on office gadgets (for this blog anyway) here is an inspiring list of gadgets specifically chosen due to their ‘Office unfriendliness’. Titled “10 Gadgets That Will Get You Fired Before The New Year” it is a comprehensive guide to gadgets guaranteed to have you looking for new employment. Brought to you by who else but Gizmodo!

Written by gadgetfreaks

March 10, 2008 at 7:19 am