Robots have always held a fascination for me ever since my school days. In that time robots have evolved. Here I'm looking at the latest consumer 'toy' Robot - the i-Sobot from Tomy.
Things have moved on a long way since the plastic toy robot my father bought me well over thirty years ago. If I remember correctly that had a single electric motor in the base and a couple of caterpillar tracks to move. The only other technology was a couple of flashing lights. The only real similarity between that long lost toy and the i-Sobot is that both are made of plastic. Gone are the caterpillar tracks to be replaced with 17 different powered 'joints'.
This is the second of the phones from the Swedish company I met recently. This is two handsets the ‘base’ one has a built in answerphone and the ‘remote’ one can be placed anywhere within range where there is a power supply.
The phones are 15x5.5x2cm and with their two ‘AAA’ rechargeable batteries inserted weigh just over 100grams. Mine had a black face and silver back; the rubberised buttons were silver with black numerals. The display is black on grey however for eight seconds after a key is pressed it is backlit in blue. There are a total of nineteen buttons and a circular one that works top and bottom so I suppose it’s twenty one.
The first is hidden inside a standard looking pillow, the second inside a fabric hat. Both allow you to use your favourite iPod or MP3 player to provide the material.
All you need is your iPod or MP3 player plus a pillowcase. Replace your normal pillow with this offering and you can listen to your music without disturbing others, I doubt even most people sleeping in the same room or maybe even in the same bed would be disturbed. While I suggested iPod or MP3 there is no reason why it should not be a radio or even a portable CD Player. I am told learning works with this method of dropping off to sleep while listening.
It is small, pocket-size and can deliver printed images of your digital photos almost as soon as they are captured.
Back in the early 1960s, before personal computers were not even a twinkle in the eye of manufacturers, mention Polaroid and you thoughts would probably turn to an instant camera that could capture and then produce a print of your image. Since then technology has moved on and the Polaroid Instant Camera is no longer with us as digital rules the roost. However the company has not given up on being involved in photo printing as can be seen with its Polaroid PoGo product.
Sometimes you want to listen to your music stored on a portable player without the need of a headset. Altec Lansing offers a solution.
In the past I have made my feelings clear regarding the over-whelming number of audio devices that have been developed to support the various types of iPod units without giving much thought to the many users of MP3 players. Being a fan of MP3 music format myself, I am always on the look out for products that treat both formats on a more or less equal basis. It has to be admitted that this is often a thankless tasks that generally ends in disappointment.
Version 2 of the Home Hub from BT adds both style and functionality to an already good product. Coupled
with the BT Hub Phone it will offer most of the capabilities an average home could want.
Broadband hubs, or routers, are traditionally fairly drab units designed with function in mind. Originally these devices would have been stuffed away in a corner or behind the sofa - out of sight. Integrating wireless into such a device has always caused conflict between utilitarian design and the need to place the hub somewhere in the open to get the best wireless signal.
It must be at least two years since I first saw these sort of items advertised, however for one reason or another it is only now late in 2008 that I finally got to test one. This unit from ION comes with three different pieces of software.
The record deck is 40x34x10cm, mine was silver in colour with a clear Perspex lid. There are three push buttons on the front and a USB connection on the back along with two RCA audio output sockets and mains lead input. The three push buttons are for setting the deck speed 33 or 45, to automatically lift the stylus from the record and a stop button. The reason I mentioned these is that they are not controls to effect in any way the output to the PC.
With an ample supply of different coloured pegs and a collection of balls, the game of Peggle returns with more challenges.
As with the original Peggle Deluxe, the follow-up title of Peggle Nights Deluxe takes the player to that mysterious location known as the Peggle Institute. The Institute, for those who have not been there before, is the home of a super-intelligent group of characters that have achieved Peggle Master status.
This is a digital camera that is easily small enough to fit in a pocket or purse but this does not mean it is lacking in features. It is a 12MP offering that has scene recognition, face detection and auto red eye removal to mention just three.
It is 9x6x2cm and weights only 165grams. Doing a quick run round the unit mine was a rather nice matt black with silver fitments such as the Fujinon lens F=8-24mm. Above and to it’s right by a minimum of 2cm is the flash. The left side is bland while the right side has wrist strap anchor point and A/V out behind a door. The base have the rechargeable battery behind a door that also hides the card slot, to the left of this is the tripod anchor point.
Not every has or wants a home network set up yet would still like to use USB devices on more than one computer. Check out a possible solution.
If like our house you have remote controls coming out of your ears, but never the right one then
this little box could be just the thing for you. As well as controlling up to four separate devices
it will also completely power them down - saving you money, batteries and the world resources.
The URC-8350 is a fairly standard sized 'traditional' remote control unit measuring 210 x 55 x 30mm (HxWxD). Power is provided by two AAA batteries. As well as the remote the product is provided with an on/off power plug (HC-8000). Simply insert this into a wall socket, and the connect all your A/V equipment through that plug via a power strip. The remote then allows you to completely remove power from all those devices - reducing the standby requirement to zero.
The big thing about this 22inch panel is not the resolution it is what now seems to be a standard 1680x1080, it’s not the wonderful sound –their isn’t any- it is simply that is uses less power in both use and on standby so it can help your pocket and the planet.
I find it weird that my more than three year old 20inch panel has a greater resolution than a brand new 22inch offering. Of course my panel is 4:3 and this is 16:9. The panel is 51x34cm and is a maximum of 9cm thick. It has a 20cm circular stand and this raises it 6cm above the desk. The screen itself is 47x29.5cm giving the diagonal 22inch measurement. The rear has connections for analogue and digital as well as the power.
Video glasses for your iPod or other video player with good battery live and that can also show 3D content. A great idea for watching your video in bed or on the move.
Vuzix have a history in developing audio-visual eye-wear for military and medical applications. With the AV920 they bring their expertise to bear on the burgeoning consumer portable video market in the form of a set of video glasses. The AV920 a stereoscopic headset that focusses an image on each eye. The effect is that of 62" screen - very impressive.
Here I am looking at two kids toys that will be very popular with younger kids – not quite so sure about their parents – one a tiny guitar with built in songs and the other another item a belt buckle giving guitar sounds from a mini amplifier this again comes with built in sounds. They are both reasonably priced.
When I first saw this my initial thought was toy, after using it I can see musical merit in it. You can play chords and therefore tunes and possibly just possibly the child might take music seriously. It is 19.5cm long, 6.5cm wide (max) and 3.5cm deep. The back and sides are brown, the fret part is yellow and guitar head is blue (other colours are available). It requires two ‘AAA’ batteries that are not supplied. The back has a speaker and a three position switch off/low/high.
A 500Gbyte hard disk aimed at those wishing to centralise their multi-media storage, or
at least to have a usable copy of those files somewhere near their television.
Verbatim have been in the storage industry for very many years and that lineage is very clearly visible in the MediaStation. The convergence of multiple functions into a single device tends to happen with each manufacturer their area of expertise, working outwards to incorporate additional features. So good mobile phones initially integrate a fairly poor camera and media player. In the case of the MediaStation, this is very much a hard-disk that has some additional features.
Joining Nokia’s extensive portfolio of mobile devices is a model with a strong emphasis on music and games.
The Nokia 5320 XpressMusic is a candy-bar style of handset. Measuring 108 x 46 x 15mm and weighing 90g, the review sample of the Nokia 5320 is predominately black with a red trim around the handset’s body and the unit’s navigation pad. A further touch of colour is present with the green and red phone keys for accepting and rejecting calls respectively. Taking over the top half of the unit is a 2-inch QVGA screen capable of displaying 16 million colours.
Have you often wondered whether an ergonomic keyboard is for you? This review looks at one of the newest keyboards, the Goldtouch.
The Goldtouch Ergonomic Keyboard: £139.95 ex VAT from I have tested a large number of ergonomic products as well as those that claim to be ergonomic but just don't quite make the grade. While the intention is good, the delivery sometimes lacks a certain something. Unfortunately the Goldtouch Keyboard fits into the latter category. What frustrates me is that by doing a bit more user testing I’m sure this product could have been great.
While notebooks have the advantage of mobility, sometimes mains or battery power can be a problem area. A new adapter offers to help.
This is quite a squat unit, it is DAB only so no FM. However the white unit with grey sides looks quite nice. Normally a DAB radio on batteries is unlikely to get beyond ten hours this unit shatters that by a long way.
It is 19x11x7cm, weight is around 700grams, the grey sides are rubberised as is the base of the seven section rod aerial that extends 58cm from the top of the unit. The back has 3.5mm connectors for line in and earbuds. There is also an input for the mains adapter. Everything else is controlled by five small rubberised buttons and below that two larger rubberised twist knobs are below back. Above these knobs is a 5.7x1.
Missing servants, a bloodthirsty religious sect and a visit to Victorian London to meet a famous detective can only mean it is another Sherlock Holmes adventure.
When it comes to honing your observation skills and improve your logical analysis what better role model to have than that of Sherlock Holmes. This opportunity is offered to you with the remastered version of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. Developed by Frogwares and published as a joint venture between Ascaron Entertainment and 93GAMES, this remastered version of a point and click adventure now features a new third-person view mode, improved graphics and an updated help system.