Gadgets And Gizmos


Nokia has just unveiled the HF-300 speakerphone that was specially designed for those who hit the road frequently, as evident by the sun visor clip that mounts it above your head complete with a battery to eliminate the need for a car charger. You can also place the HF-300 on the dashboard or desk, since its rubber feet prevent it from slipping all too easily. The Nokia HF-300 boasts up to 20 hours of continuous talktime, preserving energy by turning itself off after 5 minutes without a Bluetooth connection.


The WildCharge wireless charging mat gets plugged into an outlet, and any electronic device placed on it gets juiced up through the magic of electromagnetic induction. Yeah, electric toothbrushes have been doing this for some time, but it looks like it’s about to make the long overdue jump into mainstream gadgetry. The obvious downside at this point is that you have to get an adapter for each of your devices to allow them to take advantage of the induction field, unless you already have something that’s WildCharge enabled.

The pad itself is a svelte sub-0.1″ thin, and will charge as many gadgets as you can stuff onto it. There are a few missing specs, such as exactly how much power this thing can pump out. The cost hasn’t been released, but it should be available “at a cost competitive with standard aftermarket cellular phone or laptop computer chargers.”


Sony is giving the competition something to think about with its 2.5″ OLED screen made from a glass substrate, enabling you to bend the screen casually. This wafer-thin display will probably find practical use inside futuristic, high-tech magazines as an advertisement channel or other social products such as cellphones. Organic TFT technology is utilized to keep the clarity intact despite measuring just 0.3mm thick. This flexi-OLED display has a resolution of 120 x 169 pixels and weighs a mere 1.5 grams.


Fancy storing all 13 security applications to keep your computer safe and sound from nasty external attacks and viruses on a single USB flash drive? Yoggie Security Systems has just released such a device known as the Yoggie Pico, giving computer users (notebook or otherwise) full corporate level Internet protection from all types of hacking, virus, malware, worms and other attacks – both current and future – while boosting computer performance by saving CPU, memory and disk space. Prices start from $180 onwards, depending on the Personal or Pro versions.


Linksys now has a Wireless-G USB adapter with a built-in WiFi finder allowing you to locate a hotspot without having to boot up your laptop.

The Wi-Fi Finder detects Wireless-G and Wireless-B networks with a simple push of a button. It displays all pertinent information such as the wireless network’s name (SSID), signal strength, the channel used, and whether wireless security is enabled or not. The information is displayed on an easy-to-read LCD display and can be set up to look for only open networks, all networks, or a specific named network. Discovered networks are listed in order of signal strength.

The adapter also uses search technology that’s smart enough to filter out 2.4GHz interference from microwaves, cordless phones or even Bluetooth devices meaning you’ll only get a list of actual Wireless-G and B networks.

Does it really make a difference what size memory card you use? To your camera, no; to you, however, it could mean the difference between getting the picture you want or running out of space on your memory card.
When choosing the most logical size, take into account how many pictures you usually take at a time. Your needs if you are a world traveler will be different from those of a person who only uses a camera for holiday get-togethers. You also need to decide how big the files are of the pictures you take. Smaller files such as pictures for online will take less space and enable you to fit more on a card. Larger files for printing will need more room.
If you have a 2 mega-pixel camera, 128MB is usually enough. For a 3 or 4-megapixel
camera, a 128MB or 256MB memory card is usually plenty. For a 5-megapixel camera, start with a 256MB memory card.
Here’s a rough guideline of how many pictures a flash memory card can hold:
*A 128MB flash memory card can store about 21-41 large, uncompressed images or up to 100 small, compressed images. This is good enough for most photographic needs.
*A 256MB card will store about twice that, 42-82 large pictures and nearly 200 smaller ones. Important events like weddings and once in a lifetime events might warrant this size just to make sure you don’t miss that one special moment.
A 1GB card has room for nearly 4 times as much as a 256MB card, If you are planning a long vacation with a lot of picture taking, this might be best with the capacity to hold 168-328 large images and a total of close to 800 smaller images.
Whatever you decide, remember you can always use several smaller cards and just change them when they are full. It only takes a few seconds to switch memory cards, so don’t panic if you don’t have a large memory card.

user posted image

IO Gear has released the Digital Scribe device that turns your handwriting into a digital format when connected to your notebook or PC. It uses an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to do the conversion, and IO Gear claims that the software has an accuracy rate of 99%. You use the digital pen to write or draw stuff down on a piece of regular paper in front of the Digital Scribe module where the same written/drawn data will appear on screen. The digital pen comes with regular ink cartridges which can be replaced when empty. I tried drawing a cartoon which was reproduced pretty accurately on screen, but the OCR software was not installed at the presentation booth. I am not too sure about why anyone would want to write something down on a piece of paper when seated in front of the PC as it would be much more convenient to boot up a word processor and type it all down instead. Anyhow, the Digital Scribe is available in two formats – a wired model and a wireless one. The wired model will retail for $49 while the wireless version would set you back by an additional $50.

user posted image
The SnoopStick is a USB flash drive apparently designed with the intent of allowing parents or employers to keep an eye on what their kids or employees are doing online. Just plug the SnoopStick into any USB equipped PC you want to monitor and then run the setup program which takes about 60 seconds. The software that gets installed is completely invisible leaving no evidence that the system is being watched or monitored.

Once installed on a system you can then monitor that computer’s online activities anywhere in the world by simply plugging the SnoopStick into your own PC. You can see what websites have been visited, check who or where emails have been sent and even read IM conversations as they happen in real time. The SnoopStick will even store up to 12 months of activity logs if you don’t want to keep an eye on the other computer all the time or if you happen to need a bit of evidence later on.

user posted image

It’s actually called the “Home Theater Watch,” but that’s somewhat of a misnomer, seeing as the screen that this watch features is only an inch and a half in size. Nothing wrong with that, though… It is, after all, a watch. The 2 gigs of onboard memory should handle at least one movie. The watch hooks up to your computer via USB, and can also play back picture slideshows and audio files.

Although software is included to convert some types of video files (including AVI, WMV, MPEG, and VCD) into watch video format (whatever that is), there’s no information given about battery life. It would be nice, too, if instead of the 2GB of built in memory, there was an SD card slot.