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Author Archive for Griffin Peyton

Another Potential iRemote?

Though no official word has been made, FCC filings were recently unveiled, illustrating another potential remote control replacement for the iPhone or iPod touch.

Startup company, Zelfy, filed plans for a product called “Peel.”  Images show a small IR port that connects to your wireless router.  After downloading the “Peel” app to either your iPhone or iPod touch, users may control the devices linked with the aforementioned IR connection.

According to Engadget, the product’s tagline states: “every remote and TV guide now on your phone.”  While this doesn’t provide a clear explanation, their website also shows a woman seemingly controlling her television via iPhone: we can only infer the obvious.

Keep your eyes “Peel”ed!

[Courtesy of Engadget]

Dress Up Your Kindle With Speck!

As relentless as the e-reader trend has become, so to is our quest at the Gadgeteer to provide readers with even more ways to dress up their luxury literary devices. While the sleek, minimalist design of Amazon’s 2nd generation Kindle happens to be one of it’s most alluring features, sometimes we simply feel the urge to break free from the norm.

Lucky for us, the fine folks at Speck have provided us with a couple of options to make our e-book experience functional and fashionable. Read More →

Microsoft to demo “Skinput” technology

Whoa.

Think touchscreens are cool?  What about touchskins?  Skinscreens?  However you decide to coin the term, Chris Harrison – former

intern with Microsoft Research and  “Skinput” developer – wants the process of navigating personal technology *literally* in the palm of your hand.

If you’re confused (or scared), here’s how “Skinput” works:  with the help of an arm-mounted pico-projector and a Bluetooth connection, the palm and forearm of the user’s body becomes the navigation center of their phone, MP3 player, or other personal technology item.  Keyboards/keypads are projected onto the user’s skin which, in turn, respond to touch/tap motions.  While touch is a key component to the function of “Skinput,” much of the accuracy lies in its ability to distinguish between specific, inaudible sounds generated by particular motions in the skin and bone of one’s arm.

In addition to the keyboard projection, “Skinput” also responds to various hand gestures, all of which can be programmed per desired function – tap fingers together to answer phone calls, rotate your wrist to scroll up and down, close your fist to exit programs, etc.

According to Harrison, “Skinput” has been under development and testing for the past 8 months, but won’t be commercially available for another 2 to 7 years.  Keep an eye – or an arm – out.

And Mr. Jobs called his device “magical”?

[Courtesy of CNN.com]

Can Microsoft’s “Kin” Win?

Microsoft recently announced the launch of two devices from their new “Kin” line (aptly titled Kin One and Kin Two) with a hearty emphasis on social networking/sharing.

Both phones are touch-screen/slider models and contain cameras (Kin One – 5 megapixel / Kin Two – 8 megapixel).  Microsoft also touts the Kin as the first in-phone implementation of the Zune service, and users can stream music over the air, on the go.

According to Microsoft’s Robbie Bach, these phones are geared towards the “Lifecasters.”  If you aren’t sure what a Lifecaster is, it’s  your Facebook/MySpace friends that need to remind you of vital information such as, “I just woke up!” or “It’s sunny today!”

Both models will be available through Verizon in May.  Pricing is not yet available.

[Courtesy of CNET]

Record-O-Clip Review

Are you tired of hearing and/or reading about Apple’s newest edition to the Cupertino family? No? Well, me either…BUT, if you’d like to divert your attention for a bit, Record-O-Clip may be an equally worthy investment!
Read More →

Micca Slim Portable HDD Digital Media Player Review

In today’s plug-and-play, wireless, streaming, hi-definition world, it’s not uncommon to find products geared towards the fusion of technology and media.  TVs are now equipped with integrated wireless services, and, as Jay mentioned earlier this week, even the home telephone is receiving the tech-treatment.  Micca has decided to enter the digital media fray with their introduction of the Slim Portable HDD Digital Media Player.  In true Gadgeteer spirit, I was fortunate enough to give Micca’s media player the old college try. Read More →

“Kindle for Mac” App Now Available

Amazon has released the long-anticipated “Kindle for Mac” app today.  The application, which is free, allows users with or without a Kindle to access the 450,000 e-books from Amazon’s Kindle Store.

If you are a Kindle user, you will experience a seamless integration between your Kindle device and the application on your Mac (Intel-based machines only).  You will be able to access your Kindle library when you don’t have your Kindle with you, and your most previously read page (whether read on your Kindle device or your Mac) will always be synchronized using Amazon’s Whispernet service. System requirements after the jump. Read More →

Channel Surfing Via iPhone

Remotes – like socks – tend to venture off into a vast abyss that no mere mortal can discover…either that or we forget to check under the cushions.  You can buy all the remote control cradles you’d like, but if you would prefer to consolidate the process, you might be interested in the RedEye mini from ThinkFlood.  A simple dongle plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone (or iPod touch/iPad), transforming the device into a fully functional, universal remote control.  Operating from up to 30′ away, the RedEye mini can be programmed to suit the user’s needs – including its controls.  Users have the option of using touchscreen buttons, Apple’s multi-touch gestures, and accelerometer controls (e.g. – flicking the iPhone forward to change the channel).  The best part?  It’s only $49.00!

[Courtesy of Engadget]

The Voice Interactive Personal Assistant

It’s not uncommon to keep yourself up at night as you race through the mounting “to-do” lists in your mind…but why lose sleep over it?  The Voice Interactive Personal Assistant from Hammacher Schlemmer lets you rest easy by recording and replaying up to six commands at the time of your choosing.  This voice-activated alarm clock responds to verbal cues such as “Today’s Reminders” and “Help” (hopefully you won’t need that one, though) and replies in what HS calls “a pleasant female voice.”  The device is powered via AC adapter or 3 AAA batteries.  Price: $59.95

[Via Hammacher Schlemmer]

Does Your Mobile Device Accept Credit/Debit? It Does Now.

Dude -- remember that 11.50 I spotted you for lunch?

Sure, your iPhone can transform into a flute, locate your favorite Gadgeteer posts, and even file your taxes… But can it really accept payments via debit/credit card?  Thanks to the creative cats behind the concept of Square, mobile transactions are now a reality.  Square is exactly what the title implies, a small, square dongle that plugs directly into the audio jack of your mobile device.  The steps seem simple enough – register your account through the Square website, enter the amount for the transaction, swipe the debit/credit card through the square dongle, and confirm the transaction.  Users have the option of providing their signature (via finger on the touchscreen) and entering their email address, immediately sending them a receipt for the transaction.

Mobile transactions via Square extend beyond the realm of business and allow anyone to partake in their services.  Advertise debit/credit at your next garage sale, square up a bet with someone, and eliminate your friend’s excuse for not paying you back because they “don’t have cash on them.”  Is Square a game-changer?  Would you trust these transactions?

[Courtesy of Engadget]

*Pricing not yet available.

The Next Step in Global Domination: Google Buzz

Despite their stronghold in the world of email, mapping, photo-sharing, etc., Google has decided to up the ante and delve into the craze that is social-networking. Enter Google Buzz. Rather than operating as a stand-alone website, Buzz is streamlined into Gmail’s web interface.  Status updates, Picasa albums, Google Reader pages, and links to sites like Twitter and Flickr are streamed (or “buzzed”) to selected contacts in real-time.  Think of it as a marriage between Twitter and Facebook, built directly into the Gmail interface.  Could Google Buzz be a hit or are the folks from Mountain View a little late to the party?  Will you try it?

The Glory Days of Gaming – On Your iPhone/iTouch

You know what’s missing from your iPhone?  According to the team at Sega, that would be a hedgehog, dolphin, and dragon-riding dwarf.  And their remedy happens to be a new iPhone application (aptly titled the “Ultimate Genesis Collection”) that turns your iPhone/iPod touch into a virtual Sega console.  Fans of old Sega titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, and Golden Axe will soon be able to relive these classic games on the go.  The application provides users with virtual buttons on the side of the screen that mimic the controllers from the original Sega Genesis system.  In addition to playing the games, users will also have the ability to save mid-game — a perk that didn’t exist on the original console.  The emulator app will be available sometime this month, free of charge.  Games, however, will range from 2.99 to 5.99.

[Courtesy of CNET]

Light up your life! (And cook some eggs while you’re at it)

Single-purpose items are so 2009!  Why invest in a flashlight that merely illuminates your surroundings when you can have one wielding enough power to light matches or prepare breakfast?!  Enter the Torch Ultra-Bright Flashlight!  Billed as the most powerful consumer flashlight, the Torch Ultra-Bright Flashlight packs enough power (4100 lumens) to roast marshmallows, burn plastic, and…illuminate your surroundings!  For a mere $299 – you can be the life of the campsite!

Disclaimer: The Gadgeteer does not condone any misuse of severely powerful flashlights…please use with discretion.

[Courtesy of ThinkGeek]

Upgrade Your Blu-Ray Experience – Sony BDP-S770

While the rest of the world is busy drooling over the newest edition to the Cupertino family (see previous posts from Julie and Andy), there are, in fact, other interesting additions to our beloved world of gadgetry.  Case in point: the BDP-S770 Blu-Ray player from Sony.

This isn’t your grandma’s Blu-Ray player, boasting a bevy of features that place the BDP-S770 in a class all its own.  3D capabilities, built-in Wi-Fi, integrated Bravia Internet Video Link (streaming Netflix, Pandora, Slacker Radio, Amazon Video On-Demand, etc), not to mention the ability to control the player from your iPhone or iPod Touch!  (My Apple contribution for the day – whoo hoo!)

The unit is scheduled to be released this Summer – pricing is not yet available. Read More →

Want to file your taxes? There’s (kind of) an app for that…

Stocks, streaming radio, social networking…taxes?  For many iPhone users, the world is at their fingertips.  And now, thanks to the folks over at Intuit (of TurboTax fame), filing your taxes is part of that world.  The setup is simple – snap a photo of your W-2, answer a few questions, review, and e-file!  The catch?  As it stands, this app is exclusively for residents of California during its initial release.  The price of the application is $9.99 – which covers federal and state preparation costs, as well as the filing cost – and will be available at the end of January.

Live outside of California?  Intuit also offers TaxCaster – an application that gives users an idea as to how much their refund will be (or how much they may owe).  TaxCaster may not file your taxes, but it is still informative…and better yet, it’s free.

[Via WalletPop]