Friday, February 28, 2003

CDR-ROMs are coming

Optical Disc Corporation has announced a CDR-ROM format, which combines mass produced CD-ROMs with a user writable CD-R area, opening new possibilities for digital content products. The standard is not new, but new manufacturing technology now makes it doable.

You are always on

Somebody using a camera cell phone nearby? Sure you are not 'on'? Progress in micro camera gadgets and wireless technology will keep us "always on" in more ways than one, as demonstrated by this wireless pen cam. And blogs are going the way of "live" audio and video feeds.

Major PC architecture update next fall

Intel will next year launch their "Grantsdale" chipset. Called Intels most important new chipset in a decade it will lead the way for a new PC architecture where serial PCI Express replaces AGP and PCI. And with NewCard (see blog post 24/2) support for modular expansion.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Handheld wireless fileserver

Sony has launched the FSV-PGX1 (Babelfish-translated :), a small handheld wireless (802.11b) server with 20 GB capacity. WiFi-enabled PCs and PDAs can connect directly (max 250 users) and share files and network/Internet connection if available (ethernet docking). So far it's only sold in Japan.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Thin flexible OLED displays next year?

Samsung has partnered with Vitex Systems on what is described as a possible breakthrough for mass production of OLED display technology. OLED is thinner than LCD (no backlight), has better display quality, lower power consumption and can be manufactured on flexible plastic. Samsung and Vitex are working to get full-color organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays based on this new technology to market by late 2004. Several companies are investing in OLED as the next generation display technology.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Wireless charging of gadgets

Splashpower promises to do away with all the different chargers and cables you need for your gadgets with the SplashPad. Just toss all your devices anywhere on the pad, simultaneously if you want, and they are charged trough contact less magnetic induction. The pads are expected later this year, costing 25-50 USD. Real cool, but for this scheme to work they will have to get a lot of manufactures on board with built-in support. Maybe fuel cells are a safer bet.

Monday, February 24, 2003

The new Matrix phone

From the rumor-department: May 15th Samsung wil unveil the Matrix Reloaded cellphone. There is not much technical details yet, but Samsung is a capable maker of advanced phones. The new Matrix phone is believed to at least have 65k colour TFT (!) LCD screen, polyphonic ringtones and, not least, an automatic sliding earpiece with piezoelectric motors that opens and closes with one touch of the button. More pictures here.

Newcard

The PCMCIA organization has announced a "Newcard" specification that not only will replace PC Cards for notebooks with a lot faster cards with a wider range of use, but which also is aimed at using the same cards on modular small form factor desktop PCs - letting you add functionality without opening the PC. Newcard is based on dual PCI Express (2,5 Gbps) and USB 2.0 (480 MBps) interface.

Friday, February 21, 2003

The Digital Home coming closer?

Intel think it's time PCs, stereos, TVs etc. got connected. Doesn't we all. On Intel Developer Forum going on this week they showcased new reference platforms for enabling the digital home. "Statesboro" will show up in PCs this year that can broadcast digital photos and music to TVs and stereos throughout the home. Next year "Powersville" will add wireless streaming video and personal video recording.

MSN Messenger on the phone

Microsoft and partners have announced improvements and updates to the Windows Smartphones. Among new features are Pocket MSN, giving always-on access to MS Messenger and Hotmail on your phone. But is Microsoft to late with to little in the phone market?

Thursday, February 20, 2003

The coolest GSM phone yet?

Siemens is seriously going up against Nokia with a designer phone with very advanced functionality. The Siemens SX1 is a tri-band phone with GPRS, bluetooth, infrared and MMC cardslot. It's running Symbian Series 60 (like Nokia 7650, but SX1 has 24 MB memory against Nokia's 3,6 MB). It has a large (176 x 220) colour (65k) screen and built-in video player, camcorder, music player and FM radio. It has PIM functionality, e-mail (POP3/IMAP), MMS messaging. And Java and Series 60 for gaming and applications. And still size (99cm) and weight (110g) is like a phone, not a portable computer. Available this summer. I want one.

The big picture

With new technology from Sony LCD projectors will get higher resolution, better contrast and smaller size. Silicon Crystal Reflective Display (SXRD) increase pixel density 2,4 times, pixel spacing is ten times better and contrast is trippled to 3000:1. The prototype demoed yesterday had 1920x1080 resolution and they are planning to increase this to 4000x2000. Coming to a home theater near you next year.

CoolPix goes micro

The Nikon CoolPix SQ is a miniature digital camera with a stylish square design and swivel lens. But unlike many other micro cameras it has quality lens with 3x optical zoom, 3,1 megapixels and a lot of features. Is that a camera in your pocket?

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Gamers phone

The TTPCom B'ngo is a triband GPRS camera phone with 176x220 65k colour screen and advanced game functionality, including multiplayer support over both Bluetooth and GPRS. But you can't buy one yet, TTPCom sell reference design and technology to handset makers.

The Tablet PC Bill Gates want

NEC has entered the Tablet PC arena with the thinnest (0.6 inches/15 mm) and lightest (2.2 lbs/999 g) Tablet PC yet. The NEC Versa LitePad/T400 is also the first Tablet PC with integrated dual wireless network support for 802.11a (54 mbps) and 802.11b (11 mbps). It has a 933 MHz ultra low voltage Pentium III processor, 10,4 touch screen (1024x768), 3 USB 2.0 ports and a CF card reader. Bill Gates said in a speech that this is the Tablet PC he wants.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Flying broadband

ok, this gadget is a bit bigger and more expensive than most, but maybe we soon can use it anyway. Boeing's Connexion One broadband jet is a flying test node and demo vehicle for Boings 20-Mbit/second satellite uplink network. Each seat has access to 10/100 mbit ethernet and 11 mbit 802.11b WiFi wireless network. Stream your own in flight movies.

Half a terabyte at your service

When they say Big Disk they mean it. With this portable FireWire disk from LaCie you have half a terabyte at your disposal. Even room for some movies along side the MP3 archive :)

Sleek Sony Clie

From the not-yet-confirmed-department: Sony keeps cranking out cool new handhelds. The Clio PEG-TG50 is looking to be a sleek clamshell Palm OS 5 unit with keyboard.

Worlds first 3G phone

ok, let's get started. In a couple of months you can buy the worlds first 3G-phone. Sony Ericsson Z1010 has dual VGA camera (video and still), dual screen (colour and mono) and it's dual mode (GSM/GPRS and 3G) so you can use it while waiting for the 3G network that will let you stream audio and video with 384 kbps. It also has bluetooth, memory stick duo (max 128 MB at the moment), infrared and usb. It comes equipped with a mediaplayer for your MP3 music (and video), and kJava for downloading games and applications.
Ah.. welcome to the world of cool gadgets and high tech gizmos. I'll hand pick the newest and coolest for you, so keep coming back for more ;-) I use and try a lot of gadgets, also preproduction, and have done so for many years, so I'll try to keep a no nonsense focus on the facts. There is so much misinformation and misunderstandings out there... So please, if you see any wrong information here, or if you have you seen a cool new gadget recently that i haven't reported on: Send me a tip at coolgadgets@mad.scientist.com and help make this a better source of gadget info for everybody.