I've always loved what you can buy in vending machines in Japan, including manga, underwear, and iced jelly drinks in a can. Now, Sony is taking the trend to the US with their introduction of their vending machines called "Sony Access" to sell everything from PSPs and mp3 players to blank DVDs to accessories like headphones to games and movies. Malls in Atlanta, Boulder, and Santa Rosa are lucky enough to get the initial rollout.
For the record, with a list price of $250 USD, it would take 1,000 quarters to buy a PSP, bring an extra roll for sales tax.
Jane Jetson had it easy living in her space-age futuristic home. Though she was a homemaker, Rosie the Robot or some other electronic contraption really did all the hard work. When it was time to make dinner, all she had to do was dial up a meal. Imagine that?
Architect Zaha Hadid has imagined such a life for the housewife. And I'm hoping that one day soon it becomes reality. As part of Zaha Hadid: Thirty Years in Architecture — on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York through October 25 — this two-island kitchen of the future is laid out in Annex Level 7 gallery, adjacent to the museum rotunda.
Made of steel corian, the two islands — one fire and the other water — come replete with a multimedia environment, aroma heater, and mac lighting. The elongated fire island features three spigots that emit pleasing aromas, a vertical LCD screen for watching TV or surfing the Web, a control panel to adjust lighting according to your mood, an oven range, and a hotplate. The water island houses a sink, dishwasher, and drying rack. An appliance akin to a microwave sits embedded in the wall slightly beyond the water island, while storage cabinets line the rest of the wall's surface surrounding the two islands.
It's not quite Jane Jetson's kitchen, with the ability to relieve you from all the mundane kitchen chores like cooking or washing dishes, but I'd trade my kitchen in for one like this any day.
It's finally time to upgrade my iPod. Where I once marveled at how a company was able to pack that much sound into a tiny package; I've grown tired of lugging an expensive piece of gear around. I've been looking for a nice and cheap solid state player, and the Klegg Mini fits my two main criteria: Size and Battery Life.
Touted as the smallest mp3 player with a full color LCD Klegg's new one gig model measures 1.8 by 1.6 inches, and was designed to fit on a keychain. The LCD is one square inch, and it comes with a useless slideshow setting for photo viewing when you’re bored. Other features include equalizer settings for music playback, and a voice recorder.
I see a lot of small mp3 players in the news, but the Klegg caught my attention with 26 hours of playback time. That’s almost double the battery life of an iPod Nano. The little guy has a USB 2.0 interface, and the battery recharges while it's attached to the computer. The Klegg mini line has been available for over a year, but their one gig version should be in stores shortly for ninety-nine bucks.
I'd like to throw some brilliant props to Klegg's marketing team for snapping photos of all those celebrities using their product at Sundance. It really made me giggle..
I have to admit, I wasn’t that impressed when I first saw this phone -- probably had something to do with its advertising campaign which uses some rock chick wannabe. It just made me feel a bit too targeted. But after a closer look, rock chick or not, it’s really a pretty cool little phone.
The Motorola "Ming" A-1200 PDA Smart Phone is a fully integrated gadget that serves as a mobile phone, a PDA, a music player, a camera, a video recorder, a name card reader and a data storage device (up to 1GB). The phone is fashioned with a cool looking transparent cover as a protection for the 2.4" color touch-screen display.
Comes with a 2.0 Mega-pixel camera that also supports video recording; you can view music and other video entertainment on the 2.4” display by using RealPlayer.
In addition to all the regular capabilities such as mp3 player, Bluetooth connection, Internet browser and email, and touch screen-enhanced handwriting recognition now with Pinyin, this little phone has the most incredible secret weapon. Being the rock star that you believe you are, you just can’t carry a business card holder when you need to carry your axe! Your Motorola “Ming” has a built-in business card reader and a data storage device that will transform a business card into digital data and have it stored into the address book! You will never loose the name and number of that agent/manager/boyfriend-wannabe again! Then again, maybe you want to . . .
Comes in 3 different colors, black, white and red, available in Hong Kong for approximately $3980 HKD.
Here’s something for the “A” type personality extremist. If you constantly feel you need a magic wand and must have all that extra stuff in your house organized, this little bundle may have been made just for you.
This IntelliScanner Express bundle comes with a handheld barcode reader scanner, and a combination of software programs, including Wine Collector, Media Collector, Kitchen Companion, Home Assets, and Auction Automator. This express bundle can help you organize, track, and build reports on books, groceries, wine, home assets, DVDs, CDs, and more.
Each software performs a different function. The Wine Collector will query an online database, catalogue and sort the bottle by name, winery, vintage, and variety. There’s also location tracking in case you can’t remember where you put that very special vintage in your massive wine cellar.
Oh, decisions, decisions. What belt shall I wear tonight to set off my new outfit? Hmm, the traditional leather? The one with the clamp fastener or the metal buckle? I guess I'll just settle on the one with the 3" video display where I can insert an SD card and play movies just below my belly button. Perfect. This bizarre new product from Egokast is just that, a 3" screen mounted in a stainless steel case that can be attached to a belt or armband to display either full motion video or a slideshow of photos. You can insert an SD card of up to 2GB in size and put an entire movie on there if you so desire. You certainly won't have to worry about getting noticed when you're out clubbing, but you will have to worry about your video selection. My choice? Footloose.
Limited to an initial run of 100, the Egokast One (without memory card or belt) goes for $279.
At this point, I have to admit that I'm getting a little bored with the design of the iPod. Especially when the other companies feel the need to make their mp3 players look just like Apple's, only slightly worse. My savior, of course, comes from Japan. Not only are they offering alternatives to white boxes, they are uber-cute as well. First there was the teddy bear mp3 player which holds about an hour's worth of music. And now, it has a friend with the dolphin mp3 player, which is the mascot of Toshiba's Dynabook line.
Renowned folk artist Jack Poppitz is assisting American Honda Motor Company, Inc. and the House of Blues with introducing Honda's premium entry-level Fit to North American drivers. Poppitz hand painted a Honda Fit Custom Art Car that is being auctioned on ebay.
For the month of June, Honda and House of Blues are sponsoring "Fit in the House" events at HOB clubs that include Honda Fit car displays, nightly giveaways, online and on-site branding and an enter-to-win Fit in the House Sweepstakes.
Starting at $13,850, the Honda Fit — even without being hand painted — is quite impressive. The 5-door vehicle features a 60/40 split 2nd-row Magic Seat®, allowing for four distinct interior configurations, 109-horsepower, 1.5 liter, VTEC® engine, and plenty of storage compartments. We especially like the option to add the Honda Music Link (for iPod®) that:
- Connects the iPod directly to the vehicle's audio system for the best sound quality
- Uses the audio system's controls to search for and play music from your iPod
- Charges your iPod battery while it's connected and the vehicle is on
The vehicle even came in first place in Car and Driver's May 2006 comparison test drive of the new crop of subcompacts.
The charity auction for the Honda Fit Custom Art Car began June 20 and ends June 30. So hurry up and visit Fit in the House to bid and learn more about the Honda Fit.
Panasonic's Let's Note laptop line is turning ten years old, and the company is sponsoring one of the coolest sales promotions that I've ever seen. Their first annual Let's Note Build Fest invites 50 children from around Kobe, Japan to come buy a notebook, but there's a catch. The kids are buying a box of parts and they have to assemble the laptop before they can take it home! Fifty students from nine to eighteen are being given the chance to pony up $1050 USD for this great hands-on experience.
Panasonic's T5 is a great choice for a project like this since the notebook uses standard hardware, and the fourteen available colors add to the festivities. I can't think of a better way to demystify the inner workings of computers for children and technical neophytes. The hands on DIY scene is hot right now and I can see lots of adults signing up for this type of instructional purchase. Just to reiterate, Panasonic: If you bring this to the States I would love to roll my own laptop.
Everyone who owns a PSP knows that the 32 MB memory stick included in the basic PSP pack is not really cutting it if you want to take full advantage of Sony’s handheld console. If you like to use your PSP for anything more than just playing games, sooner or later you will have to buy a memory stick with bigger storage capabilities.
SanDisk has already been selling 256 MB, 512 MG, 1 and 2 GB Memory sticks for a while and has now launched the Memory Stick Pro Duo with a 4 GB capacity available at several stores for around $200.
In July SanDisk will launch the Rapid GX Memory Stick Pro Duo, which will allow you to transfer data to and from the PSP a lot faster. According to this Gamespot review about PSP accessories, the first Rapid GX card will be available in July and will have 1 GB storage.