Though I am not exactly a fitness freak, my geeky nature ensures that I am always on the lookout for means to track and analyze my fitness activities. When I read a year back that Adidas and Polar are partnering to combine their strengths in sports apparel and heart rate monitoring technology, respectively, I was quite naturally excited. Come October this year, "Project Fusion" -- the world’s first integrated training system -- will make it's debut. This system includes advanced heart rate monitoring built directly into the apparel, along with speed and distance measurement integrated into the shoes.
The running apparel incorporates sensors that can track ECG readings from your body. A nifty looking transmitter strapped onto your shirt collects these readings and transmits them to a wrist mounted running computer. No messy wires or straps to be concerned about. If you're wondering whether those sensors will make the clothes a bit itchy, no worries there either. The sensors are supposedly soft and there is advanced technology built into the clothes to constantly adapt to your body and keep it cool. Apart from the obvious tees, there is an entire range dedicated to women, keeping in mind our special requirements. The shoes have a light stride sensor placed in the midsole that measures every single stride that you take and, as with the apparel, transmits the data back to the running computer.
As you would have guessed by now, the running computer is the heart of the system. Using the data from the apparel and the shoes, it can help you track your heart rate, distance covered, speed and recovery rates - all at runtime. Once you are done running, just download all the data onto your PC where the ProTrainer software will give you a deeper understanding of your training and help you optimize your performance.
Though the system is simple to use and, more importantly, as non-obtrusive as possible, it can yield extremely complex and hard to monitor data. So, if your current fitness regime is along the lines of qualifying for the 100m dash at the next Olympics, this has to be pretty much at the top of your shopping list. The entire system will be priced at around $680, although individual pieces can also be bought.
It was only a matter of time before someone went the next step in the bottled water craze . . .
Presenting Ice Rocks: pre-packaged ice-cubes that are made with premium spring water. Now your ice cubes can be as pure as your drinking water. Hermetically sealed in recyclable containers just like your favorite water, they’re sold in freezer-ready liquid form.
For a little more libational drinking, Scotch Rocks are also available. Based on a partnership with Chivas Regal, this pre-packaged duo combines the purity of Ice Rocks with something to make then go down quite smoothly. Though, isn’t Chivas a whiskey so shouldn't they be called Whiskey Rocks?
It's time to humor the kids -- and why not do it in style, by allowing them to have some adventures with their own digital camera? Don’t worry, you don’t have to look too far – based on the fact that normal cameras are too complex for kids to use and too expensive for parents to buy, Disney has officially launched its Disney Pix line of digital cameras, camcorders and peripherals made especially for kids and teens. The products have been designed by Disney in collaboration with the manufacturer, Digital Blue, maker of digital devices and software for the youth market.
Ranging in price from $20 to $80, each digital camera is colorful and the outer design is based on a particular theme – your child can choose among Disney Chrome, High School Musical, Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars, Little Mermaid, Disney Princess and Tinker Bell themes. And included in the package is Disney’s proprietary photo editing software, which they can use to customize their photos to include Disney characters, stamps, frames etc. In addition to this, there is also special consideration for the fairer sex – one of the products in this bouquet is a digital camcorder called Disney Princess Digital Movie Maker specially for your princess.
To give you an idea about the specs, the most “high-end” camera in this range, the Disney Pix Max, will cost you $79.99 and has a 3 Mega Pixel digital resolution, a 1.5” color LCD screen, a 4X digital zoom, expandable memory card slot, built-in auto flash and TV out. Plus a camera strap, the editing software CD-ROM and a USB cord. What more could a child want ?
What I find interesting about this idea is that it has a double advantage – not only can parents afford to get economically priced, fully functional digital cameras for their kids, but kids won’t have to steal their parents' more expensive cameras.
Though the press release says that the products are now available at mass retailers nationwide, I haven’t found any online dealers as yet. Anyway, go check it out and make your kids happy.
Try and guess what these are. Candle holders? Salt and pepper shakers?
Nope, they're flashlights with two functions. By just twisting the cap, the narrow end provides soft candle light while the flared end has a strong LED beam.
Designed by Gabriele Pezzini, they're handsome enough for use around the house. Put them in the earthquake kit for when you're eating that puppy chow because you forgot to put in people food.
They run on 3 button cell batteries, included.
On sale for $32.35 at the MoMa Store (MoMa members price.)
This is a T-shirt on steroids, but it will make you the hit of the party. The Equalizer has a built-in, sound-sensitive graphic equalizer that lights up to the beat of the music.
How does it do it? It has an EL (Electro Luminescence) panel with a battery pack that fits discreetly into a pocket inside the shirt. (Just unplug to wash. Duh.)
Where Can I Get One? $38.75 at Crazy About Gadgets
Fans of high heels and shoe inserts (e.g. Foot Petals, Apara, Insolia), here's another option for you. Like the ones by Apara, Bama "Smiling Feet" pads are made of transparent silicone. Bama, however, in their infinite wisdom, has made them re-usable. Simply wash them to make them stick again. There are 6 different kinds to choose from, depending on where you need your padding. I find the Gel Cushions, for the balls of your feet, to be the most useful because they also prevent your feet from sliding forward as you walk, and Bama's version has little raised bumps for additional friction. I also like the Gel Mini Cushions, which you can stick on the sides of your shoes to prevent blisters.
(Note: this is just a cheap, gratuitous excuse to show this photo.)
The new Ferrari 599 Fiorano now comes with an iPod dock as standard equipment. Forget the powerful V12 engine, the F-1 trac system, the continuous wheel monitoring system that helps it hold the road . . . or the fact that this beauty goes from 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Helpful when you're stitting in LA rush hour traffic.
But at least now you've got your music with you.
My inner fashion tyrant won't allow me to attach my cell phone to my belt loop, but my inner geek kind of likes the idea of having everything I need right on my body. This explains why, even though I have an unrelenting fondness for fanny packs, I'd never dare to actually wear one in public (anymore, that is -- there was that fanny pack epidemic of the 1980s which are a blur to me now).
The people responsible for coming up with the Rivet Attachment System understand my dilemma. Rivet has taken the traditional geek concept of wearing your devices and added something brand new to it -- styling. The Rivet system allows you to attach your mobile phone, your mp3 player, or your digital camera to yourself or your bag or your car in a number of different ways. How it works is: you select a clip, attach a plate to your device, then connect the clip to a pin. (I find the purchasing process on the site a tad confusing -- when you select a clip, you're not prompted to choose other components to go with it.)
Rivet carries several lanyard options, including these great lanyard earphones (in pink, black or graphite) for lightweight mp3 players.
The new Rivet Wrap is an alternative to ordinary mobile phone cases.
Now if only they could do something with those fanny packs.
For the two people who don't yet own an iPod, here's another option for you: the Xtatix Freefone, a self-contained player with an FM radio tuner. Flip a switch on a side button and the headphone goes from FM to MP3 mode. The buttons control everything you want to do -- power, audio playback with one side running the FM and the other handling the MP3 player.
A USB cable transfers music from a Mac or PC and charges the built-in battery, which lasts about seven hours. It weighs only 4 ounces. The 1-gigabyte version costs $159 and can hold up to 300 songs; a version with half as much storage costs $119.
POPGADGET readers: Get a a 20% discount off the price of any
of Xtatix's MP3 product by entering the code: POPG
Always wanted a Ferrari? How about the Mercedes CLK DTM Race car! Now we're talking.
Until you get that big raise, you can own the scale replica remote controlled models. Four designs to choose from: Ferrari 360, Peugeot 206WRC Rally Car, Toyota Supra Rally Car, and Mercedes CLK DTM Race Car. Built at 1:32 scale, just think how much fun these would be to race against each other.
The controller is cleverly built into the top of the tube.