Tech : The Gadget Of The Year 2008
Sony Network Sharing Camera
Where to get it: SonyStyle.com
What is it? This is a camera built for everyday life; it’s compact enough to take with you, it can shoot up to five hours of web-ready video and it switches to a 5-megapixel digital camera with the push of a button. The built-in software means uploading is easy, and you can transfer your videos to the web right away.
Hottest feature: The ability to shoot video and instantly expose it to an internet audience means any budding filmmaker can share his work right after the take.
SanDisk Sansa TakeTV Video Player
Cost: $99.00 to $149.00
Where to get it: BestBuy, Circuit City, Costco or Office Depot
What is it? Finally, you can take video from your computer and see it as it was meant to be seen -- on your TV. Just download the videos to the TakeTV flash drive and plug it into the TakeTV cradle for viewing. That’s it, no wires, cables or complicated hookups, just plug and play with the included remote.
Hottest feature: With the SanDisk Sansa TakeTV Video Player, your computer and your television become a harmonious unit. The ability to easily take video from your computer and watch it on your TV means that there are no more boundaries between these two technologies; leaving video to be seen as it was meant to be.
Where to get it: In an AT&T store or online on the company’s website.
What is it? The Pantech Duo is a Windows Mobile 6 double slider phone that features a 12-key numeric keypad, a QWERTY-style keyboard that slides out of the device, and a 1.3-megapixel camera with 4x zoom. Enjoy e-mail, instant messaging and a full Microsoft Office Mobile package along with music and video at mobile broadband speeds. Lastly, the Duo’s data and voice capabilities allow you to talk and surf the web at the same time.
Hottest feature: The Pantech Duo is a full-service desktop computer fused with a multimedia phone. It’s the best of both worlds; for getting down to business during the week and then enjoying yourself with its entertainment capabilities, like the camera, music player and video player, on the weekends.
Nike + iPod Sport Kit
Where to get it: The Apple Store or Nike Stores.
Hottest feature: In a country suffering from an obesity epidemic, there is finally an iPod accessory that has lasting benefits to overall health. The fact that the software can help coordinate your work out makes this the hottest iPod peripheral -- bar none.
Where it’s available: A list of retailers as well as online purchasing details can be found at SlingMedia.com.
What is it? The latest model in the Slingbox arsenal, the SOLO allows you to watch your television anywhere in the world, either through your laptop or your mobile phone. The SOLO connects to equipment such as your DVR, satellite system or cable box to deliver HD-quality TV signals to anywhere in the world -- meaning you can watch your local news from a hotel in Bangladesh or a documentary on China in your office’s break room.
Hottest feature: The SOLO's easy-to-use software, SlingPlayer, allows laptop-users to watch their favorite programsand use programs like Microsoft Office at the same time.
Where to get it: Initially, the Penryn is expected to be unleashed in next-generation Mac Pro desktop computers.
What is it? The Intel Penryn is the Core 2 Duo’s successor and the debut of processors clocked to 45 nm. It also includes the new SSE4 instructions, which speed up tasks -- such as video encoding -- to uncharted levels. Plus, it features the new Bearlake chipset and fabrication materials like the hafnium-dielectric. All of these elements combine to create a processor with a clock speed of 3.0GHz and an FSB of 1333MHz.
Hottest feature: Those who said processors couldn’t go any faster were wrong... so very wrong.
ZINK Digital Camera/Printer
When you can get it: Go to ZINK.com to inquire about retailer locations.
What is it? Like a new-age Polaroid, the ZINK’s camera/printer allows you to take your digital shot, preview it and then print it on 2” x 3” paper, all in a matter of seconds.
Hottest feature: ZINK stands for “zero ink,” that means that there is no toner, ribbon or ink required. Instead, the camera heats the color-spectrum crystals embedded within the paper to bring the high-quality image to the surface. Like the Polaroid before it, this gadget could literally change how society takes and prints digital photos.
Cost: $395 (optional feature price)
Where it’s available: Widely available on all high-end Ford and Mercury models, and standard on Lincoln models.
What is it? We’ve all seen the in-car, voice-activated phone, but Microsoft’s Sync kicks it up a few notches. For the first time, your iPod, cell phone, BlackBerry, and Zune can all be controlled with the sound of your voice -- thanks to an intricate voice-recognition system -- making for an entertaining in-car experience and a safe ride home.
Hottest feature: Now your car’s home entertainment system responds to your velvety vocal stylings, turning your car into possibly the closest we’re ever going to get to Knight Rider’s KITT.
Wii Fit & Wii Balance Board
Cost: Currently available in Japan for roughly $75.
When it’s available: Expected to launch in North America in late 2008.
What is it? The active-play craze that began with Wii Sport now extends to the whole body with Wii Fit. Step onto the Balance Board and your Wii will input your body weight into its system and then allow you do to everything from aerobics to hula-hooping, while the character onscreen mimics your every movement.
Hottest feature: Work up a sweat on the Wii and, in the bigger picture, see home gaming technology move closer to fully realized virtual reality.
Where to get it: Amazon.com.
What is it? Weighing less than a paperback at 10.3 oz, Amazon’s new e-book reader includes 88,000 titles, with all bestsellers listed at $9.99. It can hold 200 titles at one time and has a battery life of up to a week without a recharge. It also includes exclusive subscriptions to top U.S. and international newspapers and magazines, 250 blogs, e-mail capability, and Wikipedia access. It’s a one stop shop for all things literary and it’s all delivered wirelessly in under a minute from the Kindle store.
Hottest feature: Not since the printing press has one product had the potential to affect the written word so drastically. With so many titles, blogs, newspapers, and the Amazon brand behind it, the Kindle could finally spell the death of the paperback as we know it.