Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/17/tech_digest_6/
If it's Friday it must be Gizmoville
Gotta get me one of those...
Obligatory iPod accessory of the week
If you're the kind of person who prefers to be eased into the day by a lovingly chosen collection of your favourite tunes rather than some dodgy old playlist assembled by a computer and accompanied by the rantings of a DJ who is borderline certifiable, then you're going to love this. The iHome iH5 works in the same way as all those other iPod speaker systems in that it has a recharging dock which the player fits and speakers that boom out your favourite tunes. The twist is that is also features an alarm clock so you can start your day with whatever iPod playlist you fancy. It launches in the US in August for around $100. Expect to see it here soon after.
Traditional 'how did that get on eBay' story: life-sized robo-band
It's grossly overpriced, but this robot band is the best thing we've ever seen on eBay. This week at least. It's called the Chirpie Robot Piano Player, and features a bunch of life-sized hippie muppet-type bots who jiggle about to music that comes from the accompanying CD player. Better still, you can hook them up to a karaoke system. We're almost prepared to pay the $29,750 just to liven up our next office do...
OTT designer gadget: Memory Stick earrings
Like any sane person (well, no one's managed to successfully section me yet) I'm not entirely convinced by technology jewellery. Some of it is better than others, but the majority of it falls into the latter category. And it's into the category of 'others' that this latest item surely has to fall. Pretec, maker of those super-tiny pink USB keys, has come up with these earring and pendant Memory Sticks for its latest wheeze. The Flash storage devices are the smallest around, and the company has cobbled them into jewellery without really bothering to make the front side appealing. Hint: try taking the huge Pretec logo off. Still, being able to make my friends impressed by whipping off my earrings to transfer some files does appeal (for 'impressed' read 'vomit in horror').
Vaguely useful fadget of the week: LG's talking vacuum cleaner
The company that brought you the internet fridge and the remote controlled air-conditioning system has unveiled its latest toy: the talking vacuum cleaner. Launched in London this week, LG's new Cyking range includes two top of the range models (VCC402CTU and VCC402HTU) that 'talk' to you when the power mode is being manually altered, when the machine is turned on and when the bin is ready to be changed.
We'd like to think it could venture some interesting views about potential Spice Girls reunions and the current Chirac/Blair spat but we suspect its vocabulary is limited to confirmations that you have pressed the right button and that the vacuum is working to its maximum capacity.
As for the cleaners themselves... well we'll spare you the details of LG's new cylinder generation and the permanent washable HEPA12 Filter. The talking pair, and all the other models in the range go on sale in July and cost from around £200.
Green gadget of the week: wind-up remote
This isn't a wind-up - someone really has created a remote control that you charge by cranking. There's not a great deal to say except that it's called the Clone RC 601, it's a universal remote - ie. it can learn and replace your existing remote controls - and it apparently only needs a crank once a week. This battery-free wonder's available for £20 from Avitall.