Now you can have the stuff of spy movies for your front door. Kwikset's
new SmartScan biometric deadbolt featuring new SmartKey™ technology, combines the
convenience of keyless entry with the advanced security of subdermal fingerprint
scanning. Buy one
Featured Product Archive
The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their
uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough
to warrant an appearance.
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Kill two birds with one stone (is that
saying too un-PC these days?) using the new Ring Phone. Block out ambient
noise by sticking your finger in your ear and talk on your cellphone at the same
time. The ring-shaped device uses a Bluetooth connection with your mobile to conduct
sound via bone vibrations from your finger to your ear. Demoing from NTT DoCoMo.
Orange now offers a portable cell phone charger - the REcharge Pod
(get it, Renewable Energy)- that runs off of wind and solar power. Problem is that
at 7m high, it will not quite fit in your pocket. It seems to me that carrying a
spare battery might be a little easier. Actually, it is targeted at outdoor events.
Now your running shoe can converse
with other shoes - what a missed opportunity for Converse™!. The VectraSense
Verb for Shoe's embedded computer automatically adjusts the shoe to your
feet, syncs with your PC, and communicates with the Verb for Shoes of fellow
wearers to exchange contact information. Price: A mere $700.
Chameleon satellite TV antenna
dishes by Sqish blend in with your brickwork, picket fences, and other types of
structures to be rendered nearly invisible. I like their slogan:
Q:When is a dish not a
A: When it's a Sqish!
I'm not a golfer, and I don't play one on TV, but this caddy-less
golf cart caught my attention because of its innovativeness. The Shadow Caddy wirelessly
follows its master around the course using a signal from a transmitter in his/her
pocket. It sports a "270° infrared collision avoidance system" to keep it off the
shins of the party. I wonder if it can discern water from grass - would it drive
into a pond? Check out the video.
BlueAnt just announced the world's first voice-activated Bluetooth
wireless headset. The V1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset uses BlueAnt's proprietary
BlueGenie™ Voice User Interface, letting you control most functions with the sound
of your voice. The device even provides spoken confirmations of your commands (my guess for the 'Genie' part of the name).
wrote about this technology many moons ago, and here it is on the cusp of commercial
application now. The iShoe continually monitors pressure at points under the foot
and provides feedback to the wearer that causes a corrective reaction to help prevent
tipping. Maybe it will bring an end to those hokey "Help... I've fallen and I can't
get up" commercials.
FlatWire™ is a new product that is thin
enough to apply and hide directly on the surface of a wall, rather than being routed
through it. FlatWire is available for speaker systems, video cable, CAT5 and supposedly
coax cable equivalent modem connections. It can also be used for standard AC connections
like lights and receptacles. I would be a bit leery about running 110/220 VAC through
it in such a vulnerable location since the next homeowner might drive a nail through
it and get electrocuted.
Ham Info Bar is totally free to download and use, and will give you immediate access
to a wealth of ham radio information, including UTC time, propagation, DX spots,
RSS feeds, websites etc. It has been downloaded by over 8,200 Hams and swls in 102
countries. "Whether you're a listener, ragchewer or a serious DX'er, this toolbar
is for you!" Oh, and an RF Cafe link is built-in.
Mitsubishi has demoed its new LaserVue
television, which will debut in 65-inch and 73-inch versions. Using "zomg
lasers" the sets run at 120 Hz, and claim 500 nits of brightness. Pricing is planned
to be comparable to plasma and LCD, with truer colors. LaserVue draws under
200 watts, about half that of LCD and a third of plasma of similar size.
Note: My 26" LCD HDTV draws 150 W, while my old 20"
CRT takes only 65 W - no Hg in my CRT, either.
magazine held a design
contest for clocks that uses common parts and costs no more than $100. Keith
Bayern took the prize with his 7-segment LED readout clock that uses all discrete
components: 194 transistors, 566 diodes, 400 resistors, and 87 capacitors. He offers
it as a complete kit, along with a 10" x 11.3" PCB, LEDs, wall transformer, solder,
and miscellaneous other parts. "All you add are a soldering iron, a few tools, and
time." It has a very well-written