1. Wi-Fi detectors
Want to know when you are in a Wi-Fi zone? Sure, your smartphone does it for you easily. But if you want a fashion-savvy way to detect Wi-Fi settings, wear Thumbs Up T-shirts. The green bars in front of the tee light up every time you are in a Wi-Fi zone: the stronger the connection, the more the number of bars that light up.
The T-shirt comes with a small battery pack that is hidden in the hem, which powers a tiny circuit that detects Wi-Fi signals.
There is one downside, though. You need to disconnect the circuit from the print every time you want to wash these tees.
Price: Rs1,600 (approximately)
2. Drum kit
This T-shirt lets you play the drums... well, almost. Battery operated, it comes with a standard drum kit that lets you play seven different sounds at various volume levels.
All you need to do is touch parts of the drum motif on the tee to release different sounds. In fact, with a little practice, you can even play whole beats with this T-shirt, keeping time for your guitarist buddies.
Like the Wi-Fi T-shirt, the Think Geek tees also come with a battery pack and a ribbon wire that connects the motif to tiny speakers.
And yes, you do need to remove the wires and battery pack before washing the tee. You can easily put them all back, though. Go play.
Price: Rs1,500 (approximately)
3. Background music
If you are not satisfied with just the drums, try the background music T-shirts. The embedded speaker in these can play a variety of sounds, from “disco floor” to “metal air raid siren”. You can even save your favourite music (up to 20 songs) on an SD card and connect it to the tee’s tiny remote. It helps you pick the sound effect or the song you want to play.
You can even plug in your MP3 player to the remote and listen to your favourite music, loud and clear.
Like the other two T-shirts, this one too is battery powered and connected with wires. And yes, like all other such tech-ready T-shirts, washing these may seem a tedious process.
Price: Rs2,000 (approximately)
Some people just like to listen to music, letting others do the hard work of playing it for them. The aptly named T-Qualizer does just that for you. It converts the T-shirt into a real-life equalizer display. As soon as you enter a party, the multi coloured bars on the shirt glow and move up and down with the pitch and volume of the music, just as any halfway decent music player would.
Like all the aforementioned ones, this T-shirt also uses a battery pack concealed in the hem and tiny circuitry that needs to be removed when you wash it.
Price: Rs1,600 (approximately)
5. The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay has been at the centre of the digital piracy storm for a long time now. Long accused of tracking almost anything ever released by anybody on the Internet, this site has grown into one of the most frequently visited Web pages. The Pirate Bay T-shirt brings the logo of the site, a magnetic tape cassette with crossbones, onto black cotton.
While these tees may not be as technologically evolved as the others, they still serve a purpose in the digital world: They reaffirm your right to fair use and let people know you are serious about stealing off the Internet, all while looking like a character out of Pirates of the Caribbean.
6. ‘Talk nerdy to me’
T-Shirt Hell wants us to believe that they take their tagline extremely seriously. They say that they are the place “where all bad shirts go”.
Known for their dark humour, and slogans that offend most readers, the site also has a brief selection of shirts that appeal to most people interested in tech.
The ‘Talk nerdy to me’ shirt exemplifies this quality of the site. Use it as a conversation starter, or to just let the world know you can actually work your way round a computer. Younger readers beware; your parents might not like you wearing this around the house.
Price: Rs1,000 (approximately)
7. Space Invaders
After a long time in obscurity, ancient, blocky 16-coloured games seem to be making a comeback. While most enthusiasts won’t be moving back to playing “pong” on boxy television sets, this renewed interest in old technological games has affected retro fashion.
T-shirts haven’t been spared either. This space invader shirt brings back memories of simpler times, when computer games were limited to boxlike things that fell from the top of the screen and you shot at them.
Printed on cotton, this proves that you were into all things technical long before computers became cool.
Price: Rs1,400 (approximately)
8. Family tree
You must know your roots, the place where you come from. This shirt proudly displays your nerd lineage in the form of all the Nintendo gaming consoles you’ve grown up with.
Starting with the popular in the 1980s NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), the shirt shows how that console evolved into the Game Boy and the SNES (S for super, the rest of the letters are the same), and follows the line to the latest DS and Wii.
A must-have for gamers who want to wear their cred, on, well, their sleeves!
Price: Rs1,000 (approximately)
Nikon’s GP-1 global positioning system (GPS) unit ($240) lets you “geotag” your photos by attaching to the “hot shoe” of your Nikon camera (D3, D300, D700, D2Xs, D200 and D90 D-SLRs) or to the strap, with an adaptor. The 2 by 1.8 by 1-inch dongle records latitude, longitude, altitude and time. It acquires a satellite signal in about 45 seconds (after coming on) or five seconds (if already powered). The system’s three-colour status indicator flashes red when no recorded GPS satellite data is available; green if it has detected three satellites; and a solid green for four or more. ©2008/ The New York Times
The Logitech G13 Gameboard consists of 22 programmable keys—the four in the centre can be mapped to the standard four needed by most PC games—and a mini-joystick with three action buttons. You can create multiple profiles for different games and map different keys to different actions. The keyboard ($79.99) also has an LCD screen that connects to most games and can display game statistics, system information or messages from your in-game friends. ©2008/ The New York Times
If you are worried about the long hours your children are spending on the computer and have no idea of the sites they are visiting, point your browser to ’http://download.live.com/familysafety’, grab Windows Live Family Safety and quit fretting. This free software from Microsoft lets you limit the hours/days your kids stay online, restrict sites and searches, filter content, specify contacts they communicate with, generate activity reports, and even supervise their online doings from your PC. Ashish Bhatia
If your cellphone is a Windows Mobile device, you needn’t worry about losing your list of contacts in case you misplace it. You can easily use your Hotmail or Windows Live account to back up (as well as regularly sync) your phone’s contact list. When you open your Hotmail or Live account next time, delve into the More drop-down menu and click on Mobile to check it out. Several other smart options—including calendar synching and email alerts— are also possible. Ashish Bhatia
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