Touch and go

Touch and go
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First Published: Tue, Oct 16 2007. 10 50 PM IST

Price $200
Price $200
Updated: Tue, Oct 16 2007. 10 50 PM IST
VExplorer robot
Price $200
Ideal for reconnaissance on a moody big sister, the $200 VEXplorer Robotics System is a durable six-wheeled vehicle that can be safely controlled from the next room with a wireless remote. An onboard camera can transmit live video and audio to your TV, and an adjustable gripping claw makes it possible to grab items as large as a soda can.
The kit comes mostly assembled with parts compatible with the larger VEX Robotics Design System, which was bought last year by Innovation First. Unlike the Lego Mindstorms snap-together approach, the VEX system resembles a serious Erector Set with real nuts and bolts and strong servo motors. But these robots are harder to assemble and modify, making them better suited for older children. VEXplorer requires 11 batteries, and includes 24 gears, four motors, a camera and a six-channel remote. The VEXplorer could come in handy for simple spying or trickier jobs such as retrieving a stolen sweater from behind enemy lines.
©2007/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Hi-Tech Rosary
Price: $41.70
An Italian electronics technician has invented a high-tech rosary, to help Catholics recite prayers using an electronic device instead of traditional beads. Shaped like an egg, decorated with images of the Virgin Mary and featuring a push-button, the gadget allows the faithful to listen to a woman’s voice recite “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” prayers in Italian. The technician, Onorio Frati, said earlier this week that he invented the device to help him pray while on the job.
The gadget is being produced in Loreto, a town in central Italy famous for a shrine to the Virgin Mary. The factory owners are working on producing electronic rosaries in English, Spanish, French, German and Polish.
The electronic rosary can be purchased in religious shops near the Loreto Sanctuary, and in Rome, near St. Peter’s Square.
The average price is $41.70. It can be purchased with optional headsets. According to the factory owners, some 7,000 of them have been sold since they first went on sale in April. AP
Hewlett-Packard Home photo center
Price: $179
Forward-thinking graffiti artists may wish to try their designs on Hewlett-Packard’s $249 A826 Home Photo Center. With the included stylus or a finger, a user can write or draw on images displayed on the LCD touch screen, then print out the defaced—or enhanced—pictures in sizes up to 5x7 inches. The 5.6-inch-diagonal screen, which is remarkably big for a printer, can also display slide shows—perhaps for an impromptu art opening. At 10.8 by 10.4x9.6 inches, and 5.5 pounds, the A826 is fairly portable. But it lacks the handle and optional battery of its smaller new sibling, the 3.2 pound A626, priced at $179, which can truly print on the run. Both can read various camera cards, crop and fix pictures, and print completely independently of a PC. Both can, however, hook up to a PC via USB cable. The A826, with picture enhancements that include the ability to make bodies more slender, also has an optional Bluetooth adapter, in case your phone snaps some news.
©2007/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Sony DSC-T200
Sony DSC-T200, Price:$400
Sony’s popular line of Cyber-shot point-and-shoot digital still cameras has added a new model, the DSC-T200. This camera has raised the image resolution to 8.1 megapixels. The company’s previous models went only to 7.2 megapixels.
The T200 can send video to an HDTV set in true high definition at 1080p. It has a Carl Zeiss 5X zoom lens and 31 MB of internal flash memory. A slot for Memory Stick Pro Duo cards lets you add up to 8 GB of storage. The T200 has a larger LCD screen than earlier models, at 3.5 inches, and it is touch-sensitive, so most functions are easily accessible. A special “Smile Shutter” mode takes a shot automatically when you have fixed the focus and your subject laughs or smiles. More traditional features include face recognition, red-eye reduction and image stabilization. ©2007/THE NEW YORK TIMES
AT&T Tilt
Price: $499
As phones and computers converge, it is becoming harder to tell them apart. AT&T’s Tilt, a phone shaped like a candy bar, has a sliding keyboard, 2.8-inch touch screen and a processor running at about 400MHz—the speed of many PCs just a few years ago. The Tilt’s screen pops out at an angle, allowing it to sit on a desk like a laptop. It includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular wireless networking, as well as GPS navigation technology. It runs Windows Mobile 6, the latest version of Microsoft’s miniature operating system, and can synchronize data with Outlook and can view Microsoft Office documents. It also has a 2.8 megapixel camera. Unlike a laptop, however, the Tilt weighs approximately seven ounces. It can operate about eight days in standby mode on one charge.
©2007/THE NEW YORK TIMES
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First Published: Tue, Oct 16 2007. 10 50 PM IST