The invasion of the multimedia touch-screen phones continues with the launch of Samsung Glyde. Although the Glyde’s icon-filled 2.8-inch screen looks familiar, the phone features a slide-out keyboard for people who like the feel of physical buttons when pecking out email and text messages. The phone includes Verizon’s VZ Navigator feature for maps and directions, as well as the V Cast service for music and video content. On the hardware side, the Samsung Glyde comes with a 2-megapixel camera-camcorder, Bluetooth connectivity and a microSD card slot to add up to 8GB of extra memory. As for software, it has a full Web browser with touch navigation, a personal organizer and instant-messaging software for AOL, Yahoo and MSN, for those who really want to ride the Glyde’s keyboard.
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High-tech cosmetic gadgets
Tiffani Bruce, a Walgreen Co. employee, had her doubts about the acne-busting gadget called Zeno when her store began selling it two years ago. A victim of the occasional pimple, she decided to give the slim, handheld device a try, and was pleasantly surprised by results of the “heat shock” treatment that destroys offending bacteria without damaging the skin. “When you first hear about it you’re a bit sceptical,” said Bruce, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based drugstore chain. “But it absolutely works. You have to kind of catch it before it’s huge, but it works.”
Like the Food and Drug Administration-approved Zeno, more and more high-tech cosmetic treatments, previously only available through dermatologists and high-end spas, are now being sold at drugstores and on the Internet.
Now consumers can zap away unwanted body hair or punish pimples with cellphone-sized gadgets in their own bathrooms. Wrinkle-vanishing devices, the ultimate magic wand of cosmetic gadgetry, are also on the horizon, retailers say.
Most of these devices are adjusted from versions used in clinics to lower intensity or temperature, to prevent injuries such as burns.
“You don’t need to go to the doctor’s office, so it’s much more cost effective,” said Neil Sadick, a Park Avenue dermatologist who helped develop the $250 hair remover called “no!no!” by Radiancy.
The no!no! uses what it calls thermodynamic technology, which helps to destroy hair follicles without damaging the skin around it. On its website the company promises “no hair no pain no noise no creams...no stress no mess”.
“The disadvantage is it requires more treatment and the results may not be quite as good (as at a doctor’s office). But it approaches it,” Sadick said.
Allison Slater, vice-president of marketing at beauty products retailing chain Sephora, said most buyers of such gadgets, including the Zeno and its rival ThermaClear, are moving up from creams and other topical solutions rather than downgrading from professional care. “I don’t think it’s necessarily replacing the dermatologists. It’s an enhancement,” she said.
Who doesn’t want that?
Zeno costs around $150-200. Lee Stranathan, vice-president of marketing at its maker Tyrell Inc., said the company will start selling a smaller and cheaper version called the Zeno “mini” for around $90 soon.
For now, Sephora’s gadget line-up includes Clarisonic, a brush that uses sonic technology to clean pores, as well as the T3 hair dryer, which uses crushed tourmaline stones to produce “ionic energy and far-infrared heat”.
“If you can dry your hair with less frizz and shorter time, who doesn’t want that?” she said. “I’d rather invest my money in a state-of-the-art tool that is basically going to save me time in the end.” (Reuters)