Gadgets & Gizmos

GADGETS & GIZMOS: Fit Gadget: Nike+ SportWatch GPS

by: LeAura Luciano

Nike and TomTom have collaborated to create the Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom. The new running watch will provide athletes with the most dynamic and motivational running experience in the world thanks to its unique functionality, beautiful design, and direct connection to www.nikeplus.com, the world’s leading running community with almost 4 million members.
The Nike+ SportWatch GPS is designed for high-performance with an extremely clear and readable user interface that delivers the information necessary to the user while in-run. It adds personalization and motivational features to the running experience, including audible sounds, challenges, run reminders and more.
The Nike+ SportWatch GPS is scheduled to be at retail stores and online in the U.S. and the U.K. beginning April and retails for $199.99.

GADGETS & GIZMOS: Rebirth of the Sidekick!

TMobile USA, Inc. today launched the new TMobile Sidekick® 4G™ by Samsung. The new Android™powered smartphone pays tribute to its heritage with stylish good looks and a killer keyboard while redefining messaging and upgrading to 4G speeds. One of TMobile’s fastest smartphones running on America’s Largest 4G Network™, the new Sidekick 4G is capable of delivering theoretical peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps.

 

The T-Mobile Sidekick has long been known for its innovative and distinctive design, and the Sidekick 4G does not disappoint. The 3.5-inch display marks the first Sidekick to feature a touch screen and its sturdy “poptilt” hinge reveals the previously acclaimed, five-row QWERTY keyboard that has long been a Sidekick hallmark and the reason behind its status as an exceptional messaging device.

 

The new Sidekick 4G leverages its quality keyboard along with Sidekick Group Text™ and Cloud Text™ to redefine messaging. Sidekick’s Group Text feature lets customers create, name, manage and participate in replyall group text conversations, enabling them to lead their network in conversation and social planning. Group Text breathes new life into one of the most popular forms of messaging allowing Sidekick 4G customers to initiate and share the benefit of the application with SMS-capable devices from flip phones to smartphones. In addition, Cloud Text provides the option to text with friends or groups across platforms, whether from the comfort of their PC’s large screen and keyboard, or from their new Sidekick 4G.

 

“Backed by the faster speeds on TMobile’s 4G network, the new Sidekick 4G offers customers both speed and style,” said Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president, product management, TMobile USA. “We’ve reinvented the messaging experience that made the Sidekick such an iconic device, and supercharged it with communication and entertainment experiences that take full advantage of our 4G network.”

 

The new Sidekick 4G also comes preloaded with Facebook® and Twitter™ applications, and provides easy interaction with customers’ social networks by allowing them to update their status from the notification pane and browse their feeds from the home screen. They have the ability to sync their social network contacts to the phone’s address book, which lets them post to their friends’ walls or comment on their status. And multitasking is easier than ever with the Sidekick 4G’s jump key, an easytoaccess physical button that enables customers to quickly switch between active applications, even during a phone call, or assign keyboard shortcuts to their favorite functions or applications.

 

In addition to a communication hub, the new Sidekick 4G is now an entertainment hub. With speeds as fast as home broadband, enjoying a favorite TV show or surfing the Web on the go is a breeze. Sidekick’s Media Room features one place to enjoy music, videos, movies, YouTube®, T-Mobile TV® and Slacker Radio, and to search for content regardless of the source. The integrated media player, also accessible through the Media Room, spans across all media including music, video and Internet radio. Customers also have the option to rent or purchase their favorite movies and TV programs directly from the Samsung Media Hub, which offers a robust collection of movie and nextday TV show titles from CBS, Fox, MTV Networks, NBC Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Customers now have the option to place Media Hub charges directly to their monthly T-Mobile service bill.

 

Complementing the messaging communication features, the new Sidekick 4G is equipped with a VGA frontfacing camera and pre-installed TMobile Video Chat powered by Qik™, to ensure you are always present with your social circle. Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and a speedy 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, so consumers can keep up with their favorite blogs while on the move, search for the must-try dinner spots and map the way to their next destination — all at blazing fast speeds. The new smartphone will also offer dynamic media features and integrated Google™ services, including Gmail™, Google Maps™ and access to thousands of applications on Android Market™.

 

The new Sidekick 4G also comes equipped with DriveSmart™ from TMobile, a firstofits kind service from a U.S. carrier, that helps prevent distracted driving. When initiated, DriveSmart Basic provides automatic incoming call and message management, sending a customizable note to callers and senders, letting them know that the recipient is driving and will respond when it’s safe. DriveSmart Plus offers the same functionality, with the added capability to automatically activate when the handset is in a moving vehicle, as well as advanced parental controls for enhanced peace of mind when teen drivers are behind the wheel.

 

Offered exclusively to TMobile customers, the new TMobile Sidekick 4G is now available in select retail stores and online in two stylish colors — matte black or pearl magenta. Customers can visit http://sidekick.tmobile.com/ for more information.

GADGETS & GIZMOS: Get Charged

by: LeAura Luciano

Sanyo North America’s ‘eneloop’ rechargeable batteries combine the environmental and cost saving benefits of rechargeable batteries with the convenience of disposable. eneloop products include rechargeable batteries; mobile booster to charge USB powered devices (smart phones, iPod) on-the-go; Wii charger; and 9V battery for powering musicians’ effects pedals. Due to their low self-discharging characteristics, eneloop batteries come pre-charged and ready for immediate use.

GADGETS & GIZMOS: Wirefly!

by: Eddie Olmo

If you’re looking for a new phone and don’t have the money to pay for it, then don’t.  Wirefly.com has most phones for every single cell phone company that is out there for free.  That’s right.  If you sign up for a new plan or are just getting an upgrade then wirefly.com could come in pretty handy.  Normally the new plan will get you a free phone, but even with an upgrade you still might be entitled to a free phone or one at a lower price.

They have a huge array of phones from the Thunderbolt by HTC to the My Touch 3g.  Not even the cell phone companies that issue these phones give you this type of deals.  Unfortunately they don’t carry the I Phone.

So if your kids are looking for a new phone, or you want to surprise your spouse with the perfect gift then you could easily give them a phone at no cost to you, except for the monthly bill of course.

GADGETS & GIZMOS: EA’S ENGINE ROAR WITH SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED

The race to #1 heats up! Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED™, the next entry in the blockbuster Need for Speed simulation series. The original SHIFT game was released in September 2009 and has sold through close to five million copies globally. Its success was propelled by the revolutionary true driver’s experience — a game design that was heralded by critics as more visceral, more physical and more intense than any other title in the sim category. Capturing the physicality and brutality of racing at 200mph has been the leading area of innovation by the award-winning development team at Slightly Mad Studios. SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED builds on the true drivers experience by introducing the driver’s battle, an even more authentic and primal feeling of power and speed which elevates the fundamental competitive race into a struggle for supremacy against other drivers and even the track itself. In SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED, players’ hands sweat and ache as they clutch onto the controller, their pulse races from the break-neck speeds experienced through the first-person cockpit view. Launching in Spring 2011, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED pushes the envelope with the most authentic and intense racing experience in the genre. The world debut trailer of SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED was revealed today as bonus content for the action racing Need for Speed title, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit.

 

SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is redefining immersive racing by blending the rush of tearing up the track at unbelievable speeds with the emotional experience of competitive battle,” said Marcus Nilsson, Executive Producer, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED. “We are also working closely with real-world performance drivers to ensure that SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED captures their experience and becomes the benchmark in authentic racing action.”

 

SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED features an all-new rendering engine with a massive graphics overhaul that puts the player in the heart of the racing action.  With an  innovative helmet camera view simulating the physical experience of driving at 200mph, the thrilling experience of night racing and authentic degradation of tracks and cars, this is tomorrow’s sim for today’s adrenaline fueled racer. SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED also incorporates the next generation of Need for Speed Autolog – the groundbreaking network that connects friends for epic head-to-head races and compares player stats for the ultimate social racing competition.

 
Developed by the award-winning Slightly Mad Studios, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED will be available on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. For more information on Need for Speed, visit http://www.needforspeed.com or become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/needforspeed and follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/needforspeed.

A Monster Smash!

by: Casandra Kate Escobar

The makers of Moshi Monster share the secrets to their amazing on-line success; building a 30 million registered user platform that generates a $100-million consumer products program.  Moshi Monster, www.moshimonsters.com, is an interactive platform that lets kids engage with friends socially.  In the United States about 1.5 of every 6 Moshi Monster pet owners are Latino children.

Within 3 years, the founders of Moshi Monsters “burned” threw $9-million of investor money and at the doorstep of bankruptcy, found the way to “turn it” around.   How did they do it?  Behind the velvet ropes, Michal Smith, CEO of Mind Candy, shares the ten keys to building a successful on-line platform:

1. Fail Fast.  Failure is part of the equation of success, watch your steps and fail fast.

2. The Majority follows the Leader.  Position yourself to be the leader in your field.

3. Remember the $.  Have an accountant and budget to know your financial position at all times.

4. Don’t raise venture capital in the midst of a “melt-down!”  Be mindful of the money you borrow.

5. Keep It Social!  Kids love to share!  Humans love to share!

6. Build a sandbox.  Test out your idea before rolling it out big!

7. Story.  Engage the viewer with an on-going tension filled story.

8. Be a TV online.  Show kids content, give them a reason to tune in and find something new every day.

9. Think big!!!

10. Turn the industry upside down.  Dare to be innovative!

I suspect over the coming years many similar on-line success stories will be shared!

GADGETS AND GIZMOS: Fuji FinePix Real 3D W3 Digital Camera

by: Eddie Olmo

If you were thinking that camera manufacturers were solely banking on higher resolution cameras, think again.  Fujifilm released its FinePix Real 3D W3 Digital Camera.  This point and shoot camera is taking us into the future in 3D.

This point and shoot camera has 2 built in lenses; this is the trick to their 3D effect.  The camera takes 2 pictures simultaneously and combines them to give a pop art 3D result.  You can also record 720p HD video on 3D.  If you have an HDMI cable you can view it on any HDTV without 3D glasses.  A 3D TV would be even better if you have the money.

The FinePix is compact and has wide range of shooting modes, from simple 2D to 3D, to advance 3D shooting.  It comes with 42MB’s of internal built in memory and a large 3.5” LCD screen.

Priced at a reasonable $395.02 this camera is a sure steal.