In our final portion of DigitalLife coverage, we take a look at Gateway’s new 30-inch monitor that you do want to see, Toshiba’s latest X205 SLI-configured notebook, ooma’s “free” VoIP solution, Gyration’s latest media remote and even more photos from around the show floor.
Over the years, despite technological improvements in the telephone industry, we seem to be handing over more cash than ever to the phone companies. It’s with facts like these that companies like ooma exist, who offer a product that promises a VoIP phone service for free, after the price of the product itself.
How it works: You purchase the $399 box, run a cable from your router to the ooma and also plug in a telephone handset. Once done, you will be able to place completely free calls around the United States. At current time, no other Countries are supported although expansion is in the works.
Monthly fees will not be completely wiped however, as you will need to keep your phone number through your regular phone company. Some phone companies allow you to keep the number for less than $5 a month, we were told. Having a phone number through your current provider is also good to use as a backup in case your internet goes down. If you are looking to save some cash on your phone bill, ooma might be worth a look.
Prior to DigitalLife, I’ve never heard of Gyration. I quickly found out that they offered quality products however, because many of the other manufacturers on the show floor who where showing off HTPC’s had been using Gyration’s products to demonstrate their own products.
One of the things that Gyration is known for are their motion-sensing capabilities. It seemed to me, that ever since the Nintendo Wii hit the market, everyone wants to implement the technology from within their own product. It was with that, that I found out Gyration actually have a part in the motion-sensing technology for the Wii, so they certainly know what they are doing.
The idea is simple. Instead of using a mouse to control the cursor on-screen, you can wave the remote in the air to accomplish the same task. Gyration had two new products on display, the Travel Air-Mouse and also the Gyro Transport. The former is in an actual mouse design and can be used either as a mouse or as a pointer. It’s odd-shaped, but given it’s designed for each type of use, it’s understandable.
I found the GyroTransport to be the more interesting product though, as it’s small enough to fit on a keychain and can be used for a range of up to 100 feet. One interesting feature is the fact that the USB receiver is also a thumb drive, with densities ranging between 512MB – 2GB. Your preferred settings can be saved to the drive, if you plan to use the peripheral on multiple machines.
One common problem with digital devices is that we drop them. In the case of a few people I know, we can drop them a lot. ClipHanger produces a product called the… ClipHanger which attaches to a device, clips to your clothing or bag and hangs out.
Sure, the idea is simple. Each ClipHanger is made of a durable polycarbonate and will not break easily. Simple tests showed that bending about 270° was just fine. There’s some “super sticky” substance on the back of each ClipHanger that affixes to your digital device, whether it be a cell-phone, PDA, media player or anything else that’s a modest size and has a flat surface on it’s back side. These sell for around $15.
With that, this concludes our coverage of this years DigitalLife in New York. To truly wrap things up, the next page is laced with random photos taken around the show floor!
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