Phones have done a number on watches--all too many people have ditched the wristwatch in favor of just whipping out their phones to check the time. But Casio's new watch uses Bluetooth to work with phones (in particular, Android smartphones), delivering crucial information and offering some pretty sweet new features, including a "find my phone" feature and caller ID.
Drive for long enough, and eventually you'll experience it: that helpless feeling that comes when you discover you've locked your keys in your car. Before it happens again, install a system that unlocks your car doors with your cellphone. The setup involves using the Bluetooth module from a cheap wireless printer, which receives a command from your phone and sends it to a switch connected to your car's spare electronic key fob. Instead of telling the printer to print a photo like it normally would, the phone signals it to trigger the unlocking mechanism. Stash the system under a seat (plugged into a lighter socket for power), and a few keystrokes will pop open the doors from up to 10 feet away.
Kyle Evans, a 24-year-old artist, bought his first didgeridoo in a small shop in Cairns, Australia, three years ago. The owner helped him pick out one of his handmade Aboriginal instruments, and after Evans taught himself to play, he decided to build an enhanced version: an electronically modified, Bluetooth-enhanced PVC pipe that cranks out didgeridoo-like sound with added digital flourishes.
Traditional didgeridoos are simple wind instruments made from hollowed-out trees. While learning to play the one from Cairns, Evans was also getting into computer-synthesized music, and he noticed similarities between the sounds. His first attempt to combine the two, involving a Big Gulp mug and a USB link to his laptop, proved too cumbersome, so he designed a Bluetooth version instead.
When we saw the Motorola Cliq and the way it married all your contacts simply in one place (a la the Palm Pre), we finally saw the light at the end of the Android tunnel. This morning, that light got even brighter with Android 2.0--the next iteration of Google's mobile software.
Turn a secondhand tablet PC into a fully functional e-book reader
By Phillip TorronePosted 10.14.2009 at 4:24 pm 11 Comments
I tried to love Amazon's amazing e-ink electronic book reader, the Kindle, I really did. But I wanted a device that had full color and a higher-resolution display and that didn't limit the content you can view on it. So instead of shelling out $300, I decided to make my own version using a tablet PC -- basically a computer with a stowable keyboard (or no keyboard at all) that you mainly control with a stylus and touchscreen.
The world is about to get four billion more nurses. With the help of add-on apps and gadgets, cellphones can become medical helpers that track and transmit your vitals to physicians. These mobile aides will help catch diseases early, save ER visits, and cut health-care costs. And as future implants let phones trigger drug release, your favorite gadget may even save your life.
Why should mobile phones get to have all the fun running advanced operating systems? The new Glass desk phone mixes one part corded, landline phone and one part Android-based internet tablet. Google's mobile Android platform and a plain old desk phone will play nice together, if and when Cloud Telecomputers' concept makes its way to market in 2010.
I don't like Bluetooth earpieces, and I don't like the people who wear them. Sounds kind of like a deranged T-shirt slogan, doesn't it? There's something about the tiny little headsets that's always bothered me. A few years ago, I noticed a strange phenomenon sweeping New York City: suddenly it wasn't just the crazies who were chattering to themselves on the street anymore -- business people were doing it too! And now, with the technology far less exotic and more affordable than it used to be, it seems like almost everyone is walking around talking to the little voices inside of their heads.
What's better than RFID tags? Your own fingerprints, of course. No batteries needed, no electronic eavesdropping devices, and no storage problems. They're always convenient and, well, they're always at your fingertips. The only problem with using fingerprint biometric controls is finding a suitable fingerprint reader. And, no, we're not talking about that archaic monstrosity used at the local cop shop, either. We're talking about an small, inexpensive fingerprint reader that just needs a swipe of your precious digit for unleashing a torrent of programming power.
Driving around while seemingly talking to an imaginary friend in the front seat is no longer strange, and in California, it's the law. But "hands-free" can still be painful for the other half of the conversation, and the ear you choose to clip a gadget onto. The Aura Mobile BT from Spracht is a Bluetooth conference phone that works just as well in the car as it does in your hotel room-turned-office. On a three-hour trek through northern California driving 80 mph in a noisy car, we tested whether it's worth the $129.99 price tag.