Author Archive | Robin Raskin

A Credit Card for the 21st Century

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Card 2.0

Price: TBD

Top 25What if that magnetic stripe on your credit card could get a lot smarter?  That’s the idea behind Dynamics’ Card 2.0, a paper-thin, flexible computer platform that can be utilized in a variety of applications such as next-generation payment cards.  Card 2.0 features a magnetic strip that can be reporogrammed on the fly; it can be read by any existing magnetic stripe reader, so merchants don’t need to bring in new hardware or learn a new process.

According to the company one of the greatest benefits is Dynamics’ anti-skimming device, called the Dynamic Credit Card.  It helps to protect consumers and merchants against this threat by automatically writing a new, unique dynamic security code onto its magnetic stripe for every in-store purchase. (Grabbing your credit card number from a receipt and abusing it is no longer an option for bad guys.)  The card can even have a display that shows a new security code for every online purchase.


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Wait, Wait! I Want to Be the Last Gadget Standing!

Attention, hardware makers! We’ve extended the deadline to nominate products for Last Gadget Standing, our yearly competition to find the single coolest gizmo on display at the Consumer Electronics Show. Maybe it’s the tryptophan; maybe we’re feeling your holiday pressure. Either way, we’ve decided to give you a few more days to get your gadgets in ship shape and show the crowds your stuff.

On January 8th, at our Last Gadget Standing event at CES, we’ll have a surprise host who’s going to have you splitting your sides with laughter (and he doesn’t even need an app for that).

So if you’ve been sitting on the fence, this would be the chance to write a few words about your product and why it deserves to be Last Gadget Standing. It’s sort of our very own Black Friday! Register by December 7th (the Day of Infamy by the way). May the best gadget win.

To apply, go here.


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HDMI Cables: Thin is In

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: RedMere-enabled Ultra Thin High Speed HDMI Cables

Price: $20-$85

RedMere-enabled Ultra Thin High Speed HDMI Cables make smartphones, cameras, camcorders, laptops and other portable devices that supports HDMI output even more portable. Unlike traditional HDMI cables–which are thick, heavy and unwieldy–a cable powered by RedMere’s unique smart cable technology is thin and light, long and portable, just like the sleek and slim portable devices they’re designed to connect. Not only do these cables look and feel really good, but they’re also tiny enough to fit in your pocket or your camera case. And RedMere’s self-powered 10.2Gbps booster module, which fits inside the HDMI cable connector, allows the cables to be extremely long, so you can view HD content comfortable viewing distance of your couch.


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2010: The Year of…

CNN says that this year is all about tablets, E-readers, connected TVs, smartphones, and oh yeah, did we mention 3D TVs?  We were tickled to see that they cited Boxee as last year’s Last Gadget Standing winner.  Can Google TV beat Boxee this year?  Your thoughts please…


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TV Station in a Box

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Jade Live Broadcaster

Price: $219

As the world turns to video it’s easy to be left behind, especially if you’re on a limited budget. MCN Technologies’ Jade Live Broadcaster levels the video playing field by offering a network camera for live video broadcasting over the Internet. It’s an HD camera with H264/AAC compression and an 802.11b/g wireless interface.  The live content is distributed as a set of streams with different resolutions simultaneously (1280-by-720, 640-by-480, 320-by-240 and 160-by-120) with bit rates ranging from  2Mbps to 80Kbps, so viewers with smartphones connected to mobile broadband can view low bit rate streams while ones with HD players connected to high speed networks at home can watch high-quality video. Who knows, maybe we’ll test it out and start our own Last Gadget Broadcast station.

The Live Broadcaster is due to go on sale on January 16th, 2011.


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ViewSonic Brings 3D to Photo Frames, No Glasses Required

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: ViewSonic 3D Multimedia Digital Photo Frame

List price: $179.99

Top 25Taking photo frames to the next level, ViewSonic’s 8” 3DPF8 3D Multimedia Digital Photo Frame makes it easy to share life’s memories in full 3D.  Viewsonic, says it flawlessly displays 3D photos and videos WITH NO GLASSES NEEDED, it also automatically converts standard 2D photos and videos to 3D. ( Those of us who’ve seen some of these 2D to 3D conversions tend to be a skeptical about the 3D experience but at least ViewSonic is trying something new.)  In addition to customized slideshows with music, this multifaceted 800-by-600 resolution device offers all the functionality of a compact digital display, including 128MB of internal memory, SD/SDHC/MMC and USB support, and calendar, clock and alarm features. Additionally, a rechargeable built-in battery and hidden touch panel controls ensure this device is as intuitive as it is interactive.  Sounds great… let’s see how it looks.


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Sun Power

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Dexim P-Flip Solar Power Pack
Price: $79.90

Solar powering your older iPhone has become fairly run-of-the-mill, but whither goest the iPhone 4? The P-Flip is the world’s first foldable, portable, rechargeable power dock for the iPhone 4. According to Dexim, it can extend talk time up to eight hours, video or game time up to 15 hours, or audio playing time up to 60 hours. The unique design is composed of two solar panels that convert the sun’s rays into juice for your iPhone, taking about 15 hours of exposure to natural sunlight for a full charge. But the two panels also serve as a foldable docking stand for hands free viewing. The Solar-Powered P-Flip is now available in the Dexim Amazon.com store for $79.90 and includes a charging cord, a screen protector, cleaning cloth, and a case.


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Shhhh! CES 2011 Promises A Slew of New Announcements

Normally the electronics industry is about as mum about what they’ve been up to as Lindsay Lohan on a Saturday night, but this year seems very top secret.  We’ve already received 6 requests for non-disclosed products to be part of CES’s Last Gadget Standing.  That means that we won’t be able to tell you anything  about them until the bitter end… the day that CES opens.  What to do?  What to do?  All I can say is … stay tuned from some very different kinds of gadget beasts at the show this year.  Maybe they’ve all taken a class in Apple Mystique 101?


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A Tip of the Hat to Tech Ingenuity

Make your own custom fit earphones.

Make your own custom fit earphones.

Each year, for the past 10, I brace myself for The Last Gadget Standing, an event at  International CES that admires the spirit of creativity and the fact that CES attendees not only appreciate cool technology, but that they can pick the winners from the losers.

As the competition starts to heat up I’ll point to a few of my faves and faves yet to come.

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A Cocoon for You and Your Media

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Acousticom Sound Egg

Price: $1450

If your name is Maxwell Smart or you’re an urban dweller who can never escape ambient noise, the Sound Egg is a sound investment.  The 70’s style egg chair has been reworked as an audio cocoon,  First seen at CES 2010, The Egg lets you immerse yourself in 5.1 Surround Sound without disturbing the people around you. It plays movies, music, video games, and any other media source through its array of speakers, including a 10″ subwoofer.  The chair is molded from colored foam.  At $1450, it’s a lot to pay for your own private world of sound, but for some, it may be worth it.

 


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