A camcorder to sink your teeth into?
Sony Canada this month released a new camcorder which features Bluetooth technology, enabling users to wirelessly transfer their film to their PCs, and to post it straight to the Internet from the camera without any hook-ups. The camera – which only measures 4x3x2 inches – also allows for footage stored on its memory stick to be e-mailed from it, and features access to the Internet through a supplied Bluetooth compatible modem adapter or a Bluetooth compatible cell phone. The camera, which is available now, is priced at $2,899.99 on the company’s Web site but retailers’ prices may vary, according to Sony. For more information, visit www.sonystyle.ca.
Out with the old
A new European Union recycling regulation will allow Europeans to pull out their old cell phones from the back of their desk drawers, dust them off and recycle them. This will mean avoiding dumping possibly harmful materials – such as lead – and could actually save companies money be not having to mine for new materials. The new regulations will likely mean that individual firms will be responsible for the recycling of their own products.
Will the cookie crumble?
In other European news, a story from the Reuters News Agency reports that cookies – the invisible ID tags carried by Web surfers – could soon be outlawed “under a proposed privacy directive from the European Commission.” The legislation claims that the cookie, which collects identifying information without asking for a user’s consent, is a threat to user’s personal privacy. But advertisers in Europe claim the loss of cookies could specifically have a bad effect on e-commerce and online advertising sales, in turn having a bad effect on an already dismal economy. In fact, according to the article, The Interactive Advertising Bureau U.K. (IAB) has reported that British companies could lose approximately US$272.1 million. The cookie proposal was scheduled for a vote on November 13, and will go before the EU Council for Ministers for a final vote if approved.
DVD on the road
In yet another story about cars with technology, Visteon Corp. announced last month that it will be supplying a miniature DVD player entertainment system to be put into the 2002 Volvo S80 Executive cars worldwide. The company’s DVD Rear Seat Entertainment System will include two 7-inch thin film transistor (TFT) screens, according to the company, which will be integrated into the back of the headrests of each of the front seats. Each screen can be independently operated, and users can choose if they would like to hear sound through wireless infrared headphones or through the rear speakers of the car. As well, according to a company press release, the auxiliary input has been integrated into the rear seat armrest, allowing users to connect to most media players and gaming systems such as Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation.
Because sometimes just an earpiece is not enough
The R&D department of France Telecom recently developed what the company calls “a multimedia communications scarf that offers many of the services expected with the new generation of mobile telephony (UTMS) systems.” The scarf features a touch screen which is turn linked to a mini Web-cam, enabling the scarf to act as an interface for sending and receiving visual written and spoken information. According to a press release issued by the company, the scarf is “discreet and elegant,” and will eventually act as a virtual office for workers on the go. Users will be able to surf the Web, download files, and send and receive e-mail. The company says that when the collar of the scarf is raised, hidden earphones are brought up to ear level for use, and, when the scarf is wrapped around the neck, a microphone is in place in front of the mouth. The creators of the scarf have already created the first telephone jacket.
Mouse rolls along?
Contour Design Inc. has launched the RollerMouse station, a pointing device to off-load strain and tension of muscles around the shoulders and elbows. The device features a rollerbar that controls the cursor, and can be manipulated with either the thumbs or fingertips. The RollerMouse station is placed underneath the space bar on a keyboard, which can eliminate the repetitive reaching for a mouse. The device has three buttons that can be programmed to perform different functions, and an additional PS2 port for adding another input device (like a trackball or second mouse). The RollerMouse station works with PCs with a Universal Serial Bus or PS2 port (serial ports not supported), or a Macintosh with a USB port. It’s recommended for use with 101-key “straight” style keyboards. The device costs US$190, and can be ordered through Contour’s Web site at www.contourdesign.com.