FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 14, 2008
New 'geek gear' unveiled at two electronics shows
Electronics reports and reviews help readers keep up with what's hot and what's not. Challenge class members to find an example on business, technology or general news pages – such as from this week’s Macworld Expo.
News columns aren't the only places to learn about fresh tech products. Invite pupils to do shopping research by comparing ads for MP3 players, cell phones or other "must have" items.
Columns or reader forums focusing on computers, gaming and audio gear in some papers. Start a discussion of whether those features are useful, if they exist locally, or whether the paper should add one. Suggest that students submit ideas for improvement in a message or letter to the editor.
Next-generation video games, personal communicators, audio devices, home entertainment systems and other electronic "toys" were showcased last week at an annual extravaganza in a fitting location – Las Vegas. The Consumer Electronics Show, a yearly gathering for merchants and the media, featured 2,700 exhibitors and drew 130,000 visitors who got a preview of items heading to stores.
Attention-getters include an oversize, curved rear-projection screen for gamers that fills the player's field of vision for total-immersion gaming. On the smaller end of the scale are silver ear-bud headphones with silver-colored cables to plug into MP3 players, mobile telephones or other devices.
A portable music breakthrough from Phillips Electronics, called GoGear, is an all-black MP3 player with built-in Bluetooth functionality that lets owners use wireless Bluetooth headphones and also shuttle songs to the device from any Bluetooth-enabled PC. Other attention-earning innovations include wireless home stereo speakers and a seven-inch digital photo frame with an iPod dock in back to allow viewing of images stored there.
Some products mix fashion with technology, such as a laptop computer for women that shuts to resemble a rounded, leather handbag with chrome, titanium and lacquer accents.
Another technology event, the biannual Macworld Conference & Expo, is under way this week in San Francisco to introduce new stuff for Apple Computer customers. Products introduced there include an iPod docking station shaped like a cute ladybug, with wing-shaped mini-speakers that fold out, and PowerDock models that charge two or four iPods and iPhones at the same time.
New from Nintendo: Wii Balance Board will be introduced this spring for use with Wii Fit exercise and stretching-related games, activities and challenges. Also, a wireless Wii Wheel will be part of the upcoming Mario Kart racing game.
Journalist says: "The latest GoGear players do what other players should’ve done ages ago -- use the power of Bluetooth to wirelessly pack songs onto a device. Behind the ball on this one, iPod team?" – David Silverberg, Digital Journal
Manufacturer says: "We designed the Ladybug [iPod dock] for the tween and teen market, but found out mom and dad would like one on their desk." Wayne Ludlum, Vestalife
Front Page Talking Points
is written by
Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
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