Sony has finally delivered on its Mofiria promise with what it claims is the world’s smallest and lightest finger vein reader. That assertion may be challenged by Hitachi, whose 3mm-thick scanner promises to be even smaller, but the critical difference here is that the FVA-U1 is about to go on sale in Japan come December 18, whereas Hitachi’s hardware is nowhere to be found. The Sony scanner weighs a measly 33 grams, hooks up via USB, and adds an extra layer of biometric protection for your most precious data. Whether carrying around an extra dongle just to protect some Excel spreadsheets and your Outlook account is worth it, we leave up to you.
We’ll admit we save our Nikon excitement for the sort of gear that comes with “bad mother” stitched into its casing, but sometimes even our jaded souls can get intrigued by a compact. This particular slimline unit has an OLED touchscreen display, with the additional inclusion of multitouch and gesture support, which already gets it right up to speed on the latest trends. With a 5x optical zoom, 12 megapixel sensor, and 720p/30fps video, it’s also no slouch on the spec sheet, but reviewers at Photography Blog found a few shortcomings. The Nikon S70 is said to be overly reliant on the 3.5-inch touch display for controls, and although the camera is both thin and ultrafast to start up, those benefits come at the greatest cost of all: image quality is only average, and noise handling is poor even at base ISO. We’ll file this one in our “vivacious but vapid” archive while you busy yourself with reading the full review.
When Belkin killed its FlyWire, it also put a serious hurtin’ on the hopes of wireless HDTV ever truly taking off in the near term. Granted, the device was horrifically overpriced, but it was easily the most well-known product in the fledgling sector. Now, however, it seems that a few other players are sneaking into the limelight, with Philips recently introducing its sub-$1,000 Wireless HDTV Link and Sony pricing its DMX-WL1 for the everyman. Today, Best Buy’s own Rocketfish has introduced its WirelessHD Adapter, a two-piece set that enables a single HDMI device to be connected to an HDMI-enabled HDTV sans cabling. You simply plug your source into one box and your HDTV into another; so long as the two are within 33 feet of one another, 1080p content can be slung without wires. It’s up for order right now at $599.99, which — amazingly enough — is actually more expensive than that 30-foot Monster HDMI cable you were secretly eying.
Hey — what’s that? Oh right, it’s the LG eXpo, the slider with a pico projector jammed inside. Among other things, the full QWERTY slider’s packing a 1GHz CPU, a 3.2-inch touchscreen, a 5 megapixel camera, a microSD slot, and of course that removable Texas Instruments projector. The just-announced handset bears quite a strong resemblance to the Monaco we heard about way back in May — though from the looks of it, its lost all of the brassiness we were so fond of. The eXpo runs Windows Mobile 6.5, and it will hit AT&T on December 7th for $199 after a mail in rebate with a two year contract — plus an additional $179 should you choose to opt in on that projector.
ASUS’ Eee PC 1201HA just went on sale here in the States earlier today, but already it seems that the debatable father of netbooks is looking to one-up its own with the 1201T. Shown off recently at an event overseas, this 12.1-inch netbook gets powered by AMD’s Congo platform and NVIDIA’s heralded Ion graphics unit, a tandem that should lead to a fairly nimble and multimedia-friendly machine. The 1.6GHz MV40 CPU was at the helm, followed along by 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 250GB hard drive, 6-cell battery and an enclosure that looks pretty much like every other Eee PC announced within the past six months. Mum’s the word on price and availability, but we’re guessing both of those will clear themselves up in short order.
A little bit of emulation is a basic rite of passage for a modern day device that allows open software development, and the N900 is no different. We first saw the device rocking some SNES way back in September, but apparently Nokia couldn’t pass up an opportunity to demonstrate the phone’s prowess and put up its own video of a few emulators in action. Unfortunately, while emulators are completely legal, the ROMs that run on them are rarely legit, and despite Nokia’s odd assertion in the video that “most publishers allow individual title usage provided that the user is in possession of the original title,” the phone giant has since pulled the video from the internets, and Nintendo is reportedly looking into the matter. Of course, N900 emulatin’ is still easy to come by from third parties
Despite the distant memory that is film for most people, most DSLRs have plenty in common with their film-based ancestors, at least when it comes to form factor. Not this Nova DSLR concept. Conceived by Erin Fong, the idea is to allow for all sorts of hand holds thanks to the dual movable arms, and the controls at the fingertips seems surprisingly convenient. We’re sure there are all sorts of technical limitations holding something like this back, but after suffering severe kitted-out DSLR fatigue on multiple occasions, we could really get into something that makes a bit better use of how we regularly hold our non-imaging devices. Now if someone would just clean that lens already!
Whoever it was at Sony HQ that decided to pursue “military contracts” as a revenue source, kudos! Mere days after the US Air Force expressed interest in expanding its PS3 supercomputer, we’re hearing glorious Britannia’s Royal Navy has conscripted 230 PSPs into duty as revision aids for its trainee sailors. Loaded with maths and physics materials, the PSPs can be used in a bunk, have familiar controls for the young and mostly male recruits, and are considered pretty tough to break. The underlying reason for this move though is cost cutting: by making the training course more intensive, the Navy is saving on teaching time. Given that the UMD drive won’t come disabled — which is hoped to encourage the sailors to take better care of the device — the future this paints is of marines who’ve spent more time with a freebie handheld console than with a pro instructor. At least they’ll have a great stable of captured monsters to show for it.
Yesterday, we came across the best PMP in its range. The RAmos T9HD is a 4.3-inch touchscreen player with 720p video support. Nothing fancy except the excellent 800 x 480 screen resolution and the fact that it’s a capacitive touchscreen. The demo video of the UI leaves little doubt it’s going to be worth a try. Ownta has the 8GB version of the RAmos T9HD (we’re not sure it comes in other built-in capacities) at $145. The dropshipper says they have worldwide free shipping. (more…)