AND YOUR PASSENGERS CAN PUT IN THEIR two CENTS
If you want to use your wireless phone in the car without tangled headset cords and earbud fatigue, a speakerphone is a common solution. If your phone doesn't have its own speaker, the Supertooth II portable speakerphone from BlueAnt Wireless can keep the conversation going on the highway.
The Supertooth II speakerphone, which is about 14cm long, connects wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and has an adjustable noise-canceling microphone to help eliminate background noise during a call. The device clips magnetically to the car's sun visor to keep the microphone and speaker right where you need them when driving, and it can easily be detached and carried inside to serve double duty as a desktop speakerphone.
The Supertooth II can be found in several online stores listed at www.myblueant.com. It comes with a car charger as well as an AC adapter. And in case you're planning a really extended road trip, its rechargeable battery can last for up to 20 hours of talk time and 800 hours of standby time.
FROM IPOD SCREEN TO BIG PICTURE. WELL, BIGGER ANYWAY
The rallying cry among fans of portable media players is rarely “Bigger!” But don't tell that to Memorex. Their iFlip device, scheduled to be released next month, connects to any newer video iPod and reproduces small-screen images on an 8-inch monitor.
The iPod drops right into the iFlip's cradle. You control video and music playback via the iPod's scroll wheel, while a set of buttons on the side handle volume and the on-screen menu functions. Powered speakers reproduce the sound, and the two audio jacks allow lovey-dovey couples or back-seat siblings to watch at the same time using headphones. The device also has a video port for transferring the action to an even bigger TV.
Available in black or white, the iFlip has a 480-by-234-pixel screen and operates about five hours on one charge. It will cost about US$200 and will be available through major online and offline electronics stores. The device folds shut for easy transport, and an optional carrying case is also available.
While the rest of the world focuses on making portable video players smaller, the iFlip brings things closer to life-size.
A DVD PROJECTOR TURNS MULTIMEDIA INTO CHILD'S PLAY
From Hasbro, the makers of the Easy-Bake Oven, comes another light-bulb-powered toy, the Zoombox DVD Entertainment Projector. This device, which could come in handy at sleepovers, projects DVD movies or video game images onto the wall or ceiling of a darkened room.
The projector's features include an integrated CD and DVD player, good-quality stereo speakers, a headphone jack and three RCA plug inputs, two for audio and one for video. Despite the name, the lens does not actually zoom. In fact, the dim image reminds you why bulbs for standard projectors often cost more than this entire unit. The Zoombox uses a common 35-watt halogen bulb, which costs about US$6 and lasts around 500 hours.
The projector is made to be moved, with a large handle that doubles as a prop for beaming the image onto a wall. Or you can lean it onto its back, to point straight up at the ceiling. The ability to play music CDs makes this useful as a bedroom sound system. Just remember, like the Easy-Bake Oven, the Zoombox is more a toy than the real thing.