Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Technology Reviews

By Ron Brownlow  /  STAFF REPORTER

Aside from this feature, miFlower is essentially a glorified clock radio. Don't expect great sound quality. It's powered by four AA batteries and costs NT$1,299. Available at Toys 'R Us, Tsann Kuen 3C (台灣燦坤3C) electronics stores, and some department stores.

Movie Carrier

If you want a simple, easy-to-use camcorder or if you want your child to get an early start on her directing career, Sega Toy's Movie Carrier is for you. It looks like a toy, but it records full-motion video. Measuring 86mm in length, 40mm in width and 68mm in height, the Movie Carrier is small and fits easily into a child's hand. It comes with a 4x zoom, a 1.5-inch flipout monitor, an SD slot and TV outputs. It records 320x240 resolution video or takes pictures in AVI or JPEG formats onto an SD card. While this toyish camcorder doesn't offer the bells and whistles a grown-up model would, it will keep your children entertained and prevent them from asking to use your camcorder. NT$4,399 and on sale at Tsann Kuen 3C and Shilin Electric.

Homestar Pro

This gray sphere turns your bedroom into a planetarium. Using the same lens that commercial models use, it can project more than 10,000 stars and shows real constellations. As the successor to Sega Toy's Homestar (with retailed for NT$6,899), the Homestar Pro is three-times brighter than the original. It can rotate the sky in slow motion, produce random shooting stars, and focus to project sharper images. If you live in Taipei, it's safe to say this will reproduce a more realistic and clearer night sky in your home than anything you'd ever see outside. And at NT$10,980, it's cheaper than a trip to New Zealand. Operates via an AC adapter. Available at Shilin Electric.

Remote-control Dragonfly

This last toy is the simplest, but in a way the coolest gadget on this list. It's a radio-controlled dragonfly that flaps its wings like a real insect. Plug this bug into its battery-powered control unit for one minute and you get 12 minutes of flying time. That's pretty much all there is to it, except that since the dragonfly depends on air currents for lift, it has to move fast to stay airborne and can't bank steeply up or down. You need to take it to a large park; try to fly it indoors and it will bump into walls and fall down. NT$1,980 and available at Toys 'R Us, Tsann Kuen 3C and some department stores.

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