Features - The Wacky World of Gadgets

Barbara Fullerton, Manager of Library Services, Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP and Jenny Levine (The Shifted Librarian)

At the recent Internet Librarian 2002 in Palm Springs, CA, a session on gadgets was presented to an audience of information professionals. These small novelties and electronic devices were introduced for the work, home and play environments. Included in this presentation were also some cool gadget ideas for holiday presents. These new gadgets, along with a few old “friends” were shown at the conference. NOTE: Special thanks to Brian Neale, Brian Roberts and Roger Skalbeck of  “And you thought gadgets were only for the kitchen!” presentations.


OQO’s Ultra-Personal PC CellSocket



  • Full Windows XP PC
  • Size of a PDA
  • Run any Windows XP application
  • 4" LCD Touchscreen
  • 10gb HDD 256mb RAM
  • 800mhz Crusoe Processor
  • Wireless Networking
  • 9 ½ hr. Battery
  • Dock as Laptop or Desktop
  • Estimated Price: $1,000
  • 4th Quarter 2002

Cell Socket  


  • Cell phone cradle that connects to your home phone network
  • Lets you make and receive cellular calls on a standard telephone
  • Cradle doubles as a charger
  • Antenna that boosts the cellular signal
  • Currently works only with some Nokia phone models
  • $99 - $129
  • Available now

Orbitor Electronic Listening


  • Hear conversations from 300'
  • Record up to 12 seconds on the digital chip for playback
  • The viewfinder has a 10 X prism optical system to observe
  • Full size headphones included
  • Price: $69.99

Logitech KeyCase


  • Functions as a PDA case and a keyboard
  • Made out of fabric, so it's spill proof
  • Right now, only works with: Palm m500, m505, m515, m125, m135, and i705
  • Price: $99
  • Available now


Phaser Laser Pointer & Wireless Mouse


  • 50 ft. range
  • Work at any location, from any direction
  • Built-in laser pointer
  • Track ball
  • 3 year warranty
  • Price: $39.99

The Rise Alarm Clock


  • Connects to the Internet to retrieve traffic information
  • Owner programs wake-up time, destination, and arrival time via a Web site
  • Clock adjusts wake-up time based on traffic patterns
  • Developed by a student at Brunel University in England
  • Possible development 2003

Dual Screen 2-VU


  • Two touch screens
  • Screens 12" or 15"
  • View 2 different documents at the same time!
  • Windows XP or 2000
  • 30 GB hard drive or higher; P4 processor
  • On-screen keyboard or wireless keyboard
  • Wireless network
  • Coming Winter 2002

Sony Clie Game Controller GC10


  • Attaches to serial port on Sony Clie PDAs
  • Functions as a game pad/joystick for full-fledged gaming
  • Weighs one ounce
  • $40
  • Available now

Site Gadgets


  • 23 gadgets to liven up your website
  • Customizable
  • Register to use the scripts
  • Message boards, voting ideas, postcards, counters, top news, etc.
  • Price: No charge
The Cubik Digital Camera


  • World’s smallest one megapixel camera
  • Captures movies & functions as a webcam
  • 16MB memory
  • 640 x 480 resolution
  • $169
  • Available now

A/B Cable Switch with Remote


  • Two-way switch for cable
  • 23’ wireless remote
  • Switch between games, video, stereo, camera
  • Price: $30

Wherify Personal Locator


  • Wrist device with embedded GPS for locating/tracking children
  • Built-in pager & “Request 911” button
  • Synchronizes with atomic clock
  • Water resistant
  • Alarm sounds if tampered with $399 plus service plan

Bullet-proof Vest


  • Computerized fabric
  • Seven integrated sensors that can detect sounds from distant
  • Small circuit board attached to the fabric compares the sounds from each microphone
  • Uses algorithms to compute sound up to 100 meters away
  • Coming 2003



  • Portable sound system that turns any window or tabletop into a speaker
  • Generates sound from any smooth, hard surface
  • Plugs into any standard headphone socket
  • Attaches to surface with a suction cup
  • $30
  • Available now

Do You Remember the CueCat? see http://www.llrx.com/columns/notes35.htm for a refresher

Doorstop Alarm


  • 9V battery
  • Sounds when door is being closed
  • 118 decibel alarm
  • Can also use it against closed doors for intruders
  • Price: 15 pounds

Apriva x57


  • Add-on sled for the RIM Blackberry 857/957
  • Reads smartcards
  • Swipes credit cards and processes transactions
  • Includes a barcode scanner
  • Adds an infrared (IR) port that can be used for printing
  • $226 (or $725 for a Blackberry & Apriva)


Windows XP Tablet PC


  • Interacts with other PCs (plays well)
  • Mobile & wireless
  • Use with other Window applications
  • Screen rotation
  • Slim and weightless
  • Attachable keyboards and docking stations
  • Coming Nov. 7th

Hello Kitty USB Hub & FireDino


  • 2-port USB hub
  • Responds to your keyboard motion by talking and moving
  • Talks in both English and Japanese
  • $89
  • Available now
  • 4-port Firewire hub
  • Red eyes and blue mouth light up
  • $75
  • Taking pre-orders

Samsung SPH-A500 Cell Phone


  • Text messaging
  • Color display
  • Camera sold separately
  • Games & applications sold separately
  • Web surfing
  • Low battery life
  • Cool design
  • Price: $300

Hokey Spokes


  • Transparent blades that attach to bicycle spokes
  • Internal LED lights display images, designs, and/or text
  • Fit most road and mountain bikes with a wheel diameter of 24” or greater
  • Can attach up to six blades per wheel
  • $30 per blade
  • Available now


Portable Key Katcher


  • Connect to a keyboard to record strokes
  • Captures 65,000 strokes
  • No software required
  • Plugs in between your keyboard and computer
  • Retains info even in power shortages
  • 64K memory
  • Price: $79.99

Magnavox MobilePal


  • Cell-phone like device that contacts MobilePal service only provides access to 911 network, Roadside Assistance, and directions to the nearest hospital or veterinary facility
  • Uses GPS to determine your exact location
  • Has a single “CALL” button
  • Embedded 95 dB siren
  • $99 to $299 plus service plan
  • Available now


Web TrackerPod


  • For WebCam
  • Control camera movement
  • Motion tracking
  • Remote monitoring
  • Video Conferencing
  • Price: $129.99 w/o camera
  • Camera: $30-$40

Qcast Tuner for PlayStation 2


  • Allows PlayStation 2 owners to use their game consoles as digital media centers
  • Using an ethernet network adapter, allows you to play digital audio and video files anywhere on your network
  • $50
  • Available now




  • PDA for visually impaired
  • Windows CE platform
  • Pocket PC applications
  • Wear device while accessing applications
  • Battery lasts 36 hours
  • QWERTY keyboard or standard 8-dot Braille keyboard
  • Price: $2,595 w/o modem

Samsonite Hardlite 625


  • Laptop and gadget carrying case
  • Bluetooth is embedded in the case itself
  • The case carries information and synchronizes it with devices inside it
  • Anti-theft technology automatically notifies the owner if the case is being removed
  • $99
  • Available 2003

Fire Bible


  • Scorching translation
  • Battery operated system
  • Open the book and see real flames
  • Lighter fluid not included
  • Price: $44.95



  • Robot that vacuums floors and rugs in a spiral motion
  • Runs up to 90 minutes per charge
  • Works on hardwood, linoleum, tile, and low- to medium-pile carpets
  • $199
  • Available now

M-Systems DiskOnKey


  • Keychain USB storage device
  • 8MB-1GB
  • No separate power supply or battery required
  • Security support options
  • Price: $39-$800

SplashPad and Mobilewise


  • Recharge devices simply by laying them down on the pad
  • Portable flat surface
  • SplashPad can be built into device carrying cases
  • Mobilewise reduces number of power adapters needed
  • Available 2003


Triple Car Socket


  • Powers three electronic devices at once
  • Compact, adjustable unit tilt 180°
  • Includes vent to keep unit cool when in use
  • Concurrent use of cell phone, laptop, massage cushion, TV, etc.
  • Plugs into vehicle's 12v power socket
  • Price: $19.95

Kyocera 7135 Smartphone


  • Combination cell phone and Palm PDA with a color screen
  • 16MB internal memory + an expansion slot (SD and MMC)
  • Plays MP3s and videos
  • Support for (high speed) 3G CDMA 2000 1X networks
  • Synchronizes with Outlook
  • Built-in speakerphone
  • Embedded GPS locator
  • $499
  • End of 2002

RIM Blackberry 5810


  • Wireless Email with PDA Calendar/Contacts/Notes
  • Syncs with PDA and ISP, Enterprise or Handheld Email accounts
  • Palm Size – 4.7 oz.
  • Backlit QWERTY keyboard
  • Optional GSM Voice services (cell phone)
  • 8mb RAM
  • Price: $499 +service

VKB Virtual Keyboard


  • Laser projects keyboard or mouse onto a surface
  • Includes an infrared (IR) mechanism for detecting user keystrokes
  • Expect to integrate it into PDAs, cell phones, tablet PCs, etc.
  • Full size keyboard supports range of typing speeds
  • Can change keyboard language on the fly
  • Integration into PDAs, cell phones, etc. in 2003

Do you remember?

Archos 20GB MP3 Player


  • 330 hours of music
  • Converts to a full stereo with speakers
  • Holds =500 CDs
  • Speakers optional
  • Includes hard drive & USB port
  • Travel kit not included
  • Price: $249.95

Odyssey 100


  • 20GB hard drive for data storage, plays MP3s and WMA audio files
  • USB 2.0 connection transfers an entire CD in 5 seconds
  • Uses e.Digital’s VoiceNav interface for voice navigation
  • Includes an FM tuner
  • “Drag ‘n Rip” software moves music directly to player
  • Built-in microphone for voice recording
  • $349
  • Available now

Palm History

Is your Palm history?

HANDHELD HALL OF FAME http://www.palm.com/products/handhelds/other/

Linksys Wireless Ethernet Bridge


  • Lets any device with an ethernet port join a wireless network
  • Makes your Playstation 2, ReplayTV, printer, scanner, etc. wireless!
  • Completely driver free, so works on any operating system and on any platform
  • Easily configurable through a Web browser
  • $110
  • Available now