Gadget-o-Rama 2011


web sunglasses

The Five Best Gadgets at Consumer Electronics Show

By Anetta Nowosielska

By now you have probably heard about Lady Gaga’s latest collaboration. No, it’s not a dance tune with Madonna that will be on a permanent rotation on every radio station. This time the monstrous pop phenomenon is hooking up with Polaroid to produce Polarez GL20, sunglasses that contain a built-in camera and two 1.7″ OLED screens that can immediately display the photos you have taken right in your face. Come next holiday season you’ll also be able to upload photos to the web right from these very glasses. This is some super duper, futuristic gizmo that could not have found a better spokesperson, who did, after all, wear a dress made out of skirt steak to an award ceremony.

Polarez’ debut took place in Las Vegas during the recent Consumer Electronics Show, world’s largest consumer technology trade show. From home robots to fancy kitchen aids to electronic marvels all about to hit the consumer market, CES is a bit of a checkpoint for how our daily lives are about to be impacted by the latest in electronics. But since I’m not best qualified to assess the significance of the new Bilo e-reader (if I could I would still be using the old, bulky Motorola cellphone,) I’ve asked Melissa Kelley, a self-proclaimed techie, who owns a landscape design company and calls Sag Harbor home, to rank the usefulness of the gadgets heralded as the next best thing.

Toshiba’s CELL TV

A couch potato’s wish come true, Toshiba unveiled CELL TV that operates with gesture technology. One simply has to wave their hands in a specific motion in the air to control the menu, fast-forward movies and turn the volume up or down.

Price and availability: unknown/2011

Melissa’s verdict: It beats looking for the remote or the replacing of dead batteries… this feels very “clap on, clap off …the clapper.”

TCL 3-D TV, without the glasses

3-D TV systems are about to hit the stores. Good news is that the same experience reserved until now for Disney movies at your cinema of choice will be available in your living room. Naturally, the home system will require 3-D glasses, which are expensive and goofy looking not to mention in some cases have caused headaches and nausea.

TCL Corporation has added a layer of rippled lenses to the front of the TV screen to produce the three-dimensional effect taking out the need for 3D. “Basically, we put the glasses that you’d be wearing on the TV,” a TCL spokeswoman said.

Price/availability: unknown/2011

Melissa’ verdict: Fantastic and fun with no pieces to lose.

Inter Reader

This hand-held device scans printed text, converts it to voice and then reads it aloud. Hold it over a page of a book, snap a high-res image of the text and the thing will read it aloud to you almost immediately. It also plays documents you transfer from a computer.

Price/availability: $1500/now

Melissa’s verdict: Why not just read it?

LG Smart Appliance Management System

This year LG unveiled its technology that offers a complete smart solution that lets consumers manage their homes in a more centralized and convenient way. For example, the system easily identifies what is in the refrigerator, as well as where certain items are located and when they expire. This information is also accessible via smart phones or tablet PCs, allowing consumers to reference this while grocery shopping. For minor problems – refrigerator door left open, ice-maker switched off, washing machine off-balance – the appliance alerts the owner either on its display panel or for future models, via a Wi-Fi connection, on the consumer’s smartphone or tablet PC.

Price/availability: unknown/2011

Melissa’s verdict: Now this makes sense. Practical uses for technology are always exciting.

Withing’s Blood Pressure Monitor

Smartphone-connected blood pressure monitor that transfers home blood pressure readings onto the iPhone. Users then can send that data to a doctor, personal trainer and friends on social networks.

Price/availability: $129/now

Melissa’s verdict: Must we broadcast every thing these days? Sometimes it is nice to have personal interaction especially with your doctor.