Developments in the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war kicked into high gear in the past couple of months. November and December saw the bulk of the long-delayed HD product lines finally hitting store shelves: Blu-ray players from Sony, Panasonic, and Philips; the PlayStation 3; the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on; and the second-generation Toshiba HD DVD players. In the new year, both camps came out swinging at CES 2007. With so much news to process, we've taken the opportunity to collect all the major developments into one easily digestible chunk.
We have a theory (yes, another one). We've often wondered why shopping malls continue to thrive, despite the convenience of online commerce, but then it dawned on us: massage chairs. So we suspect that there's a secret cartel among all retailers to develop them in new forms all the time.
The latest conspirator to surface is Sanyo, with its "Zero Gravity" model. Language from its press release sounds like it came straight from NASA's R&D labs: Using its "Stiffness Detection Sensor" technology, the chair "diagnoses stress areas by measuring changes … Read more
Apple may begin licensing its FairPlay digital rights management technology to third-party manufacturers in the near future--at least, that's the rumor. According to an unsubstantiated and unsourced item appearing at tech.co.uk, Apple plans to allow iPod-accessory makers to stream copy-protected iTunes content. To date, that feature has been restricted to Apple products, such as the AirPort Express wireless router and the forthcoming Apple TV. Other digital media products can stream only non-protected iTunes content--essentially, music and movies you've ripped to your PC.
If it pans out, the change could be a big deal and a positive … Read more
You know, I kind of like lava lamps. Unlike the whole ambient orb craze, lava lamps aren't just background decoration--they're fun to stare at. They also have legit retro appeal, which is pretty cool when it seems like just about every gadget is trying to look as futuristic as possible. Now, crazy-gadget hub ThinkGeek is selling a $10 lava lamp night light that Gizmodo alerted us to today. You can get 'em in red or yellow (though on the product page, the yellow looks more like neon green), and they plug right into any electric socket. Then it … Read more
Here at Crave, we tend to be skeptical about creative vacuuming solutions. There was that "Buster" prototype, which looked like more of a way for kids to terrorize pets than for a house to get cleaned. And then there are the "chic" vacuums that look like lawn gnomes. And now here's the latest, thanks to BornRich: a remote-controlled vacuum shaped like a NASCAR race car. It even comes with audio features to make it sound like it's straight out of Talladega Nights. I admit, I may be too much of a yuppie to understand … Read more
As part of our obsession over wireless home audio systems, we've mentioned Avega Systems as a case study of promises (and failures) to deliver on said technologies. But a year later, the company apparently made good on its vow to release its Wi-Fi speakers by this year's CES.
Avega has released its wireless "Oyster" audio system, which SCI FI Tech says "can accept wireless music streams from your PC or media server, game consoles or anything equipped with Wi-Fi." We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Amen.
As part of its new "Regza" line, Toshiba is offering a 26-inch model with a high-gloss steel panel to offset its black cabinetry, according to BornRich. It's designed specifically for the kitchen to match the fridge, dishwasher and other appliances, complete with a built-in DVD player so your kids can watch Ice Age 2 while you're heating up the dinosaur chicken for dinner.
There was a time when technological "convergence" in the home was defined by a combo device that merged television with computing. Now, it can be anything from a table-refrigerator to a smart coffee maker.
And the pace of innovation is furious. Just a few days after posting an item on a combo speaker lamp, we discovered that it's already been trumped by a combination lamp, speaker and air purifier, according to Chip Chick. The tower-shaped "Rigel," by Italy's Artemide, has a mirrored finish that gives way to colored lights when in use. But at … Read more
Because of the popularity of last week's post on the "Sonic Bomb" alarm clock, we feel obligated to pass along this latest update from Gadgetizer on an analog version of the eardrum-shattering timepiece. Or, for a sleeker design, you can go for the AM/FM "sonic" clock radio for a few dollars more. And yes, don't worry, all of these versions have the same earth-shaking alarm and bed-shaking features as the original. Your neighbors will love you.
Any modern homebuilder will tell you that the kitchen has increasingly become the most important gathering place in many houses, even more than a family or living room. New construction reflects that lifestyle change, often building computer hutches and other non-cooking facilities into the design, yet PC makers typically treat the room as an afterthought. (Water near the keyboard? Horrors!)
The "Icebox," however, is designed specifically for use in this ostensible danger zone. The wireless keyboard and remote are fully washable, according to Appliancist, but if you still don't want grubby little mitts all over them you … Read more