Tokyo Edge: July's Coolest Gadgets

Tokyo Edge: July's Coolest Gadgets

Casio Exilim EX-S880

Casio has the first digital cameras with a video mode optimised for You Tube. So how do you get a clip onto You Tube? First, users can shoot a video in the You Tube mode then slip the camera into a dock. This automatically starts a video management application on the PC (Windows XP SP2, 2000 SP4 and Vista only) and grabs the movie files. The application can be set up with a You Tube account, default title name and other settings, so getting the video online involves simply clicking the upload button. Alternatively, users can enter information specific to the clips and then upload them. The EX-S880 can take 8.1 megapixel images, has a 3X optical zoom. It will be released worldwide starting in the US in August, followed by Europe and Asia soon after. Also announced was the EX-Z77.

RRP: $US300

Samsung U3

It is difficult to differentiate MP3 players these days. They are all small, often have similar screens and are compatible with the same handful of formats. But along comes Samsung U3 with a feature not often seen: radio data system (RDS). It is used on many FM radio stations in Europe and sends the station name, details about the song playing and other useful information alongside the signal. The U3 will display this on its 4-line OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen. The U3 is about the same size as a pack of chewing gum and has its own USB connector, so it does not need a cable to connect to a PC. It will be available in black, white, blue, pink and green, and in three capacities: 1GB, 2GB and 4GB. It is available globally.
RRP: 1GB - $US79; 2GB - $US99; 4GB - $US149

Sony PSP with digital TV

Sony is bringing mobile digital TV to its PlayStation Portable. The plug-in tuner works with Japan's 'One- Seg' format mobile TV broadcasts, which delivers a QVGA (320 pixel x 240 pixel) resolution video signal that can be processed easily by portable gadgets. The new PSP also features a video-out connector so it will be possible to hook up the device to a TV to watch programs; although as the same channels are available on conventional TV at higher quality there would be little to gain. OneSeg-format broadcasting is used only in Japan, so the tuner is not compatible with the formats used in other countries.
RRP: $US57.38 Web:

IRiver Mickey Mouse

IRiver's Mickey Mouse MP3 player is too cute to pass over. The player, which packs 1GB of memory, is a small round ball with two smaller round balls attached to the top as ears, so that in silhouette it looks like the Disney cartoon character. The right ear twists to advance or back-up a song and the left ear is the volume control. There is an on-off button on one side and a small LED (light emitting diode) lamp on the other side that glows green or red to indicate whether that player is on or off. Models come in black, white, blue, pink and silver. It will initially be available in South Korea and Hong Kong.
RRP: $US50

Fujitsu F704i

With mobile phones getting so light and slim it is easy to wade into the sea at the beach and forget your handset is still in your pocket. The usual result is a dead phone. But users of Fujitsu's new F704i do not have to worry. The handset, which will be on sale in Japan just in time for the summer, is waterproof. It is a wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) handset with 3G roaming. It's a shame the camera offers only 1.3 megapixels or it would be even more useful for holiday beach snaps. It will be available in Japan only through NTT DoCoMo.
Web: (Japanese)


LG is releasing a few new phones with support for highspeed downlink packet access (HSDPA) wireless data connections. The LG-KH1400 marries the HSDPA networking with digital mobile TV reception. The display can be twisted horizontally to watch shows, and there is a video output socket to feed the picture to a bigger screen. The handset also has a 2 megapixel camera. Another phone, the LG-SH130, is a more basic slider model that brings fast data transfer and global roaming without the bells and whistles of the KH1400. Both are available in South Korea only.
Web: (Korean)

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