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     Volume 6 Issue 42 | November 2, 2007 |

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The Fun of Staying Indoors

Imran H. Khan

I love gadgets. I have only recently started to save up some money, but not for my children's education oh no! I'm saving up to buy the iPhone. The international release should be some time in the middle of next year so I should have enough by then to have it. On the topic of expensive gadgets, a house in Austin, Texas has recently been awarded with Home Entertainment's "Installation of the Year" award. The flamboyant in-house cinema room boasts 24-karat gold gilding details, hand embroidered fabric seats and genuine antique candle holders throughout. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind this polished front lies twenty-four 12-inch subwoofers, CAT/MBX speakers, a 200 pound, 3 feet long Runco MBX-1 projector, which projects 40 ft wide images, thirty-eight distinct audio zones, with the cheapest speakers costing $2000 /pair and touch-screen controls. This also doubles up as controls for the whole house, sort of like my dream console. And what would be the point of such a bombastic system if it didn't come with a price tag of $3.4 million. At this point in life, I am more than content saving up for my iPhone.

Frankly speaking, I'm not too good at comparing one gadget with another as they all have their individual zing, sort of like people with their unique characteristics. Now a row has occurred in California that puts the accuracy of radar guns to the test. An accused speeder Shaun Malone of California is fighting a speeding ticket citing that his GPS system proves that the police radar gun is wrong. According to the police, Malone was going 62mph in a 45 zone. However, his stepfather (a retired police sheriff) argues that the radar gun was showing incorrect information. According to him, a GPS unit capable of tracking speed is far more accurate than a radar gun, which can have some human errors. The final judgment now lies in the hands of a traffic commissioner to decide whether data collected by a GPS unit is capable of overturning a ticket. The final decision could, in fact, change the very ways that traffic systems are monitored all over the world.

Apple is coming out strong with their iPhone and other gadgetries but going a little back in their range, who can forget the iPod and their numerous wacky docking stations. An appealing one that caught my fancy is the Tower by mStation. This three-and-a-half-foot tall $299 station

boasts 2.1 channels of elegant design and pumps out 100 watts of pure musical genius. Inside that barrel chest is a 5.25" dedicated subwoofer, four 2" midrange drivers and two 1" tweeters, too. Frankly speaking, these dock will probably never age, take a look at this other stylish Boynq Wake Up iPod Dock Alarm Clock. Wake Up time is definitely not my favourite time of the day but this baby features a 20-watt amp, a wireless remote that can be docked in place of your iPod, video out so you can play the TV and an FM radio. For $185 I'm sure that this would be a nifty device to have by your bedside.

Ok the next thing is definitely something that I would not refer for the bedside. The Radius Design Home Flame is (apparently) an eagerly anticipated romantic fireplace. As the cool chill of winter seeks near, this handy item will surely be a handy around the household, considering your household has a thousand dollars to spare. The only installation you need to worry about is to hang it on the wall like a picture frame, and there's no chimney, logs or smoke to deal with because it burns bio-ethanol. Hmm! Maybe this is an item I could have by my bedside. It's exquisite black colour would rather complement my (future) iPhone. Ok, maybe I'm going a little overboard with the iPhone. Let me introduce another sporty mobile set that has hit the market. Give way to the Adidas Mobile Phone. Ok wait, it's basically manufactured by Samsung, but has the Adidas branding on it. It features a 2-megapixel slider with FM radio, MP3 player and an EDGE connection. To meet the athlete's expectations, there is also sport functionality in the phone: a pedometre and heart-rate metre.

Since they are squeezing everything into cellphones, check out this last item that caught my attention. Enter the Telemax III: TV Remote and Hands-Free Phone All-In-One. Australian design firm Tiller+Tiller has its fingers crossed and hope that this phone/universal TV remote hybrid concept will find its way into homes all over the world. Its controls are so easy that everyone cans easily get sued to it and it's rugged enough to handle any bumps and spills along the way. As far as functionality is concerned, the TeleMax III keeps the simple theme going by automatically muting the TV mode when a call is received and since it is hands-free, the bulky look of the unit should pose no problem. Since its still a prototype, it seems a little bulky, but expect a smaller commercial version of this toy in the next 2 years. Who knows, maybe I'll trade in my iPhone in for this and literally turn into a couch potato.


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