The Gadget Zone
By James Careless –
Cool, useful and sometimes strange consumer tech
Cool: If you use a BlackBerry smartphone/PDA, chances are that you have it packed with music. But how can you access that music while driving, plus get safe hands-free call answering? The answer is the Blackberry Visor Mount Speakerphone, model VM-605. Available at www.staples.ca, the Visor Mount Speakerphone clips on your sun visor.
Pair it with your BlackBerry via Bluetooth, and you get hands-free call answering, plus the ability to play your MP3s on your car stereo system. The Visor Mount Speakerphone also supports voice-activated dialing, caller ID, and verbal notifications to let users know who’s calling.
Useful: If you get lost while driving (as I often do), then you need an onboard guidance system like the Yada GPSLive with Internet-Connected Navigation unit. When connected to a LetsYada wireless account, this GPS navigation tool can provide you with up-to-date route maps, traffic information, weather reports – even the lowest gas prices close to you!
Even without a wireless account, the GPSLive will accept addresses and show you the quickest route to them. The Yada GPSLive has a 5″ touchscreen, and can be connected to North American wireless coverage (Rogers in Canada; AT&T in the U.S.) through www.letsyada.com for a monthly rate of $9.99.
The Yada GPSLive device can be found at Canadian Tire stores or online at www.canadiantire.ca.
Sometimes Strange: From the innovate minds at www.thinkgeek.com come –wait for it! – Tribbles! That’s right: These are the furry bits of trilling fluff that terrorized the Klingons on the original Star Trek TV series. But unlike the ‘born pregnant, constantly breeding’ tribbles on that particular Star Trek episode, these tribbles are sterile. “In fact, ThinkGeek will guarantee that, should our tribbles somehow begin to multiply, we will dispatch someone to remove the infestation from your starship or space-station – even if it takes seventeen-point-nine years,” promises www.thinkgeek.com. Actually, these tribbles are battery-powered. But they are still quite capable of issuing the soothing trills that positively affect most sentient beings – except Klingons, of course.