High-tech product releases announced the week ending March 17 include a navigation system that will play your favorite TV shows, a mobile accessory that helps hearing-impaired mobile users make calls, wireless headphones that won't annoy your sleeping partner, a robot that cleans the house while you are out, 3D glasses that will work with any 3D TV and a dual-screened e-reader.
A GPS that can entertain you when you are lost (or waiting to pick up your kids)
Navigation device maker Garmin released an in-car GPS system that combines Europe-wide navigation with digital TV reception. Garmin's nuvi 1490TV is marketed as a "personal navigation" device for those who want to watch TV and listen to the radio in their car (for free). The "anti-distraction" feature prevents drivers from watching the television when their vehicle is moving faster than 12 km/h. The device comes with a WQVGA colour TFT with backlight 5" screen with a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. It has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will last up to 3 hours without charging. Drivers can configure it to take them on a route with multiple stopping points. The device is priced at €299 and will be available in April.
A robot that will take a video and clean your house while you are out
Samsung has come to the realization that robots are the ones that should be cleaning and is sending them out in droves to clean up houses in Europe. Samsung's newly announced NaviBot is a futuristic-looking robot vacuum that will roll its way around the house sucking up dust while you are out. The NaviBot captures a 30fps video of your house to calculate the fastest and safest cleaning route. The robot will clean an area of around 150m2 before autonomously returning to its charging station. The NaviBot is equipped with 38 sensors (so it won't run over your dog) and can be set to run on a daily timer. The robot will start shipping in April. The basic silver sR8845 model is priced at €450 and the touch-sensitive blue SR8855 will sell for €550.
A mobile accessory for the hard of hearing
Nokia has developed a new gadget that will help people with hearing disabilities utilize mobile technology. The Nokia Wireless Loopset LPS-5 is a small mobile device that connects to users' T-coil-equipped hearing aid. The Loopset filters out the majority of background noise and increases voice clarity. The Loopset is worn around your neck and comes with a built-in vibrating function to alert you to incoming calls. The device can be paired wirelessly with a large range of Bluetooth 2.1 equipped mobile phones. The LPS-5 is priced at €199 and is available now.
Headphones that don't get tangled with wires
Sony's MDR-RF4000K digital cordless headphones let you sit back and listen to your favorite TV show without getting tied up in cables. You can walk around your house (within a 30m range of the charging dock) and hear crystal clear sounds coming from your hifi system for up to 7 hours before needing to charge. The headphones are great for new parents that want to watch a movie without waking the baby as they have a closed-type design that cuts out any sound spillage. Additional features include swivel circum-aural cushions, a parallel-link self-adjusting headband, built-in volume control and the option to use the NiMH battery or a single AAA alkaline battery. The headphones will be available in April. No pricing information has been released.
The world's first universally compatible active 3D glasses
The current cost of 3D TVs and accessories may force many new 3D TV owners to opt for a ‘BYO 3D glasses' policy when they invite their friends over for a 3D movie marathon - but most 3D glasses on the market can only be used with the TV sets they are sold with. XpanD's X103 3D glasses are the first universally compatible active 3D glasses on the market. XpandD claims they will work with any display that is capable of showing 3D content. The glasses will be available in 12 different colors for both adults and children. Reports suggest that the glasses will be released in June and should be priced somewhere between $125 and $150.
Dual-screen Android-powered e-reader
After facing delays of a couple of months, Spring Design's dual-screen Android-powered e-reader has now gone on sale in the US. The Alex combines a 6" Electronic Paper Display (EPD) with a 3.5" color LCD screen so you can browse the internet or watch videos in full color while you read. Social networkers can also use the e-reader's inbuilt WiFi or 3G internet connection to make posts on Twitter or update their status on Facebook, with new Android-e-reader compatible applications expected to arrive in the dedicated Alex Marketplace shortly. Spring Design's Android-powered Alex e-reader can be pre-ordered from the company's website (http://www.springdesign.com/) for $399 and is expected to start shipping no later than mid-April.