Wireless gadgets: Motorola Bluetooth handset

Thomson WSP740U active speakers

SolarGuard Wireless Alarms

Thomson Video Sender

Out of sight, but not out of mind - wireless technologies like Bluetooth and infra-red are helping to revolutionise the way we see, hear, talk and play, says David Phelan

There's something magical about technology that works without connecting cables, especially if there's not even a connection to the mains; we just love the lack of clutter and the freedom that they bring. The pinnacle of wireless gadgets is the mobile phone, but that's just the beginning of wireless technology application, a world in which infra-red rules ...

Bluetooth

This radio technology is going to be big this year. Named after Harald Bluetooth, the Danish king who unified Denmark and Norway in the 10th century (now pay attention, it might come up in a pub quiz), its strength is its security. You can wirelessly connect your mobile to your hands-free headset (and yours alone) so someone with another Bluetooth headset, even the identical phone, can't get in on the equation. And you can use it to connect your laptop to your printer, or your mobile to your laptop, without the critically demanding need for line of sight that infra-red has. You can dial a phone number on the palmtop computer on your desk which transmits it to the mobile in your briefcase, which relays it to the headset perched on your ear. The possibilities for the application of Bluetooth are endless; one such possibility is that it can be used, say on aircraft, to transmit any movie you want to watch to your seatback screen, saving enormous weight in cables and thus reducing fuel consumption. The Motorola Bluetooth handset costs £129.99; Motorola 08000 151 151

Thomson WSP740U active speakers £80

Similarly, if you have a hi-fi system with a built-in radio it can be a nuisance when you're just out of earshot for the exact details of the football results, the Lottery numbers, the punchline on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue but you can't quite get to the other room. Bring the sound to you with this pair of radio-controlled speakers. Connect the transmitter to the stereo jack of the hi-fi and place the speakers wherever you fancy. They're stereo so it doesn't make sense to split them up too much, but as they're battery-powered you have some room for manoeuvre. There are mains leads for the speakers too, if your batteries run out of juice, and you can use rechargeable batteries, although these are not supplied. The sound is reasonable and it means you can even put them in places where there's no electricity, like the garden shed, for example. Thomson 01732 520920, www.thomson-europe.com

Wirefree home security set-up: SolarGuard Wireless Alarms, from £103

Now you can make your home secure without cluttering it up with cables. SolarGuard promises simple-to-install wireless alarm systems and accessories. The company created solar-powered alarm systems and now ensures its systems are simple but efficient. The basic system consists of the solar-powered external alarm, a movement sensor and two magnetic door contacts. Because there's no mains wiring it's easy to set up with the minimum of work and no need for a degree in how electricity works. There are more expensive systems too, such as the Multi Zone (£195) which has greater flexibility and allows different areas to be controlled in different ways. www.easylife.co.uk

Thomson Video Sender £80 or DigiSender Video sender £69

Annoying, isn't it, when the movie you're watching on TV in the living room is playing on DVD and you fancy seeing the last half-hour from the comfort of your own bed? Annoying because you don't have a DVD player there too. Your options are: wait until tomorrow, lug the DVD player upstairs and fiddle for a good 20 minutes while you set it up, or use a video sender. It's true there are a couple of DVD players on the market (like Sony's stylish Picot at £150, for instance) that are easily portable from room to room, but the Thomson Video Sender means you can transmit whatever is showing on your lounge TV to another elsewhere, whether the main box is showing a DVD, video or satellite. There is also a deluxe Thomson video sender available (VS540CAU, priced at £130) with a colour camera attached so you can send images of who's at the front door (or wherever else you point it) to your TV. Useful for the lazy and the nosy. Thomson claims its senders have an indoors, through-walls-and-ceilings range of 30m.

Some models, like the DigiSender Twin Receiver Pack (£103) let you send the image to two TVs. The sound and picture quality are high – the only drawback of this system is that it doesn't settle arguments about what to watch, only where to watch it. It can transmit signals in widescreen format and stereo sound quality including Dolby Pro-Logic surround sound. It will work at a range of up to 100m through the air, or up to 25m through walls and ceilings, which is probably the more useful statistic. DigiSender: www.easylife.co.uk; Sony 08705 111999; Thomson 01732 520920, as before

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'