GPS watches that track your distance and keep you on perfect time. As well as home-streaming hi-fis, special effects cameras and go-anywhere telly.
PCTV Broadway 2T
The Slingbox has a rival for throwing TV from your home set-top box to wherever you are on your iPhone or iPad – the Broadway. The system is broadly similar – the Broadway converts Freeview (and possibly Freeview HD) signals to H.264 and blasts them to your router via wi-fi; you then watch at the other end via wi-fi or 3G on your iPhone or iPad (Android coming soon) in a browser window. The Broadway has two advantages over its main rival – it’s simpler to set up and it can plug in a video camera to double as an over-the-Internet home security monitor. But for the price, it’ll be tough to beat the superior connectivity of the Slingbox Pro-HD (at £250).
Garmin Forerunner 610
Garmin’s excellent, if expensive, running watch series gets its first touchscreen model. The model has already picked up a Red Dot Design Award for combining Garmin’s GPS run stat-tracking with simple touch-screen swipe and touch user-interface and controls. Pace, distance, time, heartrate etc are monitored, and the watch can structure training runs with interval periods and vibration and audio threshold alarms (that trigger if your pace drops below a certain speed, or you reach a set distance). The 610’s weatherproof, and the touchscreen works with running gloves. There’s even a social element – with Virtual Racer you can race against yourself or others virtually via the watchface.
Citizen Eco-Drive Satellite Wave
$3,000 (available November, limited edition)
Citizen’s Eco-Drive solar-powered watch range gets a high-end, limited edition number – where time is matched to GPS satellite signals. The Satellite Wave combines solar-powered technology with a GPS receiver that means the watch is constantly updating to the correct time via satellite. 24 GPS satellites (normally used to power sat-nav devices from) orbit the earth, each keeping accurate time via four onboard atomic clocks – GPS sat-nav devices work out their location by triangulating from the time difference between four satellite signals and their onboard clocks. The result is that the Satellite Wave is a watch that never needs a battery change or a wind and never tells the wrong time.
The first hi-fi/home cinema system amp/receiver to integrate Spotify’s streaming music service. The TX-NR609 needs you to be a member of Spotify’s Premium service (at €10 monthly), but like with streaming/multiroom specific devices from Sonos and Logitech, that gives you access to your playlists, the entire network’s searchable library of music and full song information. Tracks on Spotify Premium should also sound OK even on high-end hi-fis (unlike most other streaming services), as they come in 320 kbps Ogg Vorbis format. On top of Spotify, the NR609 is a 7.2 channel THX Select2 Plus-certified amp, that supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, with six HDMI inputs and no doubt a partridge, a peartree and a kitchen sink to boot in there.
£670 body only
Nikon’s mid-range digital SLR throws a bunch of special effects tricks on top of the usual specs to make it special. The standard stuff: 16.2 MP sensor, 11 point autofocus, Full HD 1080p movie capture, as well as ISO sensitivity range from 100-6,400 in standard mode. The best of the special effects: automatic High Dynamic Range shots that take two photos, three stops apart, and combine them; and a monochrome “serial-killer-o-vision” night vision mode that boosts ISO light sensitivity up to 102,400. Another neat trick that’s worth noting? Nikon now sell a separate stereo mic that automatically shuts out focus motor noise – a real curse on many SLR’s movie modes.
Fujitsu Scansnap S111
Trade show travellers will love this load-lightener – a portable document scanner that fits easily in your luggage. But this is not the only circumstance which you are likely to have a large number of paper bills and statements that you are likely to get through your letterbox. Its much easier to store this stuff electronically and with the growth of online storage the growth in home and office scanning is also likely to grow. This scanner is supplied with document management software, a standard mini usb cable and the device itself which is about the size, shape and weight of a rolled up newspaper or magazine. It draws its power through the USB cable directly from your laptop. The document management software converts everything into standard pdf and has optical character recognition capabilities as well. But the main downside is the poor build quality of the device. It really requires its own soft case. Also, business cards printed on thick card stock have a tendency to get snagged in the machinery.