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Cool Products Archive - 4

Featured Product Archive

The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough to warrant an appearance.

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KwikSet's new SmartScan biometric deadbolt featuring new SmartKey™ technologyNow you can have the stuff of spy movies for your front door. Kwikset's new SmartScan biometric deadbolt featuring new SmartKey™ technology, combines the convenience of keyless entry with the advanced security of subdermal fingerprint scanning. Buy one here.


RF Cafe: Finger Phone (Yubi-Wa Ring Phone by NTT DoCoMo)Kill two birds with one stone (is that saying too un-PC these days?) using the new Ring Phone. Block out ambient noise by sticking your finger in your ear and talk on your cellphone at the same time. The ring-shaped device uses a Bluetooth connection with your mobile to conduct sound via bone vibrations from your finger to your ear. Demoing from NTT DoCoMo.


Orange Trials Renewable Energy Powered Mobile Phone REcharge PodOrange now offers a portable cell phone charger - the REcharge Pod (get it, Renewable Energy)- that runs off of wind and solar power. Problem is that at 7m high, it will not quite fit in your pocket. It seems to me that carrying a spare battery might be a little easier. Actually, it is targeted at outdoor events.


VectraSense Verb for ShoeNow your running shoe can converse with other shoes - what a missed opportunity for  Converse™!. The VectraSense Verb for Shoe's embedded computer automatically adjusts the shoe to your feet, syncs with your PC, and communicates with the Verb for Shoes of fellow wearers to exchange contact information. Price: A mere $700.


RF Cafe:  Chameleon TV AntennaChameleon satellite TV antenna dishes by Sqish blend in with your brickwork, picket fences, and other types of structures to be rendered nearly invisible. I like their slogan:

Q:When is a dish not a


A: When it's a Sqish!


RF Cafe: Shadow CaddyI'm not a golfer, and I don't play one on TV, but this caddy-less golf cart caught my attention because of its innovativeness. The Shadow Caddy wirelessly follows its master around the course using a signal from a transmitter in his/her pocket. It sports a "270° infrared collision avoidance system" to keep it off the shins of the party. I wonder if it can discern water from grass - would it drive into a pond? Check out the video.


RF Cafe: BlueAnt's V1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth HeadsetBlueAnt just announced the world's first voice-activated Bluetooth wireless headset. The V1 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Headset uses BlueAnt's proprietary BlueGenie™ Voice User Interface, letting you control most functions with the sound of your voice. The device even provides spoken confirmations of your commands (my guess for the 'Genie' part of the name).


Erez Lieberman with the iShoe prototypeI wrote about this technology many moons ago, and here it is on the cusp of commercial application now. The iShoe continually monitors pressure at points under the foot and provides feedback to the wearer that causes a corrective reaction to help prevent tipping. Maybe it will bring an end to those hokey "Help... I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials.


RF Cafe: FlatWireFlatWire™ is a new product that is thin enough to apply and hide directly on the surface of a wall, rather than being routed through it. FlatWire is available for speaker systems, video cable, CAT5 and supposedly coax cable equivalent modem connections. It can also be used for standard AC connections like lights and receptacles. I would be a bit leery about running 110/220 VAC through it in such a vulnerable location since the next homeowner might drive a nail through it and get electrocuted.


RF Cafe: Download HamInfoBar

Ham Info Bar is totally free to download and use, and will give you immediate access to a wealth of ham radio information, including UTC time, propagation, DX spots, RSS feeds, websites etc. It has been downloaded by over 8,200 Hams and swls in 102 countries. "Whether you're a listener, ragchewer or a serious DX'er, this toolbar is for you!" Oh, and an RF Cafe link is built-in.


Mitsubishi's LaserVue TVMitsubishi has demoed its new LaserVue television, which will debut in 65-inch and 73-inch versions. Using "zomg lasers" the sets run at 120 Hz, and claim 500 nits of brightness. Pricing is planned to be  comparable to plasma and LCD, with truer colors. LaserVue draws under 200 watts, about half that of LCD and a third of plasma of similar size. Note: My 26" LCD HDTV draws 150 W, while my old 20" CRT takes only 65 W - no Hg in my CRT, either.


RF Cafe: KAB Electronics' Spectrum Magazine Contest Winning Transistor ClockIEEE Spectrum magazine held a  design contest for clocks that uses common parts and costs no more than $100. Keith Bayern took the prize with his 7-segment LED readout clock that uses all discrete components: 194 transistors, 566 diodes, 400 resistors, and 87 capacitors. He offers it as a complete kit, along with a 10" x 11.3" PCB, LEDs, wall transformer, solder, and miscellaneous other parts. "All you add are a soldering iron, a few tools, and time." It has a very well-written assembly manual.


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