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Find sitting on the beach boring? Can't tear yourself away from technology? Here are some great new gadgets that can make your summer fun.
Media That Moves
OK, you're out in that cabin in the woods, sitting on the porch, listening to the birds, watching the shadows fall on the tall trees -- and totally, utterly bored. What do you do? Well, you can pull on your Myvu Video Goggles and take in a flick, grab your SwiMP3 audio player and go jump in the lake, or hook your iPod into your Outdoor Wireless Solar Speakers and treat the birds to the Shop Boyz.
Vacations are all about taking it easy, so carry your Video iPod. Connect your iPod (30 GB, 60 GB, or 80 GB) to the Myvu video goggles, dip yourself in cocoa butter, lay back, and enjoy. The lightweight eyewear contains built-in video screens and ear buds, and the thin battery pack is (according to the company) good for up to eight hours of video watching -- and doubles as a protective case for your iPod. Playback and brightness controls are built into the connector cable, and AC and car adapters for charging come in the box. (The iPod, needless to say, is not included.)
You can take your smartphone to the office in your pocket, but would you take it unprotected up a mountain or down a river? Of course not. You'd get an OtterBox. These cases seal smartphones away from water, dust, and dirt, and protect them from bumps and drops while providing full access to phone, keypad, and function buttons. The OtterBox 1920 for the Treo 650/700w/700p, for example, allows you to use the phone, e-mail, Internet, media, and camera functions through the case. There are OtterBoxes in a variety of sizes and shapes for iPods, GPS units, and tablet and notebook PCs -- even an OtterBox that adds a protected keypad to an iPaq 1900 series device. Take it with you, and bring it home safe and dry.
Summer is the time to move outdoors, but all the stuff that plays your music loud is indoors. What to do? Get this Outdoor Wireless Solar Speaker. Plug your tunes into the AC-powered transmitter piece -- an iPod, or your stereo system, or whatever -- and leave it inside. Then carry the tune-blaster part (it's about 9 inches in diameter and 13 inches high) outside and put it wherever you want it, up to 150 feet away from the transmitter. According to the company, the 900-MHz radio runs for up to eight hours on a charge, and it's solar powered so it recharges itself (there's also a charger included). You can even buy multiple speakers and run them from your music source.
Here's a science question for you: If you want to hear high-quality audio while your head is in the water -- like when you're, maybe, swimming -- how would you do it when there's no air to vibrate (which is how regular audio speakers work)? It's obvious -- you'd use bone conduction. The SwiMP3 underwater MP3 player lets you clip the transducers into the strap of your goggles so they press against any bone of your skull (like the cheek bones or the mastoid tip), and listen to your favorite tunes while you're wet. The SwiMP3's rechargeable battery and 256-Mbytes of memory provide up to four hours of music, and it plays MP3 or WMA files. When you come up for air, you can connect it via USB to a PC or Mac; it comes with software to manage your music files.
You've got an iPod dock in your car, an iPod dock in your alarm clock, an iPod dock in your stereo, an iPod dock that clamps to the baby's stroller. Think you've got an iPod dock just about everyplace you could put one? Think again. The George Foreman GIPOD200 puts an iPod dock, a 10-watt amplifier, and speaker on, that's right, an indoor/outdoor electric grill. The dock (which also handles other MP3 players), amp, and downward-firing speaker is installed in the pedestal base. The 200-square-inch grill's nonstick coating makes cleanup easy, and the center channel drains fat away from food (and, presumably, your iPod).
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