Archive for the ‘waterproof’ Category
Okay, so they still look like Depression-era bath toys, but Maurizio Porfiri’s robot fish have come a long way from the coconut-and-tin-foil look they were sporting last summer. In an attempt to further “close the loop” between robotics and nature, Porfiri has continued to tinker with the little leaders by incorporating diving and surfacing into their aquatic repertoire, and it seems to be working: real fish have shown interaction patterns including tracking, gathering, and following in the presence of the pesci-bots. Now if they could just do the same with the the feral ferret living in our bedroom walls…
Bath-time belters rejoice, for the folks over at Toshiba have bestowed unto you a 21st century solution to the waterproof radio. Okay, so it’s not the first shower-ready speaker we’ve reported on, and the TY-WSD9 doesn’t come with a pale-skinned celebrity endorsement, but it does stream audio from your TV, DVD, iPod, or other sound-emitting device within a 25-meter radius. The system sports two 1.2W speakers, works a transmitter / receiver setup that looks something akin to a baby monitor, and will be available in Japan for about 13,000 yen (or $160) starting this March. So get those pipes ready, cause your wet and wild repertoire just got a whole lot bigger.
Olympus just loosed a trio of compact cameras. Let’s start big with the €329 SZ-30MR. According to Olympus, the 30MR packs a backlit CMOS sensor with 24x (25-600mm) optical zoom and Dual Engine TruePic III+ processing. It also lays claim to being the first to simultaneously record 1080p video while shooting 16 megapixel stills — a feature Oly dubs, Multi Recording. The SZ-20 lacks the MR and dials back the zoom to 12.5x but costs a relatively modest €219.
Olympus also announced a silver or black TG-810 compact for €299. First and foremost is the cam’s claim for ruggedness: crushproof at a weight of 100kg (220 pounds); waterproof to 10 meters (32.8 feet); shockproof at a distance of 2 meters (6.56 feet); and freezeproof a temps to -10 degree celsius (14 degrees F). Otherwise, it boasts a 14 megapixel CCD sensor, a 5x (28-140mm) optical zoom, 720p movie mode, TAP control (for gloved use), GPS, and an electronic compass.
All three cameras feature a 3-inch LCD; HDMI; high ISO and sensor-based mechanical image stabilization; smart panorama, 3D photo, pet detection, and beauty modes; and SDXC and Eye-Fi card compatibility. Look for them to hit retail in March.
Well now, leave it to Panasonic to dump a pile of camcorders at once, ensuring every domestic niche is covered. We have five separate models, so bear with us as we break out some bullets:
- HM-TA20 – This is a Flip-style upright design with a lens on one side and, on the other, an LCD with a big red button beneath it. But, it’s durable, offering three meters of waterproof protection and a durable, dust-proof case. It’ll do 1080p footage, offers no optical zooming, but does have a night mode that drops it down to 15fps to help it perform well when the lights go out. It can be used as a webcam, too.
- HM-TA2 – This is basically the TA20 minus the heavy-duty bits. Best to keep it dry. Comes with a tripod for self-portraits. Perfect for your new MySpace profile pic!
- HX-WA10 – Another durable one, waterproof to three meters, dust and shockproof, captures 16 megapixel stills and records 1080p footage, too. It offers a pistol-style grip and a flip-out, three-inch touchscreen. It’s pictured after the break.
- HX-DC10 – This is basically a WA10 that doesn’t like the water, or the dust, or being dropped.
- HX-DC1 – Another step down the cost ladder, this one backing down to 14 megapixel stills and losing some of the high-tech trickery of the others. Its three-inch LCD isn’t touchable.
Panasonic didn’t grace us with prices for any of these, nor release dates. But, hey, who needs details like that?
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen any new tools from the security-minded folks at Swann, but it’s hitting back with a new head-mounted camera at CES. The Sportscam is a familiar device — similar to Contour and Go Pro units we’ve toyed with in the past — but rather than seeking optimal image quality at a premium price, this guy sticks to the basics. The VGA camera can only log clips at a resolution of 640 x 480, so HD junkies best look elsewhere. But it’s still encased in a rugged plastic shell, one that’s both shockproof and waterproof, and it’s capable of holding up to five hours of footage on a single 16GB microSD card. There’s a rechargeable Li-ion battery that’ll last 2.5 hours, and it ships with a variety of mounting options (though we’d suggest around your head, obviously). As we alluded to earlier, this one’s a lower-end product, and that $99 price may entice those who would otherwise never consider such a thing. The full release is after the break, and it’ll start shipping in the US of A next month.