An increasing trend in cell phones is the addition of location-based services, such as TeleNav and Verizon's VZ Navigator, so you can get maps and driving directions right on your handset. Now, Motorola has announced that it's teaming up with Destinator Technologies and Jentro Technologies to bring such services to its mobiles, as well as new navigation products in 2007. Jentro specializes in satellite phone navigation, while Destinator develops nav software for mobile devices. Though the companies didn't outline any specific products, they did say the products will give consumers access to local point-of-interest searches, community tools, … Read more
We've mentioned the LG Shine before on Crave, but since we spotted it at CES, we have to mention it again. As a reminder, the LG Shine is a supersleek slider phone that looks like a mirror on the front when it's inactive. It looks a lot like a stainless-steel successor to the Chocolate, and it comes with a 2-megapixel camera, an MP3 player, and a slim scroll wheel underneath its stunning 2.2-inch QVGA display. It's currently available only in Asia and Europe. Our LG representative said that it probably won't be coming our way … Read more
Convergence is the name of the digital game at CES 2007. Music players become phones, phones become GPS devices, and GPS devices become music players. In the latest effort to combine two previously distinct products, JVC Mobile has integrated an 3.5-inch color LCD screen into the faceplate of a in-car stereo head unit to provide drivers with movies, music and directions in one after-market device.
The KD-NX5000, on display at CES for the first time, is an impressive product. Its 16GB hard drive-based navigation system contains 13 million points of interest and comes with a built-in RDS-TMC traffic tuner … Read more
The Sherwood Newcastle R-972 will deliver HDMI 1.3 connectivity, six HDMI inputs, lossless audio decoding (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio), and a graphic onscreen user interface when it's released in August for $1,500. (Note that the back panel image shows four HDMI inputs, but Sherwood has pledged that the shipping model will include six.) The product becomes the first officially announced receiver we've seen that incorporates all of those bleeding-edge features. Its step-down model, the R-872, offers similar HDMI and lossless decoding capabilities with "only" four HDMI inputs and a text-only onscreen interface, … Read more
Google has released new rich 3D imagery for Google Earth 4, its interactive mapping application, which is officially out of beta.
In place of the usual map lines, satellite imagery and raised boxes, are rich textured 3D models of famous places.
Those that are complete are easy to spot, especially with Google Earth's new navigation compass that makes directional rotations and angle views easier to manipulate. Even a monolith such as the Met Life building in New York City has enough details to make it identifiable even without its famous label.
Facades of glass, bricks and stone abound, but … Read more
Shhhhhh! Audiovox has been displaying the XM2Go/MP3 portable in its copious CES 2007 booth, but the company isn't quite ready to discuss details. Scheduled for a late-summer release, the X2G100B will offer a similar feature set as other XM/MP3 portables such as the Delphi SkyFi3--live and recorded XM playback, MP3 playback, storage, and so on--but company execs say they are taking some time to make sure they can equip the player with enough cool features to really differentiate it from other XM/MP3 portables.
It will likely have at least enough memory to store up to 50 … Read more
Cingular Wireless announced a new video sharing service that lets people send videos in real time over their phones. Video Share (quite the original name) isn't exactly video conferencing--the service works only one way--but you can use it to show off yourself, or whatever you're looking at, to your friends. To get it going, you just need a cell phone signal and, of course, a compatible phone. On that end, Cingular has announced two handsets that will work with the service: an updated LG CU500 and the new Samsung SGH-a717. It's in trials now; widespread availability is … Read more
Throw away those lousy, hanging-off-your-ear buds that come with most MP3-playing cordless phones. The Plantronics Pulsar 260 gives you soft in-ear buds that jack into a stereo Bluetooth dongle with an in-line mic that clips to your shirt or lapel. The advantage of Bluetooth stereo earphones is that you don't have to swap headphones when a call comes in. But unlike bulky stereo Bluetooth headphones, you can pull one earbud out so that you're not listening to your significant other, friend or co-worker in stereo. The disadvantage is that the Pulsar dongle jack is 2.5mm, so you … Read more
Zyxel's new NSA-220 NAS drive plus media server offers two empty drive bays so that you can bring your own SATA drives, up to 1.5TB. The drives can be arranged in a RAID-0 or RAID-1 array, and the included Memeo software lets you set up autobackup of your data. Two USB ports let you connect additional hard drives or thumbdrives, and a "copy" button allows you to quickly duplicate the contents of an external drive (or an MP3 player or digital camera) to the NAS-220 without touching your PC.
Aside from acting as a repository for … Read more
Conventional wisdom says that a stereo or surround sound system is only as good as its speakers. That's why speaker designers often become celebrities in the world of high-end audio. One such celeb is Jim Thiel, who's been designing speakers for the company he co-founded for 30 years now. He calls his latest high-end creation the CS3.7 and it stands 45-inches tall, 12.5-inches wide, and 21-inches deep, looking more like a sleek piece of modern sculpture when compared to the bland boxes taking up space in Best Buy.
Mr. Thiel's gone to great lengths to … Read more