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Last Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006, 17:57 GMT
Cebit 2006: Gadget round-up
By Mark Ward
Technology Correspondent, BBC News website, in Hanover

The Cebit technology fair is taking place in Hanover. Here are some of the coolest gadgets on display:

SAMSUNG VP-X210WL

Although digital camcorders are shrinking all the time you still have to hold them to shoot pictures even when it would be safer to have both hands free.

Samsung VP-X210WL
Image stabilizer technology is among VP-X210WL features

Samsung has gone some way towards solving this problem by creating the VP-X210WL camcorder. It has a lens that can send images wirelessly over a short distance to the main body of the gadget.

Maximum range for the lens is about 4 metres.

Having a separate lens could be a real boon in those moments when you want to film yourself but also want to have both hands free. The lens comes with an armband so it can film while you get on with your extreme sports.

It also has image stabiliser technology, so those edge-of-the-seat moments are perfectly preserved.

PARROT PICTURE FRAME

The problem with digital cameras is that they encourage people to take far more pictures than they can possibly put into picture frames.

Parrot picture frame
The digital picture frame resizes images to fit the frame
The digital picture frame from Parrot helps to create a revolving slide show of up to 100 images.

The Bluetooth-equipped frame, which comes with a wood or leather fascia, has 32MB of storage on board for digital pictures.

It automatically resizes images to fit the frame and knows when to display them in a portrait or landscape format on its 7 inch LCD screen.

At night and in low light environments the screen dims to ensure it does not stand out too much.

LUCENT MIVIEWTV

Soon you will be able to take your own personalised TV channel with you wherever you go.

Lucent MiViewTV
MiViewTV aims to operate in a similar way to webmail services
US firm Lucent is showing off at Cebit a concept for the days when we get our TV piped via the net rather than through the old-fashioned airwaves.

Called MiViewTV, the idea aims to let people watch the TV channels and programmes to which they have subscribed no matter where they are.

Lucent spokesman Eric Kamp said it aimed to operate just like webmail services such as Hotmail and Gmail which let users read their messages no matter which computer they use.

Similarly, by the use of a login, the MiViewTV idea aims to let people sit down in front of any IP-enabled TV system and watch as if they were at home.

The system could be used by families on holiday to ensure both parents and their kids do not miss their favourite shows.

Mr Kamp stressed that the idea was still only a lab demonstration and would take a lot of behind the scenes work by broadcasters and software firms to make the whole idea work.

FMN COMMUNICATIONS - COIN-OPERATED HOT SPOTS

Although wi-fi networks make getting on the net while you are out and about easier, they do mean that you have to maintain subscriptions with lots of suppliers to get the best out of them.

Coin-operated hot spots
Charges would be set by firms
In a bid to solve this problem, FMN Communications has produced a coin operated wi-fi hotspot that lets you pay for access by the minute.

Charges for each unit of time on the wireless net are set by the firms that sign up and use it. Up to 16 people can be handled by each coin-operated hot spot.

HANNSPREE LCDs FOR KIDS

Computers and kids are usually a pretty good mix but the beige boxes of computers and LCD screens rarely look like they belong in a playroom.

Hannspree LCDs for kids
The screen covers are detachable

Hannspree aims to change that with a range of LCD displays clothed in all kinds of disguises.

Its Fantasy series of LCD screens puts them in giraffes, elephants, frogs and a teddy bear.

All the screens in the range are 10-inch LCD TFT and are primarily intended to be a TV for the kids' room.

The plush covers of the screens can be detached and washed to get rid of the grubby marks left by little fingers.

EGO LAPTOPS
This could be one for the lady - or perhaps the metrosexual - with an extensive grooming regime.

Ego laptop
One for the ladies?

As well as being designed to look like a bag complete with swappable skins, the screen of the Ego notebook computer - with the help of an onboard camera - can be turned into a mirror.

"Before now, laptops have all been about speed, specifications and volume," said Huub van den Boogard, founder of Ego.

By contrast, he said, the Ego had been designed to look good and let people do all the familiar things they wanted to with their computer.

A row of 15 keys along the top of the device give access to a set of dedicated functions so the Ego can take voice notes, play a DVD or let its owners watch digital TV via the in-built tuner. The Ego notebook computer will be on sale from April.


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Watch special coverage of the Cebit fair in Hanover



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