I’m not even going to bother asking if you missed me; I can tell by the single tear at the corner of your eye—yes, the one you just hastily wiped away—that my absence last week left you feeling bereft . Console yourself with the thought of me sunning myself on a remote Hawaiian beach—and if that doesn’t make you feel any better, consider that I’m now stuck back here in the cold, rainy real world with the rest of you.
There’s one thing that ought to make us all feel better, however, and that’s the withdrawal from our weekly gadget fix. But I intend to remedy that wiki wiki (that’s Hawaiian for “right the hell now”). Today on the ‘box we’ve got the world’s droidiest kitchen accessory, one way for you to live out your Tom Cruise fantasies (easy now), and the best way to protect your luggage on vacation that doesn’t involve very angry dogs.
Of all the Star Wars characters, it seems like little R2-D2 has really outdone all of the others when it comes to endorsements and merchandising. He’s hocked
inferior copies of himself, been turned into
a projector, and even been sold as
a trash can. It was only a matter of time before he rolled his way into the profitable world of kitchen utensils.
Don’t expect to see the
R2-D2 pepper mill in the hands of the waiters down at Chez Henri any time soon, but it is the perfect complement to your vintage Star Wars Burger King mugs—assuming you like your chocolate soy milk with just a dash of black pepper (for when you need just a little pre-bed zing ).
And if white and blue doesn’t quite match your décor, you can opt for the completely canonical evil twin version, R2-Q5, resplendent in black and gold. Either version will run you $19, but you’ll have to be satisfied with delayed gratification, since they’re not due to be released until February 29th of next year. But what better way to celebrate the Leap Year, hm?
If you’ve read Gadgetbox for a while, you may recall
the giant multi-touch display created by Jeff Han of Perceptive Pixel. Han had been showing off the display at a variety of technology conferences, but it wasn’t being made available to the consumer public.
Until now. But you won’t find the eight-by-three foot Interactive Media Wall, as they’ve dubbed it, at your local Best Buy or Circuit City. Swank futuristic technology like this can only be offered at the elite upper crust of retail outlets—hence,
Neiman Marcus, where you can pick up the ultimate in Minority Report -style technology for a cool $100,000. So, really, the only person who can afford to pretend to be Tom Cruise is…Tom Cruise.
Honestly, I think I’d prefer to see some sort of rental solution. It gets tiring, waving your arms around all the time when all you want to do is show off a slideshow for your family. I should know—I tried to reenact my entire Hawaiian vacation in charades , and I’m exhausted. I’m not about to lay down a hundred grand for that privilege.
Traveling presents its own unique set of challenges. Sometimes technology can be overkill—like, when you end up packing over $2000 worth of electronics in your carry-on bag, most of which you don’t even use—but sometimes it can solve problems. For example: what do you do with your luggage when you need to check out of your hotel room, but you can’t keep it in your car, because of the high theft risk?
the Cavius. I know what you’re thinking: didn’t they show up in some Star Trek episode? Not quite—this $70 device is actually a motion-sensitive alarm that you can clip to your luggage. If someone disturbs your bag, they’ll be greeted with a friendly 130dB tone, that ought to make them think twice about their nefarious life of crime. Besides, it’s really hard to steal things when your hands are clapped to your ears and your eyes are rolling up in your head. Trust me.
You can also set off the alarm manually by hitting the red button the device, and it doubles as a smoke detector, just in case they try to set your bags on fire as retribution for being deafened. With the Cavius, you can rest secure, knowing that all you have to worry about is an elite crew of pyrophobic, hearing-impaired thieves.
SCI FI Tech ]
Feeling better now? Great; I’m always happy to bring a little joy into the life of technophiles everywhere. Hopefully, that fix will hold out until we meet again—namely, next week.