Samsung Smart TV Launch – April 2012

Ah television, let me count the ways I love thee.

Fans of the goggle box would have got a buzz out of Samsung’s 2012 TV Range launch at The Wharf in Northcote Point this morning.

Samsung rolled out their 2012 Smart TV range at the premium Auckland location where the TV’s (just) held their own with the amazing water view.

These TV’s look stunning, of course, particularly the top of the range ES8000.  I want one. Dammit, I want two.

Glen Chean MC’d us through the range, giving us a great “remote-free” demonstration of Samsung’s new voice and gesture control system.

The pitch is “5 different entry methods before you even need a remote.”

These are:

  • Voice.
  • Gesture. (through the buit in unobtrusive webcam)
  • USB wireless keyboard.
  • Mouse.
  • Galaxy S2 touch interface.

It seems that the hot new thing after 3d (2010) and apps (2011) is remote free navigation a la the Xbox Kinect.  We’ll have to wait and see whether this is what TV purchasers really want or whether it’s a solution in search of a problem.

In other news Samsung announced that all tv’s from the ES range up will have built in Freeview and PVR recording functionality.  Even though you will have to hook up your own USB hard drive this does seem like a great value add for TV buyers.

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The top of the range ES8000 with voice and motion gesture control.

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Step back in time – TV’s through the ages.

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Glen Chean from Samsung demonstrates latest range of Smart TV’s.

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While similar to the XBox Kinect gesture controls system, Samsungs solution uses proprietary technology.

Wearable Tech to inspire your workouts

Winter is still with us but around the country our roads and parks are beginning to fill with people getting fit for Spring.

That’s right, the season of boot camps and early morning bike rides is back upon us.

There’s nothing a gadget guy needs more than a bit of technology to test out on that run/bike/walk so this week I tried out the latest wearable technology that promises to keep your fitness on the right track.

The Looxcie 2 Wearable Personal Video Camera

The Loocxcie promises to let you record your life, hands free. The original version was the first wearable video cam and it allowed you to participate in the moment, while capturing it. With the Looxcie 2 you can also use your smartphone as a viewfinder, create a clip and post to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This unit records up to 5 hours of video, though it’s easy to transfer footage to other storable media. For fitness freaks its a great way of capturing your running, cycling and other activity – why not capture that magnificent putt and post it to Facebook for bragging rights. It’s worn like a Bluetooth headset, so the more vigorous your activity (ahem) you might want to consider extra steps to secure it to your ear. Using the updated Looxcie Moments Smartphone companion app, users can choose between either 320p or 480p video quality.

Recommended Retail Price: $275.00 plus $5.00 post and packaging

Product Website: www.looxciecam.co.nz

Rating: 3 out of 5

Geigerrig RIG 500 Hydrating Backpack

This is a pretty cool, pressure powered hydrating backpack. If you’ve ever used a standard hydrating backpack one you’ll know that you have to bite down on the mouthpiece and suck the water out like a mad thing. This system, developed by an ex-marine, has a pump pressure system so you can spray the fluid instead of sucking it. Spray into your mouth, spray into your dogs mouth, spray to wash a graze… The makers claim that users consume up to 30% more fluids while wearing a Geigerrig, therefore hydrating better. The bladders come with a lifetime warranty for leakage and are virtually bomb proof.

Recommended Retail Price: $199.00 incl gst.

Website: http://www.tightlines.co.nz/

Rating 4 out of 5

LED Lenser Headlamp

Running through parks before or after work, can be quite risky. The paths are quite dark so you really can put yourself at risk of an injury. I recommend you light the way with the LED Lenser Headlamp. This model, the H14, is one of the brightest headlamps you can buy with a super bright 210 lumens output. Features include the patented LED Lenser Advanced Focus System with one-handed speed focusing, as well as the NEW microswitch which allows you to customize the light output to your needs. The H14 is not just a headlamp. Thanks to an intelligent fastening system, the lamp head can be detached from the headband and attached to clothing as a hands free torch or mounted on bike bars using the supplied universal bracket.

Price: $199.00 including gst.

Website: http://www.tightlines.co.nz/

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cool Cameras

Today’s cameras come in all shapes and sizes.

For most people, a simple point and shoot model is good enough to get the job done.

But what if you want something a bit special to help capture your memories? Here are some of the latest cool cameras…

To view the Breakfast segment with Rawdon Christie click here

And if you ever wondered what the view is like from the Breakfast sofa, here are a couple of shots from the segment…

Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 Camera

The world’s first 3D digital camera that can capture HD (High Definition) 3D movies.
The camera features two 10mp CCD’s allowing users capture 3D video and stills as well as traditional 2D digital images.

Pricing: $799
Available from: Leading camera shops
Product Website: http://www.fujifilm.co.nz/products/item.asp?id=88&sid=1&pid=582#
Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Gadgets to help you get a better nights sleep

Everybody loves a good night’s sleep, but with the stresses and strains of modern life, that’s not always possible.

Happily, there are a range of technological gadgets and gizmos that can help you make it through the night.

Click this image to see the Breakfast segment – and Greg Boyed getting his head around the CPAP machine!

Fisher and Paykel Icon Auto CPAP machine


The F&P ICON™ Auto is the fully featured Auto Continuous Positive Airways Pressure machine which combines all of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s leading clinical technologies for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

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Beats Per Minute – Gadgets for Making Music (TVNZ) 24 June 2009

This week I got to play with three cool gadgets for making music.  The Kaossilator synth was by far the most fun.  Simply playing with it took me back to the 80’s and for a moment I had visions of being able to join Kraftwerk or the Human League on stage – freaky.

Click the image below to visit the TVNZ video page or follow after the jump to read the reviews.

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Casio Key Lighting Keyboard (LK 220)

Learn to play the keyboard the easy way.  The Casio LK 220 has over 100 stored songs which you learn by playing along as the keys light up. As if that wasn’t enough, it has voice guidance to tell you which finger you are Continue reading

Grunty Garden Gadgets (TVNZ) 3rd June 09

I’m not a big gardener but I am a big fan of power tools.  This week we had fun trying to lop  a branch with the Black & Decker Alligator tool, while Chloe did her best to handle a backpack leafblower. Watch the chaos ensue by clicking on the image below.

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Black & Decker Alligator Loppers

This Black & Decker garden tool works just like a manual lopper but adds the power of a chainsaw to the mix.   It’s great for chopping through thick pieces Continue reading

Upwardly Mobile – Music Phones Reviewed for Real Groove Magazine

Apples iphone changed the game for mobile phones with music and multimedia capabilities. But the other players are finally catching up. We take a wander through the current range of handsets that allow us to play with our music and video, anytime anyplace, anywhere. – John Buckley

Nokia 5800 MusicXpress – The Newcomer.

1-nokiaThe Finnish mobile manufacturer has been working the music angle hard these past couple of years. Their latest effort is the excellent 5800 MusicXpress, the first Nokia phone to sport a full touch screen. The video quality and the through-the-earphone sound experience is impressive. However the inbuilt speaker, one of the 5800’s selling points, lacks grunt, so it’s unlikely to earn you a visit from noise control anytime soon.

To remind you that it is a music phone they’ve thrown in a pick to help you navigate across the screen. Try as we might we couldn’t find a strum Continue reading