Shows 11.24.08

Monday mornings I'm on the air sharing more stories about how people are living better through computers. I'll tuck field notes from those shows right here. You'll also be able to dig into the archives to explore previous shows as I determine how best to share some of the highlights of the past 9 year's worth of adventures.

Monday, November 24, 2008

James Bond Gadgets for the Guy Who Has Everything this Christmas

So you've seen the latest James Bond flick and have gadget envy? Not to worry. You can, in fact, ask Santa to tuck some of his cool new toys into your Christmas stocking this year.

Chances are that sexy Aston Martin DBS V12 either doesn't fit under the tree or into the stretch of your wallet. While none of Bond's gadgets tend to come inexpensively, there are a few that come a little closer to fitting the bill:

1. The "Sony Ericsson C902" camera phone

Bond used this gadget to snap an image of a rather unsavoury character, using the built in facial recognition program to tap into the MI6 mainframe for info on him. While shooting your Aunt Myrtle from the side might not be nearly so exciting, you can, in fact, use this same technology to play "go fetch" for other pics and data related to the person you just snapped. Beyond the sci-if style application, this gadget is a handy little example of convergence, with your phone and a hi-resolution Cyber-Shot camera with video capabilities rolled into one.

If you're looking to tuck this particular Bond gadget into someone's stocking this year it's going to cost you about $1,000.


2. The "Omega Seamaster wristwatch"

Featured in the last two Bond movies, Daniel Craig was seen sporting the Omega Seamaster wristwatch. If you're planning on diving down into about 2,000 feet of water, you might want to hit eBay to find a deal on this pricey little timepiece, as it's going to set your wallet back up to $3,000 USD.

3. The "Microsoft Surface" version of Bond's fictious M16 multi-touch computer interface.

Although Bond didn't tap into the MI6 mainframe through a true touch-screen computer interface, you can in fact manage your own computing this way. Also popularised by the TV show "CSI: Miami", where it's used in the crime lab, I covered Microsoft's "Surface" technology last year. Set your digital camera down on this particular coffee table and the pictures come spilling out onto the glass. Touch them with your finger to drag them into difference folders, enlarge them, crop them or even email them straight from the table top. Surface computing allows you to manipulate digital content by the use of natural motions, hand gestures or physical objects, and is becoming increasingly popular in the hotel and entertainment industries, as well as in it's application as a military tool of choice in the field.

Even better than it's James Bond appeal? This is one technology with a real Canadian touch. Multi-touch is a pioneer technology with it's roots in the University of Toronto and Bell Labs in 1982. You'll have to be mighty patriotic to want to bring this slick little gadget home though. Be prepared to part with about $15,000 USD if you want to tuck this under your Christmas tree this year. You'll have to wait until about 2010 before this particular gadget becomes part of the more affordable mainstream consumer technologies.


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