FRAMINGHAM (03/18/2004) - Admit it. You wish you had your own Q, someone like James Bond's inimitable British Secret Service colleague who has enough gadgets to save Western civilization--or help you wring more time out of an action-packed day. We all appreciate the simple genius of a clever device. That got us searching for the perfect set of products to put a bass-line guitar riff in your step. Take the tour below.
The Finger Whisper Mobile Phone
Can't stand toting around that cell phone? Then let your fingers do the listening. Now under development at the Japanese mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo Inc., the Finger Whisper is a wristband telephone that doesn't require a handset. To answer, a user simply touches his forefinger to his thumb and chats away...into his wrist. A wristband equipped with a microphone acts as the mouthpiece. Users announce a number to dial into the wristband. The Finger Whisper converts sound vibrations into decipherable dialogue when the finger is inserted into the ear.
WARNING: Wax-filled ears may lead to bad reception.
E-Blue Erasable Ink
Computers didn't lead to less paper, did they? Here's an idea: Toshiba Corp. has devised "e-blue," an erasable toner technology that can cut paper use by a dramatic margin. Using a portable eraser machine, the special carbon-free toner is removed from stacks of paper. This means you can reuse the paper many times over. The e-blue system is available in Japan, but Toshiba isn't quoting prices. Great for the environmentally conscious CIO and staff.
WARNING: Not for use on financial statements covered by Sarbanes-Oxley.
Night-Vision Contact Lenses
Sick of strapping on those clunky night-vision goggles after dark? Aren't we all. Now, for a mere US$300, you can have your own night-vision contact lenses from Phoenix Sight. The contacts enhance ambient light by as much as 200 percent. While ordinary night-vision goggles need frequent battery replacement to continue operation, the night-vision contacts are recharged within the blink of the eye--literally. One bat of the lashes restores the lenses to full power.
WARNING: Losing one of these in the dark is a lost cause.
Executive Laptop Steering Wheel Mount
Arkon Resources' Executive Laptop Steering Wheel Mount turns your automobile into The Officemobile. This gizmo affixes your laptop to the front of your steering wheel so you can get busy while on the road. This product will set you back $49.95 (plus the potential cost of an insurance rate adjustment). CIO recommends that this product be used in a parking lot with the engine turned off.
WARNING: May cause you to enjoy gridlock traffic.