Inside the Park, High Tech, Home Runs
From baseball stats on WiFi-enabled handhelds to optically stabilized binoculars, the Retrevo gadget experts have rounded up some of the latest devices to make your next trip to the ball park a better experience. As more stadiums add Wi-Fi networks, access to the Internet inside the park will get you stats, trivia, audio and video streams, and even a beer and a hot dog. You have several choices in this department including Wi-Fi enabled laptops, handhelds, or cell phones. High speed phone networks like EDGE, EV-DO, and newer, faster 3G type connections including UMTS and EV-DO Rev C. offer an attractive alternative to Wi-Fi. You could take your laptop computer to the ball park but if it's not a super compact one, you're going to look alittletechy and besides, its one more thing to keep an eye on.To get the info and still look cool, abetter choicewould be a WiFi-enabled cell phone or handheld.
Wi-Fi Enabled Cell Phones and Handhelds
Although not quite available, the Nokia N92 offers a glimpse of things to come in the all-in-one handheld communicator. TheN92 has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and will even let you watch DVB-H (or possibly MediaFLO) videos when they become available it plays MP3 files and also has a built in FM radio.
Cell Phones With WiFi Are Hard to Find There are currently very few cell phones with WiFi. Why would a carrier want to make it easy for you to bypass their networks with VOIP? On the other hand, more phones with UMTS (also called 3GSM), one of the newer high speed 3G implementations, are appearing on the cell phone scene. These phones can be a little power hungry limiting battery time but if you can get service in your area they can make surfing the web on your phone very snappy. One of the coolest features with UMTS phones is the ability to use voice and data components at the same time so you can surf the web or get email while you talk.
Windows Mobile 6 is the Latest and Greatest Windows Mobile 6 is the latest version from Microsoft and comes with a media player that should allow you to listen to streaming audio from the AM stations carrying your game and anyone elses game youre interested in.
You should also be able to find a Palm Treo 750 with UMTS that can run Windows Mobile 6
High Tech Binoculars The light weight Canon 8x25 IS binoculars will take the shake out of close up viewing for under $300. The only draw back is you'll need a good supply of lithium ion coin-sized batteries because you only get around 6 hours of continuous shake-free use per battery.
You can also buy a pair of binoculars with a built in digital camera. Heres a 5 MP combo that costs around $250.
Listening to the Game AM Radio is still the primary radio broadcaster for most sporting events. Many fans like to listen to the game or another game, even when they're at the game. Most AM stations stream their broadcasts over the Internet so that handheld WiFi devices that have Windows Media Player or Real Player in a WiFi enabled stadium would be one way to listen and even record a show. Another alternative is the Pogo radio. For $199 you can listen and even record the whole broadcast.
Useful Links on Retrevo
Product Manuals from Major Vendors