THIS WEEK IN GADGET
Thunderbolt Strikes Apple MacBooks
By the time you read this there is a good chance that an Apple iPad 2 will have been revealed to the world complete with a camera and a new improved design. Meanwhile with Mobile World Congress perhaps, better named “Android World” behind us, we wait for the upcoming CTIA show and more tablet and smartphone news. In the meantime, here are some gadget items that caught our eye this week.
Thunderbolt Strikes New
Apple announced a refresh to its MacBook Pro laptops. You wouldn’t know it to look at them. They are using Intel’s new Sandy Bridge Core iX processors with built in graphics. We’ve heard the on-board Intel graphics is nothing to write home about which is probably why Apple added an AMD GPU to the 15 and 17-inch models. The big news on the MacBooks is a new high speed serial port called Thunderbolt which is a re-branded version of Intel’s Light Peak technology. This new serial port is similar to USB only much faster. It can run over copper or optical cables and claims a throughput of 10Gbps which is twice as fast as USB 3.0. It remains to be seen how widely it will be adopted in devices like cameras and other peripherals.
Johnny Lee Hacks Again
If you’re a Johnny Lee fan like us you’re probably aware of his very clever Wii hack hat he put together while he was still at CMU. Now that Johnny has his PhD and recently moved from Microsoft to Google here’s a look at his latest hack a very cool low cost telepresence robot.
Garmin Tracker Can Locate
Anything It’s Attached To
For $199, you can buy this small, waterproof GPS device and a year of “tracking” service. You can put it in your luggage, your car, your kid’s backpack, or anything else you want to keep track of and then monitor its location using a computer or mobile device.
I Saw the Future and It Was
Made Out of Glass
If you’re not one of the two and a half million people who have watched this YouTube video you’ve been missing out on a very inspiring glimpse of the future in the form of a very slick video from Corning.
Just Add Water: Fuel Cell
Power Pack for Gadgets
A Swedish fuel cell company named myFC announced a small power pack called PowerTrekk, that uses water for fuel and can recharge phones or run devices through its USB port. No word on how much it will cost or when and where you’ll be able to buy one but this could be a must-have device for anyone from hikers to someone preparing for a power outage.