The week in gadgets: Fujitsu’s new hybrid, in-car safety, at-home entertainment and Furby’s return (video)

16 Jul 2012

Fujitsu Stylistic Q702 hybrid tablet

A look at gadget happenings, as Fujitsu debuts a new hardware design in the form of the Stylistic Q702 hybrid tablet, Epson brings big-screen viewing to the living room, driver’s mobile phones get jammed and Furby makes a comeback.

Fujitsu Stylistic Q702 hybrid tablet

Fujitsu’s new Stylistic Q702 hybrid tablet for business users debuted at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada, earlier this month. The 11.6-inch AH-IPS multi-touch backlit LED display offers a wide viewing angle and comes with anti-glare and dual-digitiser technology, which means it can be operated either with your fingers or via a stylus.

Tablet ports include USB 2.0 and 3.0, HDMI and SD/SDHC and sensors include an accelerometer, gyrometer, magnetometer and ambient lights sensors. The tablet also comes with front and rear-facing webcams with complementing dual microphones, and Intel HD Graphics 4000, all powered by third-generation Intel Core i3 or i5 processors.

An optional attachable keyboard dock transforms the tablet into a notebook with WLAN, USB and VGA connectivity, plus an additional removable battery providing up to nine hours of extra power.

Security features include a biometric fingerprint sensor, Computrace support, HDD and BIOS password protection, embedded Trusted Platform Module, Intel Anti-Theft technology and optional Intel vPro technology.

The Stylistic Q702 is designed for Windows 8, but will launch with Windows 7 Professional. It will be available in 64GB and 128GB models, expected in Q3 2012.

Epson’s EH-TW480

Epson’s new projector claims to give viewers rich, sharp images even in daylight. The 720p HD-ready projector, priced at €711, also comes with user-friendly controls and a wide range of connectivity options to deliver content from Blu-ray, games consoles or set-top boxes.

Espon EH-TW480

Prototype device jams driver’s mobile communications

In response to a study that found that about 20pc of total fatal road accidents involving a truck or heavy vehicle were due to the driver using a mobile phone, a research team at Anna University of Technology, India, have developed a device that can block mobile phone use when in the driver’s seat.

The piece of hardware detects when a driver is using a mobile phone while driving and blocks mobile communications in response.

The device uses radio-frequency identification (RFID), the same technology that is used in electronic toll systems. When it detects that the driver is using his or her mobile phone while the car is in motion, a mobile jammer signal is emitted. The signal is low-range so as to only affect the driver, not other passengers in the car.

The prototype device could also be used to help police penalise drivers that attempt to use their mobile phones while driving by transmitting the car’s licence plate number stored in the RFID tag to an RFID reader buffer and then transmitting this data to traffic police.

Furby returns for some Nineties nostalgia

Furby, the popular electronic toy from the Nineties, is making a comeback.

It’s been 14 years since Hasbro brought the babbling furry robots into our lives, and the toy saw sales of 40m in its first three years. Now Furby’s back with a new look and new technology.

As well as a tilt sensor, Furby has sensors, in its head, stomach, mouth, back and tail, so he can react to how he is being played with, be it gentle or boisterous. He then expresses himself through a pair of LCD eyes, which display a range of moods and emotions.

Furby 2012

If you ever encountered a Furby before you’ll know they’re chatty creatures, and the reboot is no different, speaking in Furbish and building up its English vocabulary as you play with it more.

Like just about everything in the 21st century, the new Furby also comes with an app (currently for iOS and expected to arrive on Android later). This lets you flick food at Furby for feeding time and also provides you with an English–Furbish translator and a Furbish dictionary.

The new Furby is expected to be available in time for Christmas. Parents, be warned!


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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.