The week in gadgets


23 Aug 2010

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A look at gadget, game and geek happenings in the week ahead.

Tesco introduce gaming trade-ins in the UK

Tesco has brought in a game trade-in scheme, allowing customers to trade in their old games for in-store credit or cash.

Tesco also notes that in-store credit can be spent on anything they sell, so gamers will be able to trade in unwanted games for essential groceries, if need be.

The offer is available in 60 stores across the UK after having a successful trial run of the plan in Tesco’s Basildon store.

According to their newspaper adverts that have been published, they are offering £19 for the Xbox 360’s version of Red Dead Redemption, £17 for Mario Kart Wii, £14 for Alan Wake on Xbox 360 and £12 for the PS3’s 2010 FIFA World Cup.

There has been no official word on whether this will be rolled out in Ireland yet.

Kodak announces Playtouch 1080p pocket camcorder and EasyShare M590.

Two new gadgets were announced from Kodak.

The first is the Playtouch pocket camcorder, which can shoot image stabilised 1080p video with stereo audio on to SDHC cards.

It also has a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, optimised for reviewing images in landscape mode, an LCD glare shield and an external stereo microphone jack.

Users can choose between using its HDMI ouput to put onto TV or its built in USB arm for transferring data onto a PC.

The second offering from Kodak is the EasyShare M590, which, according to Kodak, is the slimmest 5x optical zoom camera in the world.

It offers a one-button upload service, which puts images directly up on Kodak gallery, Facebook, ORKUT and Flickr.

The M590 includes Kodak’s smart capture and face recognition features.

Both are already out for release in the US.

Facial recognition technology to become more widespread

Face.com has developed a facial recognition tool that will be made available for public use.

The technology allows people to identify anyone online, comparing the positions of their eyes, nose and mouth with other images of them on the internet. According to the Sunday Times, it is 90pc accurate.

Face.com states that it is already being used by 5,000 developers. The company states that it will make searching for people online much easier.

"You can basically search for people in any photo. You could search for family members on Flickr, in newspapers, or in videos on YouTube," said Gil Hirsch, chief executive officer of Face.com.

Wii Balance Board can monitor sporting injuries

Two US universities are using Nintendo’s Wii Balance Board to determine whether their football players are suffering from concussions.

Usually, force plate machines are used for this, however, they can cost tens of thousands of dollars, compared to the Wii Balance Board’s price of $100 in the US.

The board measures the player’s balance using yoga poses and coordination using Table Tilt before a match.

This provides a frame of reference, so that trainers can ascertain whether a student is still fit enough to continue playing.

Many scholars are sceptical as to whether the gaming peripheral can stack up against the force plate machines. Trainers, however, feel that the system is ‘pretty decent’ for this purpose.