Speed radar technology has become pretty much ubiquitous for traffic law enforcement around the world, but there are times when you and I would quite like to know how fast something's travelling too. PocketRadar is a hand-held personal speed measurement device about the size of a mobile phone that can get you a speed reading on a car half a mile away (or a baseball 120 feet away) in less than a second from being fully shut down. It's initially targeted at sports fans and athletes, but the company has flagged the possibility of a law enforcement version as well.

I have to admit, seeing this device so cheap and pocket-sized is intriguing to the motorsports nerd in me. Wouldn't it be fascinating to know how fast Alonso or Rossi takes a particular racetrack corner, compared to how fast you can? Or just how much difference there is between your serve and Andy Roddick's?

The PocketRadar uses similar doppler radar signal detection to what the chunky "hairdryer" style speed radars use - it's just been re-engineered into a much smaller package.

According to the manufacturer, it's accurate to within 1mph, and can measure speeds from 7mph to 375mph (that's 600kmh). Powered by a couple of AAA batteries, the PocketRadar will take up to 10,000 readings before the power runs out, and in good conditions you can use it on cars from as far away as half a mile, and smaller objects like baseballs and tennis balls from up to 120 feet away.

It'll be available in March for US$249, although there's a pre-release special on that lets you preorder one for US$199 through the PocketRadar Website.