Adding that spark of magic to digital devices is the secret ingredient in the success of many products and services. That spark is often personalization; the concept of a device or service being mine and for only me, building an attachment to transcend the mere bundle of plastic and circuitry in front of you. Researchers at the University Of Newcastle have been working on ways to make more emotionally meaningful forms of digital communication by producing what they are calling "Lovers' Boxes". Resembling an antique wooden jewellery box, each conceals the latest technology to play back messages recorded by a loved one.
As digital media streamers
go, the Prodigy from Xtreamer appears to be something of a jack-of-all-trades. The budget-friendly box can store its own content in a wide variety of formats, connect to external drives or wirelessly hook up with a computer. It has a dedicated internet browser specially tweaked for TV, can play Flash media and will work with Apple's AirPlay
technology. There's USB 3.0 and HDMI wired connectivity, and audiophiles will appreciate the lossless audio options, while movie buffs get treated to full 1080p high definition playback ... but it's the new Flash GUI that's said to be the real vote winner.
If we need evidence of the central role the digital world is taking in our modern lives, we need look no further than social networking. In a very short time, updating Facebook profiles and Tweet streams have become a pivotal part of everyday life for many millions of people. Even our literary preferences are beginning to lean more towards the digital, with Amazon recently announcing that the sale of digitized books had overtaken the sale of printed versions. The Copia platform brings both of these activities together in one place, offering members a new way discover, share and purchase books, newspapers and magazines.
If you're looking for an affordable way to stream high definition online movies to a big screen TV, then Veebeam could just be what you're looking for. The device comes in both standard and high definition varieties, and is made up of a wireless USB antenna that's connected to a laptop or computer and a receiver box that's hooked up to an HDTV. The system is said to be capable of wirelessly playing any content from one to the other, whether it's online movies, sports or news updates, digital photos or holiday videos.
Despite Apple’s recent string of successes sparked by the iPod
and following through to the iPhone
, there’s one device that stands out for it’s less than stellar performance in the marketplace – Apple TV.
Hardly surprising given the unit’s lack of features that can be found on devices much cheaper than Apple’s offering. Now, it seems the company is set to give the insides of its digital media receiver a going over and rename the device to better fit with its line of iDevices.
Huge, heavy reference tomes are still a major part of modern study and research. If you've ever wished that those textbooks in front of you could come to life and offer a more engaging experience than just reading through reams of text, then the Kno could be what you're looking for. Weighing in at 5.5 pounds, the dual-screen electronic textbook will offer students access to a wealth of published educational material as well as wireless access to the internet and multimedia content such as high definition video. Just like with its paper cousin, the Kno will also allow for note-taking, highlighting and bookmarking.
are rapidly gathering momentum as digital media collections grow, and it should come as no surprise to hear that the technology involved in streaming a collection of files to a TV is being built into more and more screens as standard. The Western Digital WDTV Live
demonstrates how it’s possible to fit everything you need into an extremely small box, and such developments have encouraged VIZIO, the number one LCD HDTV company in America, to go one step further by adding lossless 1080p wireless HD support to its new screens.
If you buy Kingston Flash memory in the near future you might just get a little more than a way to store your digital media. Paramount Digital Entertainment has teamed up with Kingston to offer full-length movies on Flash memory cards.
Despite being relatively late to bat in the media streamer/jukebox market, Western Digital came up with a gem of a product last year with the WD TV, which featured in our recent take on Media Streamers
. This slimline, stylish device was designed to attach to a TV and play back music, photo and video files from connected storage, but lacked the streaming capabilities and HD support of more versatile (and expensive) rivals. Buoyed by the success of the WD TV, Western Digital is back with the WD TV Live
, which addresses the above issues by offering full-HD, 1080p playback via an HDMI 1.3 port, and the ability to stream files across a wired or wireless network.
is a technology threatening to break into the mainstream in a big way over the next few years. One company who certainly hopes it does is Looqs, a new entity that was showcasing its media streaming wares at IFA 2009. Its MeeSeries Media Streaming system lets users stream multimedia throughout their house - nothing too exciting about that I hear you say. But what sets the Looqs products apart is its ability to stream not only video content to a TV, but also photos and online content to multiple digital photo frames.