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June 3rd, 2010

Gaming gadgets coming to E3

It was at the 2009 E3 trade show, one of many annual events for which CRE does convention rentals, that Microsoft announced an add-on to its Xbox 360 gaming console, code-named Project Natal. (You can read about the upcoming 2010 E3 confab right here.) Instead of using the notoriously complicated Xbox controller – with a dozen buttons, double joysticks and thumb confusion for all but diehard users – gamers will now interact with the console via a new device. The attachable extra has a motion-tracking camera and specialized sound sensors that enable it to recognize faces, detect/interpret motions and obey voice commands. The Xbox Live service is a portal that connects to content from Netflix, among others, making the Xbox a game console that streams media – or is it a media server that plays games? You decide.

iPad Knockoffs: The big names jump in

Apple iPadApple has sold two million iPads in under two months, and not because they’re productivity enhancers like CRE’s megapowerful Mac Pro rentals – quite the opposite, in fact. The iPad is the Cupertino company’s “first pure entertainment play…since the iPod.” As a media device – for reading, music, movies, photos, social “site-seeing,” tweets and so forth – it seemed reasonable to surmise that the first iPad competitors would come from the low-end of the spectrum. You know, take some audio-video innards, stick on a screen and voila! In addition, there are news reports out of China telling of an iPad clone, that is, a pad trying very hard to look and feel like Apple’s own.

Now, some of the first non-Apple (and non-clone) pads even lacked touch-screens, but others (like Augen’s) had decent specs and build quality. Now the big boys have jumped with both feet into the growing market. WePad (“we” as opposed to “I,” get it?), ExoPC, LG, and ASUS have all released new “pen and finger computing” devices (Bill Gates’ preferred terminology) in just the last few weeks. Some firms, like MeeGo, are concentrating on the operating system (OS) for these devices, and licensing the software to various other device makers. This tech niche should stay hot right through the holidays.

Cell phone camera optical upgrade

Cell Phone Telephoto Lense The cameras on cell phones are now better, in general, than the first several generations of digital cameras. The one glaring weakness has been lenses, but specialty manufacturer Brando is on top of things in this department. The company has released do-it-yourself kits for many Motorola, Sony/Ericsson and Nokia models that will equip your phone’s camera with a powerful zoom lens (6X). The difference between having this optical zoom, versus some cameras’ built-in digital zoom, is night and day, truly. The before and after pictures posted online are pretty impressive. Phones with video capabilities would be perfect candidates for this optical upgrade.

It doesn’t matter what creative, administrative or production-related snag you’ve hit, CRE is your designated high-tech solution center. Send an e-mail, make a call or fill out our Quick Rental Quote form and we will have your rental solution ready in no time.

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