Advanced Technology Office (ATO) has unveiled the iSee 360i, an add-on video recorder and player for iPods. The device allows users to download videos directly from a computer, TV, cable, satellite, DVR, or any other analog source. Measuring 6 x 3.2 x 1.1 inches and weighing 6oz, the iSee has a 3.6-inch 320 x 240 LCD screen, a rechargeable 2200mAh battery, and offers a video-out option for watching videos on a TV.
“The iSee is the first video recorder for the iPod that lets you record what you want and watch it through your iPod,” says ATO. “It lets you see video bigger and better, because it has a 91% larger viewing area than the iPod with video and can be played back onto any TV at full TV resolution. Its rechargeable and replaceable battery has a minimum 4-hour battery life, so you won’t have to recharge your iPod to watch the end of a movie. Most importantly, it brings video viewing and recording to millions of existing iPod users.”
The iSee 360i works with most fourth-generation iPods, and with the help of an adapter, iPod minis, iPod nanos and the 30GB fifth-generation iPod. It will retail for $250 and is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2006.
Cable network Starz is launching a new subscription service that allows users to download full-length movies and watch them on portable video players and computers. The Windows-only service, called Vongo, uses Microsoft digital media technology and does not work with any iPod.
“As a subscription service, Vongo will allow users to download as many movies as they want for $9.95 a month,” reports The New York Times. “They will be able to choose from an ever-changing roster of about 800 movies, including about 300 films in rotation on the Starz cable channel (mainly movies released in theaters one to three years earlier) and 500 older titles.”
Motorola will reportedly drop iTunes support in the next version of the ROKR cell phone in favor of its own iRadio subscription music service. According to Reuters, the ROKR E2 phone, an update of the iTunes-enabled ROKR E1, will only play music via the iRadio service.
“The iRadio service, will include 435 commercial-free radio channels, including genres such as Heavy Metal, Rockin’ Cowboys and Angry Women. iRadio will let users download channels on the computer and transfer them to play on their phones or on car or home stereos, like satellite radio. The iRadio service will cost about $7 a month but the price may vary depending on which wireless phone service the subscriber uses, according to Motorola.”
In November, Motorola announced the RAZR V3i, an updated version of its popular RAZR V3 mobile phone that includes iTunes and other new features.
Think Geek is now offering a unique portable iPod speaker system and guitar amp made from actual PVC pipe. Priced at $150, the PyP-Bomb offers 18 watts of power and features an internal liquid acid battery that gives you “days of play time.”
“Made from durable PVC pipe this tiny little powerhouse dominates with sound,” says the store. “Simply jack in your iPod or your guitar and crank the volume. The PyP-Bomb gets seriously loud with 18 watts of power blasting from its single enclosed speaker. Sound output is optimized for the iPod (or other external music source) when using the 3.5mm phono input jack. Plug your guitar into the standard 1/4” input jack and the one-of-a-kind electric/acoustic switch enables you to actively control the frequency response of the amplifier and cater it to the requirements of the instrument you are using.”
The iPod helped Apple shares gain 128.5 percent in 2005. The company accounted for a rise of 3.7 points in the S&P 500 index—more than any other stock.
iPod-iWay is a new service that lets you easily transfer driving directions from Yahoo Maps onto your color screen iPod.
Troy Wolverton of TheStreet.com is the latest to speculate that Apple will soon replace the 1GB iPod shuffle.
A small UK company last week launched the first Galileo satellite made of low-cost components from consumer gadgets, including the iPod.
Hammacher Schlemmer is now selling a $4,000 tube-based iPod speaker system. Scheduled to ship on January 20th, the system produces a “luxurious warmth and clarity prized by audiophiles and previously difficult to reproduce outside of custom-built amplifiers of a handful of live musicians.”
“Developed and built by German audio technicians, the system consists of an aluminum-encased amplifier housing four powerful Class-A tubes which glow gently as they generate warm, low-octave sound that is virtually distortion-free, considered by audiophiles to be the most pleasing to the human ear,” says the store. “The tube amplifier smoothes over distortions found in modern digital recordings while helping to compensate and minimize the quality loss inherent in compressed audio such as MP3s. The matching double-cone, full-range speakers—designed solely for use with this system—faithfully generate warm, realistic tones using a single, highly synchronized chassis per speaker (reducing ill-timed and out of phase audio).”
The January issue of MacFormat magazine has an interesting article on the future of FM transmitters in the UK. The publication notes that representatives from Ofcom—the regulating body for the UK communications industries—were on hand at October’s MacExpo in London to clamp down on exhibitors illegally selling FM transmitters for the iPod. However, Ofcom was also at the show to negotiate a way to offer the accessories legally.
From the issue:
The current problem is that British, and indeed European, law prevents people from broadcasting on commercial FM frequencies. It’s also illegal to sell the transmitters, as they can’t receive the required certification. Commercial radio is less tightly monitored in countries such as America, which is why products like Griffin’s iTrip are so popular over there.
Over the past year, though, Ofcom has been working with the likes of Griffin and Belkin to find a way around this problem. At the Expo, Griffin and its UK reseller, AM Micro, were presented with a draft spec for a legal alternative. This solution involves a transmitter that operates over a very small distance. AM Micro’s Stephen Hawkins explained: “The maximum power of the device has to be small. That way the range is limited so it cannot interfere with your next door neighbour.”
The proposal is still awaiting official approval, but Hawkins is confident that it will go through early next year, as it already has government support. “The government has realised that its missing out on a lot of taxes from these products,” he said. “Also, its receiving a load of complaints from people who want to buy them.”
The EyeBud, which displays video in front of one eye, can provide the feeling of watching video on a 105-inch display from 12 feet away, according to the company. “Suddenly you’ve got this big-screen, movie-screen, home-theater experience, wherever you are,” said Gary Jones, eMagin’s president and CEO. The EyeBud uses a separate control module, about the size of an iPod, which includes a rechargeable battery pack.
The EyeBud is scheduled to be available later this year for as much as $600. It will be on display at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. iLounge plans to have coverage of iPod-related products from the event.