Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET News for Friday, June 3.
We're not quite sure what the Joy Factory was thinking when it named its waterproof case the RainBallet, but if you get past the silly name, you're looking at a rugged case that can apparently withstand a drop in the toilet or even the pool.
The promo materials for the RainBallet say something about dancing in the rain with your iPhone 4, but we suspect more people will be interested in using it around the pool, beach, or a construction site. The case has something called front and back Sharpvue lenses, which allegedly enable you to take "… Read more
Siemens is unveiling a suite of new products at the American Academy of Audiology 2011 conference in Chicago this week, including what it claims is the world's first fully waterproof (and dustproof, and shock-resistant) digital hearing aid.
Called Aquaris, the aid's housing is made of one solid piece, so the only opening is to the battery compartment, which is fitted with a membrane designed to let air in but keep water out.
Siemens lists a whole range of activities that have until now been difficult for those wearing hearing aids that can be ruined by not just water but sweat and dust: sailing, swimming, kayaking, golfing, gardening, cycling, and jogging.
Because the device can be fully submerged in water up to 3 feet deep for 30 minutes (rendering it more than merely water-resistant), shallow snorkeling should be added to the list. Whether we will ever be able to scuba dive with hearing aids remains to be seen.
Aquaris also features a non-slip, textured surface that holds the Aquaris behind the ear; a "sport clip" to further secure the device during intense activities; and a water-resistant Aquapac for added protection.
Siemens has yet to release pricing or availability details.… Read more
Panasonic, out from under the product deluge that is CES 2011, announced today refreshed versions of its high-end point-and-shoot cameras. If you recently bought the compact megazoom Lumix ZS5, ZS6, or ZS7, the rugged TS2, or the touch-screen ultracompact FX75, you may not want to read on because some of the new tech is actually worth having.
The ZS10 and ZS8 get a wider, longer lens than their predecessors, and the former gets a 3-inch touch screen. The TS2 update, the TS3, gets GPS and is more rugged. The FX78 (replacing the FX75) gets a larger touch screen, a less … Read more
GPS on a rugged camera makes perfect sense. After all, it's tough to mark down where you were when you took a picture when there are no street signs. Panasonic's latest rugged model, the Lumix TS3, gives you that GPS for geotagging your photos and video as well as built-in compass, altimeter, and barometer.
The TS3 is tougher than its predecessor, the TS2, too. It is now waterproof to approximately 40 feet under water, shockproof to approximately 6.6 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and dustproof. It's not crushproof, though, so you'll still have to … Read more
LAS VEGAS--The UWaterG2 MP3 player is truly tiny. Weighing in under an ounce, it's 1.75 inches tall and 1.25 inches wide. Even with its new orange "life jacket" that hooks around the top to keep it afloat (see photo), the device feels weightless.
And while the UWaterG2 has not been entirely reinvented for this year's CES, it's about to get a major upgrade this spring, with models that boast 4GB and 8GB of memory instead of the current 2GB. (The 2GB model is on sale in time for CES for $59.95; no … Read more
The first-generation Kodak PlaySport minicamcorder (announced at CES 2010) may have looked rugged, but in reality it was only waterproof to 10 feet. The second generation, however, is shockproof, able to withstand a 5-foot drop. That might not seem like much, but it's actually pretty good for this category.
As for general specs and such, this new PlaySport picks up where the old one left off. It still captures at up to 1080p, has a 2-inch LCD, and is loaded with Kodak's EasyShare software for quickly sharing on sites like Facebook and Twitter and international sites like Yandex … Read more
Rugged and waterproof cameras are growing segments of the point-and-shoot market, but most of them will cost you more than $200. The 12-megapixel Kodak EasyShare Sport, however, is less than $100 and is waterproof down to 10 feet. Unfortunately, the camera is otherwise unremarkable.
Despite the appearance of a zoom rocker on back, there is no optical zoom on this camera; it's digital zoom only. The LCD on back is small at 2.4 inches, too, and the Sport seems to have a bare minimum of shooting options.
Look for the EasyShare Sport in spring 2011 for $79.95 … Read more
If the waterproofing and full HD video capture of Kodak's Playsport interests you, but you can't live without an optical zoom, check out Sanyo's newest Dual Camera Xacti, the VPC-CA102YL. (Oh Sanyo, you come up with such clever, memorable names.) Waterproof to depths of 10 feet, its pistol-grip design accommodates a 5x zoom lens that the candy-bar-style minicamcorders simply can't.
Sanyo says it records at "full HD," but depending on your definition of the term, that may not be true. It does capture video at a resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels, but it'… Read more