The weekly gadget review at Ubergizmo

By December 31, 2007

This week, Atelier reviews what is trendy on the web magazine of our great expert contributor. is dedicated to consumer electronics news and reviews. Water-powered calculator While most calculators these days are

dual-powered (that is, they rely on either the batteries within or on natural sunlight), who would have thought of a water-powered calculator? Well here you have one in the flesh, where electrolytes within water will enable you to ensure that your tax returns are all properly balanced. While this is a rather interesting device to own (at $8.99 a pop it is worth checking out if you have the loose change to spare), one does wonder whether you would use a calculator anywhere else without light. Perhaps a water-powered wireless mouse would be a much better idea.

Talking e-book not too far off
The Amazon Kindle has certainly made a fair amount of waves since its release, but Iranian inventor Ramin Sedighi claims to have developed a talking e-book that allows readers to move a stylus across words, pronouncing the selected words out loud. In addition, the system claims to "explain" pictures, although I am extremely skeptical about such capability. Shapes maybe, but something as complex as a picture? Can you actually cram in that much processing power to tell the difference between a child's doodle and some form of abstract art? That aside, other features include a USB port, audio out, 512MB memory and an SD memory card slot. There is no word on pricing, although it has been slated for an early 2008 release.

Apple Newton UMC rumors
What you see here is but the wild imagination of what Apple's rumored Newton UMC is supposed to look like, and I wouldn't take this to be gospel truth. The display could be the closest thing to the final product since Apple has already expressed strong interest in a 5.2" 800 x 480 pixel touchscreen display by Balda, the same supplier who provides Apple with their iPhone screens. It is also tipped that the Newton UMC will feature an on-screen keyboard, so there is no need for a physical board that takes up even more space. Well the first Newton kind of bombed, and since Apple's stock is sky high these days I guess ventures such as the Newton UMC is worth another shot.
Projection Telephone announces caller
Not using voice, but by projecting the number on the ceiling or wall automatically whenever there is an incoming call. The power-saving LED light is capable of lasting approximately 100,000 hours so unless you run some sort of telemarketing business from the home, chances are you will probably throw away the Projection Telephone outside long before it has outlived its usefulness as you yearn for something new and fresh a few years down the road. Looks more like a novelty item to have than anything else to me. The Projection Telephone retails for $29.15.

Text your New Year wishes
Verizon Wireless will be enabling holiday revellers to text in their individual New Year's wishes in New York City's famouse Times Square. You will not only be able to send text messages but also pictures, best wishes, and even a proposal request to Spotlight Live's 75-foot Jumbotron in Times Square. These messages can be sent from virtually any text-capable handset from any wireless carrier to 81878, while picture messages will have to be redirected here. You won't have to fork out a premium since regular text messae rates apply.

Find all the sources, and discover more consumer electronics news and reviews at

For comments on this article,
email us at

Legal mentions © L’Atelier BNP Paribas