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New and Notable Product Design

New and Notable Product Design

Turn Up that Ballgame

Sprox Soundog. Sports barkeeps tend to keep their multiple TVs' aural chaos at bay by turning off the audio on all but a few sets and using closed captions. And good luck if you want to hear sound for an event on only one set. Enter Soundog-this tabletop personal audio system wirelessly beams up to eight audio channels to a rechargeable receiver on the user's table. But it's the tabletop receiver housing that really makes the loudest statement. Made from polycarbonate for impact resistance, the receiver marks the first use of Bayer Corp.'s Aura process-a patented method for infusing molded parts with color, including two-tone, translucent, and opaque, after they come off the molding machine. Sprox President Doug Buday calls the impact of paint-free custom color huge. "It lets us take the wireless technology and tailor it to our customers' brands." Engineer: Doug Buday (www.sproxusa.com) Enter 577

Free Roaming Scanner

Baracoda(TM)Pencil. Tired of corded scanners roping you in? Be free to roam with the Baracoda Pencil, a Bluetooth(TM)-enabled wireless barcode scanner that goes where you go. Use it at work to manage inventory, track deliveries, and replenish office supplies. Soon it may come to your home. Baracoda's Chief Technology Officer Oliver Giroud sees it as the first step in mobile commerce. Folks may soon be using these devices to scan and order items from home shopping catalogs. The Baracoda Pencil has an operating range of 45 ft, and the low power requirements of Cambridge Silicon Radio's BlueCore(TM) help the pencil achieve up to 2,000 scans per recharge. Because it's so lean, it also works as a stylus with a PDA or TabletPC. Engineer: Oliver Giroud (www.baracoda.us) Enter 578

Clean Machine

Dirt Bag. Not the derogatory term kicked around in high school but a disposable air filter that keeps dust from gathering in the nooks and crannies of your PC. Lest you think dust is harmless, speak to chief Dirt Bag engineer Eric Kiilunen. Dust can destroy your computer, he says, especially in manufacturing environments where there's loads of it. Dust can thermally overinsulate or-as in the case of conductive metal or wood dust-even zap a circuit board. The Dirt Bag fits around an entire CPU and filters all incoming air. Unlike a simple dustcover, the Dirt Bag protects your computer around the clock. Won't you feel better knowing your motherboard, power supply, and disk drives are safe from grime? Engineer: Eric Kiilunen (www.dirtbag.biz) Enter 579

Do-It-All Digital Device

Thomson RCA Lyra Audio/Video 20 GB Jukebox. Looking for take-along entertainment for that next camping or business trip? The palm-sized RCA RD2780 Lyra is more than an MP3 Player. With a 3.5-inch LCD screen and 20 Gbytes of hard drive space, it will keep the kids quiet with up to 80 hours of prerecorded television shows. Recording is easy. Simply hook it up to the video output of a TV or VCR and press record. Lyra Jukebox also functions as a peripheral hard drive for transporting data files from a desktop computer. Weighing only 13 oz, the Lyra Jukebox has a USB 2.0 connection and a rechargeable battery good for four hours of nonstop video. Product Manager: Sin Hui Cheah (www.rca.com) Enter 580

Pump Up the Volume!

Ellula Hot Air Speakers. Stuff them into your briefcase or beach bag, and you're set for any business presentation or beach party. These lightweight, inflatable speakers from Ellula are like beach balls. All they need is air. Let the air out, and the 9-inch speakers collapse to 2 inches for easy packing. Want more sound? Ellula has just introduced an inflatable subwoofer for complete 35W stereo sound. Plug the system into a CD player, laptop computer, or any equipment that allows for the hook-up of external speakers and it will bring music to your ears. Hot Air speakers use flat speaker technology from NXT to produce multi-directional sound. The inflatable body can be manufactured into any shape, style, or design. Engineer: Joe Stephens (www.ellula.com) Enter 581

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