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High-Tech Companies Preview Holiday Gift Ideas

High-Tech Companies Preview Holiday Gift Ideas

September 20, 2005

With summer just barely behind us, can you believe some folks are already starting to think about what to buy for loved ones for the winter holidays? In the following report, NY1 Tech Beat Reporter Adam Balkin takes his first look at some of what could be the top tech must-haves come December.

TV’s that are fun to look at even when they're not on, portable web surfers, the new iPod phone, even hip new ways to carry all your gadgets - the annual Holiday Spectacular tech show reminds us the summer truly is over, and retailers are already gearing up to compete for your winter holiday shopping dollars.

Some of the early concept frontrunners include Lexmark's P-450 printer. It not only prints directly from memory cards, it'll burn a CD directly off them too.

“It's totally stand-alone. You don't need a PC. You're free of hassle,” says Gretchen Schultz of Lexmark International. “You can save to a CD, you can burn and archive your images, you can use USB, Flash cards, it has a TV out so you can run a slide show if you want to.”

You can do so on the new DV-10 Movietime. It's a combo digital projector/DVD player.

“It allows you to be completely portable. All you do is plug it in, pop your DVD in and you can play a movie, a video game,” says Nancy Beckmann of Optoma Technology. “You can hook it into your cable box, it's High Definition ready, and it's 1,000 lumens, so you don't need the room to be completely dark.”

Maybe that’s a little much for movies shot with Mattel's new Vidster for kids. It takes low quality movies and one-megapixel pictures - not the best for preserving memories, but it certainly beats lending them your camera.

“I was running upstairs with it and I tripped and fell up the stairs and it slammed down on the concrete,” says Katie Cecil a Mattel spokeschild. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, it's going to be ruined.’ I turned it on and everything was still there. It wasn't blurry, it had the same vision, and it's only plastic, so that's pretty cool.”

Finally, one toy is more than 70-years-old, but it’s still reinventing itself to stay relevant. Lego has a new product called Lego Factory that makes it easier to make literally anything you want. You build it first online, and then they send you a customized box with the pieces so that you can then build it for real.

“They can build in a virtual world, dragging the bricks one by one,” says Michael McNally of Lego Systems. “It's almost like building in the real world piece by piece, and then they can share their model online with other people. Once they upload it to our gallery they can then purchase it and build it in the real world.”

I wonder if you can build a wallet filled with money to pay for this year's high-tech holiday wish list?

- Adam Balkin

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