Scott Merrill

Latest from Scott Merrill

  • Help Key: How to protect your webmail with GnuPG and FireGPG

    Encryption scares a lot of people – me included – because it’s based on really complicated mathematics. Thankfully, the state of encryption software has advanced sufficiently in the last couple of years that it’s pretty easy for laypeople like us to take advantage of the protection it offers. Just like you don’t shop online without a secured HTTPS connection… Read More

  • Simplicity Labs: Philips Wants Your Feedback

    At the beginning of the year Philips consolidated their Consumer Electronics and Domestic Appliances & Personal Care divisions into a single unified Consumer Lifestyles group, with a focus on “enabling [consumers] to enjoy a healthier and more rewarding lifestyle”. (source)  The Philips HomeLab I visited is one example of how Philips investigates what products are best suited… Read More

  • Grundig offers a ball o' music

    Grundig is pitching their Audiorama 900 spherical speaker system at IFA 2008, for all your retro music needs.  These speakers create 360° sound projection and can be either floor mounted or hung from the ceiling.  Available in black or white for swank bachelor pads everywhere. Read More

  • IFA 2008: Moving Beyond The Mouse Several companies — large and small — were demonstrating alternative input technologies at IFA today. Most, like the Pong video above, were exploring how to use motion tracking to control various on-screen elements. More video after the jump. Read More

  • Wake-up Light simulates rising sun to wake you up gently

    If you don’t like the idea of shooting your alarm clock, the new version of the Philips Wake-up Light might be for you. Like any other alarm clock, you set the time at which you want to be woken up. 30 minutes before that time arrives, however, the Wake-up Light starts to gently glow. As the minutes pass, the light gets brighter, simulating the rising sun, so that when the designated… Read More

  • I want my 3D TV!

    At IFA today many companies are showing off their attempts at 3D TV. Most of the displays being shown are not yet designed for home use, and instead are being positioned as business applications: in-store signage and advertising, architecture and CAD displays, and prototype user interfaces. Most of the televisions require no glasses, and produce a reasonable 3D display. In the displays… Read More

  • IFA 2008 Overload: Home Appliances

    IFA 2008 offers the curious spectator an awful lot to look at.  There are hundreds of televisions, computers, projectors, stereos, navigation systems, MP3 players, and all other manner of gadget covered by CrunchGear, from all the brand names you know and love.  But this year’s IFA introduced a new set of products to the show: so-called “white goods”.  Things like… Read More

  • Sony Sountina: A Vibrating Organic Cylinder

    The Sony Sountina is another 360° single speaker system.  This one uses a vibrating organic cylinder.  Insert obligatory double-entendre here.  The Sountina also has colorful LEDs to breathe “blue, amber and purple light into the space.” Read More

  • IFA 2008 Booze Cruise

    2008 is the first year that the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin has included so-called “white goods” in addition to the traditional media and entertainment products on display.  Particularly interesting to me were a collection of high-end wine coolers like those pictured above, and the Philips Perfect Draft beer fridge.  Stick a pony keg inside the Perfect Draft and you… Read More

  • IFA 2008 Missing The Point Award In the Home Appliances section of IFA 2008 are dozens of brands of coffee makers, most doling out freshly brewed joe to bleary-eyed conventioneers.  The video above demonstrates one of the larger of such displays.  A small pad on the bottom of the coffee cup contains an icon, which a camera under the table identifies and tracks as it slides around… Read More

  • IFA 2008 Overload: Televisions

    I used to think that my local Best Buy had a lot of televisions on display.  Then I attended IFA.  Each vendor’s stand has dozens — sometimes hundreds — of TVs up and running.  It’s enough to make the eyes glaze over.  Samsung had the largest display of TVs, pictured above.  More Samsung and others after the jump. Read More

  • Epson EC-01 is a recyclable printer

    Epson’s EC-01 inkjet printer is the flagship product in their new Environmental Vision 2050 initiative: it’s shipped in an unpainted recycled cardboard box, the manual is printed on recycled paper, and the included driver CD is stored within an envelope made of recycled paper.  But what really sets this printer apart is that you don’t replace the ink: when the cartridge… Read More

  • Loewe Packs Features into Minimalist Design

    The Loewe stand at IFA caught my eye for two reasons.  The image above struck my funny bone, and the image below filled me with deep techno-lust.  At a show filled with televisions that all looked very much alike, Loewe had on display a number of sleek, stylish televisions that really stood out from the crowd. Like many other companies at IFA, Loewe was touting their own whole-house… Read More

  • Finlux on Display at IFA 2008

    Salacious photos after the jump. Finlux unveiled several new televisions and set-top boxes at IFA.  The video they selected to demonstrate the sets at the front of their stand was the most salacious of the whole show (though I never did get to the Penthouse stand), while the rest of the sets on display were showing much more business like sequences. Read More

  • Naughty Raymond and Happy Laura make accessorizing fun

    Philips has expanded its Active Crystals product line with a few new items.  Above you see Naughty Raymond and Happy Laura, two cute accessories for your digital life.  Simply pull off their heads to reveal the 2 GB USB key buried within. Read More

  • Philips Essence

    The Philips Essence is a television that is only 38 millimeters thick. It has a 100Hz display that provides a 2 millisecond response time. At only 36 pounds, it is ideal for wall mounting and even includes a self-leveling mounting kit so you won’t need to venture into Home Depot. Read More

  • Philips CinemaOne provides an all-in-one home theater system

    At IFA 2008, Philips announced the CinemaOne, an all-in-one home theater system.  It’s targeted at smaller rooms — bedrooms, dorm rooms, etc — where a full-blown theater system is unlikely to fit.  The CinemaOne is the little brother to Philip’s fancy SoundBar, and includes their new FullSound technology to produce a surround sound experience with fewer speakers. Read More

  • Philips Research Creates 8mm thick display

    On display at IFA — though sadly not yet out of the research labs — is a new flat panel television display that is a whopping 8 millimeters thick.  That’s about the thickness of a Euro coin, for those with Euros handy to use as a reference.  In the image above, you can see the support bracket at the bottom, and you can see the front and back of the unit reflected in mirrors… Read More

  • Black is the new Black with Philips LED Backlighting

    LED LUX is the name of the technology in the new 42PFL9803 television unveiled by Philips today that uses LED backlighting to produce more natural black colors.  With individual dimming control over 128 areas, LED LUX produces blacks that compete with plasma televisions, with a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Read More

  • Sony Announces EX-1, ZX-1 and XEL-1 TVs at IFA 2008

    Sony wants to be the number one TV company by the year 2010.  To that end, they’ve announced three sexy new products today at IFA. The Bravia EX-1 PictureFrame television is a wall-mountable LCD television that utilizes wireless HDMI to reduce cables going to your set.  It’s designed to look good on your wall, as though a piece of art.  The wireless HDMI has a range of about… Read More