WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- "Live 2001," the UK's annual consumer electronics show, was held recently at the National Exhibition Center, Birmingham, highlighting the latest in cutting edge digital devices and interactive entertainment.
Here's a stateside lowdown of the top technofile tidbits reviewed by our British brethren.
On the interactive entertainment front, software gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) was on hand to show off upcoming games, such as Harry Potter, FIFA 2002 Soccer, Simpsons Road Rage, Medal of Honor and Cel Damage for soon to be released Xbox and GameCube consoles. Stay tuned for future columns covering these 3rd generation game systems.
Imerge (www.imerge.co.uk) showcased their SoundServer digital audio player. Using XiVA software, this revolutionary device is paving the way towards a new definition of hi-fi hip for 21st Century living rooms.
The SoundServer can access the Internet to download tunes, which are then stored on the system's built-in hard drive. It has the storage capacity for more than 700 hours of music and can play it back by genre, artist or album. It can also play several different types of music into separate rooms, simultaneously.
The automatic play list function can be used with MP3 tracks or CD's, which too can be recorded into the system's hard drive. Using the XiVA-Net software, artist and track info is automatically added to play lists of music downloaded from the Net.
In the cellular universe, Trium and Siemens displayed the latest in next generation smartphones.
Following in the footsteps of last summer's trail-blazing Mondo PDA phones, Trium's two mobiles of the moment were the Eclipse and the Sirius.
The Trium Eclipse is one of the first GPRS phones to offer a color screen, and does so in a big way; with a large 256 color screen, the Eclipse includes two color Rayman games, rendering Tetris and Solitaire of previous phones into obsolete oblivion. Additional features of the Eclipse include voice dialing and recorder, fax and data enabled IrDA capabilities, including calendar and business card exchanges, and T9 (predictive text) SMS. Whereas the Eclipse focuses on gaming, the Trium Sirius handset is geared more toward style.
With a unique red and silver finish, this mobile will stand out in a crowd.
Like the Eclipse, it is WAP and GPRS enabled and offers organizer options via IrDA. Additional features include clock and alarm, calculator, and currency converter. For further information on Trium phones, contact www.trium.net.
The Siemens SL45 mobile phone is the European version of the S40 available in America, but vastly improved. This diminutive sleek silver beauty is also an MP3 player, personal organizer and digital voice recorder. It also has a built-in MultiMedia Card slot that can hold up to 32 MB, which means an hour's worth of digital music to be listened to through the accompanying headphones that automatically switch over to incoming calls.
In the groove category, Roland was in the mix with their TD6-K drumkit and SP-505 Groove Sampling Workstation.
The TD6-K Drumkit features a built-in sequencer. The percussion sound module offers 64-voice polyphony, over 1,000 drum beats and 99 kits with the 6-part sequencer. Additional features include dual trigger cymbal pads, accompanying stand and cymbals, and state of the art rubber drum pads. The drumkit offers the best for aspiring drummers and professionals alike.
For DJ programmers, the SP-505 Groove Sampling Workstation is worth checking out. The latest tool for creating and editing your own samples, it works with loops of self-created beats as well. It offers eight bars of samples, expandable via 128 MB capacity SmartMedia card (sold separately). Additional tools include chop, pitch control and BPM sync, along with a 4-part sequencer 26 onboard effects and real-time controls.
For more info contact www.roland.co.uk
Americans sometimes have an elitist view toward their British cousins, but when it comes to personal technology, in fact, the only ones the Americans seem to be in awe of are the Japanese, who almost annually spit out newer versions of gadgetry invented there before anything like it is even copied here (U.S.A.).
The British, on the other hand, are looked at for their aesthetic and stylistic designs, but never thought of as sophisticated techno consumers. This British show and similar events like it that are hatched in England annually indicate that the Brits appreciate a lot more than just the right kind of wallpaper. Perhaps it's fitting that we recognize this and value it at a time when British forces are engaged in a hi-tech war partnership now playing itself out in the mountains and plains of Afghanistan. As the war on terrorism shifts to a more urban and unconventional setting, it behooves us to remember that when it comes to gadgets it was James Bond who started it all.
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