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Possible Future Winners

Palm Pre

The Palm Pre features that newly developed Palm WebOS operating system. It is a well-designed touchscreen cell phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, and GPS. Like the iPhone, it has no removable memory card, but the phones other features and the implementation of those features are extremely impressive. Initially the Pre will be available only on Sprint, the smallest of the three major carriers. This might slow its acceptance, but the Palm Pre has great potential as an excellent cell phone. It may well give the iPhone a little needed competition.

Palm PreFigure 4: Palm Pre. 

D-Link DIR-685 Router

For many years the router was a device that was hidden away in computer closets and under office desks. With the proliferation of routers in the home market, they have now come out of the closet. So it seems only logical that perhaps they should become better looking and more useful. This D-Link Router is an all-in-one product that combines an 802.11n  wireless router with a storage device and a digital picture frame. It also has USB over Internet sharing. It’s both good looking and useful.

D-Link DIR-685 RouterFigure 5: D-Link DIR-685 Router.

3M’s MM200 Projector

If you can remember making presentations with overhead projectors or large table-top projector units, you will be truly amazed at the size and the quality of this projector. Although not yet available, this technology is sure to be a winner and may even be built into cell phones. Several other manufacturers are also working on products of this type.

LG Watch Phone

The prototype was shown at CES and this will be one to “watch.” The thin 1 1/4” (3.175 cm) square watch has a touchscreen, speakerphone, 3G and Bluetooth. It can also take photos and video. It displays the time like a regular watch, but when a call comes in the screen changes to the phone mode. You talk by moving the watch near your mouth. Baby boomers are especially sure to love this, as it will immediately remind them of the Dick Tracy watch they saw in the comics when they were kids.

Polaroid PoGo

Polaroid cameras made quite a stir when they were introduced in the fifties.  Then digital photography with its instant photography seemed to eliminate any need for a Poloroid instant type of camera. Now, however, the new Polaroid company has introduced the PoGo, which again combines a camera with instant printing.

The PoGo is a true part of the digital world. It is a portable digital camera and an instant printer combined in one. The 2” x 3” (5 x 8 cm) photos are printed on special Zink photo paper so they are inkless. The backing can also be pulled off and they can be adhered to just about anything. The clarity is excellent and images can be cropped, edited, and framed right in the camera. Gadget hounds will love this one. At USD 200, the camera is competitive; however, final acceptance by the end consumer will depend on the cost of the paper and whether or not the pictures can be made a little larger.

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Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.