Flash in the Pan

emWave PSR (Personal Stress Reliever)

This is a small handheld biofeedback device that has a pulse sensor and breathing pacer. You use it to adjust your breathing to center yourself and to lower your heart and respiration resulting in a physical relief from stress. Putting stress relief in the palm of your hand is certainly a good idea. We actually liked it, but will people really spend the money (USD 200) and take the time to make this work for them? 

emWave PSRFigure 6: emWave PSR.

3D with Glasses

Sony, Panasonic, and several others had amazing displays of 3D television. Yet, you needed to wear special glasses to view most of them. While 3D movies are already available and many manufacturers are pushing for acceptance, we feel that as long as you need to wear special glasses, 3D will not win major acceptance. The next year will be spent in ironing a standard for 3D. If that standard can be implemented without glasses, it will be a winner. If not, we will keep it in our “Flash in the Pan” category.

Lenovo Dual-Screen Laptop

The Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds has a 17-inch LCD screen, but it has another unique feature. It also has a 10.6-inch screen that slides out from behind and can be angled for better viewing. At USD 3,600 and 11 pounds (5 Kg), this laptop is heavy and expensive. Lenovo needs to take this one back to the drawing board.

Vuzix iWear 920

Every year someone comes up with new wearable glasses for viewing videos. We have some glasses of this type in our gadget closet from six years ago. Last year the Oakley sunglass company came out with their version. Each year the glasses get lighter and better, yet for some reason they always seem a little too awkward. Although the Vuzix glasses are good-looking and the optics are good, we doubt that they will catch on.

Vuzix iWear 920Figure 7: Vuzix iWear 920.

Excalibur Einstein Robot

Excalibur introduced a talking Einstein head as well as a smaller full-body version. This Einstein spits out facts and information and has realistic facial expressions. While at USD 99, the smaller version is well-priced, we think that may go the way of the WowWee robotic Elvis head that was introduced two years ago. We recently saw Elvis for sale at Tuesday Morning selling for 1/10th of his introductory price.

CES 2009: Gadgets Galore Figure 8: Einstein Robot.


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.