Gadgets and Gizmos

Game Voice

The only thing missing from a good online Quake game is the ability to taunt the smoking fragments of your latest victim. Microsoft has moved to remedy this problem with the SideWinder Game Voice, which lets you communicate with friends and enemies alike, without the need to use fiddly onscreen controls.

Microsoft

Price: $99

Phone: 13 2058

URL: www.microsoft.com/australia

Computer mirror

At last, safety from prowling bosses can be yours! This self-adhesive convex mirror sticks to either corner of your monitor and helps guard your back while you waste time surfing the Net. Distributed by a company that has nothing to do with biscuits, the mirror might also protect your password from prying eyes.

Arnott's of Australia

Price: $16.95

Phone: (03) 9326 9696

Optical MouseMan

The venerable Logitech MouseMan Wheel, long a favourite of ergonomic input device fanciers, enters the solid state age in its latest incarnation. Optical technology means this mouse won't jam or lose accuracy due to dirty rollers.

Logitech

Price: $99

Phone: (02) 9972 3711

URL: www.logitech.com.au

Hub modem

Combining a 56Kbps modem with a powered USB hub in its shapely body, the EasiHub from Banksia Technology lets you connect to the Internet and your peripheral devices at the same time. Its cool-running switched power supply is more than adequate to drive USB-powered cameras and the like.

Banksia Technology

Price: $222

Phone: (02) 9424 2070

URL: www.banksia.com.au

Clothes that think

Computing continues to get more pervasive, with Philips and Levi's combining to produce a wearable mini-network. These concept designs incorporate a mobile phone, MP3 player and unified controls, but it's easy to foresee full-blown computers being added in the future. Just remember, whatever you do, don't overclock your underpants.

Philips & Levi's

Price: $TBA

URL: research.philips.com

Pod

This vaguely alien-looking device is a power filter, made in Australia to protect your electronic equipment from destructive spikes and surges. Its unusual design features two spaced sockets for plug packs, as well as the ability to add optional modules to protect video, phone and network lines.

Total Power Systems

Price: Base unit $79.95, add-ons $36 eachPhone: 1800 669 454USB memoryThe proliferation of flash memory formats has hit a new high with the introduction of the tiny Trek ThumbDrive. Its utility stems from the ability to connect it to any Windows computer with a USB port, thus making it handy for data transfer of bulky files that won't fit on a floppy.

AGA Technologies

Price: $279 for 32MB, $589 for 128MB

Phone: (08) 9301 5055

URL: www.thumbdrive.com

Skycar

Day by day, life grows to resemble science fiction. The M400 Skycar promises the ability to take off and land vertically, and cruise at a comfortable 500+km/h to your destination. It also looks really cool. The manufacturer hopes to fly the first prototype sometime this year.

Moller International

Price: $TBA

URL: www.moller.com

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