Products from Hoverit, Nikon, Garmin, ARCHOS, Nanda Home, Junyi Heo

Floating lounge chair, digital camera, GPS navigator, media tablet, clock radio, digital plant pot.

by News Staff / December 31, 2008

In this products section, Government Technology takes a different approach by letting our editorial staff give a firsthand account about items on their technology wish lists.

Hoverit Lounge Chair
It's a see-through acrylic chair that levitates off the ground - how cool is that? This interesting venture into the world of futuristic relaxation uses repelling magnets to keep the seat floating above the base. I'd definitely like to have one of these at home. And if I had one at work, it would be appropriate to sit in a floating chair while I'm writing about technology.
- Hilton Collins, staff writer

Nikon D80

After researching plenty of cameras I'd like to purchase, a co-worker recommended the D80 as the ultimate must-have, consumer-friendly camera. The 10.2-megapixel camera produces high-resolution digital images, has seven program modes and captures three frames per second. The D80 has in-camera editing, so even novices can take professional-grade photos. This all-purpose camera retails at $799.
- Karen Stewartson, managing editor

Garmin nüvi 880
I lack a sense of direction. I rely on turn-by-turn directions because, quite frankly, I can't read a map well. The Garmin nüvi 880 GPS unit would change my directionally challenged life. Not only can I speak commands to it while driving, like "Find Address," but the high-sensitivity internal antenna also lets me toss it in my purse and never be lost again. It features Bluetooth technology for hands-free calling, is preloaded with maps and points of interest - great for locating gas stations on road trips - and features a 4.3-inch, full-color display. The unit comes with a free trial to MSN Direct for checking the weather, traffic delays and even movie listings. The suggested retail price is $899.
- Elaine Rundle, staff writer

TV on the Go
The ARCHOS 7 Media Tablet would let me download and watch films, and surf the Web. I could record from cable channels to the tablet and the TV snap-on would let me watch digital fee channels from the tablet wherever I want. I'd opt for the 320 GB model, which the company says will store up to 400 movies, 3.2 million photos or 190,000 songs. The tablet has Internet and e-mail capability via a Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) connection. The screen is a 800x480-pixel, 7-inch TFT LCD. It measures 7.48x4.33x0.629 inches and weighs 23 ounces, so it should be easy to pack along.
- Miriam Jones, chief copy editor

Odds and Ends

How would you like wake up from a restful night? A: with an inexpensive clock radio that plays nature sounds? B: with an expensive, wheeled clock radio that terrifies you into waking upawake, hides and won't shut up till you catch it? If you chose B, you want a Clocky. Clockys are alarm clocks that literally roll away from you once they activate. The incessant beeping continues until you can find Clocky, which could be anywhere in the house by the time you drag yourself from bed to locate it. Price: $50.
- Chad Vander Veen, associate editor

Digital Planter
As I forget to water my plants for the second week in a row, the last thing I want to know is how my plants feel. With Junyi Heo's Digital Pot, that is exactly what's supposed to happen. Through a USB interface, the pot charges and transmits information to the computer. An LCD screen expresses pictograms if the plant is hot, cold, thirsty, dissatisfied, in danger, normal or bad. The only useful aspect is that the pot automatically drains if the plant is overwatered.
- Elaine Rundle, staff writer