Robo-Caddy Now there is a really, really good reason to hold a golf event at the San Jose Country Club, or Santa Clara Golf and Tennis, or any of a handful of courses in Silicon Valley: A chance to use an InteleCady, the world's first global-positioning-system(GPS)-equipped, ultrasound-navigated, digital course- mapped robotic golf caddy.
As the folks at GolfPro International (InteleCady's developers) like to say, this thing does everything a caddy does except talk during your backswing. And, they say, purists love it; InteleCady restores the walking aspect of the game, because you don't ride on it--the four-wheeled bag carrier follows you around.
Here's how it works: InteleCady's six computer processors have been loaded with detailed information about the course. It also has a GPS to tell it where it is and an ultrasound sensor system to help it avoid hitting golfers and make its way carefully over bridges. It follows a specific golfer by sensing a beeper-sized homing device clipped to a belt or pocket. Hit a button on the device, and InteleCady comes running (well, rolling) over.
As it follows its golfer, InteleCady generates maps on its little LCD screen that show the distance to the next hole and what hazards lie in wait. Alas, it does not suggest which club to play to reach the green. On the other hand, it does know not to trundle out onto a green or dunk itself in any water hazards.
The electric-powered device can be rented for $20 an hour. According to GolfPro International, InteleCady will be available at upward of 20 golf courses in California by midyear.
To learn more, visit www.icady.com or call Ron Davies at (408) 235-8001. Ron will gladly explain why it was worth spending $27 million to develop a caddy that doesn't talk.
We've met loads of folks who are addicted to their PalmPilot handheld electronic organizers--and more recently to the Handspring Visor version of the product--but few rave about the system for inputting information. Unless users can hook up to a regular computer keyboard, they use the organizer's stylus to "write" on an input screen in a specialized shorthand. The shorthand is fairly intuitive, but to most people, typing is still the way to go.
Enter the new portable keyboard, Stowaway, developed by Think Outside Inc., Solana Beach, Calif. The full-size, standard QWERTY keyboard weighs less than half a pound (7.9 ounces), has a built-in docking station for handhelds, and, best of all, folds to a pocket-sized 5.1 inches by 3.6 inches by .8 inches. No batteries or cables are needed--the keyboard gets its power from the organizer--and special keys are designed to jump to specific PalmPilot (or Visor) functions, such as the calendar or address book.
Stowaway picked up three awards at the Consumer Electronics Show in January: Design Innovations, Best of Show, and Workstyle Award. And that was before its official launch. The Palm versions--compatible with Palm III, V, and VII and costing about $100--began shipping in late March, and the Handspring Visor model was expected out in mid-April. The company says a WinCE version is in the works.
For more information, visit www.thinkoutside.com or call (888) 923-6946.
Somewhere, somehow, there's an employee so compulsively loyal that he's had the company logo tattooed on his behind. Just not your employee, eh? Well, you can always pretend--and Johnson & Mayer Inc., Hackensack, N.J., can help.
Whether you are planning a 1950s party for your next incentive program, a company anniversary event, or just the giveaway at your user group meeting, a customized temporary tattoo might be the gimmick that gets people smiling. Any four-color art--a company logo, corporate mascot, or conference theme--can be reproduced in an FDA-certified temporary tattoo.
The tattoos go on with water and are waterproof once applied. They last about a week unless removed with baby oil or alcohol. The minimum order is 2,500, and, at a minimum size of 1.5 by 1.5 inches, cost $.167 per tattoo, plus a $200 production fee. Costs increase with larger tattoos and decrease with larger orders. For more information, contact Johnson & Mayer at (201) 646-1717. /
Have you ever entered a hotel room hoping to find one of those big binders that has "Guest Services" embossed on the outside so that you can use it to support a laptop computer? If you're like some of us, you like to keep that hotel desk available for the room service tray, or maybe to hold all the folders you carry around. Or maybe just once you'd like to lie down on that king-sized bed, prop your head with a pillow, and put the laptop on a breakfast tray. Of course, you don't see breakfast trays anymore, except on Mother's Day cards or in Doris Day movies made before 1965.
As they say, what goes around comes around. And it's time for a high-tech version of the breakfast tray for your laptop computer, even though its manufacturer refers to it as a "transportable and customizable computing workspace suited for any place and time." Available in translucent aqua or smoke, the Lapstation from Intrigo has a 25-by-16-inch work surface and sits on two adjustable folding flaps. The edge of the work surface has little neoprene pads to protect wrists. Collapsed, the whole thing is 3 inches deep and weighs just under six pounds.
Lapstation won an Innovation 2000 Award at the Computer Electronics Show in January, which suggests that there really are a lot of business travelers who don't want to depend on those guest services binders. Of course, the Lapstation works outside the hotel room as well. One could, for example, sit in a booth at the Dallas-Fort Worth Convention Center and send e-mail messages to hoteliers via the facility's wireless network, demanding the return of the wicker breakfast tray. To learn more about the Lapstation, visit www.intrigo.com.