I spent much of this summer looking at cool products. Check them out.

A Pocket-Size Projector

The buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show this year was the Pico Projector, a handheld LCD projector the size of your cell phone. A number of companies have been lining up to manufacture their versions of it. 3M is one of them, and here's a link for you to see what it's all about: www.3m.com/mpro. While it won't replace the LCD/DLP projector in a meeting room for hundreds of attendees, it is a great backup option. For a salesperson, the device can be carried to a client's office and connected to a mobile phone, providing an instant presentation.

Sandbox, Google-Style

Google has set up a place to test what they say is a faster approach to searching. In response to competition from Bing and others, you can test Google's engine at www2.sandbox.google.com. You'll notice two things. First, the results come up faster (clearly, that's what Google is counting on). Second, no pay-per-click results are presented in this beta application. Is it better? I'm not sure, but it is a bit faster.

Psyched About Tweeting

Have you used Tweet Psyche (www.tweetpsyche.com) yet? This beta Web service analyzes your Twitter tweets to create a psychological profile (of sorts) about your tweets. It seems to work best on those who have tweeted most, but it is another of the growing list of tools supporting Twitter.

Meet the Tweet Elite in Our Industry

The Development Counselors Institute has completed the Tweet Elite, a study of tweeting and CVBs. The study compares how CVBs are using Twitter effectively. The results provide data about number of followers and number of tweets per month (please, don't think the more tweets the better). Download a copy of the report at tinyurl.com/m3c8ze.

Have You Upgraded to Office 2007?

Many folks haven't, and they might never, as Microsoft is in the process of releasing Office 2010. It has Microsoft focusing on better Web-based applications (and fighting off a challenge from Google Docs). One of the newest features is a browser-based version of the software. It has fewer features, but it is online and free. Check it out at this blog (tinyurl.com/lkokn5), or watch this movie-trailer-style promotion: tinyurl.com/ls4zn3.

Have Far Is It From?

Wouldn't an interactive mapping mashup be fun? Check out Distance From To (www.distancefromto.net). Plug in city names, or plot points on a Google map, and find the information immediately. Is it necessary? Perhaps not. Is it a cool tech tool? Yep.

James Spellos, CMP, is founder and president of Meeting U., a New York?based company that provides training and consulting to meeting professionals. He is a frequent speaker on technology at meetings-industry conferences. Contact him at jspellos@meeting-u.com.