U.S. Markets close in 5 hrs 32 mins

New Product Grab Bag: Multipurpose Projector, Phone Case for Paranoids, More

David Pogue
Tech Critic
Yahoo Tech

Every day, the world’s tech companies bombard us with announcements of new products. Nobody can review them all — so I’ve invited some of these companies to send me their product announcements as 300-character micro-blurbs; for each one, I’ve offered my first impressions.

In the comments, let me know which ones you think merit a full review!

Sprint LivePro combines a pocket projector (projects an image up to 10 feet diagonal) and 3G/4G LTE mobile hotspot. 4.7 inches square and 1.1 inches thick, it fits in a briefcase or purse and has an embedded speaker and a 4-inch touchscreen display. Runs Android Jelly Bean. www.sprint.com

Pogue says: Well, I suppose if you were planning to buy a cellular hotspot and a projector, you may as well save weight by having the two combined.

iPatch Case. A flick of a switch, and your smartphone’s cameras are blocked. This case protects your phone’s front and rear cameras, both from the elements and from creepy hackers. But it keeps the proximity sensors open so that your smartphone can still tell when you’re holding it to your face. $20 (currently a crowdfunding campaign). www.ipatchcase.com

Pogue says: I wasn’t aware that hackers taking over our iPhone cameras is a widespread problem. But if you’re worried about them — or the NSA — this idea beats a piece of duct tape. 

Audio Chef. This free app plays narrated audio instructions, guiding you through cooking delicious dishes. Now you can follow a recipe without touching or looking at your phone. For iPhone. Four recipes included; 30 more for $1. www.audiochefapp.com

Pogue says: This one will boil down to the execution. How does the timing of the instructions work? And are the recipes any good?

Pixels.com iPad App. Test-drive artwork on your wall — no nails required! The virtual reality “View on Your Wall” feature shows art to scale. Browse through 7.5 million images from living artists and photographers; connect socially, preview, and buy in-app as framed prints, canvas prints, and so on. Free.  http://www.pixels.com/app

Pogue says: Yes. We’re only beginning to explore the possibilities of augmented reality. This concept seems super-cool.

itSeez3D. A mobile 3D scanner app that lets your iPad capture color and structure information and process the data into realistic, printable 3D models. Use it to scan your family and friends, as well as things you would like to copy in 3D. http://itseez.com/products/itseez3d

Pogue says: I think the creators overestimate how many people have 3D printers …

Voloe. A social networking site where you share your list of life goals; fellow network members help you out with collaboration or expertise. The site will kick off with contests to help you take trips, buy dream items, learn new skills. Free. www.voloe.com

Pogue says: Seeking help from the crowd works for Kickstarter and Indiegogo; why wouldn’t it work when you need non-monetary help? But Voloe isn’t the first of its kind; how many support apps do you expect your friends to have?

Flowboard. A new presentation tool for the way people share ideas today. The pitch: Beautiful, interactive presentations in minutes. No Office required. Flowboards are like interactive apps with navigation, video, galleries, and documents. $10 for Mac, free for iPad. http://flowboard.com

Pogue says: We all want PowerPoint slideshows to die. But how much work will people be willing to put into alternative presentation methods? 

BloomNation. This “Etsy for Flowers” lets you shop directly with artisan florists, cutting out traditional middleman sites like 1-800-Flowers. All photos on the site are of the florists’ actual work. You even receive photos of your exact flowers before hand delivery, so what you see is what you’ll get. http://www.BloomNation.com

Pogue says: You get to see a photo of your actual flower arrangement? Brilliant. Especially if you can make changes once you’ve seen it.

Wiper. A messaging app with voice calling. The twist: With a tap of the Wipe button, you can delete everything — call logs, pictures, text — from the company’s servers, your phone, and the phone of whomever you’re talking to. For Android/iPhone; free. http://www.gowiper.com

 

Pogue says: Those of us over 17 are slightly baffled by all of these Snapchat-style communication apps that leave no trace. But given that they’re popular, a wipeable chat app is a logical next step.

If you have a new product you’d like considered for This Week in New Products, send your 300-character, buzzword-free blurb to David Pogue, poguester@yahoo.com.