The latest electronic gadgets range from a modem that will allow your personal computer to control anything that plugs in around the house to a jacket that is literally wired for sound.
The Consumer Electronics Shows in Las Vegas and Chicago this year revealed the new high-tech designs and breakthroughs, according to an article in the current issue of Connoisseur that outlines what's new in audio-video home entertainment items, photographic equipment, telephones and much more.Still in the prototype stage is a modem that will be the first component of an NEC home electronics system that will let your personal computer control everything in your house that also has a modem - from television to toaster.
Three-D is back, this time in do-it-yourself format. Toshiba plans to introduce a VHS-C camcorder ($2,800) for 3-D production. The 3-D tapes can be played back on any conventional TV set but require a pair of electronic liquid crystal eyeglasses that plug into an adapter connected to the camcorder.
The system is attracting more interest for industrial, medical and scientific applications, where informational benefits outweigh its limitations.
There's help on the way for video home movie addicts, who until now have found editing equipment too expensive, too complicated or both. The Videonics DirectED Personal Movie-Maker ($499) is inserted in the signal path between two VCRs and greatly simplifies the editing process.
The latest in telephone gadgets is Mitsubishi's VisiTel ($399), a compact still-video camera plus black-and-white 41/2-inch monitor that plugs into a standard phone jack.
With a VisiTel at either end of the line, callers can see each other. Face the camera and press a button. If you like what you see on your monitor, press another button and in about five seconds your likeness will apper across town or across country.
For those who want to walk around wired for sound, Toshiba America offers the Sonic Jacket ($179.95). It comes in small, medium and large sizes, is 40 percent cotton, 60 percent poly twill and 100 percent wired. Tucked here and there are four speakers, an amplifier and a battery pack, with pockets left over for cassette and CD player.
Believe it or not it is perfectly comfortable to wear.