Grazing Among New Gadgets

Marilyn Monroe phone CBS

The electronics industry is holding its big trade show in Las Vegas this week, showcasing the latest in high-tech gadgets.

CBS News Consumer Correspondent Herb Weisbaum was on hand with plenty to play with.
He started out at the Panasonic booth, trying out the Eye-Trek goggles as he watched The Spy Who Shagged Me.

"I wish I could show it to you. It's amazing. For $900, it'd better be amazing," he told Early Show Anchor Bryant Gumbel.

He was able to show the Panasonic Recordable DVD machine. Weisbaum took a camera around, just to see how it works. "It did an amazingly good job," he reported. "You can use this to edit your home movies, put it on disk and set it on your computer."

A number of companies will be putting out such a camera, by the end of this year, they hope. The cameras probably will be priced at $2,000 or more, but will become more affordable in time.

The Sony disk cam, $2,000, due in a number of weeks, is a camcorder that allows users to edit videos in the camera, as it relies on a disk, not a tape.

The Casio Wrist Camera Watch, $200, has a built-in camera, stores 100 still shots, and is set up so data can be added. For instance, after a photo is taken, it can be augmented with phone numbers and addresses.

(Weisbaum: "I don't know how anybody would use it."

Gumbel: "That's one of those technology things that comes with a question of why.)

The Samsung Watch Phone, expected out before the end of this year, is voice activated and can store up to 20 different names that the phone can be instructed to dial.

Many companies are focusing on digital audio, with units (about $200) that are small enough to wear on a wrist.

The Casio Wrist Audio Player can store an hour's worth of music. Download it from a computer, then take the music with you wherever you go, right on your arm.

The new Sony Network Walkman can store up to two hours of music; download an hour's worth of music in 90 seconds.

Panasonic's audio player can be worn on a wrist or around the neck . It records music on computer chips, which can be interchanged in the unit. With this product, have as much music as you want.

The Marilyn Monroe telephone, $100, due out in May: Do you recognize the famous movie scene? It's from The Seven Year Itch. Monroe sings "I Wanna Be Loved by You," a fan goes on, her skirt blows up, and that's how you know you have a phone call.

With the Snoopy telephone, $100, due out in July, Snoopy plays the saxophone.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas runs through Jan. 9.

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