CBS News Consumer Correspondent Herb Weisbaum had some fun checking out new technology devices tailored to everyday products, ranging from bicycles to baseball cards.
Automatic bike gear shift control: The latest piece of equipment for bicycles is an automatic shift control. Developed by a Japanese company, the Shimano Auto-D shifts a bike's gears based on how fast the cyclist is going.
The Auto-D is targeted at people like me, baby boomers who haven't been on a bike for a while because we just find shifting all those gears way too complicated.
"They took the idea of the car, [and] went with the auto transmission in a bike. You just get on it, and it shifts for you," says Bob Ludeman of Raleigh USA bike company.
Right now, only a few bike makers such as Raleigh are using the Auto-D technology. But this should become more widely available in the future. Check with your favorite bike store for more details.
|Look ma, no cords.|
It doesn't need one because it transmits a radio signal to a little receiver plugged into the PC. Costing $45, it will work from a distance of up to five feet away.
Optical tracking mouse: Microsoft has also just come out with another new mouse. The Intellimouse Explorer is more than sleek; it's doesn't have a roller ball because it uses an optical tracking system to figure out where it is. The sleek silver model is top-of-the-line and priced at around $75.
Talking trading cards: Some new sports trading cards have a high-tech twist. They talk. Push the button, and you'll hear about a memorable moment in sports history, such as Mark McGwire's record-setting 70th home run.
Just out in time for the World Series, these Protalk Voice Cards have voice chips so they can play a 15-second game highlight. Each comes with a cutout standup figure of the player.
There are also cards featuring NASCAR racing greats such as Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin. At $8 each, they are available at Eckerd drug stores nationwide or at www.talkingcards.com.
Hose assistance: Tired of wrapping up the hose after you're done with it? You'll never have to do it again if you get a Coil Hose. It's made from colorful translucent polyurethane and it really stretches.
|When the job's done, Coil Hose goes back to place.|
You can find the coiled hoses in some boat stores such as West Marine and Boats US. Also check the Dover Saddlery catalog (800-989-1500) and the Tack in a Box catalog (800-456-8225) or call the company, Water Coil Hose (1-888-443-3842).
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