The traditional image of technology and gadget enthusiasts tends to be a less than flattering one: Nebbishy, physically inept and near-sighted nerds who fear any activity that doesn't involve their brains to the exclusion of all else. It's a key plot point of countless Hollywood movies about growing up, which pit jocks against geeks. But what if the nerds were the jocks?
That's the question Oregon Scientific seems to pose with its new and awkwardly named ATC9K all-terrain high-definition video camera. It's an attention-getting gadget amid a sea of offerings at CES, not just because of its yellow-and-black casing - but because the device looks like a bizarre science-fiction cannon mounted on the wrist of the man wielding it as he strolls about the pre-CES showcase, aiming it around the Venetian Hotel ballroom like Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story films hunting his nemesis, Emperor Zurg.
"You can put it on your wrist, you can put it on your leg, you can put it on your handlebars, you can put it on your helmet... wakeboarding, water-skiing; people put it on their dog," Dave Furman, a product manager at Oregon Scientific says as he demonstrates and explains the device.
The waterproof, shock-resistant camera shoots "professional-quality" HD video in full 1080p at up to 60 frames a second and still photos at 5 megapixels, he says. The video is visible on the camera's 2.5-inch LCD screen and records on to microSD memory cards up to 32 GB.
With the GPS module plugged in, owners can map and track their location, speed, distance and altitude using Google Maps or Google Earth.
And just like Buzz Lightyear's wrist, it contains a laser - albeit one to be used to align the camera, as opposed to blasting away at aliens. Available now for $299 on www.oregonscientific.com.