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Gadget gear for students

Technology has been’working to simplifying life and make daily tasks easier since, well, the Stone Age.

And college students are’especially open to new’shortcuts and gadgets for the tedious tasks where technology has always jumped in’to help.

The Oracle looked at some’innovations recently that are useful for almost any college student.



After much apprehension from Apple fans, Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, unveiled the’newest member of Apple’s gadget family Wednesday.

The 10-inch big brother of the iPhone, the ‘iPad,’ is sure to be popular among college students when released for sale in April. This device aims to’eliminate the need for portable DVD players or e-books and’works like an all-in-one’interactive digital notebook.

The application ‘iBooks’ will allow students to carry a couple hundred pounds of books in a 0.5 inch, 1.5 pound’package. New features like the ‘multi-touch screen’ -‘optimal for note taking -‘will make highlighting,’dragging and dropping a’breeze. Should users want to do less academic activities like watch movies, play games, surf the Internet, listen to music, send e-mails or browse through photos, they’ll be able to do’that, too.

It seems the only thing’missing from this all-encompassing device is a more’interesting name.

– Joe Polito

iPhone/smart phone

It seems phones can do everything nowadays, especially as the iPhone and other smart phones like the BlackBerry continue to impress.

Forget cool accessories like flashlights or music makers, smart phones now have GPS’systems and can even store’credit card information for making purchases.

But it doesn’t end there.

Developing technology will make it simple to digitally’interact with a phone’s’surroundings using Augmented Reality (AR) technology, which is already making a splash with early iPhone applications such as Car Finder, Firefighter 360 and Le Bar Guide.’

AR innovations allow users to virtually interact with reality through their phone.

It will have sounds and’possibly smells. Now, the only thing left to discover is which smart phone is best for you.

– Evan Brenner

Hydracoach Intelligent’water bottle

It’s easy for college’students to get parched walking’to and from classes in the Florida heat. But thanks to the new Hydracoach’Intelligent water bottle, students should never have to worry that they won’t be adequately’hydrated.

The device can recommend’daily hydration goals, monitor how much fluid you intake,’calculate your average consumption and even measure how big of sips you take. This will help to counteract the amount of unhealthy fluids’students take in every day.

A $30 water bottle might seem like a waste, but’taking care of the body, which is’70 percent water, is’priceless. The bottle can be
found on the company’s Web

– Joe Polito


Weighing in at only’12.9 pounds, this folding’bicycle is sure to help reduce thefts by compacting itself so you can take it to class. The bike, which was invented in the U.K.,’ has a strange design but is able to fold up and unfold back into a bicycle in’10 seconds.

Some sell for $300 on a U.K. Web site, It rides just as a normal bicycle and was designed for quick city travel, enabling riders to hop on and off a bus and easily continue around the city.

The A-bike makes it perfect for college students concerned about leaving their expensive hot rod chained outside.

– Emily Handy

Helius Solar Backpack

As ‘green’ gadgets grow’increasingly popular on college campuses, a new’backpack allows students to tote solar charging power over their shoulders.

V-Dimension’s Helius Solar Backpack boasts a solar panel, laptop pouch and a plethora of electronics adapters where students can hook up their own electronic gadgets.

The panel collects energy from the sun to charge a battery the company claims can’fully power most cell phones’and iPods in two hours – though it’s not powerful enough to charge computers.

The Helius Solar Backpack is priced at $129.95 and available at V-Dimension’s Web site or popular online stores like’ Eclipse Solar’Gear offers similarly’priced packs, while Voltaic’Systems boasts a stronger, three-panel backpack for $249. Both companies sell these products through their online stores.

– James Geurts

Wizcom book scanner

College students are no strangers to term papers and the hassle of retyping and’citing quotations. Luckily,’advances in scanning have produced the Wizcom WQLEC QuickLink Pen Elite Handheld Pen Scanner, a pen-like device that scans and stores up to’500 pages of text.

The device scans text like an image and uses infrared to send a device or word program where it becomes editable text. The pen can also define words and read passages aloud in’multiple languages.

This purse-sized gadget’can be found for $99 on’

– Emily Handy