Sunglasses That Really Rock
August 19, 2005
Bill Craig shows off the Oakley Thump 512MB, while
his daughter Emilee wears the Oakley Razrwire
I will usually wear sunglasses while running, granted the sun is still out or I’m not at the gym on the treadmill. If you see me running alone, I’m never without one of my iPods. The problem with an iPod or any digital music player is the pesky earphone cord that gets in the way when your arms are moving.
Oakley came up with a solution to my problem when it introduced the digital music eyewear, called Thump, last year. You can always see bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman (a previous MidWeek cover story) wearing his pair of Thump on the television show Dog the Bounty Hunter. He also made an appearance on The Tonight Show with his trusty Thump glasses. On top of that, Oakley’s latest breakthrough, the Razrwire Bluetooth sunglasses, joined Thump on store shelves this week.
Thump weighs 51 grams, is available in 512MB (120 songs) and 256MB (60 songs) and comes in various colors. A single charge on its rechargeable lithium ion polymer battery (using the USB plug) will get you six hours of thumping music. It connects to your PC or Mac with a high speed USB cord (USB 2.0), and your glasses are easily updated by dragging the songs to the device icon that appears on your computer’s screen once plugged in. Thump’s sound quality is top-notch, and the controls are simple to use with the buttons located at the top of the glasses’ frame.
Razrwire is equipped with Motorola’s third generation Bluetooth technology and can be used with just about any Bluetooth-enabled cellular phone. The whole contraption weighs in at 20 grams and offers four-six hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby time. As with Thump, it recharges off the USB plug. The detachable Bluetooth module can be moved to either side of the frame, and you can use it up to 33 feet away from your phone. In addition, Razrwire is made of O-Luminum, an alloy that weighs 40 percent less than pure titanium, and you can choose from three different colors.
According to Bill Craig of Oakley, the Thump has generated more than a billion advertising hits, and is the single biggest advertised piece that Oakley has ever made. Perhaps the Razrwire will have a similar impact on the market, especially within the mobile phone community.
These two high-tech glasses are somewhat pricey, but are appealing if you have the extra dough. The Thump 512MB sells for $495, and the 256MB version goes for $395 (unless you buy the red camouflage one for $545 or matte black with polarized lenses for $495). The Razrwire was exclusively released at all Cingular stores for $295 this week, and after Sept. 5 will be available at your nearest CompUSA and McCully Bicycle & Sporting Goods.
A Mouse That Roars With Tiger. When Apple recently announced the Mighty Mouse, just the name alone initially created an image in my mind of the cartoon character I remember from my childhood. Of course, that is not what it is — it’s Apple’s new multi-button computer mouse. You might think it’s just another mouse, but this particular mouse actually marks the end of 21 years of Apple’s one-button mouse policy.
Mighty Mouse has Apple’s signature seamless top shell design and features a revolutionary scroll ball that lets you move anywhere inside a document without lifting a finger. With the touch-sensitive technology concealed under the seamless top shell, you get the ability of a four-button mouse in a single-button design. It allows you to click, roll, scroll and squeeze.
Wait, squeeze? That’s right. Apple engineers added forcesensing buttons on both sides of the Mighty Mouse that let you squeeze the mouse between your thumb and finger. This instantly activates OS X Tiger Dashboard, Expose or other customizable features. The mouse is easily programmable using the Keyboard and Mouse option in Mac OS X Tiger System Preferences. As an ideal desktop companion for Mac OS X Tiger, this is the only mouse on the market that was specifically designed to work with it. Mighty Mouse is a USB optical mouse, and unfortunately unavailable in a wireless version.
Something interesting about Mighty Mouse is that it has a tiny built-in speaker to make mechanical noises when you click or scroll. When you apply pressure to the squeeze buttons, the mouse makes a simulated “click” noise to give the impression of physical movement and also to assure you that the button was pushed. Also, when performing the scroll function, the mouse makes a rapid clicking noise.
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