Innovations |

Flash cards have gone digital

LEAPFROG CRAMMER STUDY AND SOUND SYSTEM ($60): Creating flash cards by hand can be tedious, not to mention bad for the environment. Leapfrog's Crammer Study and Sound System is a pocket-size device that displays flash cards you download straight from your Mac or PC.

The 4.6-ounce digital study aide also includes a 10,000-word Spanish-to-English translator with audio pronunciation (muy bueno). It also offers 1 gigabyte of memory for up to 10 hours of music playback and an easy-to-use click screen.

Aimed at students in grades 3 through 8, the Crammer, which sells for $60, also lets you download 16,000 free quiz questions from its Web site.

Device hunts Web radio stations for you

ALURATEK USB INTERNET RADIO JUKEBOX ($40): Catch phrases like “easy to use” and “no installation required” are music to a nontechie's ears. In the case of Aluratek's USB Internet Radio Jukebox, that music can literally be heard on more than 13,000 Web radio stations worldwide.

Instead of forcing listeners to hunt down Internet radio stations site by site, Aluratek's device stores station information and listening software on a USB thumb drive. Insert the Jukebox into your computer's USB port and you're set: an iTunes-like user interface allows you to search through thousands of stations.

The thumb drive, which requires Windows 2000, XP or Vista and Internet Explorer 6 or higher, lets you search for music in 150 countries, by genre or geography (Kazakh rock, anyone?). You can also store selected stations to a favorites folder and search for the top 10 radio stations in each country.

Make your Wii games life size … or at least bigger

BENQ MP512 ST PROJECTOR ($700): Your Nintendo Wii wheel, nunchuck controller and thrustmaster glow-saber duo pack won't do much good if you can't see what you're battling. And sure, a TV is nice, but for real battle-royale beyond-Thunderdome contests, a projector just makes things so much … bigger.

BenQ's MP512 ST projector was designed with the Wii in mind, both in terms of its aesthetics (it comes in white) and also its price. The 5-pound MP512 ST has 800x600 SVGA resolution and can project an immersive 55-inch image from 3.3 feet.

With a suggested retail price of $700, the MP512 ST also comes with 2200 ANSI lumens and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. Azadeh Ensha, New York Times