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Gadgets

Dub Pimpstar: Pimp your ride with XP rims

We've seen all sorts of computer-controlled gadgetry, but alloy wheels? Check out the utterly audacious Windows XP-powered Dub Pimpstar

We all know how wonderful computers are. You can use them to do your homework, enjoy a virtually unlimited supply of multimedia content and read brilliant consumer electronics news and reviews on the Internet.

We know they're also used under the bonnet of modern cars to help them run efficiently, but nothing could prepare us for the Dub Pimpstar -- a set of alloy wheels that can display virtually any image while you drive.

Each wheel has a built-in microprocessor and wireless adapter, as well as the key component, a set of LED lights that create images while they spin. The images are created using a strobe modulation technique, or possibly voodoo -- we're not quite sure, but the effect is stunning.

Images are sent to the wheels via Wi-Fi, and you can choose to have all four wheels displaying the same picture, have different pictures on each one, and you can even have images changing automatically at different time intervals. Everything is controlled via software in Windows XP, so when the system eventually crashes, you'll still look cool, as they'll be displaying the infamous 'blue screen of death' -- at least it'll match the neon lights under your car.

The LEDs are environmentally sealed, so you can take them through a car wash, and they run off the electrical power in your car, so you don't have to worry about batteries running down. The Pimpstar is available in 22-, 24- and 26-inch guises and starts at $12,500 (£7,200).

If that's a little rich for your blood, you should also check out the SpokePOV LED Bike Wheel kit. It works in a similar way to the Pimpstar, but for your bicycle, and only costs $40. -RR