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Gadgets

Emtrace WidgetStation: Bedside streamer

Mac OS X brought widgets to the computer desktop, now WidgetStation lets you put widgets on your beside table. Check out this clock-sized wonder...

Mac OS X fans will be familiar with widgets -- mini applications which display information like weather reports, sporting news or webcams. For obvious reasons, widgets have traditionally been confined within the boundaries of your computer screen -- but not so with the WidgetStation.

The WidgetStation wirelessly streams data from the Internet, letting you view widgets similar to those seen in Mac OS X on your bedside table or desk. Check out our Emtrace WidgetStation video to see it in action.

What sounds like a simple concept is impressive in practice. We saw the WidgetStation last night at CES in Las Vegas and it may make the lowly bedside table cool again. Possible uses include gifting one to grandmother and setting it up to stream the latest snaps from your Flickr account on to one of the screens. Granny's direct link to your Flickr stream is also an excellent incentive not to post photos of your last trip to a fetish club.

The WidgetStation takes the virtual widget concept of Mac OS X and extends it into real life (no, computers are not real life). For now the widgets available for the device are proprietary, but on its release, in the first quarter of 2007, Emtrace told Crave it will provide an application to let users create their own widgets. Presumably some enterprising young hacker will also figure out a way to use Mac OS X widgets and Vista gadgets on the WidgetStation.

No information on pricing yet, but this is one hot clock. Design and finish on the device is in line with what we'd expect if it were made by Apple. Assuming it retails for less than the price of a car, we don't hesitate to recommend it. -CS