Rovio

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The Gadget Report has seen remote control lawn mowers and gutter cleaners, and you are of course familiar with the Roomba. For sheer cuteness, none of these hold a candle to Rovio, the little robotic security guard. It keeps an eye on things when you can't, and reports to you in real time. Rovio is a remote control webcam you can control from anywhere via internet. You can even use your iPhone! It uses Wi-Fi or USB to receive and obey your orders. It roams around wherever you tell it. Rovio has both a speaker and microphone, three wheels that can turn on a dime, a camera, and a rechargeable battery. It's about ten inches tall when it holds its little head up to see you.

What do you use it for? The product site says it enables you to be in two places at once. While you're at work, you'll know whether someone is breaking into your house. More likely, you'll find out how many times your cat visits the litterbox. There are more nefarious possibilities, like watching the babysitter to see if he/she is as "mean" as the kids say. You can find out which roomie drank your beer. Or spy on your significant other. In those cases, you won't want to brag about owning a Rovio. Catch them at something and get your "Aha!" in by Rovio's speaker. It could cause a heart attack.

There are more benign uses. Since Rovio can both listen and speak, you can use it to speak to someone at home. OK, your spouse can use a phone, but a Rovio conversation would be a hoot for a little kid. Take a look at Rovio in action:

Rovio is available from many fine retailers online and in stores near you for around $300.

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April 6, 2009 - 4:04am
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