Nikon's Coolpix S1000pj camera with a built-in projector sounds as good as peanut butter and chocolate. Why didn't they think of this years ago? Tuesday's announcement got us thinking: If a point-and-shoot camera can double as a video projector, what other tech marriages are possible? Here are a few Franken-tech suggestions, some serious, others wishful thinking:
1. Cell Phone and Breathalyzer. You've had a drink or two at a bar. And while you feel sober enough to drive, you may be legally impaired. Rather than risk a DUI, you breathe into your cell phone, which tells you if you're fit to get behind the wheel. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), the Breathalyzer phone already exists. LG sells one, but not in the U.S. We want it now.
2. TiVo for Your Car Radio. TiVo and other DVRs are great for recording TV shows and bypassing commercials. But how about TiVo for the car radio? Scenario: You're driving to work and want to hear a radio show or interview that's coming up. But you don't have time. Wouldn't it be great to hit a record button on the radio and listen later? Skipping the annoying commercials for your local blowout mattress sale would be nice too, but could we live with ourselves for fast forwarding through public radio pledge drives?
3. Universal Remote With Mini-TV Display. This device would let you preview shows on your clicker before switching to them on your HDTV. The ultimate power for the person holding the remote! This makes TV picture-in-picture technology seem downright prehistoric.
4. GPS Hiking Device and Flare Gun. GPS devices for wilderness treks have satellite maps, and many smartphones now include Google Maps with satellite images. But what if you're injured, maybe stuck in a ravine without cell service? A lot of good that GPS device will do you. That's when you pull out your GPS flare gun. Even better: A satellite-guided flare that automatically travels toward the closest populated area. I'm sure the Pentagon has this already.
5. iPod and Space Heater. Why is Apple trying to extinguish claims that its iPods may overheat and burst into flames? Its approach is all wrong. Apple should embrace the iPod's toasty nature and market the device as a combo music player/space heater. Talk about dorm room savings.
6. Bluetooth Earpiece and Radar Detector. So you're driving with a Bluetooth device stuck in your ear. Can't it do more than take calls? My suggestion: Radar/laser detection to thwart The Fuzz. We'll worry about potential noggin-related health complications later.
7. Inkjet Printer With Money-Drain Meter. How much ink are you wasting? What's the real cost of that $30 printer? With this combo device, you'll finally know for sure.
This story, "Nikon Camera-Projector a Good Start; 7 More Tech Combos We’d Like to See" was originally published by PCWorld.