Outlook 07

Alice Hill, Founder and CEO, RealTechNews.com

by cnbc.com staff

Alice Hill, founder and CEO of RealTechNews.com, shows CNBC’s Jim Goldman the “affordable stuff” everyone will want in 2007, in an interview on cnbc.com’s home page.

Holiday Gadgets, Pt. 2

The technology blogger says “everyone already knows what they want" for Christmas, so she is looking ahead to next year. “I believe in accessibility” as the next driver for tech consumers.

Hill brought along a bunch of products she likes and showed why. Take the Treo 680 handheld from Palm, for example. One of the next-generation of smart-phones that can send e-mails and access the Internet, it’s “improved but very friendly,” she enthuses. Unlike Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Pearl, the Treo 680 is geared to consumers rather than businesses, and will retail at an average $199.

Sony and its rivals are preparing for combat between the Blu-ray and HD-DVD disc formats – along the lines of the Betamax versus VHS rivalry of the early 1980s. But Hill says “no one wants to bothered” with the product decision-making - they just want to be entertained. So she recommends the Upscaling DVD Player from Helios. Slated to be sold at “less than $500,” the device electronically increases the playing resolution on standard DVDs, giving a richer viewing image.

And when holiday shopping threatens the emotional well-being of consumers, they can turn to the Stress Lowerer from M-Wave. One can gauge one’s angst via pressing a fingertip to the gadget’s screen; the user is then coaxed by visual patterns to a happier state. And $199 is a small price to pay for tranquility.

Tech Toy Titans