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New and Useful

A 100-Inch Home Screen Produces a Sharp Image

September 13, 1989|LYNN SIMROSS

For consumers who just must have that big, hot gadget, there's Sharp Electronics' home theater system, SharpVision, a 100-inch screen with a portable LCD projector.

The 30-pound projector is easy to set up to watch sporting events, movies or visual compact discs or to play video games on a Paul Bunyan-size screen.

Sharp's two demonstration trucks will appear for three months in major cities nationwide to demonstrate the new system at shopping malls, office complexes and sporting events. SharpVision units will be available in major department stores and appliance stores and at Sharp dealers by the end of September.

SharpVision's projector, with retractable handle, not only produces a 100-inch image, measured diagonally, but has a zoom capability to increase the picture from 20 inches to 100 inches with virtually no image distortion. Unlike conventional CRT-based projection systems, it projects a flicker-free image on the full screen, so you don't have distortion if seeing the picture at the side. The Sharp projector uses dichroic mirrors and liquid crystal panels to produce a single powerful beam.

The image it produces on the available 8-foot-4 diagonal screen truly is larger than life, said Michael Fleming, a Sharp spokesman: "It's like taking Manute Bol, the tallest player in the NBA, 7-foot, 6-inches, and putting him in 4-inch high heels and still having six inches to spare."

SharpVision systems start at a suggested retail price of $5,200 for the XV-100 projector, screen and video cable. Optional components include custom furniture--wall cabinets and credenzas only 24 inches deep--to hold the automatic folding screen and audio-visual amplifiers, speakers, laser disc players, VCRs and remote controlled screens.

Baby's 1st Picture

Now from Workman Publishing--the seventh in its series of "Bialosky & Friends: My First Books." The latest edition is "My First Camera Book," which comes with a small red plastic fixed-focus camera with pop-up viewfinder and wrist strap.

Previous "first books" from Workman, featuring Bialosky Bear, have instructed children in cooking, drawing, baking and games. In conjunction with photography's 150th anniversary this year, the publisher developed the photo book especially for young children.

Bialosky explains photo basics in simple language, telling how to hold a camera straight, without a finger blocking the lens and how to frame a picture and make a photo album. The book includes a 12-page, child's first photo album.

The tiny reusable camera accompanying the book is "kid tested" and employs 110 cartridge film, which is not included with the package, the publisher said.

"Kids already know a lot about cameras, even if they've never held one," said book author Anne Kostick. "And even a tiny child can tell you if you've left your lens cap on. After all, they've had cameras pointed at them from the time they were born."

"My First Camera Book" is available nationwide in book shops and department, children's and toy stores for $8.95. If you can't find it in your area, contact Workman Publishing, 708 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10003.

Insulated Insulin

Diabetics may want to try Insul-Cool, a portable, insulated case for insulin that has two removable, re-freezable inserts. It can keep insulin at safe temperatures for five to six hours.

The soft gray vinyl case is compact--7 inches long, 3 1/4 inches wide, 2 1/2 inches thick--and has a separate compartment to store needles and swabs. To use it, simply freeze the gel inserts overnight in the freezer, then place them inside the pouch and put the insulin vial between them.

The case was produced by a California firm that manufactured an insulated cooler with a top to keep aluminum cans cold. "When we developed the Polar Ice Cap, so many people wrote to ask if we made something like it to carry insulin in," said Polar Products president Steve Salinda. "So, we decided to make one."

Insul-Cool costs $15, plus $2 shipping and handling (California residents add 6 1/2% state tax). On orders of two or more, the company offers free shipping and handling. Write Polar Products, P.O. Box 3058, El Segundo, Calif. 90245.

Greetings By Fax

FAX PAX is a series of new greeting cards developed especially for use on FAX machines. Each packet includes six 8 1/2-by 11-inch messages with artwork and space to write in your own personal greetings.

The FAX PAX greetings come in four varieties--a birthday celebration package, one for special occasions, or for strictly business or business fun pack. They will work on any FAX machine, said Ross Bennett, senior vice president for Argus Communications, the Texas firm that developed them.

FAX PAX are sold nationwide through card and party stores, and office supply outlets. Suggested retail is $2.99 per package. If you can't find FAX greetings in your area, write Argus Communications, One DLM Park, Allen, Tex. 75002, or FAX them at (214) 727-2175.

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