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Tech-Savvy Gadgets Top Holiday Wish Lists This Year

New York, Dec 14, 2006

Hoping to replace ties and popcorn tins as the staples of holiday gift-giving, a growing number of consumers are placing tech-savvy gifts at the top of their wish lists this year.

Tuning In
Perhaps the most popular tech gifts to be unwrapped this season will be the widely-revered digital music player. Taking form in a wide spectrum of stylish colors and sizes, these pocket-sized accessories have become a kind of cultural phenomenon with ubiquitous appeal—a digital must-have for business executives and disgruntled teens alike.

No matter how diverse one’s musical taste, these handy gadgets can store thousands of songs for hours of playback time. The technology that helps to import, classify and organize your favorite tunes is supported by a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Joint Technical Committee 1 and its subcommittee 29, coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information.

ISO/IEC 23000-2:2006, Information technology - Multimedia application format (MPEG-A) - Part 2: MPEG music player application format enables MP3 files containing metadata such as title, artist, album, and track number to be imported as a file known as MPEG-4, which stores audio and video streams. MPEG-4 is a digital video compression standard developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), a working group under the ISO and IEC that sets standards for encoding audio and video in digital format. ISO/IEC 23000-2:2006 also enables media files to carry associated album cover art and other favorite images in JPEG format.

Capture the Moment
For amateur photographers, would-be paparazzi and sentimental types, digital cameras are a sure-fire pleaser. But why does one choose the right camera from among the scores of options available on the market?

ANSI member and accredited standards developer I3A (the International Imaging Industry Association), helps to bring a consumer’s choice into focus with its standard, ANSI/I3A IT10.7000-2004, Photography - Digital Still Cameras - Guidelines for Reporting Pixel-Related Specifications. The standard establishes guidelines for reporting the number of pixels in digital still cameras for the purposes of labeling, packaging and advertising. The number of pixels in a camera is a principal factor in determining a camera’s resolution. Generally speaking, the higher the pixel count, the greater the resolution the camera can offer, and the clearer the picture.

Go Wireless
The latest in hi-tech and interactive video games are without doubt among the most coveted gifts this season. Thanks to a new standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), aficionados can now enjoy their favorite games without snaking wires across the living room floor.

IEEE 802.15.4-2006, Wireless Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications for Low Rate Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs), enables wireless connectivity among simple, low rate devices—such as video-game controllers to game-playing consoles—at distances of thirty feet or less.

Because the standard enables fixed, portable and moving devices to form short-range, ad hoc networks within which they can communicate directly, IEEE believes that a host of new applications may be based on the standard. These may include motion sensors that control lights or alarms, tire pressure monitors in cars, and infrared sensors for building automation systems. The standard recently received recognition as an American National Standard.

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