LET'S FACE IT

“My-iButton” is a small display you wear on a lanyard around your neck or pinned to your jacket. It can display a slideshow or video, along with titles, on a two-inch diagonal screen

Think of it as an $80 running advertisement for yourself or some product. Wear it at a singles party and you don’t have to tell people who you are, it can literally all be hanging out there, complete with stats and pictures. Wear it to a trade My-IButton show, and your product slide show is out there as you walk around. It comes with a small round frame, which My-iButton will make with your company or personal logo for no extra charge.

Set up was something of a problem: Menu choices appeared on screen for just a second, so if you’re not quick on the trigger, you missed it. Pictures and video can be loaded into the My-iButton from a Windows 98 or XP computer, using a standard USB cord of the type that fits most digital cameras. The device has 256 megabytes of memory, which is enough to hold a lot of pictures, and the contents can be changed.

The My-iButton is kind of a cute idea and cute product. It could be used as a jazzy name tag by setting your videos or slideshows to automatically repeat. There my iButtonare several language choices built into the memory chip and you can display messages in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and most European languages. The product is clever but techy. You can have music with your pictures but only through ear plugs and the sound quality is dreadful. Transferring video to the device was as easy as dragging files to a flash drive but getting it to play was confusing; we used their free tech support. To play videos on the iButton you have to convert them to “AMV,” the letters standing for “anime music video,” a Chinese format that’s easier on battery life. The conversion tool was difficult to find and you have to download a special program to extract it. We got an error message when we tried this. The company re-sent the conversion tool and it worked the second time.

A similar display could be made using a video iPod or similar device hanging around your neck. The screen would be about twice the size of the My-iButton and the device much easier to handle, but the price would be two to five times as much. We base that on pricing searches at Amazon.com and eBay.com for Apple, Sony and Samsung products.  My-iButton is at My-iButton.com.

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