What's happening, where it's happening and who's making it happen
An electric shaver isn't the kind of device that normally turns heads. But as you can see from the photograph below, Grundig's version of the utilitarian tool is a killer. Television sets, computers, speakers and stereo systems are all undergoing face-lifts. "Technology is becoming so miniaturized and inexpensive, it's freed up the form factor," says Ravi Sawhney, president of RKS Design, the California-based firm that created the Benwin EX4 flat-panel multimedia speakers, at bottom. The EX4s are about as tall as an average guy's hand and are less than an inch thick. And that's still about four times larger than the audio circuitry that enables the speakers to create a full 360-degree sound field. According to Sawhney, the move toward more stylized gadgetry means we'll be choosing electronics for the same reason many of us select a particular car---to reflect our personalities. And while products will be exciting visually, "they'll work for you, rather than vice versa," Sawhney says. Living up to that promise, Grundig's Pro Avantgarde shaver is loaded with smart features, including a retractable head cover instead of the removable---and often lost---plastic variety and a liquid crystal display that tells you how much battery power remains. Spoon's Secret Agent Man is a digital watch with a vertical or horizontal display and push-button access to the time and up to 100 memos, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. You can even program this slick ticker to remind you of special events. Motorola's equally eye-grabbing Timeport is billed as the world's smallest web phone. The breast pocket-sized gadget in sleek silver is an analog and digital wireless phone that lets you grab news and information off the Internet. But the chicest of all new tech toys is the flat TV. The Samsung model that is pictured at the left connects directly to a DVD player or a VCR for bedside movie screenings. Yeah, baby.
Where and How to buy on page 159.