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07/13/2014 12:00 AM

07/12/2014 4:34 PM

Wearable technology

For paranoid moms and dads everywhere, track your child

Various tech companies have introduced wearable devices over the past few years that track your steps, heartbeat and even deliver your emails to your wrist.

Is electronically tracking your kid the next frontier?

LG announced a new device last week, the KizON wristband, designed to let parents keep track of their child’s whereabouts. The KizON uses GPS, WiFi and mobile Internet signals to identify the user’s location in real time and sends the information to an Android app.

The device is designed for families with preschool and primary school children. It also allows parents to communicate directly with their child through a “One Step Direct Call” button on the device, according to a news release. But what if the child doesn’t respond to their parent’s call? Within 10 seconds of an unanswered call, KizON automatically connects the parents anyway, allowing them to listen in through the built-in microphone.

Welcome to the future.

Video games

It’s Kim’s world, we’re just living in it

Kim Kardashian, the reality-TV star whose empire has expanded to include clothing, jewelry and cosmetics, now has a video game, and it’s a hit.

Since its June 25 release, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood has risen as high as second among most-downloaded free-to-play games at Apple’s U.S. App Store.

The game takes users inside Hollywood, guided by a virtual Kim who offers advice on how to become an A-list celebrity, starting from the so-called E-list. “Dating famous people will get you more fans, too,” instructs Kardashian, who in real life is married to rap singer Kanye West.

While the game is free to play, the goal is to get users hooked on in-app purchases such as clothing or a burst of energy needed for traipsing through Hollywood. Users can spend as much as $99.99 for 175,000 virtual dollars. A trip to Beverly Hills costs 4 game “dollars,” while 400 will buy a necklace.

Said Tracie Egan Morrissey, a reviewer for the blog Jezebel who played the game obsessively for days: “I’m part of what’s wrong with modern American culture. But at least in Kim’s realm I’m an A-list celebrity with 50 million fans – after nearly $500 of in-app purchases, of course.”

You said it.


You can take it with you when you go

LG Display Co. has shown an 18-inch flexible display that can be rolled into the shape of a thin cylinder.

The South Korean display panel maker said Friday the display has a resolution of 1200 pixels by 810 pixels and maintains its function when it is rolled up.

While that resolution would fall within the range of high-definition, images on the display would not look as sharp as the latest flat displays that boast ultra-high definition.

LG touted its technology as a significant advance, saying the cylinder’s diameter would be just 2.4 inches. It means LG Display could produce TVs that are larger than 50 inches diagonally and can be rolled up.

LG said the technology would make large-size TVs portable.

Food and drink

Beer machine lets drinker decide on just a gulp or a whole fill-up

In a first for Major League Baseball stadiums, Target Field has rolled out self-serve beer machines that let fans decide exactly how big – or small – a brew they want.

The first station, with two dispensing machines on the third-base side along the main concourse, made its wet run a week ago. A second station will be added on the same concourse along the first-base side.

Patrons show their IDs to buy vending cards and use them to buy beer from the machines. There are four beers to choose from, with per-ounce pricing based on the cost charged in face-to-face transactions: Bud and Bud Light (38 cents per ounce), and Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale (40 cents per ounce). Typical drinks sold at the concession stand range from 12 to 24 ounces.

To keep the line moving, patrons have 20 seconds to complete their transaction. A customer can withdraw up to 48 ounces every 15 minutes. There is an employee at each station to not only check identification but also to intercede should a beer drinker appear intoxicated.

The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, The Associated Press and (Minneapolis) Star Tribune contributed.

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