We're tired of shaking our Powerbooks, and we aren't brave enough to drop them. Now we're looking for other tech toys that use sensors in surprising ways.
Canon's tiny, shiny Digital IXUS 40 also takes inspiration from James Bond. Like many of Canon's cameras, it has an orientation sensor. The sensor knows whether the camera is horizontal or vertical and is used to tag your photographs so they display in landscape or portrait mode.
So far, so sensible… but it's also used to control the hidden clock. If you press the Function button for a couple of seconds, the LCD turns into a clock. When the camera is horizontal, you get the time. Twist it into the vertical position and the clock reformats, giving you the date as well. Best of all, if you shake the camera gently, the background colour changes, cycling through a red, orange, green, purple, blue rainbow.
Who needs buttons and menus when you can control your camera by getting physical? We're waiting for the model that deletes your out-of-focus pictures when you slam it again the wall. -ML