Take a deep breath … into your phone

It’s no secret college students are heavily dependent on gadgets. This year we are supposed to spend $8.2 billion on electronics, according to USA Today.

From the iPod to the Sidekick to our cell phones, we seem to love our gizmos. So what is the next big thing to make our lives easier?

LG-SD410, LG-KP4100, and LG-LP4100 phones by LG

Let’s face it, the freakishly warm winter we’ve had makes you think of springtime: flowers, sunshine and … cold beverages. If you’re one to like Coke with a drink named Jack, keep an eye out for these LG phones that come equipped with a breathalyzer.

Use it to know when to slow down and sleep over instead of getting behind the wheel. Although one can’t help but ponder its drinking game potential. As of now, the phone is only available in South Korea.

However, due to its popularity (it has sold 200,000 units in four months) and its appearance at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, you may want to keep an eye out.

Oh, and it also doubles as a remote control for your TV and DVD player.

Now if it could only prevent those awkward 3 a.m. drunken phone calls to your ex …

iTalk by Griffin

If you are a member of the iPod army, you may find the iTalk useful. Instead of using your iPod to avoid those people who hand you flyers in front of the Student Center, you can take advantage of the iPod’s built-in microphone capability to record classes.

One drawback: it only works on the third and fourth generations of the original iPod and on the iPod photo; so no minis, shuffles or nanos. If you’re one to space out now and again in economics, this could be your savior. The iTalk is now available and retails for $39.99, but if you search through sites like www.Amazon.com and www.Radioshack.com, you can find it for $20.

Digital Pen by EPOS

Another gadget that should pop up on campuses everywhere is EPOS’s Digital Pen. No matter what paper you write on, this pen can remember what you wrote and store your notes on its receiver. You can then upload your notes to any computer.

All you have to do is clip the receiver on top of your notebook and all of your notes are saved to the USB flash drive. It can even convert your chicken scratch to type, making your notes readable.

The pen’s receiver also doubles as a flash memory drive that plugs into any computer.

While most digital pens are big enough to double as weapons for hunting, the EPOS pens look a little more like your average writing utensil, and beats lugging a laptop to class.

The pen is due to make its mainstream debut in late summer of this year, while a version with a mouse instead of a USB drive will be available in the spring. The best part, however, is that while most digital pens are more than $100, the EPOS pen should retail for around $50.

Sean Blanda can be reached at scblanda@GMail.com.

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