In the pipeline

What's new and maybe useful.

Talking toy for Tabby

Many people speak quite earnestly to their dogs and cats, and in full sentences.

But most pet owners also know that it's the tone that conveys the meaning, along with the familiarity of voice. That's the thinking behind one of the newest pet toys on the market. The Talk To Me Treatball carries a tiny audio device that can record a 15-second message. The message is motion-activated and plays each time Fido or Felix causes the ball to roll.

The feature allows owners to soothe their pets aurally even while they're away. (The recorded message can be muted when the real thing is again available.) The toy also randomly dispenses treats - up to eight ounces worth at a time. It is available in 3- and 5-in. versions for pets of various sizes at stores like PETCO and PetsMART.

To learn more, go to www.talktometreatball.com

Price: $17 and $20

Entertainment center, redefined

Satellite TV, CD, DVD, digital video recorder, and Internet - each function has been distilled into one box the size of a VCR.

The Moxi Media Center is the latest "convergent" device for consumers. The box won't be sold through retail stores but as part of satellite and cable service packages.

It should hit the market later this fall.

To learn more, go to www.moxi.com

Price: $150

Power chair

Herman Miller's Aeron design - the current king among office chairs - appeared to have thrown a reticulating arm across the path of lesser perches. But those who prefer the gravitas of leather and cherry also have access to the chair used by three presidents - not to mention the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Supreme Court.

The Oval Office Chair was originally designed in 1961 for President Kennedy and has primarily been available to government officials and corporate executives.

Now made by Gunlocke, it can be ordered over the phone or Internet. The company guarantees a full refund for dissatisfied customers.

To learn more, go to www.newyorkfirst.com

Price: $2,500

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