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17 May 2006

Swiss Army iPod

(Daily Mail Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)GENERATIONS of campers have regarded it as a musthave item of equipment.

Boasting a blade, bottle opener, scissors, screwdrivers and even a device for prising stones from horses' hooves, the classic Swiss Army knife prepares the owner for almost every eventuality.

But the latest model is a cutting-edge gadget in more ways than one - it features a detachable MP3 player and a computer connection.

The state-of-the-art knife can store and play up to 250 songs downloaded from the Internet.

And with a built-in USB connection and memory chip, which stores the same amount of data as 50 floppy discs, campers can use it with a laptop in their tent.

The GBP99.99 knife means travellers can keep in touch with home or work even when they are in the middle of nowhere.

The gadget has been produced by Swiss firm Victorinox, which gave the world its first Swiss Army knife more than a century ago.

Sam Hill, of the Camping and Caravanning Club, said: 'This is the ultimate gadget for the modern camper. It means they can listen to their favourite song as they open a tin of beans.' The Swiss Army knife was created by Karl Elsener in 1891. He acted after discovering pocket knives supplied to the Swiss Army were made in Germany.

Last year, the Swiss Army knife was voted the 20th greatest gadget of all time by U.S.

magazine Mobile PC.

But the company saw sales of the knife plummet after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The blades were banned from sale in airport duty free shops and aboard planes.

But the latest model's detachable MP3 player means passengers can leave the knife in their luggage while listening to music on the plane.

New and improved Swiss Army knife

For the first time in more than a century, Wenger, Orangeburg, N.Y., maker of the Genuine Swiss Army Knife, has changed its design. With a new look and feel, this most valuable tool is now even easier to use.

With the Evo Series comes a distinctive handle with a combination of concave and convex shapes to conform perfectly with the human hand. This provides the best grip possible for cutting, loosening, or tightening screws or bolts, or even uncorking a bottle of wine, while giving the knife a sleek, modern look.

Made to exacting standards in Switzerland, the Evo line ($19.9548.95) features six knives: four larger sizes ranging from five to 10 tools and two smaller sizes with a five- or eight-tool configuration. For more information, visit