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January 30, 2008

More from CES

I’m still recovering from the Consumer Electronics Show and could probably write about it for the rest of the year. Let me share with you some of the highlights or at least what caught my attention as noteworthy.

Wi-Fi was everywhere at CES

Decent Wi-Fi access at CES was almost impossible, thanks to the teeming masses of attendees and exhibitors. For this reason, the press room had hardwire connections for the likes of me, which I appreciated greatly.

Wi-Fi was, however, certainly evident in myriad products from HDTVs to digital cameras, game consoles and MP3 players. There was Wireless 1080p HDTV streaming in several booths. I saw oodles of new Wi-Fi-equipped digital photo frames along with a couple Wi-Fi hard drives. D-Link went announced a partnership with SkinIt to wrap its routers in designer skins of your choice for $15 each. Now you can have matching skinned devices, such as your router, laptop, mobile phone, and iPod. Arrggghhh…

New Media Extender

HP unveiled a very interesting new HDTV-capable Media Center Extender box called the MediaSmart Receiver x280N which will cost $300 and be available soon. The MediaSmart X280N works with the Windows Media Center software in Vista Home Premium and Ultimate, as well as certain XP Media Center PCs. This box puts your PC's Media Center interface right on your TV, so you can access movies, TV shows, music, Internet radio stored on your PC or streamed from the Internet. This HP Receiver has an optional removable hard drive for storing media independently of your PC, which puts it ahead of competing extenders lacking this feature. It has an HDMI output for top quality 1080i/720p support and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

More CES show stopper innovations:

  • LG Phillips displayed its incredible electric paper which was as flexible as a place mat and looked like a monitor display. The applications here are only limited by the imagination.

  • GM exhibited a self-driving car with bazillions of sensors, but it worked pretty well from what I could see in the parking lot.

  • SlingMedia’s innovative SlingBox allows you to view, control, and record your home TV remotely anywhere in the world from your laptop or phone. Now you can even record snippets and share them with friends on Websites and in emails.

  • Westinghouse exhibited a new Wireless HDTV w/separate audio/video transmitter up to 65 feet away. What a blessing this technology will be for eliminating all those pesky cables.

  • Another innovation introduced at the show was a wireless USB hub. I can’t wait for these to become available, so I can reduce the tangle of wires behind my computer.

  • Panasonic’s 150 inch plasma HDTV was a real show stopper. It was like a video billboard with brilliant, sharp resolution.

  • There were several companies offering video projection glasses with up to 60” screens. I can’t wait to get some to review and start watching movies and my videos and for playing games from my phone.

  • Asus announced a 15” and 17” laptop with a huge 1Terrabyte hard drive.

  • Digital picture frames that display photos, movies, and recorded sound were everywhere. But the latest ones come with built-in printer and wireless connectivity.

  • For the fashion and security conscious, there was a combination MP3 player and taser in a designer holster.

  • On the whimsical side Sony rolled out the Rolly which looks something like a colorful potato that rocks and rolls with flashing lights and opening and closing shutters in rhythm to whatever tune you load into it.

  • Motorola’s new ROKR EB with no buttons is designed to give the iPhone a run for its money.

  • Eye-Fi and Lexar announced a wireless 2 GB SB card, costing $100 that will zap data to computers and Websites wirelessly.

  • SanDisk unveiled its new TakeTV, a USB memory stick that transfers video from Internet to TV.

  • Toshiba is pioneering a new hand gesture technology for controlling for TVs, games, phones, and other devices which eliminates messy fingerprints on video screens.

  • NoPoPo is a new Japanese battery powered by drop of any liquid, even saliva. It contains no environmentally harmful substances.

  • Stay tuned for smarter GPS that will feature two-way communication from satellites and the Internet

  • Here’s a cool one for you—the remote control beer cooler for a room full of couch potatoes. You can summon or send it to any guest in the room.

  • Sony will soon be offering digital walls with TV, Internet, wallpaper, and game displays.

  • Make money with Entropia, a five million dollar treasure hunt with 700,000 active players online.

  • I saw an InfraRed motion tracker like a Webcam that lets you interact with computers and play games wirelessly.

  • Azentek.com is offering the first car computer with a Vista operating system that costs $2700 and mounts in the dashboard and headrests for passengers in the back seats.

  • Skype announced its new conference call feature that allows up to 10 parties to participate over the Internet free. You can even use your mobile phone to participate. Just choose the participants from your contact list and start talking.

I am looking forward in future columns to sharing my experiences with some fun new products from CES as I receive them.

Keep connected

Posted by conradb212 at January 30, 2008 12:32 AM