CES 2007: Asynchronous Wanderings at the Sands

I mentioned in a prior post about how I walked around the Sands Expo on Wednesday afternoon somewhat aimlessly. I can’t retract that, but I can tell you that in that walkabout, I discovered some pretty interesting products. Sure, my opinion, but then this is a blog, isn’t it?

Some of these products are available now and some are forthcoming, and I will try to point those out.

  • Kensington’s Vo200 Bluetooth Internet Phone, which has the form factor of a PCMCIA card.

  • Avega’s Aios Technology Platform – not just hardware or software, but also a spec to allow audio sources and sinks (like speakers) to connect to each other without having to be hardwired. One example application would be having speakers in multiple rooms with only the need to have one A/V source somewhere.
  • Flybook had some cool looking small form-factor laptops that stressed design and connectivity; some had UMTS and HSDPA features.

  • MSI had a new Media Center PC featuring an AMD proc and NVidia graphics card and HDMI support.
  • Qool Labs had something that I didn’t know existed: rearview mirror cell phone handsfree car kits. They are replacements for your car’s rearvier mirror that pairs with your phone via bluetooth and can display incoming Caller ID info on the mirror itself. About time. They also have a couple new models coming out this year.

  • Pepper was showing off their Pepper Pad 3 which they launched in Summer of 2006, but it’s still worth a look.

  • We saw virtual computing environments from 2 companies, Moka5’s LivePC and RingCube’s MojoPac, which run off of USB thumbdrives. They’re not exactly the same, but perform similar functions. Essentially, with one of these apps on a USB drive, you only need a computer somewhere to plug into and you will have your own environment and data with you wherever you go. Cool. And yes, it’s a paid variant of the DIY-flavored U3/Portable apps.
  • Ziova introduced some new network media players, the CS515 and CS515W, in their Clearstream line. Playback networked A/V sources or external hard drive to your TV.
  • Bamboo Tech has as software app called Vault360 which promises to convert, organize and transfer your movies from DVDs, DVR, videocassettes, video files, etc., music and photos to your portable device. Supports a numerous media formats and portable devices. Yes, of course iPods are supported.
  • Datzoo announced the FixDat, which is a device that you can hook up to your car’s brain (i.e. computer), and then view and reset SAE diagnostic codes wirelessly (via Bluetooth) using your cell phone, PDA or personal computer. CarMD offers a similar product with an LCD screen that plugs in to your car’s Data Link Connector. Since the FixDat will probably offer a slick GUI interface on your handheld, it would probably have my vote.
  • Last on this list is a couple of robotics products. Spyke was showing off a spy robot with WiFi and treads for mobility that you build yourself with Erector (Meccano in the rest of the world) parts. Korean company, Robotis, showed off an educational robotic building block kit, the Bioloid. It’s like a Lego set, but with robotic parts like sensors, motors, and joints instead.