One of the CES events that I always try to attend is Pepcom‘s Digital Experience, a showcase where manufacturers set up tables and small booths so that invitees - editorial press and analysts only – can attend for a slightly less hectic experience than that on the CES convention floor. It’s a great way to see neat new products without having to battle the exhaustive floor plan of the LVCC North Hall, Center Hall, South Hall, Hilton, Venetian, and Sands Expo. Hmmm…I might have even left out some of the places that CES events occur. Anyway! It would be impossible for anyone to try to see everything at CES, mainly because it is so spread out; in that regard, these smaller shows are helpful.
This year’s Digital Experience had an interesting line-up of products, some from familiar companies as well as a few newcomers. One of the more interesting items being shown was the LG . This watch appears to be the love-child of the Dick Tracy watch and something from Q’s lab.
all photos by Kevin
From LG’s press announcement:
The Watch Phone is as technologically advanced as it is stylish. It is the first touch watch phone in the world to feature 7.2 Mbps 3G HSDPA compatibility, enabling high-speed data transmission and video phone calls using the built-in camera.
LG did not sacrifice functionality in favor of size and the Watch Phone is fully capable of sending text messages, making phone calls, and, of course, keeping accurate time. This is all achieved using the phone’s touchscreen interface on its 3.63cm (1.43-inch) screen and LG’s intuitive Flash Interface.
Voice recognition features, which can be used with or without a Bluetooth headset, make it easier to place calls and look up contacts. Text to Speech (TTS) reads text messages and other information out loud for even greater convenience. The phone also includes stereo Bluetooth and a built-in speaker for playing back music files. A large phonebook and scheduler help with organization.
I can’t even imagine trying to tap out a text message on this tiny thing, but I like the idea that it can be done.
Side note: Correct me if this has already been medically disproved, but since there’s been a lot of talk about the radiation emitted from mobile phones, and how it may or may not contribute to various cancers, I have to wonder if having a mobile phone strapped to a user’s wrist is really a safe thing to do. I’m not saying I wouldn’t want one or that I wouldn’t wear one, I’m just asking…
Here’s a live demo of the watch that the Engadget team managed to film.
Speck was present with an impressive lineup of laptop bags, iPhone cases, and other mobile device accessories.
Linksys was demonstrating their new wireless products, designed to “fill your home with music.” Their Wireless-N Music Player with Integrated Amplifier looks like a high tech juke box.
Thehad a large display of devices from various manufacturers which use their screen technology. This one caught my eye because the screen was clear; notice how you can see the text from the placard situated behind it?
There was also a crazy folding OLED display inside a futuristic Samsung mobile phone. When folded shut it looked like a fat mobile phone – about the size of an HTC Universal. When opened, it had this amazing huge screen – about the size of two iPhones laying side by side. Can you imagine?
NYKO Technologies makes all sorts of aftermarket gaming accessories; this Wii Charge Station Quad looked pretty cool. It comes with four colors of rubberized battery covers and four NiMH rechargeable batteries.
Jawbone was present, displaying their smaller new headset as well as their New Fit Earbuds.
Personal Location Beacon devices, used for finding people lost while hiking or doing other outdoor activities, were represented by ACR Electronics. We got a look at their ResQFix…
Here’s how a PLB works:
PLBs, unlike other recently introduced personal tracking gadgets, transmit signals on internationally recognized distress frequencies. The 406 MHz signal is monitored by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System (SARSAT) detects and locates distress signals. GPS coordinates greatly assist search and rescue crews, and in the event GPS isn’t acquired, position can be calculated through Doppler Shift as a reliable backup.
Other than the initial cost of the device, there is no other cost for using the service – other than a battery change every five years. If you use the device in a rescue situation, the only charge you will incur is the cost of your rescue, something insurance might or might not cover – depending upon where you are or what you were doing. Of course, puting a price on your life is pretty silly; whatever it costs to rescue you in an emergency would be worth every penny…right?
Nanomatic was displaying their nanonavi line, which incorporates location based services so that the device or the person carryin it can be found. This technology can be used in social networking – letting your friends know where you are and keeping track of them, for instance, as well as for keeping track of pets, children, a vehicle, or yes – even hikers in the wilderness.
Ecosol Solar Technologies was demonstrating their, which is “both a backup power source for electronics, such as cell phones, Blackberries, iPods, digital cameras, Bluetooth headsets, the new 3G iPhones, and a universal charger for all these devices.”
Speaking of recharging capabilities, Medis Technologies was showing off their Fuel Cells, including the Xtreme Charger, “the world’s first personal, portable, fuel cell power system that delivers worry-free, mobile, instant power.”
With 4 watts of power, the Xtreme Charger is powerful enough to power and charge a variety of electronic devices like smart phones, iPhone, Blackberry, iPod, MP3 players, GPS devices, Bluetooth headsets, PDAs, and more.
Simply activate the Xtreme Fuel Cell Power Pack to access 20 watt-hours of energy that can charge a standard phone up to 6 times.
Of course, the number of recharges will depend upon which phone or device you are recharging, but it is a great device that Joel reviewed last October.
Among their other products, DLink was showing off their new , a USB powered 7″ LCD monitor, “designed for multi-tasking computer users who prefer to have their main screen for viewing Windows applications, and another smaller screen for extending their desktop to display instant messaging, watch videos, conduct video conferencing via webcams, display Yahoo® Widgets™ and Microsoft® Gadgets™, or house common tools from programs such as Adobe® PhotoShop®.” This would come in very handy when using a laptop.
Audiovox blew me away with their XSight line, some of the most advanced and yet somewhat affordable universal remote controls I’ve seen. There are actually two models in the line, “the Xsight Touch (ARRX18G), which features a color LCD touch screen with slider bar, RF capability and controls up to 18 devices, and Xsight Color (ARRX15G), which has a color LCD screen and controls up to 15 devices. With both models, device programming can be done directly on the handset in a matter of minutes, and a simple online application is available for users who want to personalize the remote and expand its functionality. ”
This might have been the solution to my Sprint woes, before I dumped them as my carrier: the Wi-Ex Mobile Signal Boosters.
Designed for consumers, the zBoost® mobile phone signal booster extends Mobile Zones™ for single or multiple users in homes or offices. Now available for International Frequencies, YX520i dual-band model – works with 900MHz mobiles and 1800MHz mobiles simultaneously! Package includes everything you need – amplifier base unit and base unit aerial, signal aerial, power supply and RG-59 coaxial cable. The omni-directional aerial is easy to orient and receive signals from multiple towers.
• Increases your indoor mobile signal coverage – up to 200 sq. meters
• Eliminates most dropped or missed calls
• Easy to set up – comes complete with everything needed
• No cradle or connections to your phone
• Extends phone battery life (uses less power when signal is stronger)
• Works with most phones at 900 or 1800 MHz frequencies
• Protects the operator’s network using patent-pending technology
iLuv had their current products represented, including the – a beast of a CD, iPod Dock, and SD / USB Memory stick music player.
The SD Card Association was present touting their new SDXC format. I can’t even begin to imagine 2TB of storage on a microSD card, but I would love to give filling one a try.
3M had an interesting booth; they were showing off their mm200 engine – a tiny projector made to go inside cellphones, digital music players, and cameras which allows visual content to be projected and shared. I think it would be neat to have a mobile phone which could project movies…
When designed into a handheld device, the MM200 engine can project a 50-inch or larger image while drawing only 1 watt of power.
This is the Clickfree Transformer, a one-click backup solution which when coupled with an external hard drive, allows you to back up your important photos, music and documents without any muss or fuss…as long as you are on a Windows box; Mac users get no love.
We ran into this group of characters while looking around: say hello to Chris Davies, Vincent Nguyen, and Ewdi Then – the guys behind Gear Diary’s good friend SlashGear.
As always, Digital Experience was a whirlwind trip through a large group of products; I hope you enjoyed this peek inside.