Bring together any two people at CES and you'll inevitably hear the question, "What's the coolest thing you've seen so far?" At the moment, my answer is the plug-less Flipower USB Charger from Powertech. Plug-less? Yes. When you're ready to use the Plipower, you slide what looks like a credit-card-thin outlet cover away from the charger. This fits over a standard electrical outlet, and you use another electric device's plug to hold the Flipower in place - getting two-for-one usage from that outlet. Price and availability have yet to be determined, but let's hope it's soon because this thing is really cool.
Explay, a company focused on developing "nano-projector engines" to be used in a variety of consumer electronics products", says it has tested its nano-projector technology with several mobile devices (things like cell phones, digital camcorders, and portable media players) and successfully produced "eye-safe, always focused images".
Omnimount isn't happy with just hanging things on the wall any more. This new pro-style equipment rack will retail for $999 with other versions to come soon. It's sturdy. The shelves are adjustable. It makes your system look neat and tidy. What more could you want?
Greensound Technology unveiled a line of three speakers and a subwoofer made of glass. The speakers are said to produce sound from 70 Hz to around 17 kHz. Round holes strategically cut into the glass cause the upper frequencies to be emitted by the upper portion of the glass panel with the lower frequencies emanating from the lower region. Pricing ranges from $4,000 to $19,000/pair.
Acoustic Research is taking the idea of a "bookshelf" speaker to a new extreme with this model from the Home Decor Series. The SAT510, a quite substantial traditional bookshelf speaker, hides inside a fake-but-convincing shell designed to look like four well-read, weathered books. The front of the books have tiny perforations that let the sound through. Other various disguises - like table clocks, lamps, and planters - are also available.
Since the days when near-humans first descended from the trees (substitute your own particular theory of creation/evolution/intelligent design here), mankind has faced one overwhelming problem: how do you watch TV outside?
Accessory and cable maker Accell introduced the UltraCat HD, a transmitter/receiver package featuring HDBaseT technology. It can be used to send uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power, RS232 and infrared control signals over a single Cat5e cable for up to 100 meters (approximately 328 feet). Accell says the extenders are optimized for HD video and support all resolutions and video formats including 1080p, 4K, and 3D. HDBaseT technology is an exciting alternative to HDMI for many applications and can even be used to power devices (including TVs) when built-in to the device. We should start seeing more HDBaseT-enabled products later this year.
Price: $400 At A Glance: Access to news, sports, weather, and Amazon Top 10 lists • Many components are not available in the built-in database • Electronic Program Guide updates via home Wi-Fi network
High Wi-Fi (Not Wifey)
From the waist down, Acoustic Research’s ARRU449 looks like the stereotypical universal remote control with a symmetrically arranged layout of small, backlit buttons. From the waist up, though, there’s a bright and colorful LCD screen that quickly catches your attention. Invisible to the eye is the remote’s other distinguishing feature: Wi-Fi connectivity. This allows the remote to access the Internet through your wireless network in order to download Electronic Program Guide (EPG) information along with news and weather highlights. In addition, the ARRU449 can periodically download software updates as they become available.
Even though the ARRU449 can access the Internet, it doesn’t include a Web browser. That means you can’t go online directly. Instead, the remote uses something called click365 technology to download the EPG and other data—including news, weather, and sports stories—in the background.