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A look at the coolest products and concepts coming out of this year's CE Week.
2012 CE Week
Google I/O might be hogging the spotlight, but a lot of cool stuff has come out of this year's CE Week event in New York. The annual event is put on by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the same group that presents International CES, though the CE Week show is much smaller. Still, that smaller size can be a good thing, as it lets some less widely known companies and startups stand out. Here are a few of the highlights from this year's show.
Braven 625s Portable Speakers
Priced at $179, Braven's 625s portable Bluetooth speaker will challenge the Jawbone Jambox. Like the Jambox, the 625s puts out decent volume (from two 3-watt speakers), and it doubles as a Bluetooth speakerphone. Unlike the Jambox, the 625s also charges your phone, has a water-resistant design, and comes with an LED flashlight attachment.
The Leap Motion is a gesture-based interface for PCs or Macs, not unlike Microsoft's Kinect. The small device sits in front of your monitor and recognizes hand and finger gestures. Leap asserts that the device is 200 times more accurate than anything else on the market--a bold claim considering that the Motion costs only $70.
Perpetua TEGWear Wristband
Perpetua, a company that specializes in renewable energy technology, has either developed a brilliant new energy resource or tapped into our Matrix nightmares. The company's TEGWear converts body heat into electricity, which it uses to power ultra-low-power mobile and medical devices
Securifi Almond LCD Wireless Router
Securifi's Almond Wireless Router aims to take the frustration and complexity out of setting up and managing a wireless network. The Almond has a built-in 2.8-inch LCD touchscreen--and it's not just a gimmick. The Almond's strangely Windows 8-like interface is powerful enough that you won't have to use a Mac or a PC for network configuration. And it does look pretty cool, too. No word on price or when you'll be able to buy one.
Diesel Noise Division Vektr Headphones
Want to listen to your music in style? Monster's Vektr $280 headphones may interest you. Created in partnership with Italian clothing design company Diesel, the headphones follow the visually striking style of Diesel's clothes, with a contrasting black, gray, and brushed aluminum finish. The headphones incorporate Monster's 3D sound technology, which the company says gives the perception that audio is "coming from in-front of you, above or behind you."
Westinghouse 70-Inch LED HDTV
Westinghouse will introduce new 55- and 70-inch LED televisions in the holiday quarter of this year. Both sets will feature 1080p resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The sets will come with three HDMI inputs, one component connector, and one VGA input. The company has yet to announce pricing for these new TVs.
iPower Pro Projection Case
One of the coolest items at CEA Line Shows was iPowerUp's iPower Pro Projector Case for the iPhone 4 and 4S. This case's included projection lens should allow you to project a clear image that measures up to 60 inches diagonally. Unfortunately, this small photo doesn't do the case justice; the clarity of the projected image was quite stunning. At $350, however, this product isn't for everybody.
Tactus Haptic Screen
You may have grown accustomed to tapping on flat glass, but proper haptic feedback remains the holy grail of touchscreen interfaces. So far, no one has gotten it just right. Tactus Technology aims to change that with its nearly invisible liquid-based screen overlay, which can actually change shape to reflect the content beneath it.
Variable Technology’s Node Scanner
Trekkers, take note: Now you can be just like Mr. Spock (absent the Vulcan Mind Meld and Pon Farr)! Variable Technology’s Node Scanner ($150) gets its inspiration from the Tricorder scanner attachment used in the original Star Trek series. The Node connects via Bluetooth to an app on your iPad or iPhone; and it's modular, so you can attach various sensors ($25 to $50 each) to your phone or tablet within seconds. Currently available are add-on sensors for climate conditions and temperature, plus an LED flashlight attachment. The Node itself includes an gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer.
Prototype 3D Android Tablet
Stream TV Networks was on hand at CE Week to show a prototype Android tablet that incorporates its no-glasses Ultra-D technology. A spokesperson says that the company is currently looking for partners to license its technologies for a future consumer tablet, but so far it has nothing to announce.
DashCommand App for Pioneer’s App Radio 2
If you're a gearhead, you now have a better reason than ever to pick up Pioneer's App Radio (beyond the fact that the new version supports 15 Android devices): Check out the $50 DashCommand App from automobile diagnostics software maker Palmer Performance Engineering. With the aid of a compatible dongle that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port, you can monitor some 200 parameters including trip data, air/fuel ratio, power, torque, speed, g-forces, and even use your smartphone'0s internal sensors for information body roll and inclination.