Top gadgets at consumer electronics trade show
Tablets may have been all the rage at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, but with tens of thousands of products on display, there was something for everyone.
Here are some interesting nuggets from the four-day show, which ended Sunday:
-Oh, baby: The Smart Baby Monitor from French startup Withings consists of a small camera that beams audio and video to the screen of any Web-connected smart phone, tablet, computer or TV using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It's a gadget made for an iPhone generation of parents, as it eschews traditional bulky baby monitors for a smooth, white design. The sensor can track temperature and humidity in the baby's location, and parents can play lullabies remotely through the device. Withings said the monitor will be available in late March.
-Hello, audiophiles: WOWee One makes a pocket-size speaker for mobile devices. The speaker is about two-thirds the size of its predecessor and has a 12-hour battery. When the WOWee One speaker is laid on a flat surface, the device sends low-frequency sound waves through that surface, turning a desk or countertop into a subwoofer. The new, slimmer speaker will be on the market at the end of January and cost less than $100.
-For the survivalist: Hikers might not get cell phone reception in the backcountry, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. The Rover, from Eton Corp., is a compact emergency weather radio with a flashlight and a USB port that can charge a mobile phone. Users can power the device with a hand crank, batteries or DC power. The Rover sells for $49.99, is available for preorder on the Eton Web site and is expected to ship in February.
-For the snow bunny: More than one pair of high-tech ski goggles were on display. Liquid Image Co. showed off goggles with an HD camera nestled in the center of the glasses for recording every run and wipeout. The 720p model costs $250 and the 1080p version is $400. Recon Instruments introduced ski goggles with GPS. The wearer can see a tiny display in the lower right-hand corner showing data such as altitude and speed. The goggles record information that can be downloaded to a computer via a USB cord, allowing skiers and snowboarders to see their speed at different points of a run or their airtime on a jump. The Recon goggles go for $399 and $499.
-For the shutterbug: Kodak said it will be the first maker of consumer inkjet printers to ship 3-D photo-printing software. To make a photo come out in 3-D, a person shoots a picture with any digital camera, then takes another picture about three inches to the right. On a computer, the Kodak software combines the two images into a single 3-D photo, and Kodak technology on the printer produces a photo that can be viewed with red and cyan 3-D glasses. Kodak didn't announce pricing or availability but said the software will be compatible with its line of all-in-one printers.
-Manage your grilling: When you think "grilling," is your iPhone the first thing to come to mind? Maybe as a timer or to look up a marinade recipe. How about as a thermometer? Well, iGrill showed off its new iPod/iPhone/iPad-connected thermometer to help you become a grill master. It's a Bluetooth-enabled meat thermometer that tracks the temperature, manages the time, lets you look up recipes and can alert you when your meat is ready from up to 200 feet away. You can attach up to two probes for separate pieces of meat.
-In for some 'Pain'? T-Pain loves tech and, it seems, he wants you to sound like him. So the singer, songwriter and producer hit CES to show off his I Am T-Pain mic. The microphone is a follow-up to his I Am T-Pain app for the iPhone, made by Smule, that simulates the Auto-Tune vocal effect for which T-Pain is known. T-Pain's mic, which will arrive in stores this summer and will sell for $39.99, gives singers an on-the-spot Auto-Tune filter, enabling them to sound somewhat like T-Pain's modified voice in his hit songs. The app sells for 99 cents.
-One tough hard drive: Dropping the new ioSafe hard drive 20 feet onto concrete won't kill it. Piling 5,000 pounds on top won't crush it. The portable hard drive, encased in aluminum or titanium alloy, can hold up to 5 gigabytes. The gadget can supposedly operate after being sunk into 30 feet of water for three days or covered with a foot of fuel, oil or other chemical for an hour. The gizmo, which is compatible with both Mac and Windows, has a one-year data recovery service and warranty. The drives are available starting at $150.
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