Consumer electronic gadgets that someday may change your life
Technology reporters detail what caught their eye this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show as they roamed the trade-show floor filled with products and services that should be hitting the market over the next year or so.
Seattle Times technology reporters
Consumer electronic gadgets that may change your life
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Brier Dudley on Twitter
LAS VEGAS —
It's like fast-forwarding into the world's largest electronics store.
The International Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Las Vegas, is above all a showcase of products and services that should be hitting the market over the next year or so.
Here's what caught our eye as we roamed the trade-show floor, looking for the good, the bad and the wacky.
Who makes it: Asus
What it is: A laptop at the other end of the spectrum from Asus' Eee PC netbooks: a powerhouse designed by Danish electronics maker Bang & Olafsen.
Detail: The aluminum system has an Intel Core i7 processor, an 18.4-inch LED display, dual touchpads, Nvidia GT335 graphics, Blu-ray drive and dual hard drives with up to 1,280 gigabytes of storage. It also sounds great.
Price: Set to go on sale in March or April for $2,499.
Video phone calls
Who makes it: Panasonic, Skype
What it is: On Panasonic Viera Cast-enabled televisions, viewers will be able to use Skype to make voice and video calls.
Detail: This means you will never, ever have to leave the couch again. For video calls, Panasonic offers an HD camera accessory that plugs in to the TV.
Price: Calls are free to other Skype users, otherwise regular Skype charges apply. The camera accessory is less than $200. The Panasonic TVs are expected in March; the service is expected in June.
Crosley Revolution CR6002
Who makes it: Crosley Radio
What it is: A portable turntable with a speaker, rechargeable battery, USB for connecting to PCs and stereo output.
Detail: With a resurgence of vinyl record sales, venerable turntable maker Crosley is adding a hipper model to its lineup.
Price: $149; should be on sale in June at major retailers.
MyFit MP3 player
Who makes it: Samsung
What it is: A portable music player that measures your stress level, body fat and calories burned while running.
Detail: Measure how listening music lowers your stress level by holding your finger to a sensor on MyFit. It also has an exercise-management program to help you meet your fitness goals and has apps to keep track of your water intake and help you quit smoking.
Price: Undisclosed. Should be available by June. By then you will have forgotten your resolution to get fit.
HY Mini Biscuit charger
Who makes it: Miniwiz
What it is: A portable charger that uses wind and solar energy to recharge your electronics.
Detail: Be prepared to wait, because harnessing sun and wind will take far longer than plugging into a wall. When is someone going to invent a rain-powered charger?
Price: Not available yet, but when it launches will sell at www.miniwiz.com.
3-D TV without glasses
Who makes it: TCL, a Chinese electronics manufacturer.
What it is: Prototype goggle-less 3D TV
Detail: It's unclear if you'll have to operate the TV in an enormous mirrored enclosure as was shown on the CES floor, but the setup could probably double as a solar oven. On a one to 10 scale, it's 3D-ness is about a 3.
Price: Not disclosed. May go on sale in two years in China.
Netgear Push2TV PTV1000
Who makes it: Netgear
What it is: A new technology to display PC content on a TV screen — wirelessly.
Detail: Intel and Netgear announced the technology. The system requires a receiver like the PTV1000 connected to the TV and a computer with Intel's new 2010 generation of processors. Intel's new Wire Display and Wi-Fi technology create a high-bandwidth personal area network that can carry HD video streams.
Price: The PTV1000 will be available later this month at Best Buy for $99.99. The store will also sell special laptops for the system for $899.99.
Hidden clasp USB drive
Who makes it: Starsway Technology of china
What it is: A flash drive of sorts
Detail: This is a way to discreetly carry your digital files in your luggage or on your backpack. Starsway can produce these with 128 megabytes to 16 gigabytes of Flash memory storage.
Price: Varies by capacity and quantity ordered (Starsway is a wholesaler).
Viliv N5 mobile Internet device
Who makes it: Yukyung Technologies
What it is: A small device that's a palm-sized netbook.
Detail: It's the return of the palmtop from years past — smaller than a netbook and less than a pound. It has a touch-screen, an Atom processor, 1 gigabyte RAM, 16 GB solid-state hard drive and Windows 7 Starter edition.
Price: No price details yet, but it will become available some time this year.
Who makes it: Motorola
What it is: GPS navigation and hands-free calling device.
Detail: A new GPS navigation and information system that doesn't carry any monthly service fee. It pulls data — including Bing queries — from the user's Bluetooth-capable cellphone.
Seattle-based Airbiquity provides the technology that automatically syncs the device to a phone with no data plan required.
The TN700, which has a 5-inch diameter screen, also has a speaker and microphone. It accepts voice commands for calling or asking for directions.
Price: Motorola will only say it's a "premium product." Expected to begin selling in the first quarter.
Brier Dudley: 206-515-5687. Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958.
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