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
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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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