Digit Wireless was also present at CES Unveiled, showing off their innovative approach to cramming a full alphabetic key-set on a regular phone keypad called Fastap. If you haven’t seen it already, (it’s available on several LG phones, including the LG AX490) the alpha keys are placed as raised buttons in between the numeric keypad digits. The design is intelligent in that, if you try to mash down, say, five of the buttons at once, only the center key will be pressed. It’s pretty intuitive, and works with T9. It’s a pretty nice solution for budget phones that don’t have the complexity for a swivel qwerty-style keyboard, but nothing we haven’t seen before.
Torian Wireless showed us their InFusion portable internet radio device, for those of you who cannot get enough of… well… I don’t really know anyone who listens to internet radio with any regularity. The InFusion supports SD/MMC cards and can play MP3, AAC and OGG, along with a built-in FM radio. Its raison d’état, of course, is internet radio and as such, it has 802.11b (yes, b) support to play back internet radio wherever a Wifi access point exists. It allows for time-shift recording and scheduled recordings, but as far as I’m concerned, podcasts handle this behavior a lot more gracefully, and internet radio is really rather stumbling around and looking for its place. The device itself was a bit awkward, and felt like another also-ran late-coming MP3 player with a low contrast screen that should do a hell of a lot more for the $229.99 asking price. But maybe it’ll find its place in Torian’s native Australian. I’ll be honest: I’m really not sure about internet radio penetration here or abroad.
Avega Systems was at CES Unveiled tonight, showing off their Aios Networked Audio Platform. The concept is simple and eloquent: Wi-fi enabled speakers that allow for synchronized playback of music or any other audio source, throughout your house. It sounds a bit like Sonos, and it has its similarities. However, the Aios system is a hardware platform, and Avega won’t be manufacturing their own speaker systems. Instead, they’re working with several different speaker manufacturers, and you’ll likely see Aios-capable speakers in retail channels by mid- this year. Better yet? They say that you’ll see two- and four-speaker sets in the sub $200 range.
The Aios platform includes software that allows you to configure your Aios speakers. The system is intuitive—if you add speakers to an existing setup, the software will detect them and let you create a profile for them. Each speaker attaches to the network with its own IP address, and elects a “leader.” One of the points that stand out with the Aios system is the incredibly low latency—under 5 ms, which allows for distributed real time DVD playback and gaming, along with some innovative UPnP capabilities, that allow for streaming audio through other devices, like your cell phone, without an active PC on the network.
Some very cool things to look for, and hopefully a relatively affordable, customizable and easily expandable distributed audio solution for your house.
JVC has just given out the details on their HD Everio camcorder. Recording at a full 1920 x 1080i resolution, the GZ-HD7 Everio outputs at a full 1:1 pixel ratio to high definition displays, which in turn results in an even higher quality image. The camera also features three 1/5-inch CCDs, USB 2.0, iLink / FireWire / IEEE 1394, and HDMI. Everios are also known for their built-in hard drives, allowing for tapeless recording. This one doesn’t disappoint, as it includes a 60 GB hard drive - not a ton of storage for recording 1080i video, but definitely enough for the average consumer/prosumer. This all comes to you at the price of $1,799.95 USD, and is scheduled for an April 2007 release.
UPDATE: Check out our video look at the JVC Everio GZ-HD7.
H20Audio has a waterproof case for your iPod, so that you can go snorkling or swim laps at your leisure, with your iPod in tow. Atlantic Inc. showed us their EGO Waterproof Sound Case—A floating, waterproof iPod hard case that includes built-in speakers, driven by four AAs (30 hours of playback time). It floats! And its silicon membrane allows you to control the click wheel with relative ease, straight from the bathtub. Oh, and the speakers spit water up as they bump to your… mad tunes. Or something. It sounded pretty cool, and it would be a fun addition to the above-ground pool behind your friend’s house that he got from Sam’s Club on discount, in its quirky way. It fits the iPod nano, and the 4th and 5th gen iPods, with inserts that allow you to get a nice, snug fit for each. Available for $130-ish. Soon-ish.
Here at Gear Live we got our Zune‘s at the official launch in November of 2006, and have been eagerly awaiting our first “in the wild” sighting of another Zune to try the wireless features outside of a “test scenario.”
Now don’t get us wrong, we love the Zune, but market adoption has been rather slow - but today in the SeaTac airport on our way to CES we encountered “ALIENSPAWNER” and had a chance to transfer a few tracks back and forth. Hit the jump for a picture of him with our Zune.
Hang on y’all - the Gear Live crew has arrived at CES. If you want the same text-based coverage you have been used to year after year, sure, we will have that. However, if you want constant, up-to-the-minute video coverage of CES, keep it locked on Gear Live and The Bleeding Edge. We are going to be bringing you a ton of video from CES, thanks to our sponsor Windows Live.
ETRI has developed ROMI, a Korean bot that will make its debut at next week’s CES 2007. The robot transmits video with its Wireless/CMDA connection, sees through a camera, and can relay information to your PC or phone. He obeys commands by voice activation of its name. While you can probably give it the most basics of demands such as, “ROMI
walk roll” and “ROMI gimme five
none” we have a hunch that this bot is not much more than a glorified Furby.
Read More | Akihabara News
Primarily known for providing various products to car manufacturers, Visteon has now ventured into the realm of car accessories. The in-vehicle wireless gadget sits in your cupholder, plugs into your car lighter socket, and can charge MP3 players, PDAs, cell phones, and digital cameras. It also contains an AI that can determine if the object to be charged is in close proximity and if it can be charged.
The device will be officially featured at next week’s CES 2007 where it has already received Design and Engineering honors. With the recent glut of cupholder products, we may get a bigger car just for all the new accessories.
Read More | Visteon In-Vehicle Recharger