At Showstoppers, an after-CES press-only event, we got some hands on experience with h20 audio’s waterproofing kit for the iPod. Offering models for the mini, nano, shuffle and standard iPod, the kit includes a locking mechanism to ensure that no water seeps in, and an innovative scroll wheel that allows you to twist and select even underwater. They say it’s perfect for snowboarding, skiing, hot tubbing or even those pleasant bubble baths that the Gear Live staff is so fond of. We interview Kristian from h20 who tells us more about the included waterproof headphones and the price points. (Around $70.00, depending on your pod’s size.)
Another still of their display unit submerged, after the jump.
Down in the depths of the South Hall, Sima Products Corporation was telling stories of their forthcoming “Hitch” device. The Hitch allows you to quickly and easily transfer songs, files and photos amongst your myriad iPods, or any other USB device. The Neat: Hitch interfaces with the iPod library so that you can select only the songs you want to actually transfer. The nature of the device also lets you transfer from a digital camera straight to your iPod, from thumb drive to thumb drive or any other crazy combination you can come up with. The anti-neat: It doesn’t circumvent FairPlay, Apple’s less-than-pleasant DRM solution. Thus, you can’t transfer your iTunes songs… However, the box is built on Linux, which means that it’s “upgradeable,” according to the sales rep, but if you’re enterprising enough, you could probably read that as “hackable.”
Rumor has it it’ll launch on April 1st, to coincide with ThinkGeek’s joke last year, the iCopulate. Unfortunately, he said the street price will be around $120-$150, which seems a bit pricey, but useful if you frequently find yourself in the middle of USB ménage-à-trois. You know you like it.
The other night we were able to pull a Motorola representative aside to give us the down low on the new ROKR E2 music phone. I guess they were worried that I might snuff the guy, take the ROKR, and run, because another Motorola person had to come along to ensure that no funny business went down. Nonetheless, we were able to get quite a few details about the follow up to the original disappointment. First, the phone runs Linux, which allows for an all new interface. The screen is a nice 320x240 262k color display, and the only limitation to the number of tracks that can be played is the amount of space you have. The phone doesn’t run iTunes, so you are free to fill it with all the content you want. Once done listening to those, you can use the built-in FM tuner (with 30 presets) to keep on listening. You can even browse the web using Opera. This is a slick phone. Check the video above for more details about the phone. If you want to download it, look for our new video show that we will be launching after CES.
Read More | ROKR E2 Product Page
We just got our hands on the new Verizon XV6700 UTStarcom Windows Mobile device. This is the other WM 5.0 device available on Verizon’s network, and we are actually quite a bit more impressed with this one than with the Treo 700w, which launched yesterday. This one sports EV-DO, WiFi, Bluetooth, a 2.8-inch 65k color 240x320 display, 1.3 megapixel camera/MPEG-4 camcorder, MiniSD card support, and 64MB internal RAM. It also has a sliding QWERTY keyboard, which when opened, changes the display from portrait to landscape on the fly. The phone is available now to Verizon Wireless Business customers, and will be available to general consumers on January 19th at a price of $299 USD after $100 rebate and a two-year agreement. We have a few more images of the XV6700 after the jump.
Now, it’s true that something like parental controls are usually the last “cool” feature you’d expect a blog site to chat about, but Vista has big plans for keeping Timmy’s future porn habit at bay. The administrator account can impose controls on each user, including what times the accounts are allowed to access the computer, what sort of web site filters are applied (allow Timmy to see sites tagged “pornography” but not “bomb-making”, etc.) and even time limits—how many hours per day he’s allowed on the machine. One of the most impressive elements of this implementation is that the access limitations for web filtering are controlled at the network application layer. What this means is that they’re applied across the board: In Internet Explorer, Firefox or any other browser, feed readers or any other services bouncing over TCP/IP. I go into some more of the advanced parental control features after the jump.
CES affords us the opportunity to see many new and wonderful devices that will never make it to market. Fortunately, the DualCor cPC isn’t one of those. The Dual Cor is a relatively small form-factor, full-fledged mobile PC. It sports a 1.5 GHz processor (and another, lower speed chip), 40 GB HD and 1 GB of DDR memory. Its namesake is highlighted by two separate processors running two separate operating systems. The 1.5 GHz x86 processor runs Windows XP Tablet Edition. From the XP interface, you can switch cores and OSes to Windows Mobile 2005, allowing you to run your box considerably longer and allowing it to function on the road as a normal PDA (and, potentially, a cell phone).
The device is absolutely loaded with features, including Bluetooth, WiFi, EVDO, a headphone & microphone jack, a CF II slot, two full USB 2.0 ports and the ability to export to a regular VGA display at 1280x1024 resolution. It also features a touchscreen and utilizes the Tablet architecture for easy data entry on the go. The device is expected to ship in March 2006 for roughly $1500, which is a steal if you ask us.
Andru will have a full video interview with the DualCor CEO up as soon as we figure out an elegant way to get them off his camcorder.
After quite the two hour, four mile (seriously) trek from the airport involving a chiseling shuttle driver, a misguided monorail stop, a late attempt into the Gates Keynote and finally getting our badgeholders at the only place still open at 8 pm, we arrived at Digital Experience. DE is a press-only event that took place in the Bellagio’s Grand Ballroom. Some 100+ companies were there showing off their latest and greatest, and here’s what we found out:
TiVo claims that we’ll finally have a standalone HD TiVo by “mid 2006.” We won’t be holding our breaths for this one. Logitech released a new set of Bluetooth headphones that allow you to playback music from your (compatible) cell phone, with an integrated microphone that lets you answer calls mid-jam, right from the unit itself. It also featured some integrated play controls, letting your track forward and backward at will. (Link goes to a unit that looks almost identical.) Logitech also released what appears to be one of the first cordless desktop keyboard and mouse kits built specifically for the Mac. It includes a two-button mouse and a ten-day warning LED when the battery is low.
Nokia showed off the new N80, their first 3 megapixel camera and an absolute beauty. I got some hands on time with it, and I’ll be publishing details about it shortly. For now, it’s a slide form-factor, has a dedicated shutter button, and switches to landscape mode when you go to take a photo. The temptation to steal it was strong, until the Nokia rep informed me it’s a pre-production model that has quite a few bugs still.
We’ll be posting a lot more throughout the day, including some video interviews and more pics. For now, enjoy the picture of the chocolate fountains at Digital Experience. Stocked with fresh strawberries, marshmallows and pound cake, it’s important you know the sacrifices we make for you.
Earlier today Sony Ericsson announced the latest addition to its line-up of Walkman-branded music cell phones in the Satin Black W810. The Sony Ericsson W810 is a Quad-band EDGE phone (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), which lets you listen to hours of music, capture and send high-resolution images, access the Internet, as well as take advantage of fast data download speeds for games and streaming video and stay connected through instant messaging or email. The latest Walkman phone comes with a 512MB removable Memory Stick PRO Duo, which can be upgraded to a 2GB Memory Stick if one sees fit. There is also a 2 mega-pixel auto-focus camera. As with all Walkman phones, your music automatically pauses when an incoming call is received and begins playing again when the call ends. The phone also offers a music-only mode for those occasions when the phone function must be disengaged, such as during air travel.
Look for this one to ship in Spring 2006. In the meantime, we will have a video up soon going over the phone in detail.
Sonos, Inc., the developer of wireless multi-room music systems for the digital home, has just introduced a new ZonePlayer to complement their original music system. The Sonos ZonePlayer ZP80 allows you play all your digital music, all over your house, on all of your favorite audio equipment – a home theater system, powered speakers, a premium table top radio, etc. By connecting a ZP80 to any amplified audio device via the analog or digital outputs, that device instantly and seamlessly becomes part of a wireless, multi-room digital music system. This provides the consumer with the power to use the full-color Sonos
remote control to manage all of their music, in all of their rooms. “We created the ZP80 because many of the rooms where consumers want to listen to digital music already have an amplifier,” said John MacFarlane, chief executive officer, Sonos, Inc. “Our goal is to provide digital music lovers with a range of products for building a wireless digital music system throughout their homes.” These will be available in Spring 2006 at $349 USD a pop.
Read More | Sonos
Okay, we are
starting our packing and finalizing our CES schedules. We hit Vegas tomorrow afternoon, and plan on four days of gadget uber-love to exude from our pores. We are primed and ready to bring you up-to-the-minute coverage right from the show floor, from behind closed doors, and from those CES parties we know and love. That being the case, we figured we would create a destination you could go to for all your CES news. Thusly, Covering CES was born. Be sure to check out Covering CES constantly. We aim to please.
Read More | Covering CES
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