By now you're all familiar with Kinect for Xbox 360. Kinect allows users to interact with the video game using hand and body gestures, as well as through voice commands. Though it’s still a relatively new concept, the same technology is slowly migrating into vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz debuted its gesture controls, known as Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience or DICE, at CES 2012. DICE functions by using proximity sensors located within the interior of a vehicle, allowing the user to scroll and select a variety of functions. A highlight of DICE is the ability to select locations on the map instead of searching for them by name. DICE also always users to connect with friends, find information on local business around you, read text messages and control all your basic functions from car temperature to rocking beats.
The main issue with the system, as seen in the video, is the location of the driver. Though there are proximity sensors in the car, there is no set location of where the driver needs to be; often this creates issues for the system recognizing your gesture. Furthermore, there is an issue with safety. Driving is not a controlled environment—yet. There are too many ‘eyes on the road’ scenarios using DICE, often distracting drivers from focusing on the task at hand. Though this is only a concept idea, Mercedes-Benz says it’ll be another 20 years before the production version hits the streets, giving Mercedes-Benz plenty of time to work out the kinks.
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Here at CES 2012, OnStar has just announced their own closed API that will allow developers to tap into OnStar data for use in their own apps. They've also made it known that its first partner on the API front will be RelayRides, a social network that allows anyone to rent out their own vehicle when they aren't in use. This means that you can log in to the RelayRides app, and it will utilize OnStar services to find which cars are available, where they are, and will then allow you to book the car, and even unlock the doors and start it up, all using the smartphones app. Vehicle owners will be able to set their rates and times.
This is just the beginning of the potential of what we should expect from developers as it pertains to OnStar data. More partners will be announced soon, and developers are encouraged to sign up for access, which you can do by emailing email@example.com.
Monster is jumping into the high-quality Bluetooth loudspeaker game with the ClarityHD Micro, which they introduced at CES 2012. Similar to the Jawbone Jambox that's been so popular over the past couple of years, the ClarityHD Micro produces "higher definition sound" from your Bluetooth devices, and also allows you to take calls as well using its built-in omnidirectional microphone. So you can be streaming the latest from Justin Bieber from your iPhone, and when a call comes through, you can answer it and hold the conversation over the ClarityHD Micro as well. Convenient. Additionally, the speaker grills are magnetic and interchangeable, allowing the user to switch up the color and style. Expect to pay $219.95 when they ship worldwide this March.
The folks at Monster are on a roll with the CES 2012 announcements this morning, and we've got the scoop on another - feast your eyes on the Inspiration over-ear headphone. This is Monster Cable's first noise-cancelling over-ear headphone, and we're actually pretty surprised its taken the company this long to release something like this. These are ideal for frequent travelers, commuting, home use, or really anywhere you want the noise of the outside world to be drowned out. The Inspiration headphones are fashionable, and will be available in black, white, and a limited edition silver color. The headbands are interchangeable if you don't like any of those colors, with eight different style to choose from for $29 each. Expect to pay $279 for a pair of Inspiration over-ears when they begin shipping this spring. Also, the Inspiration Lite, an on-ear alternative, will be available in June for $229.
Aside from a ton of headphones, Monster also announced its HDP 950G+ GreenPower Bar and HDP 1250G+ GreenPower PowerCenter this mornings at CES 2012. These energy-saving accessories allows the user to select outlets that can be automatically shut off when devices are in standby mode, thus reducing wasted energy costs from "vampire" draw. They also keep your components safe with automatic voltage regulation in the event of energy spikes and surges. the HDP 950+ is the entry-level model and will sell for $199, while the HDP 1250G+ offers the maximum benefits for home theater, and will sell for $229.
Today at CES 2012 Monster Cable unveiled its new Gratitude in-ear headphones. These earbuds were created in alliance with Earth, Wind & Fire, and are specifically tunes to reproduce the nuances of live music and bring out the details of each instrument being placed, with the end result being a more natural, immersive sound. The physical design of the Gratitude headphones features a rose gold finish, and a new design that allows the earpiece to to rest deeper in the ear canal without being uncomfortable. A custom carrying case is also included with each pair. Look for them to hit stores soon for $229.
This morning Monster announced the debut of its Diamond Tears - Edge high definition music headphones at CES 2012. Developed in partnership with J.Y. Park, the Diamond Tears - Edge is the first in a line of planned audio products from Monster and JYP Entertainment. The design of these over-ear headphones is based on J.Y. Parls musical talent, including Rain, Wonder Girls, and more. They say these headphones are "edgy like diamonds, but smooth like tears." If that strikes your fancy, then you can look forward to picking them up in the first quarter of the year for $279, with an in-ear model to follow in the second half of the year.
This morning at CES 2012 Monster Cable announced the VEKTR on-ear headphones. Partnering with Diesel, the fashion lifestyle brand, they've created a stylish headphone that features strong lines in a diamond-cut design. Of course, looks are great, but with headphones that sell for $249.95, you're also gonna want to make sure they sound good. Monster says that VEKTR offers a premium-quality listening solution, and this is the company that brought us the Beats by Dr. Dre audio line as well, so we trust them. Aside from the VEKTR on-ears, Monster will also be releasing an in-ear model as well, which will sell for $149, which will feature a jet black earpiece with yellow accent, and the Diesel logo. Look for both models to arrive later this quarter.
"We'll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won't have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don't align with the show's January timing," Microsoft said in a statement.
Ballmer is scheduled to take the stage at CES in Las Vegas on Jan. 9 at 6:30pm. It will be the Microsoft CEO's third keynote appearance; he took over in 2009 after Bill Gates retired in 2008 to focus on philanthropic efforts.
In recent years, however, the Microsoft CES keynotes have not included anything particularly spectacular or unexpected.
We've been hearing about Android 3.0 Honeycomb for a while now, the build of Android that would be designed with tablets in mind. Now, Google shows off it's latest version during CES, and it does appear that the UI has been redesigned in some major ways--it now fits especially well on the larger screen. Google posted a video showcasing some of the new design, which looks very different from what we've grown used to in the Android world.
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