The Eikon USB fingerprint reader (TCRE) has earned itself a Best of Innovations Design and Engineering award at this year’s CES, but parent company Upek will not be attending the festivities. The easy-install reader allows you to log into Windows with one finger swipe, establish a password for storing login information, lock and unlock your system, switch between accounts, and protect your PC’s hard drive files. Built with a sleek design, it even allows OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to brand the reader personally. Check with Upek for price and availability.
One of the companies attending the 2007 CES is Robotis, Korean makers of the Dynamixel Series high-performance actuator controlled by digital packet communication. For the rest of us there are Bioloids, which were designed for education of the principles of robotics. The kits contain a main controller, a servo-module dynamixel, a sensor module, SMPS, NiMH rechargeable batteries, a software CD, and a manual, just in case you have a part leftover.
The kits are available in dinosaur, bipedal humanoid, hexapod spider, quadruped puppy, and autonomous exploration. The company boasts that the kits are easy to assemble with a Phillips screwdriver and can be changed as your whim permits without the threads wearing out. Click on one of the Comprehensive Kits’ images and find out just what these eerie Bioloids can do.
One of Vista’s new features, in addition to superior power and boot management for notebooks, is the SideShow add-on. Asus’ W5Fe is the first to include the technology: An externally visible, cover-mounted display that sits quietly, looking forlorn while displaying information to you “at a glance” and asking you why you don’t just open it up and use the computer proper. (“Battery and convenience,” you say, trying to comfort it.) “I feel like you’re taking me for granted; toiling all day to provide you with occasional weather and email updates, on a tiny screen that should make you smile, but only makes you wax quizzical, curious and questioning how you ever let the salesman talk you into this upgrade.”
“We’ve had this discussion before, SideShow. I appreciate that I can play simple games and check RSS feeds and emails from you. I just wish that you would do something truly useful, like send this data to my cell phone.”
Fortunately, the SideShow platform allows for such possibilities, but until someone makes use of it, having an external display for something like this just seems silly, and the Asus W5Fe probably knows it.
The Duracell PowerFM package is a simple lithium-ion battery expander for your iPod nano or video. It will easily double the battery life for your device, but includes a few cool features that set it apart from similar products in the market already. As per its name, it includes an integrated FM transmitter, that allows you to specify which frequency you wish to transmit on. It also includes a pass-through dock and headphone port on the bottom of it, so you can still use other iPod accessories or charge it in a normal charger/docking station (if its able to accommodate the extra depth). Oh, and they throw in a silicone case for the hell of it, to keep your nano shiny and fresh. My only real gripe with the design is that its emblazoned with DURACELL’s copper-top logo, both on the front of the device itself, and on the FM configuration screen itself. It seems to detract a bit from the cool, minimalistic Apple approach, while turning you into a walking battery ad at the same time. Still, integrating FM transmission into a significantly expanded battery life for just $79 is a nice touch. Available now.
Read More | Duracell Direct
Ubicod has been awarded a CES 2007 Best of Innovation in Home Network honoree with its HDTV STB (set-top box.) Get the Internet anywhere in your home, remotely record your home entertainment center, utilize its live TV playback function, or plug it into your PC or laptop. You can also transfer multimedia files to other A/V devices and create a UTV photo slide show. Just don’t ask it to play the violin. The STB supports ATSC (U.S., Canada, Korea, Taiwan) and DVB-T/s (Europe,) and utilizes MPEG-4 encoding.
Able Planet has won 6, count ‘em, 6 awards at this year’s CES. The winning products are:
- Clear Harmony Noise-canceling Headphones
- Able Talker and Clear Harmony Noise-canceling Wireless Headphones
- Able Talker Assistive Listening Device
- Clear Harmony voiP Headsets
- Clear Harmony Headphones 200 Series
- Clear Harmony Gaming Headphones
The devices utilize LINX technology which the company claims enhances sound and speech quality, filters out background noise, reduces distortion, restricts electromagnetic interference, and increases loudn ess perception without increasing volume. Able Planet’s headphones/sets can be used in computer and language labs, PCs, stereos, and CD, DVD, and MP3 players.
Furutech has won a CES 2007 Best of Innovation award for its deMag, which demagnetizes LPs, CDs, DVDs, game and photo CDs, SACDs, and MDs. It also works on power cords and their connectors, as well as interconnects, to prevent distortion. The deMag measures 19 x 2.7× 18.5-inches and weighs 24 lbs.
The company claims that pigment added to plastic during the manufacturing process causes a minute amount of ferrous material which causes discs to become magnetized. At a price of $1,800.00, check with Furutech for availabilty of its Limited Edition deMag.
Gennum showed off their newest “extreme noise cancellation” Bluetooth headset, the nX6000. The headset is comfortable and incredibly small and light. It doesn’t protrude downward at all from your ear, but maintains some pretty intense, advanced-DSP-based noise cancellation. It’ll be available by Q2 of this year and will cost $129.99. With 6 hours talk time and 90 hours standby, it looks to be a nifty solution for using a headset in a very noisy place, or even just on the freeway.
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.