Alright peeps, check it. We know that all of those who can’t be here want to see as much as they can of the event. That being the case, we just set up a CES 2006 Gallery/Moblog that you can all check out to see what we are seeing. We have just a few things in there now, but we will definitely be updating throughout the rest of the conference with product images, random Vegas musings, and anything else we might want to show (note to self - throw up an image of the “Foldaway Bed of Doom”) to y’all.
Read More | Gear Live Gallery
It’s true. LaCie announced yesterday a few new drive enclosure systems, including their Rugged Hard Drive (in stunning day-glo orange, above) and their LaCie Two Big SATA IIe RAID system. The Rugged can survive at least a three foot fall (when shut down) and has a nice rubber grip and a neat design. As my Jewish step-grandmother would say, “it’s a bit much,” coming in at $170 for the 80 GB 5,400 rpm, all the way up to $400 for the 100 GB 7,200 rpm drive. Now to get some gefilte in here to shut my step-grams up. (Another pic, of the rugged’s USB 2.0 and FireWire interfaces, after the jump.)
Another Showstopper hit, Netomat’s hub software really piqued our interest. It’s best to watch my interview (above, special thanks to Andru for starting on a frame that makes me look like a giant douche.) for the full scoop on this unique software that launched just last night, but here’s the basics: After creating a free netomat account, you are sent their software client to your phone. The phone software works on Java using WAP or GPRS data services, so you don’t pay per message. Once you accept the client, it’s time to invite some friends to your hub. After your friends join up, quite a few features come out of the woodwork. For one, you’re able to see if your friends are online, offline or on a call. Any time you take a picture with your camera phone, with one click, you can send it to everyone in your hub. Using something called WAP push, your friends running the netomat software will instantly receive a prompt asking if they want to see what you’re pushing.
Netomat also features some really fun desktop software, including a small system tray-based widget that notifies you on your computer when a post to the hub has been made. Even better, you can quickly and simply drag and drop any RSS feed from your browser to the netomat software and create a hub around it that your friends can subscribe to. You’ll receive every RSS clip that comes into the feed, straight to your phone, at your leisure. Additionally, their web site lets you send images from your PC to your hub and lets you see all the activity on the feed. Best of all, it’s all free.
Also, be sure to look for our feed to be featured on netomat through an exciting co-branding with them.
Check out the full interview in the video above to get a better feel for how simple and fun the software is.
Read More | Netomat Hub
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.
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