Showstoppers brought us something we’ve been dreaming of for a very long time: A pad you can drop all your devices that need a charge onto, without dealing with various wall-warts or cords or cables.
The WildCharger is a pad that works on induction—it’s a very thin pad, and though it requires a bit of modification to your device, (or a device-specific thin-cradle you slide your phone/pda into) the concept is definitely promising. Spills don’t phase it, and you can touch any portion of the pad without having to worry about getting shocked. They even had a modified PSP, which allows you to charge it simply by putting the PSP on the pad—no cradle needed.
The pad will come in a regular and mini sizes and will sell for $100 and $40, respectively, with the added benefit that you don’t use any power when no devices are on the pad. (Modern wall-warts still drain power, even without your cell phone plugged in.)
If they’re able to keep compatible cradles up and cheap at a regular clip, this could be a great solution for the gadget geek with six cell phones. Available first half of this year.
We have been waiting for this one for quite a while, and Apple delivered on the iPhone rumors that have been making the rounds for the better part of a year. The iPhone is more than just a phone though - this is the next generation iPod, a portable version of OS X, and a portable Internet navigator. Let’s first look at the hardware features.
The new iPhone features a 3.5-inch widescreen tough-sensitive display. The screen is a 320x480 at 160 ppi - that is an absolutely amazing feat, as 160 ppi is going to be gorgeous. The phone itself is 11.6 mm thin, and features a 2.0 megapixel camera, quad-band GSM/EDGE, EiFi, and Bluetooth 2.0. Battery life will be 16 hours for audio, 5 hours for talk time, video, and web browsing. Even cooler still is the built-in proximity sensor, which recognizes when the phone is on your ear so that it turns off the screen to save power. The accelerometer senses when the phone is tilted into a portrait or landscape display, and changes what is seen on the screen as appropriate. Lastly, there are ambient light sensors as well.
On the software side of things, the iPhone runs a specialized version of OS X, with the promise of support for full desktop-class applications. The phone also has SMS session support, which looks to have an iChat-like interface. This allows you to follow an SMS conversation back and forth on one screen. The three way calling support on the phone looks to work easily and seamlessly - if you have two calls going at once, simply hit the conference button, and both calls are brought together. Safari is built in, touted as the first fully usable HTML browser on a phone, and it features on-the-fly zooming that reminded us of the Wii Opera Browser. Photo management is top notch, and the phone even support Dashboard widgets as well, allowing for a whole host of software application possibilities that haven’t even been thought of yet.
Apple also announced support for Yahoo! IMAP email, which will be PUSH email similar to what you find on the BlackBerry. Google Maps is also integrated into the phone in a snazzy way, and that includes satellite map support.
The iPhone is going to be offered exclusively through Cingular in the US starting in June, and hits Europe in the fourth quarter of 2007, followed by Asia in 2008. The 4 GB model will be available for $499 with a two-year contract, while the 8 GB model will sell for $599 with two-year contract. Once it passes FCC approval, the phone will be available for purchase from both Cingular and Apple.
Apple has created a great interactive site that lets you see exactly how a bunch of the iPhone features work, which you can check out below.
Read More | Apple iPhone Product Page
|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264
|Download| - MPEG-4
|Download| - Windows Media
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
Motorola today confirmed the Q PRO, their enterprise offering of the Motorola Q. (Though we really wish they would’ve just called it the Q2.) Essentially the same phone, it comes with the ability to disable the camera, (a disturbing feature for all those corporate espionage types) a basic Office suite of apps, (think Word editors, and PDF, Excel and Powerpoint viewers) and enhanced security options that include intrusion detection and real-time event logging. No price, but it’s supposed to be available now, likely only to enterprise customers at the moment. We’d expect a small mark up from the basic Q model, but hopefully nothing too substantial.
Samsung’s Ultra Music Phone, a union of slim style and function, is an iconic bar handset designed with an added twist: dual LCD screens. An LCD is featured on each side of the device. On one side there is a smaller LCD screen and the dialing keypad for making phone calls. This side also allows contact entry and cell phone menu functions. The reverse side has a large LCD screen and a dedicated touch sensitive pad and serves as the music player for MP3 and WMA files and has multimedia menu functions.
The Ultra Music is equipped with a digital power amp, which offers a dedicated music user interface that makes it easy to navigate through song lists. Additionally, it has a stereo FM radio and a Quick PC Sync, allowing users to create a music library and customized play lists. In addition to dedicated music features, the Ultra Music has all the extra features consumers have come to expect, including a 2 mega-pixel camera, extended battery life and Bluetooth technology. No pricing info has been announced yet, but we do have a picture of the other side of the phone, after the jump.
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.
Sprint has announced that it will soon be offering its own Motorola Q, which has previously been exclusive to Verizon. In addition to the previous model’s features, the Sprint phone will also have push e-mail, a qwerty keyboard, Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, 1.2 Bluetooth capability, a 1.3 MP camera with 6x digital zoom, and an external mini-SD slot. The pearl grey Q is promised to be a sleek 4.6 x 2.5 x .45-inches and will be available online later this month for $200.00 after rebates with a 2-year service plan, and in Sprint Stores by February.
Read More | Sprint
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
On Friday, the FCC finally approved the merger between BellSouth and the company formerly known as SBC, now known as AT&T. As soon as AT&T got word of the green light, they released information on how the merger will affect both companies following the merger. Long story short, Cingular is going to be rebranded as AT&T early this year. While it would seem the obvious choice, AT&T Wireless will likely not be the name given to the service. Customer will be able to keep their current phones and plans, and if you live in what is currently an AT&T landline service area, you may even get bundled discounts out of the deal.
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