CES Coverage Remote #3: More Gadget Thoughts & News from the Day

HTD_CES_Logo_3D_day3

My coverage of CES 2010 (remotely) is starting to run out of steam. I can only imagine what the people covering it there are feeling. I must say, that c|net has done the best in terms of presenting their coverage in my opinion. I have been watching BOL (Buzz Out Loud Live@CES 2010) as well as regularly reading the “CES River“. Great job by those guys. Also, both Cali Lewis and Leo Laporte have been doing (as usual) stellar jobs at filling in the blanks. Between all of that, I almost feel like I was there…but not quite. To the grumbling of my wife last night, I caught up with some of the CES videos on my Roku with Twit.tv.

HTD_CES_Logo_3D_day3

My logo rendition of the CES show should reflect now a few things: a 3D aspect as well as a “distortion” due to my sympathy for exhibitors, press people and the general public. They must be overwhelmed and a bit worn out! Regardless, there is still a good stream of information coming in and I’m digesting what I can. Some more thoughts:

  • 3D HDTV – yep, I think we have hit a saturation point on this. However, I have gotten some reports from friends and colleagues attending the show that it is pretty amazing to see in action. I don’t think the general public will really have it in their hands for a year or two but it seems that with 3D standards for broadcast as well as Blu-Ray firming up or set, this will be the wave of the future. I’m personally going to hold off until the 2nd Generation of 3D comes out (but I won’t say “no” to any review opportunities.)
  • Media Streaming – as things are converging on the TV (with internet and apps abounding), there is also a good trend of gadgets and phones that allow for TV streaming. It is great to see this coming of age but I’m worried that there will be a definite backlash by the cellular carriers (and possibly broadband carriers) because people are sucking up too much bandwidth. Be prepared for more tiered pricing for heavy users of data (there are already lots of rumblings about this as well as thresholds and quotas being implements by various carriers). For streaming to succeed, the providers of bandwidth need to just let it happen and figure out other ways to monetize without crippling the end user.
  • eBook Readers – sorry but this is a bit “underwhelming”. Yes, there were lots of showcases of new eBook Readers (some complete with social networking built in which is an interesting idea – but wouldn’t it be better to just read the book and meet in person? I’m a bit torn about this.). The color screen has yet to fully materialize. Some feel that it might be hard to do without a backlight but if you do go with backlighting, you might not get the true book experience. Also, readers on netbooks or tablets run into the issue of high battery consumption. I think this technology is still being figured out and while this first wave of readers is pretty good, there is still a long way to go.
  • Other Hidden Innovative Products – one of the disadvantages of not being at the show is not being able to find the “diamond in the rough.” These are those products by companies that are small but innovative. Some of these will just be vaporware and will never hit the market, others will be acquired by larger companies and may meet limited success (depending on the acquisition terms), and others will be gangbusters. I think more of these will bubble up some time after the show as the media and bloggers have time to fully digest everything.

So here are some more product announcements that caught my eye (and if possible, I will update this list with the “new” flag):

  • new Mophie Cases – I did a review of the JuicePack Air, a really great case+battery which I couldn’t survive without. Mophie has released new versions of their battery cases (“soft touch”). But more importantly are two other announcements, the Juice Pack TV (running FLO TV) and the Mophie Marketplace (which allows you to swipe credit cards).
    mophie_marketplace
  • new FLO TV – I put this listing right under the Mophie one on purpose, because of how the two companies are creating a joint offering. I think this is a great technology which I hope to be able to evaluate. Essentially, using a dedicated spectrum, FLO TV provides live TV coverage in over 100 markets around the US for a $15/mo fee on a variety of devices. Price: $15/mo
    FLO_TV_170x90_ptv
  • new Vizio Razor LED sets – continuing on this theme of mobile TV, Vizio has announced 3 sets (7, 9 & 10 inches) that use the ATSC-M/H standard to pull in HDTV over the air. Price: $150-$230
    razor-vizio-screen
  • new ZOMM – this is a bluetooth device that attaches to your keychain and when paired with your cellphone, will beep and vibrate as you walk away from your phone. That alone is cool, however also built in is the ability to act as a speakerphone and panic alarm. Price: $79-89
    ZOMM
  • new D-Link DIG-1320 Powerline router – I have been playing around with Powerline technology (Belkin and Slingbox) and it’s a pretty cool alternative to wireless in the home (if it works). D-Link is smart in pairing wifi (802.11n) and Powerline (internet over your electrical wiring). Should be cool when it comes out! Just don’t plug these into a surge protector (it makes it work a bit weird). Price: tbd
    dlink-01
    (photo source: engadget)
  • More to come!

I sure wish I had a gadget budget! So many of these things would be fun to have!

HTD says: Hang in there you CES gadget junkies!

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2 Responses

  1. Yeah, I think I will hold off on the early adoption of 3D in my home as well. If I understand it correctly, A 3D Bluray movie can be played passed to a 3D Ready TV via HDMI 1.4 provided you are connecting straight from the DVD player to TV…but if you use an HDMI switcher (or an HDMI A/V Receiver in my case) you might be SOL if your switcher does only has HDMI 1.3 capability.

  2. Yeah, I agree. There is way too much hype around this and I think that once mainstream consumers see what it takes to actually get an environment up and running, they will be hit with some serious sticker shock. Perhaps the better thing is a 3D laptop that has Blu-Ray (3D capable). THAT would be a cool gadget to have. The big screen HDTV viewing experience is great right now. If you can make personal 3D HD viewing look better, I will be people will adopt that a bit quicker. Thx for the note!

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