On unexpected discoveries at CES ~ i first got pulled right into Winplus’ Yada’s booth from its crazy giant white painted frames filling a wall… each filled with what turned out to be bluetooth headsets and holders! And their space was a bright glowingly white that draws you right into it, with playful lights hanging from a grid above… and an adorable Yada Mini Cooper in there as well. Naturally it was making it onto my favorite booth list, but what i didn’t expect was to be completely intrigued with their affordable, nicely thought out design bluetooth headsets and accessories. The Yada YD-V1 ultra lightweight headset, universal phone holder, multiple car mounting options, car charger and home charger is only a mere $46 at amazon. Affordable and adorable, the thing i liked most was how compact their products were… and i kind of want the cupcake looking car adapter for my cup holder. Also look how sleek the car charger is? Why waste more space then necessary with cables? Same with their USB solution. Nice simple speakerphones as well. Anyhow, take a look at pics i took of the booth and products at CES… as for sound quality, i have no idea… but i’m curious enough at that price, to impulse buy one from amazon to find out.
On more designer lust-worthy tech from La Cie ~ the latest is this La Cie Little Disk tiny glossy 30/40GB disk designed by Sam Hecht that has an integrated USB and protective cap. Coming in at a mere 3 oz. and 2.64 x 1.69 x .67 in… it’s just a smidge larger than the size of your classic Zippo lighters which are about 2 x 1 x .5 in… only thing missing? If only they’d stick an SD card slot next to that USB space! Unfortunately there are no pictures of the “carrying case” that is included in the box, i’m curious to see what they think you should be toting this tiny disk around in. More close ups after the jump… (also, how creepy is their hand model?)
Handpresso… i’ve been intrigued by this french contraption since i first laid eyes on it over at Acquire a few days ago (i haven’t a clue why i’ve taken so long writing/editing this post bit by bit). And their ads crack me up ~ particularly the one with the french couple in a movie theater trying to be all suggestive while pumping up the espresso, getting the cups ready, etc. It’s a beautiful contraption that looks like a nicely design mini bike pump you feed a packet of espresso (the premade type - pics below) and some hot water into for a perfectly brewed cup of espresso? I’m skeptical, but curious… see pics and videos after the jump as well as some of the accessories you can buy to go with.
We all want it. We have to. Right? And i do have a soft spot for manilla envelopes… Does anyone else think of air jordans when they hear macbook air though? The naming on this stuff kills me. Also the user experience of their whole keynote/macworld expo is apparently quite possibly the worst user experience ever… But for now. It looks pretty cute, and the music video for the song in the ad is quite possibly the cutest thing i’ve been woken up with… see it below! I would love to have her box on the water… and as far as packaging goes, i’m going to be sad if i open the box for this and it’s not in a manilla envelope… oh and apparently it’s completely sealed, has no ram slots, no battery replacement, its just like a ginormous ipod… i mean small laptop. same diff - only 2 gigs ram… no ethernet port…
UPDATED 1.15.8 at 12:50: We have hands on pics of the MacBook Air ~ detail shots added after the jump!
Is it time for a cheesy ~ Squeezebox Duet “it’s more than meets the eye”? Ok i couldn’t help myself, but there seems to be a lot more potential to this duo than most have been writing about, and i have pics below if you don’t believe me. I was a bit skeptical when i first heard Logitech acquired Slim Devices, but its nice to see that the combination is producing some gorgeous technologically lust-worthy results. While at first glance, this is just a new variation of the open source SqueezeNetwork family ~ with a main displayless receiver and a remote that looks like the harmony meets ipod (and the duet can be split up and integrated any which way with your existing slim devices)… upon closer inspection and some forum browsing, it turns out that that remote has far more than expected.
There is an SD slot by the battery… a headphone jack and ir transmitter at the top (in addition to the wifi connection it uses)… there is an adorable little speaker on the back… the demo units had the ability to browse flickr on the mini displays… in screensaver mode it is a clock (and i am 80% sure the guy told me it can be your alarm clock as well, but it was a crazy few days so i’m not positive)… and according to the forums this little remote even has a 3-axis accelerometer and an expansion port on the bottom. Being completely open source, you can only imagine some of the crazy applets and software that have been created in the beta program… and can you imagine what else this can be used for? (it already streams your internet music/sirius radio/etc!) See close ups and links to the forums, etc below!
At CES the sun sets at Belkin. It was the most natural, inviting, “home” to hang out in… with a grassy courtyard in the center where the band played live music with the sun setting behind them… bedrooms, offices, kitchens, living rooms to the sides… even a perfectly darkly lit gamer den off to one corner… mannequins out for a jog out front… the VW parked out back. With lush green grasstroturf in the center space they nicely insulated from the chaos of CES, and hardwood floors with clean black furniture in the others… i felt more like i fell into a pre-fab house out of Dwell. Honestly you could momentarily forget that you were at an industry only electronics convention… they have really transformed themselves the last few years, and i am thrilled to hear that their design process for products and even the booth put Users First! They work with focus groups and run in home usability studies to find out what people really NEED in their lives, and only THEN do they bring together the designs and technology to fit ~ and it really shows, since they have managed to really put the “lifestyle” aspect into their products. Even the careful detail on the designs of products show, from the buttons, to the fonts and glows, the color choices and materials used… (remember the rockstar and conserve surge protector?)… and when it came to the booth ~ we see more of the silhouetted furnishings motif (like at HP) and i love the touches like both REAL black goldfishes in bowls as well as subtle vinyl stickered goldfish bowls at the top of the stairs where few may even notice such a minute detail.
I think this is one of my favorite pictures from CES. Just something so fun about that glow. This was actually a backlit display on a concrete little table on their big grassy courtyard with little concrete stools all around it (you’ll see more of the Belkin booth soon). But i just love how this picture blacks out the insanity surrounding it. Anyhow, the Belkin Rockstar is a super splitter of sorts ~ only it doesn’t split, it actually has a chip inside to make sure the sound quality isn’t dropping with each added connection. And most interesting thing is you can have TWO INPUTS… so yes, you can put two ipods together and live dj! While also having a few other people listening in, or hooking up some speakers… targeted at the 12-17 set, but world of opportunities here… imagine daisy chaining a few together? More images after the jump!
That is a giant hand held switch. They call it a remote, but i think giant powerstrip switch works a bit better… especially since it even comes with a wall plate where you can magnetically dock it like a light switch. As mentioned in my Top 10 CES Cravings ~ this is the Belkin Conserve Surge Protector. As we’ve all been hearing,even when off, plugged in electronics are still slowly sucking energy… so here’s one way to actually cut off power to the tv, laptop/phone/mps chargers, etc when not in use. The interesting thing here (besides the awesome switch and magnetic mount) is that there are two plugs on the power strip which will stay on regardless (perfect for alarm clocks, tivos, etc), and the others are controlled with the switch. And if you have multiple ones of these? Well they wont interfere with each other since you can set the channel on the back, but if you have more than 6, be careful. Also, i worry about wandering over to a neighbors and turning their lights on and off… or vice versa… but Belkin seems to think that would be a luxury problem… although after watching the TV-B-GONE in action at CES, i’m not sure. I’d hate to have a desktop lose power because of an incident like this. How about some more secure pairing technology? See more images of it in action and close up after the jump!
Awdio ~ they stream music live from trendy hot spots around the globe ~ (even the colette store is listed)… interesting concept. You can experience the full beta thanks to techcrunch ~ use the invite code TechCrunch (case sensitive)… bugs they need to fix? My last name is AW, (yes like in AWdio, why didn’t i think of that url first?) but they dont allow you to have two letter last name entries! So i am now Jean Notcot. Streaming some of the feeds now and its pretty fun to work to!
Nokia goes green this CES with their Nokia 3110 Evolve, and to show it off they gave it a special corner of their large booth space. The most eyecatching things there? The Toyota Hybrid COVERED in green vinyl sticker trees (YES, i am so dreaming up things to do to my car) ~ the beautifully simple compressed wood layered displays ~ the bold typographic 60% recycled packaging. If there was one common trend between my favorite design centric booth displays this year it would definitely be silhouettes in vinyl…
One of the first booths i encountered that i actually loved wandering around in was the one for Eton ~ which is re_inventing radio, but more to come on those later! I started from their darker Porsche design collaboration space (i’ve always been a sucker for those Porsche design radio), and working into their strangely spacious feeling (not an easy task at such a large trade show) main space that used many illuminated white geometric forms for both displays as well as overhead ambiance and projection spaces. the result was a multifaceted cloud like environment. Their main bar showed all their latest products in a range of colors, and surrounded by playful orange stools were very inviting and their colorful, rugged radios displayed on nicely layered pieces of plexi with info on the various models, as well as simple layers of shapes and colors on the main surface. Apparently Eton is Palo Alto based, which was a pleasant surprised ~ seeing as their booth looked far more european and heavily design influenced than the majority of silicon valley companies represented at CES! I also found out from their VP, John Smith, that the booth was the brain child of Jesse Kearney. Take a quick tour of the booth in pictures after the jump!
This is not your usual list of Top 10 CES picks ~ here are 10 products that are actually relatively attainable (either out now, or soon, and aren’t concepts), that made my wishlist far too quickly - and don’t fall under the cliche mobile, tv, pc launches you’ve probably been reading about and seeing everywhere.
Freshly back from CES, and i can barely feel my feet. As can be expected - it was one insane 36 hour vegas trip filled with more gadgetry than you can imagine, taxi lines longer than those at amusement parks, bright lights, tacky hotel rooms, the drone of slot machines pinging away, camera crews/bloggers/businessmen everywhere, booth babes galore, 150” tvs, robots, giant dancing/singing frogs with waterfall projections at the wynn, etc… But before i get into all of that, i need some sleep! ~ So, see below for the full list, and rest assured i’ll have some up close and personal pics/posts to show you some design details of these products and more probably in the next few days!
It’s that time of year again. What other way to kick off a new year than the annual CES Vegas madness? I’m sure you feel the buzz of all the tech launches every 5 seconds burning up your RSS readers… Well i’m off at the crack of dawn for two days to wander through the mayhem, and this year dan is coming along as well! Seeing as you have all the tech sites live blogging the latest announcements, just like last year, i’ll be showing you what is actually worthwhile in person, who has the most innovative and well designed booths and displays (the big companies don’t hold back for this one, and last year Belkin blew me away), and which products we’re dying to BUY. So please be patient if my blogging and editing is a bit slow while i’m caught up in the whirlwind for two days, you know i’ll catch you up when i have time to process it all and clean up the pics!
*fingers crossed* its a good show this year ~ hopefully the front page of the CES page saying “Experience the Art of Technology” with their super colorful gadget paintings are a good sign!
Oh, and if you’re there and/or have something we can’t afford to miss, leave us a note!
I gave in the day after xmas and finally went over to the Red Monkey store/workshop in West Hollywood, played with all their beautiful leather goods, and ordered one of their camera straps (i wrote about them before and featured them in the photography gift guide!)… what i didn’t know was how sweet the packaging was, with the strap in bubble pack, with sticker and warranty, in a black matte plastic chinese take out container with the logo pressed into it! Also the store itself is pretty sweet as well, if you’re anxious, jump ahead to the store pics here, with guitars hanging from the walls, chandeliers, mirrors, motorcycles and more. The quality of their workmanship is really high, and their service and really fast turnaround for custom jobs was quite impressive (they got this one ready for me in half the expected time)… Anyhow, browse the many pics below!
On upcoming things to look forward to at CES ~ Liquid Image ~ the ultimate underwater third eye cam? A new level of strap-on waterproof wearable tech? But this really would be pretty fun for everything from diving to playing in the pool, bathtub, hot tub, fish tank? And the images aren’t bad with the camera coming in a 3 and 5 megapixel option for pictures and videos! See examples below!
Another option? How about they have strap on bluetooth camera/headset in my mask/regulator? and then my phone can just come with in a drysack? With voice activated “email image to…”? And while we’re at it might as well add a heads up display in the mask? and google maps with gps and instead of traffic it could have current tracking? with a dot for where i am and where my boat is? Ok ok, so maybe getting a bit out of control here, since my favorite part of scuba diving was always that serene relatively tech/internet free peacefulness of the vast unknown under the surface.