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.
For pen lovers, I just received this new alternative to space pens and INKA pens ~ that can write upside down, under water, in space, etc due to the pressurized ink cartridges! Tombow (whose markers and glues i’ve loved since childhood) have their own version, the Object XL that we found over at adorable Tortoise Life on Abbot Kinney last night. The although a little larger than my INKA Titanium that has been on my keychain for some time, i love that with one action you can extend the top which makes the pen tip appear, and makes it the perfect length to comfortably write with… no caps or little pieces to lose, or clickers to accidentally help a pen scribble in the innards of your purse/wallet. Apparently you can even put a Fischer PDA Stylus in. Full unboxing images below ~ it makes a gorgeous gift!
Gift Guide Day 1 ~ wow. can you believe we’ve made it through 31 one days of gift guides? Since it seems like those of you still shopping can’t be getting THAT much out of online shopping (not with completely certainty that your gifts will make it on time for xmas anyhow ~ some of my amazon gifts just got *lost* having somehow fallen off the back of a UPS truck)… and i’m sure you already know where you can go for gift certificates if you’re doing the last minute thing… lets start looking ahead… to the exciting new things to covet in 2008! So the final day of the gift guide is dedicated to some goodies we know about, and some rumors we’re hopeful for… and please share with us, what else are you dying to see in 2008?
A box full of RayD8s just showed up ~ they are the stocking stuffer of choice for my NOTCOT team this year… and i can’t stop playing with it… and watching the videos (great interviews with suckloard and poykpac right now!) in Mimozine 1 that comes loaded on him! Also really cool screensavers, icons packs, music, wallpapers… these little guys really are TOYS with some digital depth to them… and you can use them as the 4gig USB keys they are too. And more reasons why i’m obsessing on RayD8… he GLOWS in the dark and has a split personality… and he actually has FEET on the bottom! You can see all my favorite parts in his photoshoot below… the kids over at Mimobots even sent them over ready for this cold weather with their furry jump suits (different colors so we can keep track of who’s who).
As you know, i’ve played with Mimobots before (remember my ramona?) ~ and they were one of our gift guide sponsors (had SO much fun making that guide) ~ but somehow i hadn’t gotten the chance to fully explore the Mimozine till now… i wish all usb devices came with fun content/magazines to enjoy! It’s been an honor to have them as such strong supporters of NOTCOT!
Gift Guide Day 2 ~ the second to last of our 31 Days of Gift Guides! So today’s is all about Photography! Unexpected mounts, tripods, suction cups, lens distorters, look around corner adapters, sd-usb sd cards, rockstar guitar straps…. you know, the fun stuff your camera needs! Afterall, what fun are the holidays without lots of pictures to document it with?