Wednesday, February 1, 2012

CES 2012, Gadget Heaven

CES 2012, Gadget Heaven…




It’s been said that CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, may be on the decline with a questionable future. Well, you certainly would not know it based on its all time record-breaking attendance of 153.000+ attendees. In fact, it almost looked like the Detroit Auto Show with additional exhibits from Ford, Mercedes and KIA, a company that opted to skip Detroit and put all its efforts into CES.

Personally, I think Ford stole the show with the introduction of the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid that’s expected to get more than 100 MPGe, based on averaging the combination of gas, hybrid, and plug-in electric energy sources. In addition, Ford has incorporated “SYNC with MyFord Touch®” that allows access of important features via touch controls and voice commands. Further more, expanded production will soon commence at its plant in Flat Rock, MI making this an all-American car. Guesstimated price $22,000. Kudos to Ford for this most innovative and affordable approach and for keeping it in America!

There were no major innovations. LG showed some pricy, razor thin flat screens incorporating black as an additional primary color, while other manufacturers came pretty close size wise. Samsung demonstrated their line of Smart TV’s that incorporate features such as SKYPE enhancing the visual communications experience. Also interesting was that Polaroid was displaying and actively marketing all lengths of VHS tape, a product that has long since seen better days.

On the more practical side, THE GADGETEER’S picks for unusual and interesting gadgets at CES 2012 are:

Mustek: iPad Docking Scanner S4000.

DOT: Snap DOT onto your iPhone 4 or 4S, load their app and shoot 360° panoramic video.

Penclic Wireless Mouse: The R2 is a mouse built into a pen for MAC/PC that operates on almost any surface with 5 buttons and a scroll wheel.

Wi-Fi Magic Wand by VuPoint: Scans onto a microSD card and transfers files via Wi-Fi.

iTwin: USB dongle provides secure access to a computer’s hard drive from any other computer with a web connection.

CASIO GB-6900 watch: Bluetooth Smart G-Shock watch: Many outstanding features including notification of incoming calls/email/text and time synch from your smart phone.

Lowel “Blender”: Intuitive LED portable video light providing color temperature ranges from daylight to tungsten with two rotary controls for use with video and film applications.

Biscitti TV Phone:. Turns your TV into a videophone. Works with Gmail and Google Talk.

Newertechnology: Power2U™, a UL approved wall outlet incorporating two USB charging devices. Eliminates the need for bulky plug-in charging units.

EcoPac/EcoPlug: Improves electrical consumption efficiency of certain appliances resulting in lower energy costs, perhaps a new approach to a technology that’s been around for a while. Also shown, LED tubes that replace the florescent tube type bulb.

Miracle LED: LED lamps that look like incandesant lamps, but put out brighter light, low-heat and energy saving.

Roku 2: Mini streaming device that includes many film and gaming services.

I will be reviewing many of these items in the coming months, as they become available. In the meantime, the associated web sites shown provide interesting details. So, from Las Vegas with tired feet, I’ll return next month with my usual product reviews. THE GADGETEER

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at, or followed at for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.

Post Script: Here’s a last minute addition of something interesting, but not as yet reviewed by the GADGETEER: SnapIt, a PC ONLY software program that captures anything you see on your PC screen. It’s a convenient tool for graphic designers and bloggers who capture and crop images for their posts, for tech writers who need to describe menus and interfaces of applications, web designers and those who work with graphics every day. It captures and auto saves images with one click. It’s for PC users only since the Apple platform already incorporates a similar feature in its OS. However, could be an important addition to dual-platform MACS on the Window’s side. SnapIt supports hotkeys, auto-saving, clipboard. It automatically copies screenshots to the clipboard,tracks capture history, auto-saves captured images and saves files in BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG and TIFF formats . It also auto-names captured images.



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