At CES Unveiled, we had the chance to sit down with Etón, a company that builds products for entertainment and safety that can rely on hand cranks or solar power to keep them running. In addition to the FRX series and the Rukus and Rukus Solar it was also spruiking at last year's show, the company is displaying its new ZoneGuard series alongside a couple of additions to its Rukus line and the new BoostSolar Mobile Charging Solution.
The company's ZoneGuard series is battery or AC powered and is designed to offer access to the NOAA and SAME (specific area message encoding) alert systems for information on weather and other emergency situations. With these units, if there is some emergency impending, they will alert you through beacons and flashes to the severity of the danger so you can take the appropriate precautions.
The ZoneGuard comes in two models. The standard ZoneGuard offers a smaller speaker that is built in to the main unit, while the ZoneGuard+ comes with two wireless modules that can be placed in a different room, so you can be safely alerted even if you are not in the room where the radio is located.
Both ZoneGuard models will be available in Q1 2013. The ZoneGuard will retail for US$39.99, and the ZoneGuard+ will go for $79.99, with a $29.99 charge for the wireless module.
Joining the existing Rukus and Rukus solar in Etón's Rukus series of Bluetooth boomboxes are the Rugged Rukus and the Rukus XL. Both new models are able to charge via AC or the power of the sun and should get a full charge from the sun's rays in about five hours, with a battery life of around eight hours.
The Rugged Rukus, as you can probably guess, is built to take a little more of a beating. It is water-resistant with an IPX-4 splash rating, so a small spill here and there shouldn't worry it. The Rukus XL is the most powerful in terms of actual sound. It features eight speaker drivers, while the other models each come with two.
The Rugged Rukus is expected to hit store shelves at the end of Q1 2013 at a retail price of $99.99. The Rukus XL will drop during the second quarter, and it will retail for $199.99.
The final product we saw was called the BoostSolar Mobile Charging Solution. It features a single solar panel and a rechargeable 5000 mAh lithium battery that can change almost anything via USB. It also features battery packs that can be charged separately and brought with you, as they are small enough to fit in a pocket. The device is scheduled to go on sale during Q2 for $99.99, with no price available for the battery packs as yet.
Update: The gallery for this story originally included the Sherpa 50 Solar Recharging Kit from Goal Zero incorrectly labelled as the BoostSolar Mobile Charging Solution – those images were removed on Jan. 10, 2013. Our apologies for any confusion this error may have caused.