Some may call it a sophisticated alarm clock, but the truth is that the Dash presented by Sony at CES 2010 is simply much more than that. A one-of-a-kind "personal Internet viewer," this device is designed to let you pull all sorts of information off the Internet from its 7-inch touch screen even when you don't have a PC at hand.
It has the look and feel of a tablet PC, but it's not meant to be one. The Dash, in fact, is not portable: it's designed to be placed in your bedroom, kitchen or office, where you can choose among 1,000 (and counting) completely free applications that can get different bits of information using your Wi-Fi Internet connection.
Examples of the content it can display include real-time traffic information on a custom route, calendars, movie trailers, YouTube videos, Internet radio (via Pandora), photo albums, custom news feeds, flight timetables, weather forecasts, and more. You can even have multiple sources of content streaming at once so, for example, you can listen to Internet radio while browsing through an online photo album.
To be clear, the Dash doesn't include a fully-fledged Web browser, and can only access content through its many applications. It does however come with built-in stereo speakers, a headphone output jack, as well as a USB port for easy connection to many external devices such as digital cameras.
An internal accelerometer allows you to use it upright, ideal for a table or nightstand, or tilted, ideal for a countertop. It also supports multiple user profiles and channels, so different household members can create and maintain their own customized views of the Internet and check for them in an easy way.
Sony says the Dash is scheduled to hit the stores in April, when it will be available for USD$199.