Though falling into that tiny category of things exhibited at CES 2012
that don't have an HD screen and aren't an iPhone peripheral, we did want to briefly mention Poldera's Power Bank Energy Holder. A combined LED flashlight and phone-charger, the Power Bank is one of those unassuming devices that may not be a head-turner, but is a good idea nonetheless. After all, if you have need of a portable phone charger, why not have one that can do something else useful too?
There certainly wasn't a shortage of smart eyewear at CES
this year. Shortly after our encounter with Vuzix SMART Glasses
we ran across these formidable looking SmartGoggles from Sensics. The Natalia Immersive SmartGoggles provide an ideal platform from which to deliver a powerful immersive gaming experience and as a result, they take up a considerable amount of space - "SmartHelmet" might be a more accurate description. But the bulkiness is quickly forgotten when you look at the hardware that's packed under the shell of this 360-degree 3D gaming and entertainment video rig.
What if you could power your phone on a single AA battery? The SpareOne is a mobile phone that can to do just that. Designed as a back-up that you keep in a glovebox or emergency kit rather than a phone you keep in your pocket everyday, the SpareOne claims to deliver you up to 10 hours of talk time on one AA battery and (depending on the shelf-life of the battery you're using) it can hold charge while unused for up to a whopping 15 years.
Canada's Tamaggo Inc. previewed an egg-shaped photographic device at this year's CES that's claimed to capture navigable high resolution 360-degree panoramas of its surroundings with a single click. Rather than stitch together lots of different photos taken one after the other in quick succession, the Tamaggo 360-Imager would appear to do for photography what lens attachments like the GoPano micro
did for iPhone video. I say appear to do
because the device on show in Las Vegas was a non-functioning prototype, so we've yet to see what the technology can actually do.
Home video game consoles can provide endless entertainment, but sadly aren't the most portable of devices and can be fairly fragile to boot. Traveling gamers know what a pain it can be to try and haul gaming equipment around for long trips, and that's without trying to find a TV to use wherever they go. GAEMS, Inc. may have a solution, though, with its rugged G155 case that can secure an Xbox 360 or PS3 along with the provided HD LED screen in one tidy, portable package.
Often viewed as works of art, violins and other string instruments are not uncommonly displayed in the home. One Chinese company is turning a number of violins and other string instruments into speakers, so the display is functional. Instruments used to make the speakers, which also include bass and other string selections, are made by Hua Xing String Instruments in Guangzhou, China. A driver is inserted into the instrument, and the resonance within the resulting ViolinSpeaker is used to produce and project sound.
Although it can't be denied that smartphones are ... well, that they're really smart, the fact is that not everyone wants
to play games, shoot and watch videos, surf the web or use apps every time they step out their door. For many people, the ability to make and receive phone calls is all that really matters. It was for minimalists like these that Austrian electronics company emporia designed its very basic, large-keyed mobile phones
. While they were previously not available to North American consumers, that changed with an announcement last week at CES.
Every CES puts the most prominent tech trends on show, and this year was no exception, though some were a bit more visible than others. After the unveiling of arcade-style attachments
for smartphones and tablets, a no-glasses 3D tablet with an attachable controller
, and a tablet aimed at the hardcore gaming crowd
, it became pretty clear that one of these trends is to bridge the gap between high-quality console games and smart devices. However, none of these new devices have appeared quite as portable as the Ion Controller from SteelSeries, which connects through Bluetooth and is about the size of a deck of cards.
Despite the fact that it's getting more and more difficult to find someone who doesn't carry a smartphone with them at all times, the notion of the Dick Tracy style watch phone
isn't dead yet. In the past few years, we've seen examples from companies such as LG
, just to name a few. This week at CES, watchmaker Burg officially added its Neon line of watch phones to that list by announcing two models that will be coming to the U.S. market.
As someone who spends a good deal of time taking photographs of new consumer technology, only to subsequently enjoy
hours of tedium touching up my snaps in image manipulation software, I have to admit to being pretty excited by the new 3D PhotoBench 260 from Ortery Technologies. Shown at CES 2012
this week, the desktop photography studio is claimed to be the first system in the world to take product shots or create 360 degree Flash/HTML 5 animations with a pure white background.