Despite being introduced almost a year ago on Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup
, the Thunderbolt interface hasn’t really seen as much love from peripheral makers as we would have expected. While there have been a few Thunderbolt-equipped peripherals
hitting the market, it’s been more of a trickle than a flood. Belkin is no doubt also hoping the range of Thunderbolt devices will increase in the near future to make it’s upcoming Thunderbolt Express Dock, which was unveiled today at CES, a more compelling purchase.
Maybe feeling that their original MiLi Pro
pico projector wasn’t quite pico enough, MiLi has put the device under the surgeon’s knife and produced an updated model that has shed a few millimeters around the waist appropriately titled the MiLi Pro v2.0. Although it packs the same Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) LED projector producing 10 lumens and 640 x 480 pixel resolution found in its predecessor, the fan has been ditched, resulting in a unit that the company claims is almost 50 percent slimmer than the original and “perfectly silent.”
If you want to fill a room with the sound of the songs on your iPhone or iPod touch, there are currently a plethora of docking gizmos that will amplify the sound from your device's speakers. While many of these products look like they're designed to be used primarily in the home, however, Yamaha's new portable PDX-11 is ... well, it's sort of like the ghetto blaster of iPhone docks.
Following the recent release of the iPhone 4S
, ThinkGeek has unveiled its IRIS 9000 iPhone voice control module for iPhone and Siri. The dock brings a somewhat sinister feel to the latest iDevice's Siri feature thanks to a red glowing light that mimics the HAL 9000's iconic camera eye from 2001: A Space Odyssey
. While the dock won't provide much help in opening the pod bay doors, it will allow users to dock their iPhone 4S and control Siri from across the room.
While you might be tempted to think the Wall of Sound
is one of the biggest music player docks you've ever seen, it doesn't quite live up to the huge proportional potential of the iTree iPhone and iPod docking station from Austrian design house KMKG STUDIO. The dock is carved from a simple tree trunk, its rear-mounted speakers are pointed towards a wall to reflect the audio and the wood serves to resonate the sound in a similar fashion to a piano or violin.
We've seen iPad docks that mount an iPad on a wall
, on a car dashboard
and on a fridge
, but the iRoom iDock is the first we've come across that mounts an iPad in
the wall. Featuring a motorized docking system that automatically opens and closes thanks to a proximity sensor, the iRoom iDock is flush-mounted to the wall, which means you'll need the services of an electrician to connect the unit to your home's electrical system.
Thunderbolt definitely seems to be gaining momentum with another peripheral for the high-speed interface rearing its head. Spotted by DailyTech at this week's 2011 Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, the Thunderbolt Express Dock from Belkin connects with a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac to provide the same docking station capabilities found on Apple's recently announced Apple Thunderbolt Display
(but without the 27-inch monitor).
Charging an iPhone or iPod when out and about can often leave users taking advantage of any spare power outlet at hand. For those using the standard adapter and cable that came with said devices, this can sometimes mean leaving the units laying on the ground at the mercy of any big booted passersby. Bluelounge's MiniDock charging adapter overcomes this problem by replacing the dangling cable with a dock that connects directly to the standard Apple USB power adapter so that your mobile device sits upright close to the wall, safely out of harm's way.
Although B&W's Zeppelin
is a great way to listen to the audio on your iDevice while charging its battery, it can only dock one at a time. JVC has announced a sleek new speaker dock that can accommodate both an iPad and an iPhone/iPod at the same time.
I think it's fair to say that many music loving mobile device users are left somewhat wanting when it comes to built-in speakers. Listening to audio either involves having to wear cumbersome earphones or sacrificing device usability to plonk it in a dedicated docking station. You can, of course, just dock your device in Soundfreaq's new Sound Step speaker and top up the battery while listening or
you could keep your mobile device where it should be - in your hands. Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, users can stream audio directly to the speaker while enjoying lots of multitasking action on the device itself.