New and unique gadgets at CES
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
1/08/13 at 4:30 AM
Related Story: wwConsumer Electronics Show has gadgets galore
Tulsa World technology writer Robert Evatt is in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. Here's a look at some of the interesting gadgets and devices he saw Monday.
It keeps on texting
I've seen ruggedized smartphones that can survive brief splashes with water. But HzO Inc. is promising smartphones that can run during long-term baths.
The company coats the phone with its own polymer - I was told it works on any existing phone, not just specially designed units. The company is hoping to work with a manufacturer and have the coating become standard equipment on specific models.
Assuming there was no trickery in the demo I saw, the process worked amazingly well. Company representatives left phones running for minutes at a time while the devices were completely submerged in liquids.
Even an iPhone with its exposed ports kept running with no ill effects, and when a portable speaker was plugged in, it worked just fine.
Think record players are passé? Ion displayed one at CES Unveiled, and it was a doozy.
The iLP Lightning is a $99 turntable made of polished wood that can connect to the iPhone - here the product name refers to the iPhone 5's new Lightning port.
You'll be able to record the tracks you're playing to your iPhone or iPad, and if you're feeling lazy, you can let the record spin and the iLP's software will automatically separate different songs into their own tracks.
Why stop there? If you really want to spin some tunes, you can add the $99 iDJ 2GO Plus, which is a small bar with DJ controls that, of course, attaches to an iPad. All the basic controls are here, such as scratching, fading, pitch-bending and more.
Clip it on
I was most interested in Ion's Clipster. Sure, it's a portable Bluetooth speaker, but it's shaped like a big plastic padlock and can easily be clipped to just about anything. This one's just $29.
Get a grip
The iGrip looks like a nice holder for tablets and smartphones. It can be affixed to windows, walls and such. The gadget can accommodate cases as thick as an Otter Box, and it swivels around nicely. Plus, some of them double as charging docks, so you can watch a movie hands-free without running out of juice.
The display at the show had a particularly novel use of the iGrip - a smartphone holder for bicycles. Sounds great for playing music or checking your GPS, though it's probably not a good idea to check your Twitter feed while in traffic or on a rough mountain trail.
Wood you believe?
Griffin Technology is no stranger to headphones, although its CES contribution included some with a unique twist. Griffin showed off headphones and earbuds that are made of wood. They came in three finishes - beech, walnut and sapele. They'll be available in the spring for $99 for the headphones and $29 for the buds.
Looking for ultra-high-quality headphones? Velodyne Acoustics has you covered. Its V3 headset ($399) is made of brushed metal and delivered incredible sound during my short demo.
The VFree's quality didn't seem much lower than that of its brother, but it costs less at $299. It also is made of the surprisingly lightweight metal, though this one is wireless via Bluetooth.
This buds for you
Earbuds don't work on me very well when I'm running. My ears are slightly different sizes, and when I get really sweaty, earbuds slide right out.
I don't think I'll have that problem with the Yurbuds sport earbuds. They're designed to be twisted a quarter turn when inserted in the ear to "lock" them. I did so, and they felt more secure than any other earbud I tried, and they didn't cause my ear any squeezing discomfort.
The other selling point of the Yurbuds is that they can switch from noise-canceling to "ambient aware," so you can hear oncoming traffic and other hazards while out for a jog.
The Clipster ROBERT EVATT / Tulsa World
The iGrip ROBERT EVATT / Tulsa World
Griffin Technology headphones ROBERT EVATT / Tulsa World
Velodyne Acoustics' V3 headset ROBERT EVATT / Tulsa World