Robert Evatt: CES favorites include Cox cable guide, Xi3 Modular Computer
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Sunday, January 13, 2013
1/13/13 at 3:43 AM
Related Story: Consumer Electronics Show wrap-up: Annual tech show relevant as ever
Original Print Headline: Favorites from CES
The Consumer Electronics Show features near-countless products every year, so it can be a little difficult to narrow the list down to just a few favorites.
But after some serious mulling over, I finally did. Here they are, in no particular order:
Multiple companies featured various solutions for making tablets and smartphones water-resistant or waterproof, such as special cases. Yet HzO trumped them all with a polymer treatment applied directly to the device. At its booth I saw several different models sitting in water and staying perfectly functional, even an iPhone with exposed ports. HzO is in negotiations to include this as standard equipment on a future phone.
New Cox cable guide
Even if Cox weren't the area cable provider, I'd still say the company has the best new cable interface I've seen at the show. Sporting the working title "Personal Video Experience," the software has profiles for each user, learns what types of programs and movies you prefer and suggests ones you might enjoy. It's also got smartphone and tablet connectivity. A key selling point is its appearance: The information floats attractively over live video. This software should begin to roll out in the spring.
Xi3 Modular Computer
I've seen computers smaller than the one being developed by Xi3 Corp., but none have been more striking. Its computer is maybe half the size of a loaf of bread and comes packed into a gently convex metal case. They didn't sacrifice power in the process - the computer will pack up to four 3.2 gigahertz cores, 4 MB of memory, a terabyte of storage and ports galore on the back. Xi3 will also sell small modules that slide onto the side if you need more power. This unit is set to be released this later this year.
Parrot Flower Power
Give me a plant, and you've condemned it to a slow death. Maybe with this new plant monitor I can avoid further plantslaughter. Flower Power constantly measures sunlight, temperature, fertilizer and moisture levels and sends the data to your tablet or computer via the Web. If anything goes wrong, you'll get an alert. Plus the software seems to easily set you up with the right standards for any given plant.
There's no way I can see a giant robot spider and not write about it. The MondoSpider is maybe the size of a Mini Cooper and can be driven from a seat in the middle, complete with sticks tipped with chrome skulls. Plus, it's solar-powered, making it an eco-friendly metal nightmare.
Dell XPS 13
It was hard to find a laptop at CES that didn't feature a touchscreen and detachable keyboard to transform it into a tablet. The Dell XPS 13 takes a different, more elegant route to dual function. The screen is permanently attached to the keyboard, but pegs on each side allow it to flip over. The resulting tablet is slightly heavier than the tablet norm, but the promised HD screen, 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of solid-state storage should make it a solid performer.
HzO representative Devin Markle pulls a smartphone out of a container of beer after demonstrating the company's WaterBlock technology at the Consumer Electronics Show. WaterBlock is a nanobacking that coats the inner circuits of a device. JULIE JACOBSON / Associated Press
Pegs on each side of the screen of Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook allow users to flip the screen over and use the computer as a tablet. JULIE JACOBSON / AP
Parrot's Flower Power may be the solution if you suffer from black thumb. The device measures sunlight, temperature, fertilizer and moisture levels and sends the data to a tablet or computer. ROBERT EVATT / Tulsa World
The Xi3 Modular Computer will pack up to four 3.2 gigahertz cores, 4 MB of memory, a terabyte of storage and ports galore on the back. BUSINESSWIRE