I'm Covering CES 2011 Remotely This Year), here's some of the many consumer-oriented products (many of which can also be used by businesses) being introduced/shown. Issue"> TechRevu From Bag/Seat Combos To Living Room Videoconferencing, CES 2011 Has It All!
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From Bag/Seat Combos To Living Room Videoconferencing, CES 2011 Has It All! by Daniel P. Dern
Review by Daniel P. Dern
Event  ISBN/ITEM#: DPD110107
Date: 07 January 2011 /

Continuing my "remote" coverage of the Las Vegas 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from my home office in Boston (see I'm Covering CES 2011 Remotely This Year), here's some of the many consumer-oriented products (many of which can also be used by businesses) being introduced/shown.

Even without Apple there (Apple doesn't do "other peoples' trade shows"), I'm sure there were hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of new consumer-oriented products at CES 2011, certainly thousands of current ones. Like, for example...

Cisco is showing its Umi Telepresence doohickey that turns your HD television into "telepresence," a.k.a. big-screen 1080p hi-def video conferencing. This isn't a new product, but there's been improvements in HDTV since Umi was introduced.

Warning: Make sure you're not in your bathrobe or less, and that you've picked up the empties, before you start a call... (Note, the first character in the product name is actually a letter "u" with a bar over it, showing that the company has learned nothing about naming since starting out as a company whose name began with a lower-case letter.)

Fitness Technologies is introducing their UWaterG2 MP3 player, which, the vendors says, is the world's smallest 100% waterproof MP3 player -- good to up to 10 feet deep -- able to clip onto goggles or headband, with earphone jacks that seal the water out, and protects the jacks against corrosion. Uses include swimming, outdoor recreation, or -- presumably, wearing in the shower or tub. Available with 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB or memory, MSRP starting at $59. Do you need one? Depends how much you're in the H20.

PixelOptics and Panasonic are announcing the new emPower eyewear, called "a dynamic electronic spectacle lens", which, says PixelOptics, offers a new alternative to progressive lenses (also known as "no-line bifocals", "graduated prescription lenses", and "varifocal lenses"). The emPower has an automated electronically-activated lens, controlled by either bowing the head or pressing a button; all the electronics and the rechargeable batter are in the frames.

As someone currently wearing smooth-phase trifocals, I confess to being interested or at least curious. Here's three questions: One, what's the price? Trifocals ain't cheap. Granted, some of that is the add-ons like anti-scratch coatings. Two, what's the usability like? And three, is this adjustable, in terms of prescription -- or, like today's glasses, do you need to buy a new pair when your eyeball specs change?

Swany WALKIN'BAG announced an interesting traveller's item: their Walkin' Bag, a four-wheeled combination "lean-on-it" walking cane, carry-on bag, and instant flip-out seat, good for up to 300 pounds. I've seen cane/mini-seats, like the Sport Seat (available from Magellans.com and other places), but this one has a fuller-sized seat -- and is also luggage/schlep space. Weighing as little as under 5 pounds, it's also carry-on luggage with room for a 15.4" notebook and other stuff.

In addition to their business-oriented desktop, notebook/netbook, and all-in-one desktop (display plus small-form-factor PC) desktop computers for consumers, prosumers, and business users, Lenovo announced a new lineup of IdeaPad laptops. Intended for consumers, the new IdeaPad laptops have brushed-metal covers and raised textures.

According to Lenovo, the IdeaPad Y470 and Y570 in this announcement are "the world's fastest booting Windows 7 PCs", thanks to optional Lenovo RapidDrive SSD technology, which combines solid-state drive and hard drives. Lenovo also introduced its IdeaPad S100 and S205 "Internet companion netbooks". The IdeaPad S205 has an 11.6-inch display and ultra-slim design including a AccuType chiclet keyboard. Weighing less than 2.2 pounds, the IdeaPad S100 replaces the S10-3 netbook, with a 10.1-inch display and AccuType keyboard.

Also on the consumer side, Lenovo introduced the IdeaCentre A320 monitor/system combo, which the company claims is "the world's slimmest all-in-one, just 18.5mm deep"; the IdeaCentre B520, "the world's first frameless multitouch all-in-one with 3D Vision; the IdeaCentre B320, which also can be used as an HD TV, and has a multi-touch screen; and the Lenovo C205, a compact, affordably-priced all-in-one with multi-touch screen, stereo speakers, and optional TV tuner.

Acer introduced two new mobile lines:

  • The Acer Aspire 8950 line of high-end entertainment notebook PCs, with 15.6, 17.3 and 18.4-inch displays, and Intel Core i7-2630Q quad-core processors, 8GB of dual channel memory, and ATI Mobility Radeon 6850 graphics. "Our highest-end line", according to Acer.
  • Acer Aspire 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch display notebooks with Intel Core i7-2630Q processors; several models have NVIDIA Optimus graphics technology.

Paragon Software announced its Expertise Center, "Providing immediate and free expert assistance in every step of the migration process, PC users of all levels wishing to migrate to any type of modern hard drive, including the new 3TB+ drives, can search the cache of articles hosted at the Paragon Expertise Center, ask questions in the user forums or access the step-by-step interactive Intelligent Migration Assistant for custom solutions to a range of migration issues." Sounds like this could be useful.

Paragon Software was also demonstrating NTFS and HFS+ for Android, "eliminating all interoperability barriers between Windows or Mac machines and Android-based mobile and multimedia devices."

In my next report, a few more business and consumer products, and, with a tip of the hat to Jerry Pournelle, at least one "Dangdest Thing I Heard About."

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