If there's any question about the health of the consumer electronics industry it was very clear from this year's CES show in Las Vegas that the industry is thriving. The show was bigger and better than ever. Major vendors like Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic reaffirmed their commitment to 3DTV while the theme of "smarter" gadgets and gear came through loud and clear from connected TVs to household appliances. While the show was full of gorgeous new large screen TVs and so many Android tablets it was hard to keep track of all of them, we decided to focus our report on the coolest and most unusual gadgets we discovered while scouting the show.
Third Party 3D Glasses
A sign that 3DTV is gaining acceptance was the number of third party glasses manufacturers that we spotted at CES. A company named Blick had "designer" passive and active 3D glasses while the Marchon eyewear company was bragging about having recently received a patent on their curved 3D glasses.
A French company named Volfoni has "universal" active shutter 3D glasses that should cost less than manufacturers' glasses but there is a cord attached to them and a small unit that has to be in line of sight of the TV's IR transmitter.
From The Developers of Kinect Technology: A New User Interface
PrimeSense the brains behind Microsoft's popular new gesture-based Kinect game was demonstrating a gesture controller interface. It looked like it worked well with little movement required by the user.
Silicone (not Silicon)
Gadgets Are Fun
These silicone "horns" from the company that makes a lot of those cute silicone USB drives really do amplify the sound from your iPhone without using any power. There must be a pretty healthy profit margin built into these $25 products but they could be fun to use and nice conversation starters.
Silicone hand sets can be used like headsets on your mobile phone and you can look like you're actually talking on a phone instead of looking like you're talking to yourself. These retro handsets are from Moshi Moshi.
Plenty of Nanobands Too
There was no shortage of watchbands for iPod Nanos including slap bracelet types.
A Novel Way to Play Old LPs
This was one of the more fun devices I came across in the iLounge pavilion. It's called Soundwagon; the VW bus rides around an LP and plays it through built-in speakers.
Watch Videos in Private
Wherever You Are
For $29 you can buy a hat that has a magnifying glass and holder for you iPhone so you can watch videos in the privacy of your own hat.
Novelty Night Light
These are pretty widely available (Amazon has them) for around $6 - $10 but they're still kind of fun.
Tablets Were Everywhere
All kinds of tablets were on display at CES from no frills Android tablets from China to this interesting dual screen tablet from NEC to a newly announced "slider" tablet from Samsung which probably won't run Android.
I Still Think Mobile TV is Cool
If you read these posts you know I'm a big fan of Mobile DTV and hope to see it grow in popularity and use even though I realize it may get some competition from TV over 4G networks. I'm personally excited about this product from Hauppauge called WinTV-Aero-m. It only costs $69 and it can set you up with TV on your computer from one of many sources including free over-the-air ATSC or ATSC M/H, By using the coax adaptor shown here, it can decode cable QAM TV. It basically turns your netbook into a portable TV.
Get Gadget Info All Year 'Round At Retrevo
You don’t have to wait until next CES to get more gadget news. Retrevo has news, reviews and manuals for for all the latest gear and gadgets including HDTV, laptops, cameras, and more.