New Wireless Devices Take Center Stage at CES Preview Events

New Wireless Devices Take Center Stage at CES Preview Events
LaCie Chrome
Power Up Your Cell Phone
Fashionable Wearables
How to Make a Flat-Screen TV into a Huge Tablet
Never Hike Uncharged
Looks Like Candles, but They're Really Home Hubs
Eyelock Ahead of the Curve on Security
Learn How Much Fat You Have Burned
Drones, Drones Everywhere
Even the Food Was Innovative
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New Wireless Devices Take Center Stage at CES Preview Events

At CES, it's near-impossible to see everything, but if one focuses on some select areas, it's possible to come away with some good information.

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LaCie Chrome

Is it a trophy for some great accomplishment, or is it something else? The answer: something else. This gleaming device is the Seagate LaCie brand's latest top-of-the-desk solid-state data storage, available in 1TB capacity. Not surprisingly, it's called the Chrome. It may look classy, but it's also fast, with up to 940MB-per-second data movement speeds. It also sports a USB 3.1 (10G-bps) interface. Price: $1,400.

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Power Up Your Cell Phone

Ever have trouble getting decent cell phone connectivity inside your home or business? No more with this signal booster. The SureCall antenna looks like a decorative plate but sits in any window, sucks in cell signals and relays them to any phone inside the building. The EZ 4G is a five-band solution, providing PCS, Cellular, LTE and 4G AWS frequencies for use with all major U.S. carriers. This, combined with supporting multiple simultaneous users, makes it an ideal solution for small businesses and homes. The San Jose, Calif.-based company's tagline is "Raise Your Bars."

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Fashionable Wearables

Wellness-tracking devices don't have to be run-of-the-mill. Chicago-based startup Mira makes a stylish line of jewelry that doubles as cool-looking activity trackers. These bracelets (the company also has pendants) track steps, elevation, distance and calories burned and connect to a user's phone for cloud connectivity. They are made from surgical-grade stainless steel and are available in three sizes and five colors. The custom mobile app is available for iOS and Android. They range from $99 to $169.

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How to Make a Flat-Screen TV into a Huge Tablet

Want to add some more versatility to a flat-screen TV monitor? This is now possible using the Touchjet Wave device. This device by Seattle-based startup Touchjet turns a regular screen into a touch-screen. All you need is an HDMI input and a TV with a 20-inch to 80-inch monitor capable of 1,080p or 720p at 60/50Hz, or 4K at 24/25/30Hz. The device consists of a camera/microphone unit that connects on the top of the monitor, a power cable and an HDMI cable. Software is Android 4.4 with Touchjet UI. Good for bringing families together to play games like Candy Crush on a large scale.

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Never Hike Uncharged

Baltimore-based startup M-Edge International is showing its line of power bags, backpacks and totes that are wired to keep users' phones or music players charged at all times from the gym to the office. The bags have their own batteries hidden away, and users simply plug their phones into the port on the backpack strap when power gets low. Backpacks go from $29 to $79, are available in new colors and fabrics, and feature a 6k mAh battery for charging phones and tablets on the go.

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Looks Like Candles, but They're Really Home Hubs

San Jose, Calif.-based Cassia Networks is showing a lineup of different-sized home entertainment hubs that connect up to 22 Bluetooth-enabled devices. They have a wide range of up to 250 feet (1,000 feet in open air) and can penetrate three walls. They connect to all existing Bluetooth devices, such as speakers and other smart home accessories and are app-controlled (iOS 7+ and Android 4.3 compatible). They look like ornamentals and are priced at $100.

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Eyelock Ahead of the Curve on Security

Iris authentication is one of the newer forms of positive identification, and it may play out to become one of the most important security tools of the IoT age. This is because it is an identifier that is virtually impossible to replicate. New York City-based Eyelock is moving quickly to become a sector leader here. For example, major car manufacturers are starting to use the company's technology in new cars—not only to enable specified drivers to start and drive the car, but also to verify that the driver is the actual person using mobile services in the car. Use cases for iris identification comprise a long list.

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Learn How Much Fat You Have Burned

Seattle-based Levl's new device lets you measure what is going on inside your body so you can make informed decisions about your fat-loss routine. It tells you how much fat your body is burning just by analyzing your breath. Users breathe into a pod and then insert it into a white docking station. A few seconds later, details about your fat-burning levels appear on the outside of the dock. Levl is supposed to work by measuring the amount of acetone in a person's breath—an indicator of how much fat is being burned in the body.

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Drones, Drones Everywhere

Drones are certainly among the most popular new electronic devices in the world. In fact, at CES last year, the conference for the first time set aside a specific portion of the Las Vegas Convention Center for drone companies only. Same this year, only more companies are now showing their wares. These Blade Helis drones range from $149 to $1,500 and come with a range of options. They are ceilinged at 400 feet, per FCC rules. They are programmable to fly higher, but the owner has to change it himself.

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Even the Food Was Innovative

At the Pepcom media preview show at the Mirage on Jan. 5, there was plenty of conventional food (pasta, salads, hot dogs, mac and cheese, etc.) for attendees, and it's always appreciated. But for the first time, the show offered chicken-waffle sliders with maple syrup. They turned out to be a very popular item, along with the hundreds of new devices being debuted that evening.

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