Annual Pre-CES Pepcom Media Event Shows Off Plethora of Tech Products

 
 
By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2017-01-06
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Annual Pre-CES Pepcom Media Event Shows Off Plethora of Tech Products
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    Annual Pre-CES Pepcom Media Event Shows Off Plethora of Tech Products

    Pepcom's Pre-CES event offered media a closer look at drones, PC hardware, WiFi equipment, connected cars and other technologies on display at the massive show.
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    Zerotech Drone Is Light and Silent
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    Zerotech Drone Is Light and Silent

    The Dobby drone from Zerotech is a lightweight, inexpensive drone with impressive capabilities. This drone was designed to fly nearly silently and includes a full, high-definition video camera that delivers 1280p images and a 13-megapixel still camera. It is designed to return to its operator automatically and it weighs less than half a pound, which means Federal Aviation Administration registration isn't required. This drone will fold up into a compact package that Zerotech says is pocket-sized, but you'd need big pockets.
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    USB C Universal Docking Station Works Across Computer Types
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    USB C Universal Docking Station Works Across Computer Types

    The emergence of the USB-C standard has opened a market for USB-C docking stations. We looked at an early version of such a docking station as a part of eWEEK's recent Dell Latitude 13 review. But because the standard crosses computer types and manufacturers, third parties also are making them. Here's a USB-C universal docking station from Elgato that will work with a Mac or PC, as long as it's outfitted with USB-C ports.
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    Norton Core Secure WiFi Router
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    Norton Core Secure WiFi Router

    The geodesic dome on display at the Pepcom event was really a WiFi router, not an air defense radar, as some speculated. The Norton Core is designed to protect an unlimited number of internet of things devices as well as up to 20 other devices, including computers and mobile devices. In addition to providing network access for wireless devices, the Norton Core also performs deep packet inspection, encrypts all network traffic that passes through it and updates its security software automatically. The device comes with a one-year subscription for security updates. Norton company representatives said they expect this device to be popular with small businesses. It is slated to be available this summer.
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    IOGear Brings Its Own Docking Station Design to Market
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    IOGear Brings Its Own Docking Station Design to Market

    IOGear is a longtime producer of connectivity solutions. Now it's bringing a USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 universal docking station to the market. This docking station includes three USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port and more USB-C ports to expand USB-C devices. There also are two DisplayPort connections and a pair of audio jacks. This docking station will support two separate 4K displays.
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    IOGear Building a Modern KVM Device
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    IOGear Building a Modern KVM Device

    KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) devices have been around nearly forever, but for the most part, they haven't kept up with the latest technology. Now that most high-end video systems have moved to the DisplayPort interface standard, users are finding it difficult to find KVMs to work with those systems. Now, IOGear is showing its new USB 3.0 and DisplayPort KVMs designed to support video up to 4K. These KVMs are currently available in two-port and four-port versions.
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    Meineke Gets Into Connected Car Technology
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    Meineke Gets Into Connected Car Technology

    Meineke, the national car care center chain, has just released Revvy, a connected car module that attaches to any late model car's maintenance port, and provides a variety of capabilities, including maintenance support, a WiFi hotspot and even unlimited music downloads. The device includes communications using the T-Mobile network. A series of apps are available for the Revvy that run on your smartphone. These include MyVinli, which monitors vehicle performance and can make service appointments at a Meineke location. There's also support for geofencing and even a connection to Amazon's Alexa.
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    Keeping you Safe from Radiation
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    Keeping you Safe from Radiation

    Meineke, the national car care center chain, has just released Revvy, a connected car module that attaches to any late model car's maintenance port, and provides a variety of capabilities, including maintenance support, a WiFi hotspot and even unlimited music downloads. The device includes communications using the T-Mobile network. A series of apps are available for the Revvy that run on your smartphone. These include MyVinli, which monitors vehicle performance and can make service appointments at a Meineke location. There's also support for geofencing and even a connection to Amazon's Alexa.
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    Finding Reality in Detail
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    Finding Reality in Detail

    Chances are you've only seen imaging laser scanners on television shows such as CSI, where they were used to scan a crime scene in search of evidence. Now, Leica Geosystems is offering the BLK360, a smaller and easier-to-operate version of this device that can produce a 360-degree, high-resolution scan of its surroundings with millimeter accuracy. This 3D laser scanner can produce a full digital reality image in less than three minutes, at the press of a button. It's designed to work with Autodesk ReCap 360 software, which runs on an iPad Pro. It is slated to be available in March.
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    LenovoThnkPad X1 Yoga debuts
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    LenovoThnkPad X1 Yoga debuts

    You probably know that for most makers of PCs, laptops and similar computers, CES is the time to introduce new models. That's particularly true for Lenovo. The ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop eWEEK reviewed in November was announced at CES 2016, and this year there's a new version. At first glance it looks a lot like its predecessor, but there are differences. The latest version has a seventh generation Intel Core processor, up to the Core i7. There's a very high resolution OLED display and, in a turn of events, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga now has USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. There's also a new docking station that utilizes the new ports. The new laptop is scheduled to arrive in February 2017.
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    The X1 Yoga Has a Disappearing Keyboard
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    The X1 Yoga Has a Disappearing Keyboard

    Yes, what you're seeing is a silver ThinkPad X1 Yoga. But if you look closer, you'll see that the keys on the keyboard are level with the surface of the area surrounding it. Lenovo has redesigned the keyboard so the keys adjust to the point where they're level when the Yoga's screen is articulated past the normal typing point and the device is being used in the tent or tablet arrangement. Previous models raised the level of the surrounding surface, but with the updated X1 Yoga design Lenovo improved the usability of the computer and also protected the keys more effectively.
 

The evening before the massive CES 2017 trade show opened, members of the media were invited to get a first look at some of the latest products and services on display by technology companies. A lot of the products being shown were aimed squarely at the consumer market. But as CES reaches its 50th anniversary, the show has evolved and now also includes technology for business users. Of course, CES also has its share of crossover technology that can serve both consumers and enterprises. Some of the items we found include drones, connected car products, WiFi networking hardware and security devices. In addition, there were some unique products, such as the Changhong H2, which is a spectrograph mounted in a cell phone that allows the device to sense substances at a molecular level—sort of like a Star Trek tricorder's scanning and analysis capabilities. This device was impossible for me to photograph in any meaningful way. Still, there was plenty we could photograph and this slide show includes some of the more interesting devices on display at the Pepcom event.

 
 
 
 
 
Wayne Rash Wayne has been a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He's a frequent contributor to eWEEK and Techweb. Rash is a frequent guest on a variety of network news and talk shows, and has appeared recently on NPR, Fox Business News and NBC as a technology expert. He is the author of five books, including his most recent, "Politics on the Nets," which was featured on National Public Radio in October. You can mail Wayne here.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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