New Wireless Devices Take Center Stage at CES Preview Events

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2016-01-07
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    New Wireless Devices Take Center Stage at CES Preview Events
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
 

CES 2016 will attract approximately 170,000 tech aficionados from around the world, and no one will get to see the entire show. It's simply too big and spread out. However, if one carefully picks out a few sectors in advance (home entertainment, new-gen autos, drones, TVs, etc.) and focuses solely on them, then it's possible to come away with some good, deep information. On Jan. 5 at the Pepcom and Digital Blue events at the Mirage Hotel, journalists and analysts were focused on (mostly) wireless devices that are either recently launched or will be made available on store shelves or on the Internet later this year. These products range from fancy-looking desktop storage (LaCie) and wellness devices that are, in fact, jewelry (Mira) to a device that turns a flat-screen television monitor into a huge Android touch-screen. In this slide show, eWEEK offers a glimpse of some of the more interesting and innovative items on display at the events, which attracted about 2,000 credentialed attendees.

 
 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 

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