More from CES
CES continues its four day run at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with a record number of exhibitors, and aisles packed with buyers, press, and plain old gadget geeks. The robust health of the electronics industry was underscored by Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Electronics Association, in his state of the industry address, where he projected that global spending on consumer technology devices will surpass $1 trillion in 2012.
The variety of products and services on display is staggering, with manufacturers using CES as the launch pad for everything from heart rate monitors to electric car sharing programs. Here are just a few devices and services that caught the eye as we cruised around the show:
Oregon Scientific ATC Mini Action Camera
A super lightweight, compact, waterproof and rugged action camera, designed to go anywhere and produce great quality 720p HD video. Tough enough to withstand depths of up to 60 feet for underwater filming, or dust-proof and heat-proof (up to 100 degrees F) if you want to take it on safari.
The removable and rechargeable battery offers up to 1.5 hours of recording time, and the expandable storage maxes out at 32GB. Includes a TV-out jack for playback on a TV and a mini USB port for easy transfer to a PC or Mac for editing. Priced at $149.99.
Mobile devices and apps have prompted a whole new interest in health and fitness activities, which has been dubbed digital wellness. Into this market comes Striiv, a pedometer with a difference.
Not only does Striiv count all your steps and track calories, but it provides a whole series of challenges to motivate you to do more. Each time you beat your challenge, you earn points, which can then be used in Striiv’s addictive Myland games. There is also a charitable component. The more you walk, the more Striiv and its corporate partners will donate to a series of worthy charities.
The Striiv costs $99 and is available from Amazon.
Verizon Home Monitoring
Verizon has used its mobile technology and networking expertise to produce a range of home automation tools, which it is calling Verizon Home Monitoring. The home monitoring tools include various energy saving options and security systems, and everything can be controlled remotely via the Internet.
Depending on the system, Verizon Home Monitoring can let you remotely adjust thermostats; help you lower energy costs by showing you where electricity is being used; allow you to remotely unlock doors, turn on lights and view your home; and send automatic notifications to your computer or phone. Home Monitoring kits start at $69.99 and unlimited remote access is $9.99 per month.
Motorola Droid 4
It’s been quite a year for smartphones and the pace shows no sign of slowing in 2012. One thing to look for is more smartphone accessories, continuing a trend of handheld devices becoming realistic alternatives to tablets and mini computers.
Enter Motorola’s Droid 4 by Verizon, which features a sleek slider design and a laser-cut QWERTY keyboard with sharp edge lighting. The Droid 4 works with all Motorola’s Webtop accessories, including 10- and 14-inch Lapdocks, an HD docking station for the living room, and a vehicle navigation dock.
While we’re talking about smartphones, don’t count out Windows Phone just yet. The HTC Titan (AT&T) is set to cause quite a stir with its huge screen and 16-megapixel camera, and a string of other Windows-powered phones are also on their way.