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CES Report January 7th

LAS VEGAS – Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The huge Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas doesn’t officially open its exhibit areas until Thursday but there is still plenty for the early-arriving national and international press corps to see. Last night, the producers of the Show hosted “Unveiled”, a modest reception where over 50 exhibitors gave the press a sneak preview of what they will be showcasing on the exhibit floor.

Here are a few of the highlights:
LG Wireless HDTVs

If you are tired of those messy TV cables and unwilling to drill into the walls to hide them, don’t worry – wireless TV is on its way! Among the dozens of new TVs that will be on display at CES, LG announced two wireless models for its 2009 product range – the LHX Slim Wireless LED Backlight HDTV and the LH85 Wireless Full HD 1080p HDTV.

These screens can be placed anywhere in the room and receive wireless transmission from a separate media box. LG’s LHX model features a beautiful, extra-slim design, which is less than one-inch thick at its deepest point, so it’s ideal for wall-hanging.

The LHX will be available as a 55 inch screen, while the LH85 will be available as 47 and 55 inch models.

LG also announced a groundbreaking partnership with Netflix, where the Netflix streaming software will be embedded directly into LG’s broadband-enabled HDTVs. This will allow Netflix members to instantly watch movies directly on the TV, once it’s hooked up with an Ethernet connection.

Netflix has rapidly been making the transition from a mail-order DVD company to a software company and has been forging alliances with hardware manufacturers to include Netflix software on streaming devices like PCs and Blu-ray disc players. With the LG announcement, Netflix will now be streaming directly to the TV with no external hardware required.

Powermat Wireless Chargers

Speaking of going wireless, it’s impossible to ignore the growing number of charging devices that now clog up the kitchen and other communal rooms in the house.  With multiple cell phones, iPods, BlackBerrys and other portable devices requiring a daily charge, it’s often hard to find an available wall outlet.  Even harder is remembering to take all those chargers with you on a business trip or when the family goes on vacation!

To make life easier, the folks at Powermat have come up with a series of revolutionary and space-saving products – ultra-thin mats and receivers which can provide a wireless charge to a range of commonly-used electronic devices.

Powermat utilizes magnetic induction as a power delivery method. The devices are simply placed on the mat, either on their own or using a receiver, and the device charges as if it were connected directly to its usual power source. No multiple chargers, no multiple power cords; just one power supply connected to the mat and everyone can charge at the same time!

The Joebot™

The Online Mom loves the award-winning line of hi-tech toys that WowWee has produced over the last few years and it looks like 2009 is shaping up to their best year yet!

For the next generation of their robotics line, WowWee is introducing the Joebot and Roborover™ robots.  Joebot (shown below) is a walking, talking interactive buddy packed with sound, motion and tilt sensors, so he can respond to a wide range of spoken and tapped commands. He can adopt a number of different modes, including Wandering, Patrol, Talk, and Battle.

For kids and parents that fondly remember Robopet™ and Roboraptor™, Joebot is a worthy addition to the WowWee product line and further stretches the boundaries of what’s possible with robotic toys.

For the younger set, WowWee is also introducing additional animals into the WowWee Alive™ collection.  This time it’s Seal Pup, Husky Puppy, Koala Joey (one of the WowWee marketing guys must have a son called Joe!) and Leopard Cub. These plush and adorable creatures have animated facial and vocal expressions that respond to a child’s touch – and they even come with adoption papers and a family portrait!

Parrot By Starck – Wireless Stereo Speakers

And now something for Mom and Dad! These gorgeous looking wireless speakers communicate with each other using Bluetooth technology, completely eliminating the need for wires and enabling them to be positioned anywhere in a room for a great stereo effect.

The speakers have been designed for compatibility with the entire range of Apple products, including all the current iPods and the iPhone.  One of the speaker columns includes a docking station, which also recharges the device as it plays.

Users can also stream music directly from a PC via Wi-Fi or from a PC, Mac or mobile phone via Bluetooth. The speakers pack a real punch with up to 100 watts in total output – plenty enough to get the neighbors’ attention – and use NXT technology to produce an even sound no matter where the listener is located in relation to the speakers.

Look for more reports from CES in the next few days!

The Online Mom

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