By Nate Adcock on Tue, 01/08/2013
One of the big tech showcase press events during the CES week of madness is Digital Experience, held at the MGM Grand Convention Center. A veritable cornucopia of vendors all crammed together--a mini version of CES, but with catering. Figured least I could do would be to post up a sample on some of the great stuff in this space. The theme this year was that of a "tailgate party", as in a party out in the parking lot of a college football game, but with vendors being swarmed by press, and the noise level cranking up to a steady drone, there was not much football interest being exhibited. Uh, anyway, let's go straight to the gear...
Many little-known vendors have contributed in important ways to the fabulous tech that ends up incorporated into devices like iPad or iPhone. One of the first vendor stops at DE was Fairchild Semiconductor. If I could pull out schematics, and start yammering about stuff like device I/O (input/output), I would not only hurt myself, but probably bore our readers to tears. In summary, I had a geek-riveting preview of Fairchild's prototype phone which demonstrated how their special internal switching magic allows device builders to bake in smarter features. For example, imagine connecting your phone (via a simple USB-HDMI adapter) to an HD capable display and have it detect and push content to it, automatically (in the proper output). Or how about the ability to detect the headphone connector polarity type, and adjust the device I/O accordingly instead of only supporting a specific type of connector? Too coool, I say!
Also at DE tonight; a unique and colorful line of power and accessory products (and a few cases) under the product line called TYLT. Some of the primary coolness came from a lightweight battery case called the FUSION. Offering a 2500mAh internal battery, the fusion protects and charges iPhone 5 in attractive polycarbonate. The TYLT brand also featured a slew of car and USB charge adapters with flexible, rubber cables and connectors.
Finally, a small, featherlight bluetooth speaker called the TYLT TUNZ, cleverly incorporating near field communication (NFC). You can tag and play all your favorites through a free app with this speaker, and also charge your device too!
Me being a big Linux Ubuntu fan, I had to check out a prototype example of the forthcoming Linux phone from Canonical. The rep demonstrated a generic handset with the touch-friendly Unity interface, which worked really well during the demo. The phone itself was a Samsung model (with Ubuntu more or less coded up especially to run on it), but the standard Ubuntu open-source build could easily and similarly be made to run across common wireless carrier models. Ubuntu expects to gain significant traction on mobile hardware running a full operating system and user experience, in turn fully unified with Ubuntu One cloud services. The strategy is to replace existing computers, handsets and maybe tablets with a single converged device that is also portable (and can be docked to a bigger screen). Ubuntu may be the operating system to bridge this gap, but time will tell if the effort really gains enough mainstream support to be widely adopted.
You want to beat the cops at their game, right? I mean the red light cameras and speed traps, of course. Whatever else you may want to beat them at, likely not going to happen with a simple radar detector (nor do I encourage any unlawful behavior, so be advised that you need to obey the laws in your area concerning radar detection tech). Anyway, the Cobra guys (who have a legacy of effective radar detectors) are adding social networking combined with the power of iPhone apps into the mix.
They maintain their own database of known locations and you (and thousands of other users) keep the flow of speed trap info updated. In addition, the app integrates with two new smaller models, one of which, the S-series, is fitted under the dash. App also handily can monitor your car battery... cool!
There is so much more I need to post up on when I get the chance, but there just isn't enough time to get it all into one post...stay tuned as more tech coolnes cometh, I assure ye!
Sorry about the no-links post, but getting late, and I need to get some rest before the big first day of CES proper begins!
UPDATE: Links added!