As you can imagine, there are plenty of docks and cables at CES, so it's hard to stand out. Yet, three vendors were able to do so.
First, HengeDocks offered the massive Gravitas. This is a great dock and a great name for it, as the first thing you will notice is the weight. This is a dock that is meant to stay put, and allow for undocking even an iPad with one hand.
It's easy to find high tech wonders at CES, but I have a particular affinity for items that are low tech or no tech... In other words, items that have no battery, no wires, and no chips but still manage to make our high tech lives better.
People always ask me what to get the person who has everything. My response? Something to hold it in! If you have tons of gadgets, as I do, you're always looking for the right bag, case, or container. Fortunately, CES was full of such gear.
Your iPhone is an elegant, beautifully designed piece of equipment. It deserves a case of equal elegance, and I finally found one. Actually, they have two models and they are available after their launch on Kickstarter, from Blacksmith Labs. Additionally, to celebrate their launch, for the rest of January, they are taking $20 off each holster during checkout with the coupon code:
If you were hesitant to try the iGrill when it was first released at $80+, the new iGrill mini might make a believer out of you. At $39.99, the mini is an affordable tool to monitor the temperature of your expensive steaks and could pay for itself. In fact, the iGrill mini won an iPhone Life Best of Show award at CES. Unlike the big brother iGrill and the new $99.99 iGrill 2, both of which have four probes, the iGrill mini has one probe, which should suffice for most grillmasters. Unless you're cooking significantly different kinds of meat, like turkey and hamburgers and steaks, one probe might be enough.
I've attended dozens of CES (and COMDEX) tradeshows and every time I return, people ask me "what was the big thing this year?" Usually it's something straightforward like larger televisions, 3DTV, Blu-Ray, tablets, or smartphones. But this year, the big thing was "THINGS" itself! The phrase "The Internet of Things" refers to the increasing connectivity and intelligence of ordinary tools and appliances. Thanks to technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy, ubiquitous Wi-Fi, and IPv6, we have reached a tipping point where everyday devices like light bulbs, door locks, and thermostats can be connected to each other and to the Internet.
I'm a big fan of the Pebble SmartWatch as one of the early backers on Kickstarter. So I was anxious to see their announcement at CES yesterday. But frankly, it was a letdown. As I mentioned, I like my Pebble. I wear it almost everyday and appreciate that I can get text messages and caller ID on it. I appreciate the magnetic charging capability and the fact that the battery lasts about a week.
I love my iPad Air, but it's probably the most expensive gadget I carry around on a daily basis. And as an app developer, I depend upon my iPad Air. So I need to protect it. I was able to try the appropriately named Vault from Pelican ($99.95) and it's a serious case.
I love my iPhone, but Apple has consistently positioned the speakers in a way that directs sound down and not toward the user. If I place my iPhone in my cup holder, it muffles the sound for music or voice calls. A Bluetooth speaker solves this problem, but it's hard to find one that fits well in a car, on your person, and at the gym. That was, until the Pulse from Felt ($79.99). This remarkably compact Bluetooth speaker fits nicely in your hand, or in a cup holder, or, thanks to the included clip, on your visor or seatbelt.
If any industry needs to be more efficient, it's the restaurant and bar business. Profit margins are tight, employee turnover is a problem, and customers can be fickle. That's why I love shows like Bar Rescue which feature new technological solutions for one of the oldest industries.
People want to have a personal connection with their gadgets. A unique case is one way to further personalize this relationship. But you don't have to settle for different colored plastic cases that offer little in the way of protection or luxury. I have tried cases from Piel Frama before and always came away impressed. Their latest case for my iPhone 5s is a prime example of luxury and choice.