by John Sciacca
The annual International Consumer Electronics Show kicked off on Sunday night with CES Unveiled, offering attendees a chance for a pre-show peek at some of the items that will likely be making headlines before the show officially opens. Also on hand were some of the product debuts from the Innovations Design and Engineering Award Honorees.
Prior to the event even starting, it was clear that this year’s show was going to be well attended at least by press standards. Standing in a line that at times reminded me of infinity – the line grew so rapidly that you could walk and walk and may never actually reach the end of it – excitement to get the show underway was clear.
The line to get into the CES Unveiled event was like infinity...
Of the roughly 75 companies in attendance (here’s a link to those that had registered for the event), there were three that most caught my eye. (Though, to be honest, the room was SO crowded that I wasn’t able to muscle my way to the front of all of the crowds. Also shocking, in a room filled primarily with youngish people, the free, open bars had some of the smallest lines. Go figure. Guess this year’s show will be more business in the front and less party in the back.)
Sonomax eers custom-fitted earphones (www.sonomax.com)
It’s no mystery that headphones are huge business now. (They formed a large part of the Monster’s press conference; see Lindsey Adler’s Tuesday morning blog for more.) But if you’ve ever worn a pair of in-ear models, you’ll know that finding the right fight is not only crucial but often difficult. While there are models available that can be custom fit, this often requires an appointment, added cost, and some waiting. Sonomax is introducing two new models that will allow end-users to custom-fit their own phones in roughly five minutes at home. I’m hoping to get a review sample and I’ll share my experience. Until then, enjoy this video describing the product.
IGo Audio Home Theatre Rack (www.igoaudio.com)
With entry-level systems, one of the biggest complications can be, “Where do I put the speakers?” While soundbars can address the speaker issue, it still leaves the, “OK, so now where do I put the gear?” issue to be answered. IGo Audio addresses both of these issues with a home theatre rack that integrates amplification, processing for DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD, speakers, subwoofers and storage all in one stand unit. With several models available under $1000, this could be the perfect add-on sale for low-margin flat panel sets. Check out the video for more.
Newer Technology Power2U integrated USB wall outlet
With more and more smart devices entering out lives, it seems that outlets are getting choked by all manner of USB chargers or – worse – you’ll inevitably lose that one important adapter you need to charge a device. Newer Technology’s Power2U device incorporates two USB ports with a tradition dual-outlet power plug. This easily replaces an existing outlet, and gives users a much cleaner way to keep their portable devices juiced up.