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Thursday, January 6, 2011

CES 2011 Unveiled: Early Show Impressions

Officially, the Consumer Electronics Show doesn't get under way until Wednesday (the show floor opens on Thursday)— but that doesn't mean there aren't aren't things to see ahead of the main event. At CES unveiled this past Tuesday night, members of the press had the opportunity to preview a small selection of products before hitting the show floor.

And while there was nothing particularly groundbreaking at the time, the following few products managed to catch our eyes.

Mitsubishi Stays the Course with 3D DLP

While companies like Sony have long-since ditched DLP TVs, that won't stop from Mitsubishi from continuing to crank out a number of their own. On hand last night was a monster, 92" 3D-capable model, torturing convention goers with clips of Yogi Bear and Gulliver's Travels in the third dimension. It seems Mitsubishi is trying to position DLP as the premiere technology for consumers interested in the best 3DTV experience, so it will be interesting to see if similar trend continues with other manufacturers on the show floor.

Audiophile's can scoff all the want at single-speaker setups, but this relatively unheard of British company is hoping to change that. We've seen similar products from the likes of LG in the past, but Orbitsound is hoping their T14 speaker system — packing seven distinct speakers in one slimline enclosure — can deliver a convincing stereo sound experience, adjusting to rooms of any size. Whether all that fancy tech actually works any better than its competitors is hard to tell amongst the chaos of CES, but we'll keep you posted.


You might remember Parrot for their awesome AR.Drone, first glimpsed back at GDC 2010 — and later reviewed by us. However, the French company is introducing something a little different this year called the Asteroid. Packaged as an Andorid-powered in-car stereo and navigation system, it's not quite the Google experience you're used to — there's no touch screen, and heavily skinned — but it could be the first of many Android dashboards to hit the automobile market. And good thing, too because it's going to take a bit of work to better the Microsoft Sync experience.


We've covered cool energy-saving products before, but nPower's PEG might be the most practical. Place the baton in a backpack or purse, and the kinetic energy produced by your movement will produce and store small amounts of energy, generated by magnets contained within. There's an 1000mAh battery and miniUSB port and adapter for various devices — a promising idea if you're the patient type, and you won't look as silly when compared to charging your conventional kinetic flashlight.

Blue Microphone

You might remember we listed the Blue Snowball as one of our favourite pieces of tech from last year, and the Blue Microphone is back with yet another release — this time for the mobile crowd. Flip cameras are known for having notoriously bad audio quality, but Blue's Mikey attachment for Flip is hoping to change that. For those of you with new, FlipPort-capable cameras, the Mikey can seamlessly capture CD-quality audio, or accept an external mic input as well — something we're all about around these parts.

Motion Computing Tablet
The deluge of Windows 7 tablets starts here with Motion Computing's latest slate-style model. The company says they've been producing tablets for specialty markets since 2001, and they've churned out yet another for the business crowd. Packing a 10" Gorilla Glass panel, a purported 8 hour battery life, and Intel's new Oak Trail architecture, this is likely the first of many we'll see this week.

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