What's host at CES 2012
LIQUIPELLiquipel is a preventative coating for smartphones and other mobile devices, which offers protection from water damage in everyday scenarios like using your device in the rain or dropping it in the sink.President of Liquipel, Kevin Bacon (a different one), told Paul Spain of the NZ Tech Podcast that while the product has demonstrated some extraordinary water resistance, he still wouldn’t recommend taking your iPhone in the pool."Our main concern when we started the company was to cover most of the scenarios under which people water damage their devices,” Bacon says."Through our research and through our performance with our coating we’ve come to find that we can cover about 90% of the situations under which people water damage their electronics, so accidents like dropping it in the sink, puddles, rain, all these other situations under which your device would normally become damaged, Liquipel is able to save it.”The coating costs US$59, and while the company is concentrating on the US market at the moment they are happy to coat products from overseas, provided the owner is willing to pay the shipping costs.LOGITECHThe Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 offers professional grade video and video calling capabilities with full-HD 1080p. This camera delivers fluid HD with one click uploads to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, while putting less demand on the computer, thanks to H.264 encoding. Dual microphones capture natural stereo audio. It will retail in Australia for AU$149.95 and in New Zealand for NZ$169.95. Availability is expected in February 2012 with exact dates to be confirmed.With a nod to its history of redefining the way we interact with the digital world, Logitech has created the Logitech Cube, a computer mouse that redefines what a mouse can be. The Logitech Cube incorporates all the expected functionality of a mouse into a radically new shape. It points, clicks and scrolls like a traditional mouse, but lift it in the air and the mouse becomes a presenter when you need it. Click the Cube to advance your deck to the next slide; turn the Cube over in your hand and click it again to go to a previous slide. It will retail in Australia for AU$89.95. Availability is expected in February 2012 with exact dates to be confirmed.PARROTParrot’s AR.Drone stole the show at CES a couple years back, but this year the company has taken the smartphone/tablet controlled quadricopter to a new level. Version 2 includes a high definition camera capable of sending 720p video via wi-fi to any iOS or Android device. Video taken with the flying drone can be shared with other users and the camera shoots video wherever you are pointing your device. Cursory tests indicate version 2 is much easier to fly than the first one. Unfortunately it probably won’t be available in New Zealand for a while, but we’re sure it will be well worth the wait!SAMSUNGThe Samsung ES8000 LED TV redefines how consumers access, experience and manage their home entertainment. Powered by a dual-core processor, users can surf the web while using or downloading multiple apps simultaneously. A broad range of content is also available through Samsung Apps, the industry’s preferred TV apps platform. Continuing its future-forward path, Samsung also introduced the ultimate TV delivering new sensations, and an entirely new category of television that the industry has long been awaiting—Samsung’s very first 55-inch Super OLED TV. As a CES Best of Innovations 2012 award winner, Samsung is proud to utilize its long history and expertise surrounding OLED product development to bring this technology to large-screen TVs. Samsung’s proprietary Super OLED technology incorporates the ultimate in vividness, speed and thinness, with true-to-life picture quality, enhanced colour accuracy and motion picture quality even in the fastest scenes. Also incorporated into Samsung’s Super OLED TV is Smart Interaction, Samsung Apps, 3D functionality and multitasking.AMAZONIf you’re a dedicated greenie, you can now use the SolarKindle to charge your Amazon Kindle e-reader using natural sunlight. The device includes a leather case and built-in extended battery, promising three months of usage in a "normal sunlight environment”. The $US79.95 device from SolarFocus Technology will be available in the US in January, but Kiwis should be able to order it online.NOKIAThe Lumia 900 represents Nokia’s first serious step into the US with its Windows Phone line. It offers a large and high quality screen, LTE connectivity, a front-facing camera and a number of other features not seen either on T-Mobile’s 710 or on the Lumia 800, which has already launched in Europe.The device will get significant marketing support from Nokia and AT&T, and therefore has the best opportunity of any Windows Phone launched to date to do well in the market. However, that’s not to say it will be a blockbuster: the exact timing and pricing will be major factors too, and those have not been announced yet.OLPCIntroducing the first tablet to be powered by solar cells! The "One Laptop Per Child” tablet follows its successful predecessors, the super-cheap OLPC laptops. These laptops were designed to provide kids in the developing world with access to modern education and have brought computing technology to many disadvantaged and remote areas, including indigenous communities in Australia. The niche 8-inch device has a price target of just $US100 per unit.SONYSony finally becomes a multiscreen vendor with the first own-brand smartphones. With the buyout still pending regulatory approval, this was a bold move by Sony but one the company needed to make. The launch of the own-branded smartphones marks the start of a new era for Sony, as it positions itself to battle with other multiscreen players in the increasingly competitive and interlinked consumer electronics markets. As we enter 2012, it will become increasingly important for top-tier consumer electronics vendors to offer a complete portfolio, not only of devices, but also the services which run on them. Despite having many of these components in place, Sony now faces the challenge of knitting them together to create a compelling integrated offering – an area in which it has yet to excel.SCULPTED EERSThese earbuds come with a custom fitting system that sits over the top of your head and takes just four minutes to sculpt earbuds that perfectly fit your unique ear cavity.ROAMZRoamz is a location-based mobile application that helps users discover the world around them in real-time. By merging local content, social media and mobile technology, Roamz gives its users up-to-date information about what is happening in their local area by intelligently curating content from the social web, based on each user’s individual preferences and interests. It’s like social goggles for the real world. The Roamz iPhone app can be downloaded for free from the App Store, and more information can be found at www.roamz.com.