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The Best of CES

by Josh Rubin in Tech on 13 January 2008

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The annual Consumer Electronics Show took the breath out of Vegas last week. While there was an endless slew of things to see, we found a few stand-outs worth reporting on.

Iqua 603 SUN, Solar Powered Bluetooth Headset
This compact Bluetooth headset from Iqua offers all the same features as the big brands, but stands out with the innovative integration of a solar cell. Sunlight will extend the charge on this device, which has a Lithium Polymer battery that can also be charged via USB or a power plug.

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Sennheiser MXW1 Wireless Earbuds Don’t Sound Wireless
Through a partnership with Kleer, the MXW1 wireless earbuds deliver rich, full, uncompressed audio over a 2.4GHz wireless frequency. While they look like Bluetooth headsets, they’re not—there’s no mic. These little guys are fully optimized for tangle free music enjoyment.



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Hillcrest Labs Redefines Remote Controls
Hillcrest isn’t a consumer brand, they develop technology that makes media easier to access. Freespace, their motion based control technology, recently surfaced in Logitech’s MX Air mouse. HoME, their latest innovation, is a panning and zooming interface for home media that is best navigated with a Freespace device. Using the two technologies together it’s incredibly easy to navigate through large volumes of visual information.



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Sharp Aquos D64 Series, Now in Smaller Sizes
Introduced at CES last year, the D64 line of Sharp’s Aquos Televisions offers incredible contrast and refresh rates in an attractive, simple casing. While the CES buzz is often about the biggest (Sharp showed a 105” LCD TV and Panasonic a 150” Plasma), we at CH can neither fit nor afford mega-televisions. Being small-space dwellers, we’re excited that the line-up has grown with the addition of two new smaller sizes (32” and 37”).

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Ceiva
We take digital photos and share them all over the web, but some of family and friends aren’t always savvy enough to be able to see them. With Cevia networked digital photo frames and their online photo management service there is now a way to push photos in front of your grandmother without her having to do a thing. Available in an 8” desktop frame and soon to be a 19” wall-mounted version.



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BUG

Bug Labs has developed a gadget prototyping system that lets the creative geek mock up both software and hardware to prototype any idea. The BUGbase is a small Linux box with connectors to snap-on BUGmodules like a camera, touch screen, motion detector or GPS. Software applications are build with the BUG SDK and shared with the development community on BUG’s community site.

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iRiver Unit2 vs. Mickey Themed Mplayer
While the Unit2 all-in-one home entertainment and networking device (above) was an impressive piece of hardware with a modern-minimalist design, the Mickey Mouse themed Mplayer MP3 player was the winner in my book. Taking cute and making it functional, one ear controls volume and the other skips forward and back. The headset jack is right between the ears so that the 1GB can be worn as a pendant hanging from your earphones.

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