Hey gang, Valkor here. And I'm checking in with another pre-big show event from Sin City Las Vegas – Digital Experience 2013. Held in the MGM Grand Ballroom, the event is similar to CES Unveiled 2013, but with more of a theme; Pepcom events usually have a theme and this event was no exception. Tailored to give the experience of a tailgate party complete with guys dressed in football uniforms, tossin out mini pigskins, female cheerleaders walking around looking all kinds of good, and a variety of related dishes completed the "experience". I arrived a little late and gobbled up what interesting tech I could find… and I have to say, there were some goodies floating about. So without further ado, let's look at some tech shall we?
Beats by Dr. Dre – Separated from Monster, the folks at Beats are doing their own than its looking pretty swanky. Kicking things off with the Pill, which is a wireless portable speaker that's lightweight and touts some serious sound quality. Plus it has an internal microphone allowing you to take that call and then get right back to jamming to your favorite tracks. Next is the Beatbox Portable; think larger version of the Pill – with handles and an iPod dock. The Beatbox Portable promises the same Beats by Dre sound quality on the go. Also Bluetooth enabled so it should work with just about any BT device. Finally we have the Solo HD Headphones that not only look great, but also quite comfortable and they're touted as being "unbreakable". Made for the Val-Cave you say?
TYLT – The folks at TYLT showed off a wide variety of unique charging devices, cases and assorted items. First are the cases – the Bumpr, ZigZag, Band and SQRD (available for iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 – minus SQRD) offer up unique and fun designs. Moving on to the Band Wall Chargers, which are silicone flat ribbon cords that are perfect for travel and can easily be stored with no tangles – at all. And finally, the product I'm keeping close tabs on is the TYLT Energi Backpack, which offers up a great deal of real estate plus it features a battery backup; PowerBag watch out now!.
Truphone – Do you own an unlocked smartphone? You want to be able to use said phone wherever you go, virtually anywhere on the planet without running up HUGE roaming charges? Then you might want to look into Truphone, which provides you with a SIM and a local number for the country you're in, allowing you to make and receive voice and data service without the hefty bill attached. It's perfect for business travelers or anyone who makes frequent visits to their country of origin.
Urban Animals – Sure TOV is a site for guys, but even we can appreciate cute right? I don't think anyone had a problem with that Necomimi review. Minus the motion, Urban Animals are soft, lightweight headphones with a taste for the wild. Currently only three types are available – Zebra, Lion, and Cheetah. But I hope to one day get to boogie with the bear. Let's make it happen.
Scotty BZ – You want some serious style with your headphones and earbuds? Check out Scotty BZ and their awesome audio line up. First up is the Retro Playlist with the classic phone cord. Get twisted with Spiral Playlist. Then laces out with the DJ Playlist. Finally zip it up with the Hyper Playlist. Not sure on the sound quality, but I'm already sold just by the look alone!
Ventev – Another company with a wide assortment of charging accessories, which we'll be dolling out a couple of reviews in the immediate future. Huge thanks to Ventev for providing some samples on the showfloor. With Ventev you'll find a host of mini USB car chargers, tangle free sync cables, powercells, protective cases, and hands-free devices. We're gonna give that mini USB charger a run and get back to you guys asap!
Kingston – A regular here in the Val-Cave, it's always a pleasure to drop by Kingston's booth at any event. This round they were showing off a prototype 1 TB flash drive – not even joking! OK we didn't see anything solid and I think I'd need to see the drive attached to a computer to confirm the truthfulness of such a device before I get way too excited. Finally we have the Wi-Drive+ MobileLite drive, which most members of the press received. The device is a take on the previous Wi-Drive released by Kingston, which allows you to wirelessly transfer your data from your iPhone or Android device to the Wi-Drive+ with an attached SD card or USB flash drive, expanding your storage capabilities. You can also share your data with up to 3 users. The product is currently in beta form and we'll be giving you a semi-review of the product and how well it functions in the coming weeks.
Moshi – I'm always on the lookout for new companies, especially companies who fit the TOV "man-centric" criteria. Yea the name sounds awfully cute, but Moshi is as earthy as they come with their Mythro earbuds. Very simple design and I can't comment on the sound quality… yet. But I'll be following up to get a pair for Val-Cave testing. Finally Moshi also has a battery backup called the Ionbank that comes in 5000 and 10000 mAh. It's already giving the myCharge Power Bank a run for its money.
Snappgrip – today's smartphones pack some serious camera action that even impresses most professional photographers. So how would you like to complete the image of looking like a photog, while still using your smartphone? Enter Snappgrip, an add-on that gives you the feel of actually holding a camera with all of the necessary buttons at your fingertips. I was impressed with the device and I look forward to seeing it in action.
Oculus Rift – Last but certainly not even the least is Oculus Rift, an immersive technology that literally puts you in the game. This is technology that you guys really have to see to believe and I hope there are companies out there that will take full of advantage of it because WOW! When I slapped on that HMD (head mounted display) I was whisked away into another world. I'll be honest, I was a little queasy walking around in the environment I was dropped into, but at the same time… it felt so right. I mean you can look in all directions – even behind you!
There were tons and I mean TONS of exhibitors at this year's Digital Experience. So much so that the place stayed open for an additional two hours! It was a lot of walking, a lot of networking but overall it was a lot of fun at a place where I love to hang my hat – Las Vegas. I'll be following up with most if not all of these companies (those who haven't already given me samples to test), so expect us to go a bit deeper with these products in the coming months.