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TOV @ CES Sands Innovations 2009

Hey folks, Valkor here with my final day of CES 2009. Crazy as it sounds; I actually ended my journey early. I mean this year’s CES was good, but not as happenin as last years. My final day was spent at the Sands, always a place for some crazy shit. Well left me a bit limp, but overall satisfied that I did go, because there were a few diamonds in the rough. Read on.

Please note scores are based on previews only (best of 5 stars) until a full review can be done, which may raise or lower the overall score.

Tweakers (3 stars)

Now these little speakers are kick ass cool. It starts out as one piece and splits apart to become two. But how do they sound? Surprisingly good. Damn good actually. I have to admit I was most impressed and I can't wait to see more Tweakers around the Val-Cave.

MVP Sound Demon (2 stars)

Speakers you can wear isn't anything new to me; not since last year's Korean tech show (which... was just so-so). But the folks at MVP takes things up a notch by adding a little style to their vests with internal speakers, making oneself a walking boombox. I love that style of vest and it makes great beach wear or when your just chillaxin with your buds and you wanna rock out with your.... yea you get my meaning. It would be interesting to see where this goes and I'll keep this one on my radar.

Vuzix (3 stars)

We ran into Vuzix last year at the Sands, so I was really curious to see what they had in store for us this year and I wasn’t disappointed. First up is the iWear AV230XL with OLED screen. For those not sure what OLED is, it’s Organic Light Emitting Diode , which uses organic compounds to create the screen and promises brighter colors and a much sharper contrast (also taken from the press release). I didn’t have a chance to play with the AV230XL, but it deserves mention. But what I was hooked on was the AV310 because it promised a “widescreen” display and it did not disappoint. A beautiful picture and comfortable fit, even with my glasses on, makes the AV310 choice in my book. The AV310 promises to also work with the latest IPods, DVD players, and gaming consoles. Fallout 3 anyone? Look for a full Val-cave review in the coming months.

Leashtec (3 stars)

An alum from last year’s CES, I’d be crazy not to stop by the creator of the GameLeash, which if you haven’t gotten one yet, then you should. A comfortable strap that you’d swear you were not wearing, makes carrying your portable device a breeze. Well Leashtec has stepped up their catalog with TecCase, which is a hardshell case for your IPhone 3G. It’s soft to the touch, yet durable, has a belt clip that doubles as a kick stand so you can stand your Iphone up to watch a movie or play music, or just rest at your desk while you work. Plus it works with the i-Leash so that you can swing it from your wrist or even hang it around your neck. Leashtec also in their catalog Camgear Kit, which contains the CamSleeve, CamLeash, and GlowStrap, and finally for the latest Ipod nano you have a clear hard case with GlowStrap. This company is growing and is definitely one to keep an eye on. I’ll have a full review of the TecCase soon, so stay tuned.

Anybots (???)

Last year I had separate report for robots, but this year since robots were sparse. Yea we get the three bots, but if I placed them in a separate report, then my Sands report would be way small. First up is QA. This is a communications robot, equipped with a monitor and camera so that you can be in two places at once. Working on a project from home, and wanna keep in touch with the office. Rather than phoning in QA can take your place and you can communicate through it so that you can see and talk to coworkers, while they can see and talk to you as if you were right there. And since QA is mobile, it can follow them around and communications can continue with little to no break up. It’s you, but not you. There are many possibilities for use of QA like in the film industry, construction sites, or even in the home where you can keep an eye on things while you work in another room. This is one to watch and I will certainly keep my eyes on this one.

MechRC (3 stars)

MechRC is one crazy robot, and it looks to be a killer item if released here in the states, especially around holiday time. With 17 independent joints, the bot is capable of some serious moves, such as what you see in the video I took. Plus you can program it with even more moves. MechRC comes with a remote control, built in audio so you playback music and sound files, and it’s expandable so you can add on additional pieces. Hmmmm GundamRC? VoltronRC? TransformersRC?? Make it happen!! Enjoy the show.

Wowwee Toys (3.5 stars)

Last in the robots area, but certainly not least, Wowwee toys are back with a slew of toys just for yours truly to peruse. The Val-Clan had a blast with Tribot and of course Femisapien is my heart, but now it’s back with toys for the big boys in the name of Joebot. Joebot is fun like Tribot, but on two legs. Joebot has tons of features, besides walking and talking, he tells jokes, dance, even beatbox; if you tap it out he will play it back perfectly. He responds to your voice and you can even do battle with your remote control. With his tilt sensor Joebot will know if he falls over and with infrared sensors he can avoid objects in his path (like Tribot). Next is Wowwee’s Cinemin. Competing directly with Optoma’s Pico, this palm projector offers the same functionality but offers a better video quality. Plus you get three flavors of Cinemin: The Swivel, which you can adjust up to 90 degrees to project on a ceiling, the Cinemin Stick which is a microprojector, which has internal memory and a slot for SD cards; Great for showing off your favorite pics and video on the fly (Perfect for tweens and teens), finally the Cinemin Station, which is a small media center with an Ipod dock. This is perfect if you want something small yet beefy, something that will pack a bigger punch than its little brothers.

Genius (3 stars)

Finishing up the Sands we end with Genius, and believe me these guys crack me up. For starters I was checking out their Tablet PC, however their stylus was out of synch and in the end I believe they shut it off. DOH! But I wasn’t paying too much attention as I was checkin out their Bluetooth headphones, the BT-03i. These headsets offer full touch and the ability to pause your music while you take a call (should you use the device with your mobile phone). I didn’t get too much coverage as I was just hangin out with the reps; you guys are too funny and I look forward to having Genius products grace the pages of TOV.

And thus end my 2009 Las Vegas venture. Though this year wasn’t the best, I still look forward to what CES 2010 has to offer. If your product wasn’t featured in my review, you can always submit a request for review by emailing me below. There’s nothing the Val-Cave can’t handle. Until next time peoples…

Valkor out!

Email: valkor@the-other-view.com

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