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CES 2012. Best Innovations 2012: 17 Winners

I always wondered how panelists vote for best products. Sometimes I agree with them, but on other occasions I have some reservations. It is a question of personal preferences though. Below you will see 17 products chosen as best innovations of CES 2012. The list is varied, but entries represent different market segments.

“Smart” SafePlug from 2D2C Inc

It looks like a standard plug visually non-distinguishable from the rest of the breed, but appearances are deceptive. In fact it can decide when the gadget is fully charged and unplug it at the time, which saves your money. As far as the majority of phones can stop the charging process, but can't unplug, we have an intriguing solution on our hands. Every plug can be equipped with the tag to remember charging preferences for different gadgets. It is indeed simple and smart.

Tablet and Phone in One Body: Asus Padfone

The passion to combine several devices in one is appealing today as never before. For example, Asus decided to take a tablet and equip it with a phone. The task was to ensure that you could still comfortably use the phone. Hence appeared Padfone, which is a 10.1" tablet with the phone on the other side. It is based on Tegra3 and both gadgets have separate batteries. A SIM card is in the phone only, but the connection works for two devices. The tablet functions as a dock station as two gadgets share one memory storage. The solution runs on Android 3.x (with further upgrade to Android 4) and will appear in stores this summer. The price is not known yet.

Plug with USB Jacks from Audiovox (RCA USB Wall Plate Charger)

The majority of consumer electronic devices boast USB jacks now and people charge them through laptops or PCs. Subsequently we do not charge certain devices from regular plugs and it was all too logical to create a plug with the USB jack. It is hardly a groundbreaking innovation, but it is an effective solution for many users.

Basis Band from Basis

It is the first online monitor to track down your health parameters. I absolutely adore such toys and already signed up to buy it, but the release date has not been unveiled yet. This “watch” measures the distance you walked, burned calories, amount of sleep, heartbeat, etc. The collected data is sent via USB to a PC and added to your online profile. In subsequent versions of the model the company promises a Bluetooth module and wireless synchronization. Replaceable bracelets are already available to color the watch. I hope the company will implement its design, because the competition is heated (for example, iPod Nano can do the same). Basis Band B1 will fetch 199$, which is not cheap, but the model is appealing nonetheless.

Kitchen Tablet Holder from Belkin

I like the company for various accessories they are coming up. Some of them are funny, others are useful, while some are purchased just to try once and forget. This gadget allows you to fix the tablet on any kitchen shelf. There are no screws here, just put the base on the shelf and place the tablet there. If you cook a lot watching a movie or surfing the web can be rather handy.

D-Premier Home Sound System from Devialet

The design of the system is futuristic, but the functions are enigmatic. It is a customizable sound system with the pre-amplifier, patented digital-analogue amplifier and DAC in one body. If it makes much sense for you share your thoughts on our forum.

MyFord Mobile

New technologies are always mind blowing. I imagine how I will explain to my grandchildren that before cars used petrol instead of electricity. They would be surprised and question the viability of earlier solutions. So far it is not simple to charge your electric or hybrid car, but Ford offers a dedicated application. It helps you to plan your route (even with numerous stops) to avoid running out of power in the middle of nowhere. You can also remotely control the car: start the engine, warm up the salon, check the power level and so on. Additional options are interesting and very modern. I would like to have them in my gas guzzling car. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not promise it so far.

Wireless Speakers Libratone with Airplay Technology

I like Scandinavian design. Products look different and use natural materials. Sometimes I think what if to get rid of Italian furniture and buy new items from IKEA. Cheep and cheerful. This case is a bit different. Libratone is a stylish set of speakers transmitting music without wires courtesy of Airplay technology from Apple. The speakers can be located in any part of the room. If you want the music to come from all corners buy a bunch of speakers to work with one sound source. If you wish they will work with several devices. It is really very interesting.

Lytro Digital Camera

Frankly speaking I have been following Lytro for some time now. This tiny startup company can change the world of digital photography. You take a shot and only then use a computer to select the resolution level. It can be the background or any object at the front, while distances do not matter. Sounds like magic, but the technology behind is pretty simple, though requires difficult solutions to implement it. You can read ourself how the system works.

To understand the magic full well look at one of available samples.

If the company releases the camera by the end of the year it will become one of the most attractive Christmas presents. Price will be important, but technical possibilities are already quite impressive.

Nest Thermostat

Another smart home component is a thermostat. It does not only regulate the air temperature, but remembers your preferences and when are you away. At that time the system starts saving energy and then warms up (or cools down) the air by the projected time of your arrival. This beautiful gadget looks nice on the wall. I just have to know how easily it can be soiled.

Plantronics Calisto 835

This gadget offers hands free for your mobile phone, IP telephony on PC and other sound sources. A tiny 2.4" screen displays information and settings, but sensor buttons are large. It is an excellent tool for those who can use it and save on phone calls.

Razer Blade Gaming Laptop

Natural born gamers know that laptops are not made for gaming and you always have to compromise. Razer decided to come up with such a middle of the road solution. I cannot judge whether they emerged victorious or not, but as in any gaming device at least we have appropriate design here.

SonicBlade Speakers from Reality Design

When I see similar products I regret not becoming a sound engineer! In that case I would use smart terms to describe this first ever speaker made of glass. It combines the electrostatic sound panel with the convection tube (or something similar). I think that complicated description is necessary to boost the sales. The whole situation is similar to the warm analogue sound.

eers from Sonomax Technologies

Sonomax Technologies claims they took 14 years to create this pair of headphones and received 13 patents along the way. It works the following way: put the phones in and withing 4 minutes they adapt to you ears. I think the number of people who cannot wear standard headphones is not high, so this technology will probably remain marginalized. I remembered the skiing boots, which around 10 years ago learned how to adapt to any foot. Try them for the first time and the inside adapts to fit your needs. Despite that they were so tight and uncomfortable. These headphones are different and really comfortable to use.

Sony Tablet S1

The model was honored for unusual design and ergonomics, especially if compared with rival solutions. We have a true Sony Style. Other parameters are quite mediocre, but the design is innovative indeed.

Wi3 from Wipnet

This typically American invention represents another smart plug to be connected to a TV cable. Put plugs around the house and you get Ethernet together with WiFi. There is no need to damage walls or introduce new cables. Fast and simple.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion be known to the author and everybody else.

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
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Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 24 January 2012

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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