Electronic Design

More From CES

MOTOMOUNTAIN: Snowboarding tricks just outside the CES convention center's front door was just the tip of the iceberg for Motorola (Fig. 1). The company was promoting its alliance with Burton Snowboards, incorporating Bluetooth to produce wearables like boarding and helmets with wireless communications capabilities. The company showed a panoply of leading-edge technology: from the Motorola Ojo Personal Video phone to home network cameras as part of home monitoring from Web-enabled cell phones (Fig. 2).

PORTABLE DIGITAL RADIO: Hot on the heels of iPod, XM Satellite Radio was featured in a number of new portable players: from Delphi, Tao, and Pioneer. Why settle for your own digital library, when you can tap into XM's 80,000 hours of fresh programming every month? A time-shifting memory mode allows users to store five hours of content (Fig. 3).

PIMP MY RIDE: The automotive electronics area is a hotbed of one-upmanship (Fig. 4). This model included flowing water in the door panels and in the cargo area.

iPod NATION: While Apple was conspicuously absent from CES, iPod peripherals were a hot commodity (Fig. 5). Here, Peripheral Electronics shows Aux2car, which connects directly to the CD changer port and eliminates use of RF modulators. The adapter allows the use of the iPod directly from the car's radio/CD controls.

DIGITAL SOUND PROJECTOR: Yamaha uses a single-source, multichannel surround-sound system that features an array of 42 drivers controlled by digital amplifiers with steering logic (Fig. 6). I was impressed by the systems creation of a multichannel sound beam that achieves precise control of delay characteristics of multiple speakers coupled with reflections off walls at different points in the room.

BIGGER IS BETTER: Samsung rolled out the 102-in. plasma HD TV (Fig. 7). This is the world's largest, though the gargantuan display is not yet available commercially. But the company will roll out the 80-in. version later this year. Word on the street is that the retail price for the 80-in. model will be about $45,000! Still, if you have not yet seen HD plasma at 1080-p resolution (1920 by 1080 resolution), you will be amazed when you do!

CRT IS NOT DEAD: As the display wars heat up, consumers can choose among many technological variants (Fig. 8). Samsung showed a slim-line CRT set and also announced a 21-in. organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display with 1920- by 1200-pixel resolution. OLED screens offer faster refresh, lower power consumption, and strong contrast ratio.

THE BLACK CROWES: In addition to Super Bowl commercials, to draw attention to its launch of the Olympus m:robe 500, first digital music player with a built-in digital camera, Olympus Imaging America had the Robinson brothers, founders of the Black Crowes, entertaining at its booth (Fig. 9). Users can create personalized mixes of photos and music. The unit features a 1.22-Mpixel camera, a 3.7-in. VGA LCD display and a 20G music player.

iPORT: Sonance makes the iPod the center of a whole-home audio and entertainment system (Fig. 10). iPort provides in-wall docking and access to the iPod via an IR-enabled wallplate that allows iPort to connect to CAT5 cable and play through a whole-home audio system using fixed 200mA audio output and provides a DC power supply.

INTEGRATED PVR: LG Electronics was showing a 60-in. HD recordable plasma TV with an integrated 160-Gbyte hard-drive recorder (Fig. 11). It also offers a built-in CableCard slot, which eliminates the need for a cable set-top box. The thing that impressed me during a demo at the booth was the easy content navigation system that allowed seamless search of upcoming programming, stored video programming, digital image collections, etc.

HIP-E IS HIP: Careful research by the Digital Lifestyles Group into the teen lifestyle produced hip-e, an all-in-one entertainment and communications center that integrates computer, TV, cell phone, and portable music player/s (Fig. 12). It also includes "skins" that allow teens to customize the surface materials. Hip-e was exhibited at CES as part of the Microsoft Consumer Experience (MCX) Partner program.

DIGITAL SEWING: Sewing machines have joined the digital revolution with machines like the Innov-is 40000D (Fig. 13). Sporting the dual USB ports, the Innov-is 40000D allows automated embroidery via scanned images or via a memory card library.

UNDERWATER MP3: A fish tank proved a great way to demo the waterproof capabilities of Oregon Scientific's MP120 MP3 player (Fig. 14). The player holds 512M and the company claims it has a battery life of 10 hours.

MUSICAL SUNGLASSES: Aigo showed An MP3 player built into sunglasses (Fig. 15). The glasses also feature an integrated voice recorder.

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