Gadget Alert – Product Review from My Visit to Consumer Electronics Week

I had a great time attending Consumer Electronics (CE) Week last week in New York City, and I’m excited to tell you about some of my favorite discoveries.  This is the tenth year that the industry has held this mid-year event and, for me, it’s the chance to preview the latest in technology.  As the CE Week press release says, I was in my glory with “1500 geeks and thousands of tech industry leaders.”

Photive Display at Consumer Electronics (CE) Week

Photive.com

The first company that caught my eye was Photive (http://www.photive.com). These guys have found a way to build super cheap speaker/audio systems that are of unbelievable quality. I listened to music using several of their products, and after being amazed at the sound, I was shocked at how low their prices are. They sell mostly on Amazon. 


Three favorites:

Photive Display at Consumer Electronics (CE) Week Photive Display at Consumer Electronics (CE) Week Photive Display at Consumer Electronics (CE) Week Photive Display at Consumer Electronics (CE) Week

This rugged, waterproof, 10-hour, 20-watt speaker you can take to the beach with you is only $100! It is on amazon here.

They also seem to excel at making pretty speakers! These Photive sphere cloth-covered wireless speakers look good in just about any décor and come in several colors with a great price point between $39.95 - $49.95. Click here to view their Amazon page.

Oh… and if that wasn’t enough, their very lightweight, over-the-ear HF1 Bluetooth Headphones sounded crisp and clear, with amazing, very full bass sounds. They have a 12-hour battery life and are only $60 on Amazon.

DroneVolt

DroneVolt The next big thing that seems WAY out of the price range of most of my friends, but which blew me away, was a 360 degree virtual reality drone copter by DroneVolt called the Drone Janus 360

This gizmo takes video with at least 10 GoPro cameras at the same time, then plays it using virtual reality goggles. I COULD NOT BELIEVE how realistic it was to be flying high in the air over a beautiful, old European castle. Everywhere I looked (straight down at my feet, left or right, up in the air) I saw what I would see if I was really on a copter. As my head moved, so did the video to match. I started to get a little queasy as the journey got going faster.

If this is the future of drone video, I’m on-board. There are so many applications where this would be useful. The only problem was that it was $15,000 for the drone and $5,000 for the cameras! J

The Kube

The Kube at Consumer Electronics WeekAnother product (also a little out of most peoples’ price range, at least for now) is a combination monster party speaker and drink cooler called Kube – from http://www.KubeSound.com


The heavy-duty lithium batteries on this device last 20 Hours! It has charging ports built-in for your portable electronics, and you can connect to it with Bluetooth or an audio cord. It puts out 125 watts with an extremely powerful subwoofer, to take over a large area like a beach or dance floor.  I loved its carrying handles (two people should carry it).

The KubeI couldn’t believe how full (and LOUD) the sound was. And after marveling over this for a few minutes, the company founder pressed a button and the top popped open to reveal a very large (35 quart) interior (self-illuminated) cooler for your favorite beverages.

AT $3,000, only those with a larger wallet and a real party instinct are going to pick this up, but I hope they bring down their prices someday for regular folk.

Kensington

Kensington adjustable standThe final vendor that really caught my eye was Kensington. I remember WAY, WAY back (like in the mid-1980s) when Kensington had a power management device that sat under my monitor and had on/off buttons for Computer, Monitor, Printer, etc. Today they make SO many peripheral accessories for computing – some pretty cool/fun stuff.

There were two things in their line-up I liked. One was an adjustable stand that puts your laptop in just the right position for better ergonomics. This base of this stand has an inductive charger (compatible with some phones natively or with a special case for others) so that just placing your smart phone under your monitor charges it. (No cables to connect at all.)

Great video to explain what it does here.

Kensington USB mountAnother product I really liked was the SD3650 Universal USB 3.0 Docking Station (it should be on Amazon very soon). Most new Apple laptops (and some others) have only one USB-C port so you cannot connect multiple (older) USB devices or Ethernet network cable or external monitor, etc. This device solves this problem!  All you connect when you sit down at your desk is a single cable. That’s it and all devices are connected. (Remember those docking stations we all used to use? This is like that but easier.)

Check out this REALLY SLICK video that illustrates why you must have this item if you have a new laptop with USB-C connector (we all will, soon).


And it can even mount on the back of your monitor (or under the cool laptop holder)!

I’m just a gadget geek at heart and I hope you enjoyed these reviews as much as I enjoyed sharing them.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s show!