Yesterday was the second day of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Brighthand editors and staff spent the day looking at new smartphones and accessories as fast as we could, and I'm bringing you the best of them.
Handsets are being unveiled at a furious rate at CES this week, and this includes the Motorola Droid 4, an upcoming Verizon model for those who are serious about text entry when on the go. I did a hands-on preview of this device which was published this morning.
Not everything you can see at CES is quite ready for the big leagues yet. Many very cool products are close to being available, but others still need some cooking time. I've listed a few of my favorites below.
I saw an amazing demonstration from HzO. You may have seen phone cases that can protect a device while being immersed in water, but this company has developed a process that builds that protection in, on a molecular level. It adds not the slightest hint of extra bulk to the device, but seems to provide perfect protection.
I watched a company rep pull the back case off a Samsung unit that had been treated with WaterBlock then pitch it into a fishtank. He pulled it out, shook out the water, and started watching a movie. There was clearly still liquid in the device -- I could see it in front of the screen -- but I was assured this will eventually evaporate and it certainly didn't affect the operation.
I'm not sure how this works (a deal with the devil occurred to me) but there's a downside: you won't be able to get HzO to treat your current Droid or iPhone. Instead, the company is marketing its technology to phone and tablet makers. Here's hoping it gets some takers.
For years, I've wanted to sit down in an airline seat, put my smartphone on the traytable, and project a movie on the seatback in front of me. Or, when I'm feeling more dedicated, do the same with the document I'm typing. That's why I've been keeping an eye on MicroVision, who makes small projectors.
The company already makes and sells a line of these, and you can hook up your mobile device and do what I want, but these are all too expensive and bulky for my taste. I'm happy to say things are looking up -- with the inclusion of truly green lasers, pico-projects are getting smaller and cheaper. MicroVision keeps pushing the boundaries of the technology.
PowerTrekk Fuel Cells
I'm intrigued by the portable hydrogen fuel cell system being developed by SiGNa Chemistry. This has a lot of future potential.
The device already seems to work fine, and will be going on sale soon. It consists of a charging unit called a PowerTrekk. Inside is a canister with sodium silicide (NaSi); a powder that produces hydrogen (H2) when mixed with any type of water, including salt water. The unit was designed to be rugged enough for use when camping, etc.
The current problem, to me, is the price. The canisters are going to sell for a few dollars and are capable of recharging an iPhone twice. The charging unit, however, is going to come it at around $200. You could buy an awful lot of batteries for the same price. SiGNa is hoping to appeal to backpackers who are willing to pay more for the lighter weight and green technology of the PowerTrekk. It is also working to cut down on the price.
Not Over Yet
The Consumer Electronics Show is still going on. We'll be here, so please keeping returning to Brighthand for the latest news and hands-on previews of upcoming products.
Brighthand isn't here alone. The Site Editors from the entire TechnologyGuide family is at this tradeshow, and you can visit our round-up page to learn about the latest in tablets, laptops, printers, desktops, and cameras.
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