Dern@CES2017: Some Things I'll Be Looking For/At This Year
by Daniel P. Dern
Review by Daniel P. Dern
CES 2017 Events ISBN/ITEM#: CES2017
Date: 13 December 2016
It's mid-December, which means that the lists I'm putting together are what to look for, look at, and learn about at the fast-approaching CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2017 (http://www.ces.tech), the first week of January 2017, in Las Vegas.
The vast show floor (filling the Las Vegas Convention Center and much of the Sands Exposition Center and Venetian Hotel and other rooms, suites and parking lots) doesn't open until the morning of 10AM Thursday, January 5... but I -- and many of my fellow journalists -- will be arriving earlier in the week, for the press/analyst-only multi-vendor events like CES Unveiled, Pepcom, and ShowStoppers, along with sundry press conferences during "Press Day."
And thanks to the steady stream of press releases, briefing requests and other messages from vendors (I'm not complaining, they're sent because I'm on the press list... but there's still lot of 'em), I can tell you about some of the interesting-sounding products and technologies that will be there now (with the disclaimer that I haven't yet seen, touched, or tried any of them).
There's a lot to see. Some products and technologies I care about -- to write about (when and where I can snag assignments -- remember, I'm a freelancer), some for my own personal/professional use, some for both. One non-secret tip to having a productive CES is to skip the areas that aren't your bag.
My starter short list of products and tech already includes:
NIFTY STUFF TO SEE AT CES 2017, BATCH ONE
Based on pre-show email from vendors, here's my first batch of interesting products that will be at CES 2017 (in some cases, only at the media/analyst-only pre-show-floor evening Pepcom and/or ShowStoppers events). Reminder, I haven't seen, touched or tried any of these yet.
Whistle GPS Pet Tracker - Dude, Where's My Dog?
Per its name, the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker attaches to a pet collar and lets you track you pet's location, via its mobile app (Android, iOS) or a web browser -- useful not just for sporting, retrieving and rescue dogs, but also for wide-ranging runners, escape artists, etc. It also does activity monitoring, text/email alerts, food/medication reminders, and some data logging. The new Whistle 3 is significantly smaller than the previous model, making it also suitable for smaller dogs and other small(er) animals. (I'm scheduled to get a ride via Whistle from my hotel to an evening event, with fellow passengers including Duke, a dachshund, modelling the latest version, so I can get a first-hand -- or -paw -- look, along with, hopefully, watching our geo progress on the PR person's smartphone.)
MSRP $99.95, including charging station (currently $20 off, and as I write this, there's an additional $30 holiday promotion), plus a service plan $9.95/month ($7.95/month if billed yearly, $6.95/month if billed biannually).
Audio-Technica Turning Out New Turntables And Cartridges
Along with new wired and wireless headphones in a range of prices, Audio-Technica is still active in the vinyl-record turntable arena, bringing several new items to CES 2017.
Out of my price range (it's US$4,999.00, more than I've spent total on audio gear ever, although counting records and CDs, maybe not) but interesting-sounding will be Audio-Technical's new ultra-high-end AT-ART1000 Direct Power Stereo Moving Coil Cartridge, which "places its dual moving coils directly on top of the stylus tip (rather than at the base of the cantilever as in conventional designs) to deliver remarkable fidelity."
More in my price range, Audio-Technical will be showing its new VM-Type moving magnet phono cartridges -- nine models, MSRP from around $100 to around $700 (available February 2017), including several optimized for mono and 78RPM shellac records (which I still have some of). Hmmm, I wonder if my Revox turntable wants a post-holiday present...
And Audio-Technica will also be debuting some new high-performance turntables in the $300-$500 range, intended for consumers (rather than DJs). (No feature details yet.)
Keezel, A One-Button Shareable Pocket VPN
Keezel (www.keezel.co), will be showing its portable (hand-size) VPN (Virtual Private network) security device providing a secure personal WiFi hotspot/router, connecting your WiFi-enabled devices to the local hotspot (or wired Internet), and providing a secure VPN connection between your Keezel and Keezel's network of VPN servers around the world. (Although the connection between your device and the Keezel may still be vulnerable to wireless "sniffer" monitoring.)
The Keezel device costs $139; Premium service, which includes access to more (currently >1,250) servers around the world, and HD streaming speed, costs $5/month (slightly-to-somewhat less for the 1-year, 2-year or "Lifelong" Premium packages). From January 5-20, Keezel is offering its "Presidential Keezel 'HUUUGE' package" for $299, consisting of a golden Keezel device and Premium service for the four years of the upcoming presidential term (and "In the event of a re-election, Keezel pledges to extend this VPN subscription by another 4 years at no cost."
Keezel also has two non-VPN benefits:
Does a Keezel make more sense than buying user-device-resident VPNware licenses? Dunno.
VESA Touts DisplayPort Bringing New, More Data Over USB Type-C
USB-C is becoming (or working hard at becoming) the new data and power connector between devices, accessories, and power chargers. The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) will be talking about updates to the DisplayPort audio/video standard including support for USB-C, for 8K video resolution over a single connection, and other goodness that broadcasters, gamers, AR/VRers and others will appreciate.
TinyLogics MemoBox Mini Smartens Daily Pill-Taking
TinyLogics new $19 MemoBox Mini (http://store.tinylogics.com/smart-pillbox) "smart pillbox" plus Bluetooth alert app (Android, iOS, AppleWatch) is intended to help the user remember to take the right pills at the right time -- and not double-dose. Granted, a three-dollar non-smart weekly pill organizer (like I've been using for a few years now) will do this passively... but the app can provide timely reminders (lights, vibrations, sound), along with tracking and storing other using information.
Pill-tech in previous years has mostly been "smart caps" for each pillbottle. The MemoBox Mini, combined with the app, seems to be a more useful, and quite reasonably priced, new option. (I plan to try it.)
And that's it for my pre-show look-ahead. (See my 3-part post-show DERN@CES2017 write-ups elsewhere on SFRevu.com.)
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