Monday, January 15, 2007

CES 2007: Simple Pleasures

The Consumer Electronics Show is over for 2007 but the buzz--and the jet lag for many of the 140,000 who attended--continues.

While there were more sophisticated high-tech gizmos than you could shake a stick at in Las Vegas last week, there were many interesting low-tech products that promised to make life simpler without emptying your pockets. For example:

The Power Docking Station from Digital Innovations LLC is simply a nice-looking stand for holding handheld devices like cell phones and MP3 players while they're charging. Rather than have a spaghetti tangle of AC adapters and wires under your desk, you can hide up to four AC adapters within the docking station, which has an internal power strip. The metal holders adjust to the width of the devices. For $29.99 the Power Docking Station helps you project the image that you're organized and know what you're doing--which isn't a bad thing.

MusicMarker is another handy low-tech gadget that fills a niche. The scenario is simple: You hear a song but you just can't think of the title or the artist. Click the button on the tiny MusicMarker key fob and its built-in microphone records a few seconds of whatever you're listening to. The next time you get to a PC with Internet access, you can upload the sound clip to the MusicMarker music-recognition service, which searches its database and reports back with the name of the song and the artist as well as information on where you can go to purchase the song or the album it came from.

The $14.90 unit from MusicMarker Ltd. of Oxford, England, was a CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards honoree, a nice kudo for such a simple device and for a company that wasn't even exhibiting at CES.

Watch this space for more Simple Pleasures selections from CES.

Photos courtesy of Digital Innovations LLC and MusicMarker Ltd.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fuji, Universal Remote Control hope to boost sales through electronics show

See my article from the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show in the Jan. 9 edition of The Journal News.