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Apple makes CES impact
While Apple may not be exhibiting at the annual CES show in Las Vegas, Apple is making an impact on the show, according to one columnist. In addition the numerous accessories and gadgets for the company's tremendously popular iPod, Apple is on the minds of many of the largest consumer electronics companies, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Sony--behind closed doors, many companies are struggling to develop strategies to counter Apple's gaining momentum in the digital music/video industry and in the consumer electronics space. "Jobs' company is on the minds of lots of tech executives these days, whether or not they mention it out loud. Bill Gates' presentation gets graded, consciously or not, by the standard set by Jobs' famously theatrical presentations--and his performance Wednesday night was 'his attempt to out-Job Jobs, and it didn't work,' sniffed one tech executive cum drama critic."
Gefen HD connectivity
Gefen this week introduced a range of connectivity solutions for Apple's Cinema Displays. The new HD-Mate acts as the interface between multiple HDTV sources and an Apple Cinema Display. It supports high definition resolutions up to 1920x1080i and comes equipped with one DVI and two component inputs that connect satellite television systems, camcorders, DVD players and gaming systems such as the Xbox 360. A total of three HD sources can be connected at the same time using the HD-Mate, which allows the user to easily switch between sources using a simple push-button menu on the unit itself. It features intuitive on-screen menu pages, accessible through the menu buttons on the HD-Mate unit, to offer image adjustments to accommodate different view outputs and screen sizes.
Wireless USB Extender
Gefen (booth 2746) this week introduced its Wireless USB Extender, which allows any USB 2.0 peripheral to be powered from remote distances up to 30 feet from a Mac without cables. The first-of-its-kind device for the US market supports the instantaneous transfer of data using Freescale Semiconductor's Ultra-Wideband wireless solution. The Wireless USB Extender uses small sender and receiver units connected to the computer and the extended USB device. It can connect cameras, keyboards, printers or any USB 2.0 device located up to 30 feet from the computer. Freescale's UWB technology enables high transfer rates of video, audio and data streams wirelessly, reaching rates 100 times faster than Bluetooth technology while maintaining wire-like quality, according to initial testing.
ezStart nano Starter kit
ezGear has introduced its ezStart nano Starter kit for owners of Apple's iPod nano. The company says the value-priced Kit includes everything to use, charge, share, and protect the iPod nano, including ezCharge Car Charger, ezPower wall charger, ezSkin nano protective case, ezGold earphone splitter, and ezCassette cassette adapter. The ezCharge Car Charger delivers fuse protection and is compatible with the iPod USB synchronization cable, while the ezPower Wall Charger is a power transformer that charges the Nano via your iPod USB synchronization cable. The ezSkin nano is a silicon case that protects the Nano from dirt and scratches and includes an integrated clickwheel cover, a screen protector, a removable belt clip, and a removable neck strap. The kit included with the Frost white or Onyx black versions. ezGear says that the five items sell separately for $130, but are available for only $60 via the ezStart nano Starter Kit.
Universal iPod dock
Audiovox this week introduced several high-tech digital products at CES, including a universal iPod docking station that recharges while playing iPod or MP3 content (model CE602IP). Features include super bass speakers, iPod shuffle adapter and AC/DC adapter. The company says that it is compatible with all iPod products and other MP3 players. It will retail for $70. (Expected date of availability was not noted.) The company also launched a digital MP3 player housed in designer-style sunglasses (model MP256SG). The device includes an interchangeable, polarized shatter-proof lenses, 256MB flash memory, a built-in rechargeable battery, and up to 8.5 hours of music playback (per charge). Additional features include digital voice recorder, integrated microphone, PC/Mac compatible USB drive, and support for MP3/WMA/ADCPM. It offers standard USB 2.0 connectivity (via an included cable) and ships with carrying bag for $130.
iLink for iPod
Valor Multimedia has introduced the first multimedia interface for the iPod, which it says enables any iPod to play video on any multimedia system--either in the home or in the car. The company says that its new iLink enables users to to watch movies stored on the iPod, listen to both MP3 and WMA audio files as well as iTunes audio files, view photos on any attched video monitor, and more. Users can also control the iPod with a wireless IR remote control and display on-screen menus on any video display. Valor claims iLink will work with any brand of car or home audio/video product and will charge the iPod when connected.
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