Robots! Roomba! GPS!

By January 9, 2008General

CES.gifPeggy Ireland rebounds off the red-eye from Las Vegas with a report about Tuesday’s events at the Consumer Electronics Show 2008.

I usually try to focus on business applications at CES, although I often find myself getting side-tracked by the vast array of fun, glitzy items like the humongous TVs, amazing auto accessories, cool sound systems, etc. With 1.7 million net square feet of space (the equivalent of 35 football fields for you sports fans) filled with people and toys and gadgets everywhere you look, it is hard not to be distracted.

There are more robots than ever at the Sands. Microrobot was displaying a variety of robots including one that seemed to be carrying a drink and one that looked like a huge bug. There were plenty of exhibitors showing products looking very similar to iRobot’s Roomba, however iRobot has not been left behind. They have added some new models to their line, including a robot that will clean your gutters and another that will clean your pool.

Back at the Convention Center Panasonic had an impressive presence in their Ideas for Life venue, showing technology that included the world’s largest Plasma Display. The clarity of this display would be stunning no matter what the size but is particularly impressive at 150 inches.

The new CN-GP50 in Panasonic’s Strada line won an Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Showcase award. The CN-GP50 is an in vehicle navigation device with a 5 inch screen and slim body that makes it easy to carry. It appears to be very easy to use and allows the user to voice tag up to 500 locations. The Strada’s Voice Command function learns to recognize your vocal characteristics and the device supports three languages (English, French and Spanish).

There were a number of displays for GPS units but for many of us the name Goodyear is synonymous with automobiles, so I had to look at the GPS that is carrying the Goodyear name. Neal Massa, VP of Sales for the manufacturer, The NCC, described their presence at CES as their “coming out party” for the device and says they only signed the licensing agreement with Goodyear last month. Like Panasonic’s CN-GP50 this device also has a very consumer friendly size. One of its unique features is its heavy duty rubberized borders.

For more about CES, including LG, Good OS, Ezonics gCam, gOS Rocket Developer Kit, Intel, WiMax, and “green computing,” check out the extended entry below.

LG, is another company that had a massive display including everything from their THX Cinema Mode to a 50 inch 1080p Plasma TV with single layer design to Iris Recognition.

In line with the growing trend to green that I am observing , I noticed LG prominently listed the green features of the THX Cinema Mode which include being more energy efficient, having a dynamic power saving mode and being free of hazardous substances. Who said “it ain’t easy being green?”

Good OS, who introduced gOS, an open source OS based on Linux on a $199 Wal-Mart PC last November debuted the gOS version 2.0 Rocket on Monday and made it available for users and developers as a free download. They also launched the Ezonics gCam and the gOS Rocket Developer Kit with VIA motherboard. The Everex Cloudbook, gPC, gPC mini and gBook are expected to be at and others later this quarter.

Intel had a very impressive display of their passion for technology. (Intel’s CES blog is here.) The race cars promoting WiMAX Broadband on the go drew quite a crowd, but that is only a small part of Intel’s booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center. There also seemed to be a lot of folks interested in I was most impressed with, Intel’s efforts to get out the message and promote Eco-conscious computing. In 2006 Intel and other partners in the EPA program Re-Think were able to recover 34 million pounds of e-waste. It’s just one part of Intel’s corporate social responsibility initiative.

I’ve seen lots more but time is short today. I hope to be back with some more soon and perhaps some follow-up on the “Green” thing.

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