Digesting CES, part 4

Be sure to check out part 1part 2, and part 3 of this series, rounding up the good, the bad, and the ugly from CES 2013.

The solution to the problem?

SunnyBAG is a company that produces solar cell-integrating bags and backpacks. The object is power anywhere you go. I’ve covered a few things like this in the past with the Voltaic solar chargers; solar power is neat.

The company has come out with a line of professional business-class bags made of real leather and solar panels. Now, the marketing starts to lose me here, as in the advertisement video the man is leaving plug-central office building and decides to stop at a park bench, where his solar bag immediately picks up a passing jogger.

Somehow, I think the target market for these is not going to be business class, but I don’t know. It seems that with this level of manufacturing, someone might have stopped and thought, “you know, business class probably has access to power.” I generally picture solar powered gizmos for the hiker, the off-the-grid person, someone who doesn’t mind chucking their solar cell down in mud. At nearly $500, and with calfskin, this is not a bag I’d chuck in the mud.

Coming in at $466.20, they better charge fast and make you sexually attractive as the video seems to suggest.

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Is this really going to make it to the desktop?

Don’t you hate it when you’re playing World of Warcraft and you get a neck spasm? That’s the only possible way you can market the Massage Touch Mouse without straight up saying it’s a sex toy.

It features wireless charging, so there are no open ports you might have to clean. I was also informed that it had a battery capable of lasting three hours. Whether that was in vibration mode or not, I was a little aghast at the product, and as a computer technician probably will never touch any wireless mouse without gloves again.

A friend of mine said the only summary which seems apt for this product: “Well, you know… there’s that… yeah.”

It’s not only one louder – it’s one louderer.

A company called Carbon Audio has an interesting concept in wireless Bluetooth speakers with the Zooka. Usually, when one thinks wireless speakers, one thinks of a product designed to be used at a distance from the product that is transmitting the wireless signal.

In the case of the Zooka, it’s a wireless Bluetooth portable speaker that’s designed to generally sit above or below an iPad or a Macbook screen, making your wireless transmitting distance roughly zero feet. As do most wireless Bluetooth speakers this year, it has a built-in microphone that allows you to use it as a speakerphone .

One innovative thing here, copying HTC EVO design, is the addition of a kickstand, in case you want to put your iPad into movie viewing mode.

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The demo unit I saw was not particularly loud, however it was also in a room filled with other portable wireless speakers that were generally designed to function further than a foot from the Bluetooth transmitter.

I don’t know what the actual range on the thing was, but at least the demo that I saw, in a loud room with the speakers pointed left and right, it ended up not sounding particularly louder, let alone louderer.

I’ll see you your wireless Bluetooth speaker and raise you wearable.

Cynaps is a wireless Bluetooth hat. It does about everything every other wireless Bluetooth devices do, but it does it using bone conduction so you can hear your audio without earbuds or a Bluetooth headset in your ear.

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As if it weren’t hard enough to figure out if someone’s crazy or just talking on a headset, let’s take it to the next level.

In a loud environment, I needed to plug my ears to hear the audio, which I guess is good in real world areas where you need to have ears up, but not particularly useful.

I had a problem with how they’re marketing the hat. In one example, there’s a guy on a bike wearing it so he keeps his ears open and his head unprotected. They have people driving, keeping their ears free for safety. Personally, I’ll still use my car’s audio system when I’m in it, but hey. In another scenario, they suggest using it at the gym. If I’m not going to be the jean shorts guy, I’m definitely not going to be the hat-wearing gym attendee.

Your power, cubed.

One thing you realize when sharing a hotel room with two other technophiles who are using multiple devices to capture, record, and transmit what they see, is that there are never enough plugs. PowerCube is a brilliant little power kit that combines the most needed functions of the e-traveler into one great little device.

The version I saw was the first US version, and not quite ready for prime time, as I remember. The short of the product is a small length of cord, a cube, four outlets, and one or two USB charging ports – basically, everything you need to power your average tech geek through. You don’t even have to bring wall charging packs, just a PowerCube and a USB to your phone.

You can also slap four biscuit blocks on the thing which is quite cool. Unfortunately, my picture of the PowerCube ate it, and the website doesn’t have any release date for US markets at the moment. It’s something to keep an eye out for, though, as it really is quite a useful little thing.

Here’s a video of the UK version of the product. It appears to do significantly more than I was shown the US product did.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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