Another Consumer Electronics Show is in the can, and there are tons of new product announcements to sift through – which will fizzle out, and which will take off? It’s hard to tell, but now that this year’s show is done, here are a few more things that caught my attention.
When’s a Windows notebook not a Windows notebook? When it runs Android too, of course. Asus’ new Transformer Book Duet TD300 is an Intel i7 quad-core laptop/tablet convertible that just happens to run Android, too; just push the Instant Switch button to move between the operating systems.
The TD300 has 128GB of solid-state memory in the 13.3-inch multitouch tablet portion, and up to a 1TB hard drive inside the keyboard dock. The dock also comes with USB ports, a LAN port, and HDMI output.
The TD300 will ship with Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2.2 onboard.
The wearable fitness revolution
There’s been a lot of attention paid over the last year to wearable fitness-tracking devices from Fitbit, Jawbone and Nike, so it’s only natural that a number of additional players would jump into this space.
Sony is one of the new players to join the fray, with a new tracking device called the Core. As with the Fitbit Flex, it’s a small sensor in a water-resistant rubberized wristband, and the sensor connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth. Details are still a bit vague at the moment, but a fuller picture is expected at Mobile World Congress in March. What we do know: there are no lights or screens to eat up batteries, which means you’ll have to track your progress on your smartphone.
Gaming gurus Razer have also entered the arena with the new Nabu wristband. In addition to tracking capabilities, the Nabu comes with dual OLED screens: the one facing outward has a small screen that shows you there’s a message or incoming call; flip the inside of your wrist up towards your eyes, and it will show you a longer message on the inner screen. You can also control the band by teaching it various gestures, rather than having to tap it with a finger (which is handy when your hands are full or dirty). Pricing is to be determined, but the gadget is scheduled to launch by end of Q1.
The LG Lifeband Touch is one of the more fully-featured trackers, and also one of the most solid ones; unlike the trackers with flexible wristbands, this is a hard-plastic model with a gap on one side of the device. The Lifeband Touch comes with a screen that you can swipe with your finger to switch menu screens, and a button to change modes. You can also use the band as a controller for your phone, which means you can use it to change music tracks even while your phone is in your pocket. You can also buy a companion set of headphones that will measure your heart rate, if you really want to go big into tracking your health.
Speaking of wearable tech, Intel showed off the new Edison, a Pentium-class computer that fits into the space of a standard SD card. During the show, one use-case the company showed off is to place the Edison into a baby’s onesie that was wired up to sensors; the Edison could then connect to a Wi-Fi network and send sensor information from the baby’s crib to other devices around the house (in this case it was a tricked-out coffee cup, but theoretically it could be your Android smartphone). It will be interesting to see how this technology develops and how it may enable newer and better wearables, down the road.
While CES was going on, one of the founders of Twitter launched a new smartphone app called Jelly, and it immediately got the attention of many wandering around the conference. The app allows you to ask a question (with an attached photograph), crowd-sources the answers from your social networks connections, and their connections. At this point, it’s hard to tell if the app will be a useful tool for finding real answers, or whether it’ll simply become a method for polling people on what lunch choice is best. I’ll take a look at in greater detail soon.