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Report from the CES pre-show

7 January, 2009 (00:20) | gadgets | By: Harvey Chute

Not much earth-shattering to report from the pre-CES ‘Unveiling’ today. Here though are a few items that captured my eye:

Let’s start with a simple item: This earbud yoyo is a handy and inventive way to avoid cord tangling. I hope to get some free samples tomorrow that I can photograph better, and have as giveaways for Zunerama members. The lady who invented it was there and we had a nice chat about her start-up venture. Good for her.

Wireless charging seems to be a big thing at this year’s CES. The technology to enable you to recharge your device without plugging it in is improving. The product above, PowerMat, is a good example of where this technology is today. It uses inductive charging to recharge your device’s batteries.

It’s a two-part system - the power mat itself, and then your device has to be connected to a receiver. It can be connected through a cradle, through a dongle, or - the best option in my opinion - through a special case. Here’s a look at a receiver case, for a BlackBerry Bold:

…and here’s a shot of a cradle receiver (holding the nano), and a dongle.

This product will not be available until Fall 2009, so this is a preview. Receivers will be made for a wide variety of devices, most likely including Zune. It’s not the greatest in terms of convenience, but I’m excited to see advances in the area of wireless charging of our electronic devices.

There was a good variety of earbuds and headphones at the unveiling, including these high-end, fine-sounding noise-isolating earbuds from Shure.

Zagg, the people who brought you the well-regarded InvisibleShield for Zune, iPod, iPhone, etc, have come up with a nice headphone called Zaggphone.

I have specs on it that I’ll report once I assemble my notes after the show. They’re comfortable, if a bit heavy, and seem like they would please most audiophiles.

I’ll be paying them a visit again on Thursday when the show officially opens because I left my darn Zune 16GB at their booth.

Zagg also announced its Zbuds. These are designed for iPod (they have an integrated microphone), but they are coming out with a mic-less version which would be suitable for Zune and other MP3 players. I am really going to try to score some of these for review, and perhaps giveaways. They won a CES design award this year.

The last item I’ll post for tonight is another power management product. This one is a portable recharger that gives a boost to a variety of devices from a single source. From a company called Adrenaline, they have a wide variety of interchangeable tips. This is actually something I would consider buying. A Zune-compatible tip is available.

That’s it for tonight. I’ll post a few non-Zune-related things in the Not Quite Zune thread as well.

CES actually kicks off on Thursday, so will be reporting more then if not before.


CES dispatch: Models for delivering digital music »