By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
If battery-charging enthusiasts thought a 15-minute charger was the ultimate in high technology, Sakar International is claiming the job can be done in 8.5 minutes.
The company's new 8.5-minute Supersonic Charger — called by Sakar “the world's fastest battery charger” — can give new life to two AA or AAA batteries in the allotted time span.
The charger, which will be introduced at the 2005 International CES, comes with special nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries, and the charging process includes the company's RD4 technology that accelerates charging by enabling batteries to withstand high current levels. The batteries can be recharged up to 1,000 times, and even partial charges will not reduce the cells' capacity or cycle life because these are 100 percent memory-free.
A green LED indicates whether the batteries are charging or are fully charged, and the system is global, operating on both 100V and 240V power.
Each charger package, at a suggested $59.99 retail, includes the charging unit and two AA 8.5-minute charging batteries. AA two-packs of extra charging batteries have a $9.99 suggested retail, while an AAA 4-pack is $19.99.
A family of Sakar Sound Cases, called the “first media carrying cases with built-in speakers,” also will have a CES debut. These combine protective carrying cases for MP3, CD and DVD players, as well as laptops, with built-in speakers for on-the-go listening without headphones.
The line includes seven different bags that are wired for sound. With each, the integrated speaker amplifies the audio so it can be heard without headphones. The pairing of case and speaker in one unit eliminates the need to buy two separate accessories, said Sakar.
Sound Case products are MP3, at a suggested $29.99 retail, which comes in a hard-shelled container with speaker on the front, an inner mesh pocket to hold the player in place and a storage compartment for memory cards. The CD, at $29.99, is slightly larger for CD players with storage for up to 12 CDs. A Stereo, at $39.99, has two amplified speakers that accommodate either an MP3 or CD player, with room for up to 36 CDs. The DVD, at $49.99, is a leatherette version that houses a 5-inch or 7-inch player, and includes stereo speakers embedded in fold-out flaps on either side of the open player's screen.
A Laptop, at $59.99, is a microfiber case with a cushioned protective compartment and stereo speakers. The MP3 Car Visor, at $29.99, is a holder/speaker that pipes MP3 sounds into the car. It slides onto the visor and has a speaker in the center with separate compartments for MP3 player and batteries. A Bicycle, at $39.99, is a saddlebag-type carrier with two built-in speakers and compartment for either an MP3 or CD player. The case fits on all bikes, is weather-resistant and delivers enough volume to hear over traffic without headphones.
Sakar also is offering what it calls the first one-piece wireless numeric keypad/mouse for laptops. It has a built-in optical mouse that combines a 17-key keypad with mouse in one unit, eliminating the need for notebook users to carry two separate peripherals. Both peripherals share one USB wireless receiver. Suggested retail is $39.99.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.