By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Denver— Retailvision will continue its Midwest tour on Aug. 28 when it kicks off its fall show here at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center.
Retailvision organizer Gartner expects the biannual event, last held in San Antonio, Texas, in April, to attract 150 vendors and more then 200 people from 80 retailers, including buyers from Hewlett-Packard and Gateway, companies that might usually be found on the vendor’s side of the show. These are not the first company’s to blur the retailer/vendor line, Dell is a past Retailvision attendee.
For the most part the fall 2006 version of Retailvision will differ only slightly from past editions, but Pete Prentice, senior global director for RetailVision, did point out a new twist for The Meeting Place.
A new incentive program called Clean Sweep will give a Roomba robotic vacuum to retailers who visit and receive passport stamps from 125 vendor booths during the show.
Outside of the private boardroom appointments the show’s first big event will be the Retailvision University ChannelViews program that starts Tuesday morning Aug. 29, at 9 a.m. The first speaker will be Scott Danish, CNET’s director of marketing, who will discuss how to “Help Your Channel Partners Maximize Merchandising Effectiveness.”
Following Danish will be Adam Levin, of Levin Consulting whose talk “Reaching Today’s American Consumer,” will start at 9:35 a.m. Industry experts Steve Baker, NPD’s director of industry analysis, technology, Bruce Koenigsberg, president/CEO Koenigsberg & Associates and Casey Hughes, director of channel business development, Gartner Vision Events, are each scheduled to speak for 30 minutes starting at 10:10 a.m.
Retailvision University PowerViews takes place Wednesday morning with Jim Hamilton, senior VP/chief merchandising officer for RadioShack, slated to speak at 9 a.m. He is followed at 10:15 a.m. by Cindy Ruppenthal, computer products DMM, Amazon.com and Mike Russell, Office Depot’s consumer electronics merchant at 11 a.m.
Comedian Louie Anderson will entertain the crowd during the awards ceremony on Thursday night
This is the first time the show has been held in Denver and it is part of a pair shows held at downtown hotel locations instead of large resorts. The spring 2007 show is scheduled for the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville. The fall 2007 event will revert to a resort style location and take place at the Marriot Desert Ridge Resort & Spa outside of Phoenix.
KENILWORTH, N.J. — Teledex is spotlighting its new Datexx SuperBattery (LED-99), a multifunction, pocket-size USB power product that features a three-way charging mechanism with hand crank, AC adapter and optional car adapter. It can charge most portable digital devices including cellphones, MP3 players and PDAs.
The SuperBattery’s built-in, industrial-grade hand crank power generator serves as a backup when no other power source is available. Two minutes of steady cranking provides five minutes of talk time and 30 minutes of standby time. The SuperBattery will store the power for a minimum of two weeks in its internal rechargeable batteries. When fully charged, the unit provides up to 10 hours of cellphone talk time. It comes with an AC adapter, USB cable and four interchangeable power tips for most Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and LG phones. Additional power tips for other cellphones, Blackberry devices and PSP are also available. Suggested retail price is $45.
Teledex is also introducing the Sentina Outback (LED-98), an LED light with cellphone/iPod USB charger. Featuring a built-in power bank and emergency crank that ensures users can always obtain power, the Sentina Outback is a splash-proof, motion-sensor light that turns on automatically when users need it. Its internal power bank stores power from an AC adapter, the hand crank or car charger. Once fully charged, the lamp will last up to 10 hours. The 8-oz. device has a suggested retail of $50.
TAOYUAN CITY, TAIWAN — Fortune Grand Enterprise Co. is demonstrating its new HEBE Noise Cancellation Earphone, an ergonomically designed, high-definition in-ear earphone. The earphone’s active noise-cancellation reduces unwanted ambient sound and produces a full frequency sound range even in the noisiest environment, the company says.
The earphone features a lightweight and compact design, with soft contoured silicon sleeves that create a clear sound seal within the ear and help provide noise isolation as well as a comfortable fit for wearers. Three sizes of ear buds are included in each package, as well as a neck strap that lets users connect to their MP3, DVD or other multimedia player. Also included is an airplane adaptor that connects to any seat socket, and a remote control with LED indicator function, on/off and volume control.
Fortune Grand is also showing its Echo speaker for the iPod Nano. A clear cover opens to allow users to insert or remove their iPod Nano, and the cover features a cut-out that provides access to the player’s click-wheel controller. The speaker also features an earphone jack and a plug-in adapter for data synch and charging cable. It comes in black or white to match either iPod color, and includes a leather pouch.
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. — AMD is showcasing its new AMD LIVE! PC, described by the company as a full-featured media center PC designed to enable consumers to organize, distribute, share and enjoy their content collection at home and on the go. AMD LIVE! PCs, powered by the AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor, are currently available from OEMs including Acer, Alienware, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Gateway, HP, Sahara and Tsinghua Tongfang, as well as system builders in North America, Western Europe, and China. The AMD LIVE! PC is designed to help consumers consolidate their digital media content in a central location, and provides the tools to help them easily access that content through the devices they already have, the company says. The PCs enable users to stream music through their entertainment center; view and share photos on the TV; burn recorded TV shows, videos, music and pictures to a DVD or CD; or transfer the content to a notebook, MP3, portable media player (PMP) or PDA.
AMD LIVE! notebook PCs, powered by AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core mobile technology, are also expected to be available in the second half of 2006. In addition, AMD has announced an agreement with STMicroelectronics to develop high-definition, networked set-top box solutions for consumers to connect their TV to a desktop or notebook PC.
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. — ATP is featuring its latest flash drives and memory cards, including the 4GB ProMax CompactFlash memory card. The CF card offers a speed rating of 22.5 MBps (150x), and is specially designed to work with the latest digital SLR cameras and video camcorders such as Nikon’s D2X, D2H, D200 and D70, as well as Canon EOS series SLR cameras and JVC camcorders.
The 4GB ProMax card utilizes ATP’s System-In-Package (SIP) technology, and is water- and shock-resistant, with additional protection from dust, electrostatic discharge and extreme temperatures. An 8GB version is scheduled for release by the end of the year. Also available are 2GB ProMax SD cards with 150x transfer rates (up to 22.5 MBps read and 18MB/s write).
In addition, ATP is highlighting its new Petito USB 2.0 flash drive. The high-speed and high-capacity drive offers a data transfer rate up to 30 MBps (200x) and up to 1GB of data storage. It measures 1.65 inches by 0.8 inches and weighs less than 8 grams. It is available in a variety of colors and in capacities from 256MB to 1GB.
MISSISSAUGA, ONT., CANADA — Planon System Solutions is spotlighting its DocuPen RC800, a handheld document color scanner that allows users to scan hundreds of pages into onboard memory. The two-ounce scanner is capable of scanning full-page documents in four scanning modes: 24-bit color, 12-bit color, grayscale, or monochrome.
The DocuPen RC800 incorporates 8MB of onboard Flash memory, as well as a memory slot that allows users to add additional microSD/Transflash memory cards for virtually limitless capacity. It features a dual-roller guiding system and optical registration technology for smoother and more accurate scanning operation. The dual-roller guiding system includes strategically placed rollers around the scanner lens to distribute the user’s pressure evenly.
Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the DocuPen RC800 can be recharged via a USB port, and comes with a leather case and USB cable, as well as Scansoft PaperPort SE and Twain drivers software, allowing users to convert scanned material into an editable and searchable format without needing to retype or reformat. Available in standard electric blue and a limited edition of six designer colors, the device has a suggested retail of $299.99.
CHATSWORTH, CALIF. — Aleratec is introducing the 1:2 DVD/CD Copy Cruiser Pro LX, a standalone 1:1 DVD/CD duplicator that can be connected to a PC via USB 2.0 to become a 1:2 DVD/CD duplicator with LightScribe. When connected to a PC, the system can burn silkscreen-quality labels on discs and function as an external DVD/CD recorder, and can also be expanded to a DVD/CD publishing system with double the capacity. It supports recording and duplicating DVD-RAM discs, and comes with Special Edition Droppix software, as well as DVD/CD Disc Creation and LightScribe Labeling software.
Other products being featured by Aleratec include the upgraded 1:4 DVD/CD Tower Publisher LS DVD/CD duplicator; the 1:5 DVD/CD Auto Copy Tower, a standalone DVD/CD autoloader that can copy up to 200 DVDs at 50 DVDs per hour; and the USB Copy Cruiser Plus memory card reader and USB copier.
WALNUT, CALIF. — Mobile Action has introduced new features in Handset Manager 9.2, including Music Manager and Photo Wizard, designed to help users enjoy the multimedia capabilities built into the new generation of cellular handsets. In addition to these two new multimedia features, Handset Manager 9.2 also supports more contact information and is easier to install, the company says.
Music Manager is an MP3 player featuring file management software that allows users to manage the mobile music files for their cellular handset, move music from their PC to cellphone, create playlists and more. Users can also transfer video and game files to their mobile phone.
Mobile Action’s new Photo Wizard has 16 special effects and helps users personalize images. Special effects include color inversion, glowing edges, sepia, ocean reflection, grain, twirl, mosaic, wind, emboss, grayscale, black and white, dry brush, radial blur, ripple, find edges and sphere.
DIAMOND BAR, CALIF. — Advanced Media is introducing its Ridata HD DVD-R disc, which has up to a 15GB capacity on a single layer. The HD DVD-R discs are available in both an organic dye and inorganic dye type.
The Ridata HD DVD-R medium supports Advanced Access Content System (AACS), an advanced AES cryptography that enables authorized use, prohibits unauthorized copying and distribution and repairs holes in copy protection. Compared to current DVD technology, HD DVD offers state-of-the-art picture quality as well as superior features and functionality, such as multiple audio and video streams, up to 7.1-channel surround sound, and more user-friendly graphical interfaces, according to the company.
In addition to the 15GB, single-layer HD DVD-R product, Advanced Media will introduce Ridata-brand 30GB dual-layer HD DVD-R and 15GB single-layer HD DVD-RW by the fourth quarter. The discs come packaged in a single jewel case.
Also showing is the company’s new 8X DVD+R double-layer optical disc with 8.5GB storage capacity. The Ridata dual-layer product stores up to four hours of DVD-quality video, 16 hours of VHS-quality video or over 120 hours of MP3 audio. Advanced Media-developed technology allows material to be either read or recorded on one layer without affecting the other layer, the company notes. When data is being recorded or read, it does so continuously from the first layer to the second without interruption.
The Advanced Media double-layer disc has been certified to be in compliance with the DVD+R Alliance. It is compatible with DVD-based video players, game consoles, and DVD-ROM drives, as well as DVD+R DL drives.
DRAPER, UTAH — WiLife is introducing a new weatherproof outdoor camera for its LukWerks Digital Video Surveillance System. This camera allows users to mount surveillance cameras outdoors, while still utilizing the same easy set up as with the system’s indoor cameras.
The LukWerks digital video surveillance system can be installed in 30 minutes or less and does not require coaxial cable runs, wireless networks, or static IP addresses. The system includes smart cameras, software for monitoring, recording and sending e-mail alerts with attached pictures or video files, and free remote viewing of cameras through Internet-connected PCs and mobile devices.
The LukWerks smart cameras have an onboard processor that powers digital motion detection, real-time Windows Media Video (WMV) encoding, and Intelligent Image Management. By encoding the video in the camera, the system significantly reduces bandwidth usage and memory consumption, allowing users to view up to six live video feeds simultaneously on a computer.
WiLife’s Intelligent Image Management automatically adjusts the frame rate, brightness, and contrast of the video images according to light conditions, allowing high-quality video capture even when there is very little light. Each slim-line camera includes window, wall and desktop mounting options.
The Werks PC Software manages full-motion video from up to six concurrent cameras, and provides user-definable e-mail and cellphone alerts, disk management and security. The LukWerks starter kit sells for $299 and additional cameras are available at $229 each.
BEAVERTON, ORE. — Icon Time Systems is demonstrating its PROX Employee Time Clock Package, which enables employees to clock in or out by waving their badge within inches of the clock unit. The clock supports up to 50 employees and can read a badge even if it is in a wallet or purse.
The PROX clock mounts to the wall and connects via a 50-foot cable to a PC running the included TimeSource Lite Time & Attendance software. It uses the latest Proximity technology to read employees’ badges, and the software automatically calculates regular hours and overtime, and creates up-to-the-minute or approaching overtime reports.
The system incorporates Icon Time Systems’ Intelligent Storage, which handles lost badges, allows users to record and access employee information whenever it’s needed, and lets employees view their last time and hours worked directly at the clock. Add-on modules are available for job costing, scheduling/lockout, sick, holiday and vacation accrual, multi-clock enable code, and more.
SCOTTS VALLEY, CALIF. — Seagate Technology is demonstrating its new Mirra Sync and Share Personal Server, which offers Macintosh compatibility, enabling users to sync, share and protect data between Macs and PCs. The server is available in 320GB and 500GB capacities.
The Seagate Mirra Sync and Share Personal Server continuously backs up content and automatically synchronizes content between networked computers. It allows secure remote access to digital content via the Internet while maintaining its in-network functions of data protection, file synchronization, and sharing between multiple computers; and it combines a suite of content protection features as well as free online user accounts, allowing file sharing with family, friends and colleagues.
The server offers improved PC system performance, folder download, and photo slideshow features, the company says, and all Mirra Personal Server 2.0 users are eligible for a free software upgrade. The Seagate 320GB and 500GB Mirra Sync and Share Personal Servers retail for $499 and $599, respectively.
Seagate is also featuring its new 8.0GB Pocket Drive, capable of storing 2,560 digital photos, 133 hours of digital music, eight hours of digital video, or four computer games in a palm-sized drive. The hot-swappable Pocket Drive features a built-in, retractable USB 2.0 cable in its round shell, and offers data transfer up to 480 Mbps. It has a 2MB cache and includes utility software that lets users password-protect their data with the company’s Secure Zone feature (Windows only). Users can also manage partitions, set write protection and view and manage drive content. Retail price is $149.
GOLDEN, COLO. — Pentax Imaging Company is demonstrating its new Pentax K100D, which combines 6.1 effective megapixels with additional advanced technologies including a Shake Reduction (SR) system. The Pentax-developed SR system effectively offers sharp, blur-free images even under difficult shooting conditions, such as using a telephoto lens or shooting in low light without a flash, the company said.
The SR mechanism in the K100D is designed to minimize camera shake by oscillating the CCD image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the speed of oscillation in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by a built-in sensor. As a result, the system does not require special anti-shake lenses and can be used with almost all existing Pentax interchangeable lenses.
The K100D also features an SAFOX VIII autofocus system with 11 sensor points to automatically and precisely focus on the subject, even when it is positioned off-center, and an auto sensitivity control function, which automatically sets the optimum standard output sensitivity based on such data as the subject’s brightness level and the focal length of the lens. Additional features include Auto Picture Mode and a new Scene Mode pallet; 2.5-inch color LCD monitor; compact and lightweight body; top shutter speed of 1/4,000 second; and continuous shooting at approximately 2.8 images per second. The camera offers SD memory card, USB 2.0 and PictBridge compatibility.
VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA — Corinex is entering the retail channel at RetailVision with its AV200 line of 200 Mbps connectivity products that create an instant network for transmitting video, voice, and data over existing power lines. The plug-and-play products require no new wiring, and enable simultaneous multichannel distribution of IP TV, VoIP, online gaming, broadband access, streaming video, audio or other media PC content to any room in a home or office building.
Highlighted within the line is the company’s High Definition Video Connectivity Kit, which allows consumers to connect computers, media players, set top boxes, routers, game consoles, and other video devices based on IP. The kit contains two AV200 Powerline Wall Mounts, a PowerPhase Coupler, and a Powerline Noise Filter. Complementing the Video Connectivity Kit are other AV200 products, including routers, gateway, adapters and more.
FREMONT, CALIF. — DCL is showcasing its full menu of outsourced assembly, packaging, and fulfillment services, including turnkey project management; materials planning and procurement; inventory management; testing and configuration; assembly; build to stock/order/forecast; box and clamshell retail packaging; p-o-p and pallet displays; tray pack promos; warehousing; fulfillment, distribution and logistics; returns management; Web store development and hosting; call centers; print and media services; EDI and RFID; and real time Web-based reporting through eFactory. The company ships to top retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Micro Center, Circuit City and Fry’s.
MILLBURN, N.J. — National Solutions Technologies is introducing 14 new products in the TechXccessories line, created to solve everyday technology problems. Highlighting the product launches is a Bluetooth Adapter that converts any cellphone to a Bluetooth hands-free phone. Compatible with all standard Bluetooth headsets, the adapter works up to 30 feet from the cellphone and provides up to four hours talk time and 120 hours standby time. It includes a lithium ion rechargeable battery, and sells for a suggested $39.99.
NST is also introducing the Phone Book (life) Saver, which protects consumers from losing all their contacts if they lose their cellphone. The product enables bidirectional transmission of phone files between a cellphone and computer, and includes software that allows file creation on the user’s computer, as well as file manipulation on the computer and the cellphone. It can be downloaded to any new phone, and comes with cable and adapters for most if not all phones, the company says. Suggested retail is $19.99.
NST’s new Emergency Cell Power unit uses a single AA or lithium rechargeable battery to provide a cellphone with two hours of talk time or two hours of standby time. The power unit comes with adapters to fit most if not all cellphones, and has a suggested retail price of $19.99.
BEACHWOOD, OHIO — Levin Consulting is presenting its full range of strategic marketing services. Since 1988, the firm has been dedicated to the profitable sell-through of technology products, and uses its experience to assess where vendors are, where they should be going and how they can get there.
Levin provides services to a wide range of clients, ranging from large organizations looking for market share gains, top-line growth, improved ROI from the channel or geographic expansion, to start-up businesses looking to develop a long-term profitable business. The company offers clients experience, industry relationships and a successful track record with a senior team that offers an average of 25 years of experience in the industry.
Over 150 technology firms have used Levin Consulting’s services to advance in the retail marketplace, including IBM, Intel, HP, Microsoft, Xerox, Case Logic, U.S. Robotics, Fujifilm, AOL, McAfee, APC, Logitech, Adobe and many others. Attendees are invited to visit the Levin Consulting area during RetailVision to see vendors including BitDefender, CNET Channel, Corinex, D&H, Digital River, Gennum, Logitech, Razer, Sling Media, SVA, USRobotics, ViaMichelin and more.
SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — Anthology Solutions is featuring its Yellow Machine terabyte archival storage appliance with FailSafe Storage, said to be a grade above standard disk storage and regular RAID storage. Designed especially to protect consumers’ or small business’ digital content, Yellow Machine’s FailSafe Storage includes RAID 5 protection as well as Disk Scrubbing technology.
Yellow Machine includes industrial-grade hard disks for reliable operation under heavy workloads; a RAIDed operating system to allow OS booting from any of the four drives; a heavy-duty, ball-bearing cooling fan; and separate interface cables and separate disk controllers for each disk. The device also incorporates a UPS port and built-in surge protector, as well as mechanical drive suspension to protect against shock and vibration. It is available in 1.0TB, 1.6TB, and 2.0TB capacities.
PORTLAND, ORE. — The USB Implementers Forum is introducing Certified Wireless USB, a new wireless extension of the USB interface that is designed to combine the speed and security of wired technology with the ease of use of wireless technology. Certified Wireless USB provides consumers with an easy, secure way to connect their home, office and mobile devices without a cable and without sacrificing speed, according to the USB-IF.
Based on WiMedia’s ultra-wideband common radio platform, Certified Wireless USB enables products from the PC, CE, and mobile industries to connect using a common interface at up to 480 Mbps at 3 meters and 110 Mbps at 10 meters. Through use of external adapters for existing USB devices and systems, Certified Wireless USB provides a means for a quick and seamless migration path to wireless connections. Products are expected to hit the market beginning in the second half of this year.
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — USRobotics is introducing its Model 9630 Cordless Skype Dual Phone. The phone’s base station plugs into a computer’s USB port and connects to an existing phone line to allow both cordless Skype calls and regular telephone calls.
Integrating with the Skype Internet voice application, the Model 9630 enables Skype use throughout the home or small business. It incorporates DECT wireless technology, which eliminates interference with wireless data communications (802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth), the company says, and operates at a range of 50 meters (150 feet) indoors and 300 meters (900 feet) outdoors. The handset also integrates echo cancellation and noise reduction technology, and offers full-duplex operation.
The Cordless Skype Dual Phone features an integrated speakerphone in the handset; a graphical, LED back-lit display that supports multiple languages; and battery level indicator and out-of-range warning tone. The keypad enables users to place calls from their Skype phone book, and the handset supports both Skype Caller ID and telco provider Caller ID. The base station supports registration of up to four phones, and additional handsets (Model 9631) are available for purchase separately. Shipping is scheduled for September.
RESEDA, CALIF. — mStation Audio is showcasing its two flagship products, the mStation 2.1 Stereo Tower and the mStation 2.1 Stereo Orb.
Designed as a stereo sound system for the iPod, the mStation Tower features midrange speakers and tweeters housed in rotatable posts, and a dedicated, downward-firing subwoofer located in its center cylinder. A docking port with changeable dock cradles for different iPod versions is incorporated into the top of the center cylinder, and users can control treble, bass, and volume with an included 10-key remote. The AC-powered speaker system also features a USB port for connection to a user’s iTunes music library.
mStation is also spotlighting its new mStation 2.1 Stereo Orb-B (Black) and original 2.1 Stereo Orb-W (White), created to provide home theater technology in a small form factor iPod speaker system. Designed to coordinate with the iPod, the Stereo Orb is fully compatible out of the box with an iPod and iTunes music library. A line-in jack also enables use with other MP3 players, a CD player, or computer (cable included).
The mStation 2.1 Stereo Orbs have a dedicated subwoofer and come with a 10-key remote control. They offer 50 watts of power (120V AC), and have a suggested retail price of $164.99.
ANAHEIM, CALIF. — ZyXEL is highlighting its NBG-415N EWC 2nd Generation Solution Broadband Router, designed to offer total interoperability with other 2nd Generation EWC chipsets. The router features onboard hardware-controlled StreamEngine technology and enables applications such as VoIP, online gaming, streaming A/V and IP television to all be used at the same time in the same network. It also offers enhanced security with WPA and WPA2, and features a removable antenna.
ZyXEL is also demonstrating its NWD-170N EWC 2nd Generation Solution Cardbus Adapter for secure, optimized wireless connection; and the NWD-370N EWC 2nd Generation Solution PCI Adapter, also featuring enhanced security with WPA and WPA2.
The HomePlug PLA-402 from ZyXEL is an extended access solution that allows a house to be completely networked using existing power lines and coaxial cabling. Powered by HomePlug AV technology, the device offers data rates of up to 200 Mbps, enabling users to surf the Internet, access e-mail, and network home entertainment such as DVR systems without new wiring. It has 128-bit AES encryption capability, and comes with a low-profile cable.
The HomePlug PL-100 product also allows users to network devices over power lines in their home. Consumers can plug their computer or other Ethernet-ready device into the PL-100 and plug the PL-100 into any wall outlet in their house, then connect the PL-100 to their router and the computer is connected to the Internet. The PL-100 allows speeds up to 85 Mbps and features 56-bit Data Encryption Security (DES) capability.
VANCOUVER, WASH. — Wacom is demonstrating its Graphire4 pen tablets, designed for editing photos, creating artwork, or generating other digital communications. The pen tablets include a patented, cordless, battery-free pen and mouse, a tablet, and five software applications.
The Graphire4 pen offers 512 levels of pressure sensitivity for control, two programmable side buttons, and a pressure-sensitive eraser. Pressure sensitivity makes it possible to control the amount of a software tool’s effect simply by varying how firmly the pen tip is pressed to the tablet, the company says. Every point on the tablet has a matching point on the screen, so when users move the pen over the tablet, the cursor moves in precisely the same way on the screen.
The Graphire4 mouse is ball-free and features a rubberized grip for comfort. The scrolling finger wheel also serves as a third programmable button.
The Graphire4 tablet uses a USB connection. The pen tablet comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements 3, Color Efex Pro 2 GE filter collection, Corel Painter Essentials 2, JustWrite Office 4, and EverNote Plus. The Graphire4 comes in 4”x5” and 6”x8” configurations in three colors (silver, white, and metallic blue). Wacom also offers the Graphire Bluetooth, a wireless pen tablet for those seeking the freedom of a wireless device.
BURLINGTON, ONT., CANADA — Gennum is spotlighting its nXZEN Plus 5500 wireless Bluetooth headset. The DSP-powered headset enables stereo music playback from any MP3 or CD player and mutes the music when the user answers a call.
Available in silver and pink, the nXZEN Plus has two ear hook sizes and three ear tip sizes to accommodate any user. It comes with an installation CD, quick reference card, stereo audio cable, AC wall charger, and USB cable (for charging only). Weighing 0.54 ounces, the Bluetooth 1.2 headset offers up to seven hours of talk time, 100 hours of standby time, and a charge time of two hours. It operates via a lithium polymer battery, and includes multiple device pairing.
Gennum’s nXZEN 5000 wireless headset, available in black, offers similar features without the stereo music playback capability. Both feature FrontWave Extreme technology that amplifies the user’s voice, reduces background noise, and filters wind noise. The Bluetooth headsets offer inbound amplification and in-ear receiver for clear communications, advanced acoustic technology and dual microphone array, plus voice dialing, last number re-dial, call waiting, call mute, and call transfer functions. They can be paired with up to three Bluetooth-enabled phones or devices, enabling easy switching between each paired device.
NEWBURY PARK, CALIF. — Battery-Biz is introducing its Duracell PowerFM product, described by the company as the only iPod accessory that combines the functionality of an FM radio transmitter with the convenience of an extended rechargeable battery.
The PowerFM allows users to listen to their iPod wirelessly from any FM radio and incorporates an on-screen user interface. Users can select the transmission frequency manually from the full FM spectrum or navigate through five user-defined presets.
The extended rechargeable battery powers the iPod and charges its internal battery, providing 42 hours of continuous run-time for the Nano iPod and 49 hours of continuous run-time for the Video iPod. The power status of the PowerFM battery is displayed on the iPod screen.
In addition, the PowerFM package includes a protective silicone case featuring openings for headphones and for the iPod dock connector, allowing the use of additional accessories without having to disconnect the iPod. The PowerFM is offered in two models: part number DRPWFMN for the Nano iPod and part number DRPWFMV for the Video iPod. It will ship in early September at a suggested retail price of $79.99.
BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, FRANCE — ViaMichelin is launching its first product for North America, the Portable GPS Navigation X-930. The Navigation X-930 is a compact, full-featured GPS based on the company’s latest mapping technology. The slim, pocket-sized device comes preloaded with a complete set of U.S. maps and points of interest.
Scheduled for availability in October, the Portable GPS Navigation X0930 has an integrated SIRF star III GPS receiver, and displays data on a 3.5-inch screen. It weighs 4.7 ounces, and operates with a 312MHz processor and 32MB of RAM. The device runs on a lithium-ion battery and features a speaker and an SD card slot.
Each package includes the GPS device, a mount for windshield or dashboard use, DC power adapter, 110-240v wall charger, USB cable, 1GB SD card with pre-loaded US maps, ViaMichelin Navigation DVD-ROM with maps of Canada, and Quickstart user manual.
SAN FRANCISCO — CNET Channel, a property of CNET Networks, is launching a new service, Intelligent Cross-Sell, designed to help e-commerce retailers with the complex, manual process of selecting and cross-selling compatible products. Intelligent Cross-Sell enables retailers to quickly and easily identify and cross-sell complementary products, such as the best accessories for a notebook computer, based on their specific merchandising criteria, including available inventory, profitability, or manufacturer marketing program preference.
Intelligent Cross-Sell allows retailers to target and test across millions of product combinations. It will initially be offered to customers of CNET Channel’s DataSource database of technology product content. With multi-vendor and multi-lingual product content on more than 2.7 million IT, consumer electronics, prosumer photo/video and appliance SKUs, DataSource provides a broad foundation of detailed product content on which to run Intelligent Cross-Sell, the company says.
Intelligent Cross-Sell allows e-commerce merchandisers to systematically target and test which products sell best together, regardless of the number of products. For example, a merchandiser can target mice as accessories for notebook computers by a key selling feature such as Bluetooth. Intelligent Cross-Sell will then automatically select Bluetooth mice, but only for notebooks that are Bluetooth-capable. The merchandiser can then further prioritize Bluetooth mice by popularity, profitability, manufacturer, or other factors. Based on this targeting, Intelligent Cross-Sell selects, delivers, and measures the resulting cross-sells.
Intelligent Cross-Sell is priced primarily on a pay-for-performance basis: The retailer pays when cross-sells get clicked, and the amount paid is a fraction of the profit from any resulting conversions. Intelligent Cross-Sell is a network service, with no software to install. Plugging into Intelligent Cross-Sell only requires setting up a data exchange, the company notes, so that Intelligent Cross-Sell knows what products the retailer sells and the retailer can receive cross-sell data. Day-to-day use of Intelligent Cross-Sell for managing cross-sells happens in a Web browser, from anywhere there is an Internet connection.
IRVINE, CALIF. — Iogear is introducing a 2.4GHz Wireless Multimedia Keyboard / Mouse Combo, consisting of a USB receiver, keyboard and optical mouse. Connected to the computer wirelessly with a USB receiver, the multimedia keyboard and mouse allow users to control their computers from up to 33 feet away.
The 800 dpi optical mouse requires minimal movement and offers accuracy on most surfaces, the company says, enabling consumers to utilize it virtually anywhere in the room.
The USB receiver serves as a charging cradle for the mouse, and the Combo, which operates at 2.4GHz, is Wi-Fi friendly.
The multi-language keyboard is designed with a low-degree tilt to ensure comfortable typing and avoid wrist injury, and enables users to type in English, French, and Spanish. It contains multimedia keys that allow instant access to a variety of common applications and tasks, including e-mail, volume control, CD play and pause, media player, and Web browsing. The Combo also comes with software to utilize the keyboard’s enhanced function keys, which are completely customizable and can be programmed to launch favorite Web sites. Suggested retail is $79.95.
LEXINGTON, KY. — Lexmark is showcasing its X8350 all-in-one plus photo printer, which allows users to fax and copy multiple page documents using its automatic document feeder, as well as print at speeds of up to 25 black-and-white and up to 19 color pages per minute. For photos, the X8350 enables users to print directly from their digital camera or memory cards, and preview and edit images on its large color LCD screen.
The X8350’s Productivity Suite software allows users to manage and distribute documents and images, create and search PDFs, and scan hard copy documents into editable text. The unit features a front loading paper tray, 50-sheet automatic document feeder, digital memory card slots and PictBridge connection, and optional networking via wired or wireless Ethernet adapter.
LOS ANGELES — SolidMounts is featuring its line of plasma and flat-panel wall mounts, including the C-Pan, an ultra flush wall mount designed for Panasonic plasma TVs. The mount has a low-profile design that measures 0.96” off the wall.
The C-Pan features solid, heavy-gauge steel construction to support up to 175 pounds, and supports all Panasonic 37-, 42- and 50-inch plasma TVs or plasma industrial displays. It incorporates a J-bar vertical adjustable mounting system that enables quick repositioning by two inches up or down on the wall plate; and uses the Dura-Lock Theft-Resistant security locking bar system. The C-Pan mounts to any stud separation, and is seismic-rated. It comes in silver or black finish.
SolidMOUNTS’ UF-1000 is a universal, extra large wall mount that supports flat panel displays from 50 inches to 84 inches and up to 250 pounds. It features a 49-inch back plate for installation on up to four studs, and the back plate also enables the TV to slide up to 21 inches left or right for centering on the wall. The UF-1000 uses J-bar vertical adjustable mounting rails, and includes the Dura-Lock Theft-Resistant security locking bar system. It is available in silver, black or platinum finish.
Also being shown are the UF-800F flush, VESA 800 universal flat panel wall mount, which supports 42-inch to 63-inch displays; UT-800 ultra flush, VESA 800 universal tilt wall mount, which supports 37-inch to 61-inch flat panel displays; UF-600 ultra flush universal flat panel wall mount, which supports 37-inch to 61-inch displays; and UT-600 ultra flush universal tilt wall mount, which supports 37-inch to 61-inch displays.
FREMONT, CALIF. — Antec is introducing the Antec Nine Hundred gaming case, built for maximum cooling capability with a perforated front bezel, three 120mm fans and mounts for more fans, and a top-mounted 200mm fan. The modular design allows users to modify placement of the front fans and hard drive cages, and the case features a tray on top for MP3 player, digital camera, or other belongings. The case also includes top-mounted I/O ports, and comes in a black finish.
Antec is also featuring Spot Cool, specifically designed to mount on any motherboard to provide cooling wherever users need it most. The fan can be angled to any position, and is powered from a motherboard fan connector. It runs at three different speeds to balance noise with cooling.
CARLSTADT, N.J. — BDI-Laguna supplies consumer electronics and computer products to retailers through fully integrated logistical services. The company’s product offerings include computers, digital cameras, GPS, plasmas, LCDs, projectors and more.
Supported by distribution centers in New Jersey, Nevada and Georgia, BDI-Laguna ships via ground service to customers’ locations anywhere in the country within 2-3 days. The company provides personalized drop-ship programs, white glove delivery through its Enroute division and access to a network of custom installers. It also administers its own end-user rebate programs and promotions for customers; and its channel marketing group merchandises customers’ Web sites.
TINTON FALLS, N.J. — Avenues In Leather is spotlighting its Maxxum Computer Backpack, which features shock-absorbing shoulder straps, adjustable chest strap, and air-flow back padding.
The Maxxum offers an expandable Comp-U-Flex computer pocket to hold and protect most 15-inch widescreen notebooks, as well as an iPod/MP3 player pocket. Additional features include an essentials organizer, convenient mesh pockets, a CaseBase stabilizing platformand a dual handle system of carrying handle plus trolley strap.
SAN MATEO, CALIF. — Sling Media is highlighting its new SlingPlayer Mobile for Slingbox owners. SlingPlayer Mobile is a software package that gives Slingbox owners the ability to watch and control their home TV from any network-enabled mobile phone or handheld computer (PDA) powered by Windows Mobile.
The SlingPlayer Mobile software is compatible with devices that run Windows Mobile Pocket PC 5.0 and 2003 Second Edition, and is also available in a version for non-touchscreen devices based on Windows Mobile Smartphone 5.0. Slingbox owners who purchased and registered their Slingbox on or before April 26, 2006, will receive a free license for SlingPlayer Mobile. There are no monthly or recurring charges for the use of the software.
Like the company’s Slingbox, which enables consumers to “place-shift” their TV programming to any Internet-connected PC, SlingPlayer Mobile gives consumers their entire home TV experience, including local channels, video on demand, and pay per view, on their mobile device. In addition, SlingPlayer Mobile users can also control their home digital video recorder (DVR) to watch recorded shows, pause, rewind, and fast forward live TV, or queue new recordings remotely.
A network connection, including 3G cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB, is required to use SlingPlayer Mobile, and it is compatible with smartphones such as the Motorola Q, T-Mobile SDA, and the i-mate SP5m.
SAN JOSE, CALIF. — RTX America is showcasing its USB Cordless DUALphone, a DECT 6.0 cordless phone that enables both VoIP (via Skype) and landline/PSTN calls from the same handset. Users can see which of their Skype contacts are online from the screen of the handset, and can select a contact to call, then click to dial, without needing to be at a computer. The DUALphone delivers wideband audio to and from the handset (about 2x the frequency response of landline/PSTN calls), the company says, so that the Skype voice quality is maintained.
Also being featured is RTX America’s wireless DUALjack, a 2.4GHz wireless device that allows the installation of a telephone jack/plug in places where no jack currently exists. It delivers clear voice quality and supports data rates for modems of up to 50kbps. Applications include simplifying the installation of a telephone backchannel for satellite systems, DVRs, fax machines, and telephone extensions.
SAN DIEGO, CALIF. — Razer is demonstrating its Razer Tarantula, described by the company as a gaming keyboard created for gamers, by gamers. Among its features is an anti-ghosting capability to prevent key jamming when multiple keys are simultaneously pressed.
The Tarantula also features an optimized Hyperesponse gaming keytop for reduced key latency and maximum response; and its 95 programmable keys allow configuration of customized keystrokes and macro commands. Keys can be programmed without drivers, and up to five different gaming profiles can be stored on the keyboard itself. The keyboard also has an onboard memory capability powered by Razer Synapse, and media center keys to control media programs like Windows Media Player.
An ambient illumination light source runs underneath the keys for gaming in low or no light conditions. The Tarantula also incorporates headphone-out and microphone-in jacks, as well as two USB ports. It retails for $99.
BRANCHBURG, N.J. — Falcon Safety Products is highlighting its Dust-Off Smart Pack, which features four components for the safe cleaning of sensitive electronic equipment and screens. The microfiber DVD/CD Cleaning Cloth lifts dust and oils from CDs, DVDs, and other delicate surfaces, while the suede microfiber Screen Shammy cloth removes fingerprints and smudges from computer and television screens, including LCD and plasma.
The Dust-Off Smart Pack’s Digital Cleaner safely cleans the screens of cellphones, iPods, digital cameras, and other equipment; and the suede Micro-Fiber LapPad can be placed between the screen and keys of a laptop before closing to protect the screen. The Dust-Off LapPad is also available as a standalone product.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Atdec is featuring its Telehook 31-55 Swing Arm, which supports LCD or plasma flat panel displays and allows maximum rotation and adjustable tilt for viewing. Users can position a flat panel from -5 degrees to 25 degrees vertically, from -5 degrees to 5 degrees horizontally, and through 180-degree rotation from the wall.
The Telehook 31-55 Swing Arm accommodates flat panels from 31 inches to 55 inches..
CHATSWORTH, CALIF. — Diamond Multimedia is rolling out its BizView line of business video cards, including the BizView BV200 and BV300. The video cards each support two digital LCD monitors and are half the size of regular video cards, fitting into both standard and low profile cases, the company says.
Both BizView models have low heat output and dual DVI and TV-Out support. The BV200 features 128MB DDR memory for PCI connection, while the BV300 features 256MB GDDR2 memory for PCI Express connection as well as HDTV support. Suggested retails are $129 and $149, respectively. A dual link BV400 quad monitor will also be introduced.
Also new from Diamond Multimedia is the Xtreme Sound line of high-performance sound cards, incorporating Dolby 7.1 channel surround sound, 10-band equalizer, preset audio environments, headphone and speaker support for up to eight channels, plus a multi-track recording/editing studio. The standard Xtreme Sound 7.1 card retails for $29.95, and an upgraded Xtreme Sound 7.1 DDL (Dolby Digital Live) has a suggested retail of $59.95.
BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — Gear Head is demonstrating its KB5000WDR Wireless Desktop and Optical Mouse, which features a 199-key Internet/multimedia keyboard and 800dpi optical wheel mouse with a rechargeable, spill-proof design. It comes with a wired receiver with dual PS/2 connectors, detachable palm rest, and six AAA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. Suggested retail is $29.99.
Gear Head is also featuring its LM5000CWU Laser Wireless Rechargeable Mouse, which offers laser sensing technology, rechargeable USB design, and on/off switch, at a suggested retail of $49.99; and the CF5000U USB bus-powered Tri-Cool Notebook Cooling Pad, featuring triple fan technology and adjustable speed control, retailing for $49.99. Rounding out the line are the KBL7000LCDWR Laser Wireless Desktop, including 125-key Internet/multimedia keyboard, 5-button laser wheel mouse, and rechargeable design, at a $49.99 retail; and the WP7000U Wireless Presenter Mouse, incorporating an optical wireless mouse, integrated laser pointer, wireless optical presenter, and remote scrolling trackball, and carrying a $79.99 suggested price tag.
MINNEAPOLIS — Digital River, which offers e-commerce outsourcing, is spotlighting its recent agreement to acquire Commerce5, which provides enterprise-class outsourced e-commerce solutions for high-tech manufacturing and consumer electronics markets.
The acquisition will allow Digital River to extend its capabilities in growing online businesses for manufacturers of high-tech products in markets that are closely aligned with the software publishing space into the broader high-tech marketplace, the company said. To help manufacturers maximize their online presence and sales, Commerce5 enables them to sell their products through their direct online stores or through other third-party e-commerce sites, as well as sell an expanded catalog of complementary products from other high-tech manufacturers.
DAYTON, OHIO — Cables To Go is showcasing its Home Theater Connection Kit, which enables consumers to connect all their audio/video components using a single kit. The package includes a 6-foot component video cable, 6-foot RCA type audio interconnect, 2m HDMI high-definition multimedia interconnect, 6-foot digital audio coax interconnect, 2m Toslink optical digital cable, 6-foot S-Video interconnect, 6-foot RCA type audio/video combination interconnect, Velocity HDMI-to-male DVI inline adapter, and six-outlet surge suppressor.
SANTA ROSA, CALIF. — Lowepro is featuring its SlingShot 100 AW and 200 AW camera bags, which allow photographers to rotate or “sling” the bag toward the front of the body to gain complete access to cameras, lenses, memory cards, and other accessories. The bags feature a Full Access Lid with built-in memory card pouch and a reverse open design that keeps equipment from falling out.
The SlingShot AW bags incorporate two accessory pockets, as well as Lowepro’s patented All Weather Cover, a tuck-away stability strap, and SlipLock attachment loops for additional storage accessories. Other features include silent zipper pulls and a mesh back pad. Suggested prices are $79.99 for the SlingShot 100 and $99.99 for the SlingShot 200.
Additional products from Lowepro include the Stealth Reporter D-Series digital camera bags; the Rolling CompuTrekker AW rolling backpack for imaging products and notebook computers; the CompuDaypack, an all-in-one carrying solution for digital SLR cameras and lenses, as well as a notebook computer and personal accessories; and the Rezo series of camera pouches.
ATLANTA — SED International provides computer hardware, consumer electronics and cellular products to resellers throughout the United States and Latin America. The company has partnerships with over 150 leading technology manufacturers, and distributes products in categories including notebook and desktop computers, flat screen HDTVs, GPS systems, storage products, MP3 and MP4 players, networking, and digital cameras. Top vendor partners include Panasonic, Acer,TomTom, SanDisk, Mitsubishi, Creative Labs, Archos,Pioneer, Canon, Pentax, Akai and Lowrance.
DUBLIN, OHIO — Inoveris is announcing an expansion of its procurement services to improve its customers’ speed to market and asset utilization. The new procurement services are being launched initially with Kyocera Wireless for which Inoveris will now procure components and assemble selected Kyocera products in addition to its warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution services.
Inoveris is a product-to-market solutions provider offering outsourced, customized solutions to help customers efficiently manufacture, package, and move products and information to market. Among its services are CD/DVD replication, procurement, print and packaging solutions, kitting and assembly, fulfillment, warehousing and distribution, and returns management.
WILSONVILLE, ORE. — InFocus is demonstrating its Work Big IN24 projector, which utilizes the latest DLP technology from Texas Instruments. The projector can plug into any source including TV, laptop, PDA, or DVD, and offers 1,700 lumens, a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, and 3,000 hours of lamp life or more.
The Work Big IN24 includes extreme keystoning at 30+/25-, making it versatile enough to project or install in virtually any environment or situation, the company says. Its image quality is suited to data and video; and the compact projector can be positioned on a cart or table, or permanently mounted. The full ProjectAbility keypad provides access to over 90 percent of the projector’s features, and cable inputs are easily accessible on the rear I/O panel. The Work Big IB24 retails for $699.
BURNABY, B.C., CANADA — Xantrex Technology is launching the XPower PowerSource Mobile 100, a palm-sized, portable power source for all mobile devices including laptops, cell phones, PDAs, portable DVD players, game consoles and more. When the device’s battery runs out of power, users can plug its AC charger or USB cable into the Mobile 100 to operate the device or charge it.
The XPower PowerSource Mobile 100 combines a 100W inverter with lightweight, high-output lithium ion battery. It has one AC outlet and two USB outlets so multiple items can be operated and/or charged at once, and it is compatible with various electronic devices so users need not carry device-specific batteries and extra AC and USB chargers, or numerous “tips” for each specific device.
EDISON, N.J. — Sakar International is showcasing four new products in its iConcepts Line, all scheduled for September availability. The M10617-MB is a docking station that adds three USB Ports (2.0/1.1), two PS2 ports, speakers, and a 9-in-1 multimedia card reader to a notebook computer. It also includes a dual-fan cooling system, and runs off the computer’s USB 2.0 port.
The M20817-MB Notebook Starter Kit includes the iConcepts 4-port USB 1.1 hub, USB retractable numeric keypad, and optical retractable mouse. The portable 4-port USB hub is self-powered, while the keypad and mouse are both small for easy portability.
The M04420-MB iConcepts Multimedia Hub contains a 3-port USB 2.0 hub with an integrated 32-in-1 multimedia card reader. It offers a data transfer rate of up to 480 Mbps and the built-in card reader supports most popular memory cards. The 90550N is a slim multimedia keyboard with integrated 2-port USB hub that allows for expansion of additional USB peripherals without the need for an additional USB hub. It has 18 multimedia keys that support Internet browsing functions as well as e-mail and sound controls.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. — Jasco is introducing a new GE Branded line of Bluetooth accessories that includes adapters, transmitters, receivers, and headphones.
The Audio/Data USB Adapter turns any computer with a USB port into a Bluetooth-enabled device capable of sending and receiving audio and data up to 300 feet. It includes BlueSoleil software and has a suggested retail of $109.95. The Home Stereo Transmitter and Receiver allows any stereo system to transmit or receive stereo music via a Class 1 Bluetooth connection. Integrated controls provide wireless control of music playback with compatible devices. Suggested retail is $139.95.
Also in the GE Branded line is the Bluetooth Portable Stereo Transmitter, which makes any audio player with a 3.5mm jack Bluetooth capable. It includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and AC adapter and retails for $99.95. Rounding out the line are Bluetooth Stereo Headphones ($109.95) with integrated multifunction music controls, microphone, and answer button; and Bluetooth Stereo Headphones ($139.95) with integrated dedicated music controls, microphone, and answer button.
PHILADELPHIA, PA. — NeatReceipts is presenting its NeatReceipts Scanalizer, a portable scanner and software solution that scans and organizes receipts, business cards, and documents in a PC database.NeatReceipts technology automatically reads information from receipts and business cards and places the information into a searchable database, or the information can be exported to Excel, Quicken, or other programs.
Users can create folders for any time period, vendor, client, or individual, and can run reports to track and manage their spending, produce expense reports, or organize receipts for tax preparation. The scanner measures 10.8 inches by 1.6 inches by 1.3 inches and weighs 10.6 ounces, and scans color, grayscale, or black-and-white documents. It comes with a USB cable, wall mount holder, desktop stand, and travel pouch.
PALO ALTO, CALIF. — Speck Products is debuting its new Active Sport cases for iPod nano, iPod video and Motorola SLVR. The mesh cases are available with an adjustable Velcro armband and are outfitted with reflective material for added protection at night. A sewn-in, clear screen protector and a neoprene enclosure give the players added security. Active Sport cases with armband for iPod nano and iPod Video have a suggested retail of $34.95, and for SLVR, $29.95. Basic cases retail for $24.95.
Speck is also rolling out new Canvas Sport cases designed for the iPod nano, iPod Video, Motorola SLVR, Motorola Q, and Treo 700. The cases are made of canvas and rubber, and include a sewn-in clear, plastic screen protector and belt clip on the back. They come in black, white, or pink, and retail for $29.95 or $34.95, depending on model.
FREMONT, CALIF. — Logitech is debuting the Wireless DJ Music System, which allows users to stream digital music from their PC to any stereo system or powered multimedia speakers anywhere in their home, using the company’s Music Anywhere wireless technology. The system plays any PC audio format, and comes with a long-range remote featuring a display and scroll wheel for navigating within the music collection.
The Wireless DJ Music System transmitter plugs into a PC’s USB port and its Music Receiver/Dock connects to a stereo system using standard RCA connectors, or to powered multimedia speakers using the 3.5 mm headphone jack output. The rechargeable remote features a backlit LCD display and includes an active playlist feature that allows people to add songs or albums to the queue without stopping the music. The system comes with Logitech’s StreamPoint software, which aggregates audio files, playlists and favorite Internet radio stations from various sources that can be easily accessed by the remote. Available in late September, the Wireless DJ Music System has a suggested retail of $249.99.
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.