As part of our extensive coverage on CE distributors in our April 4 issue, TWICE has identified 30 products distributors (and, of course, retailers) should be embracing.
Google’s latest virtual reality headset comes with a motion-sensitive controller with three buttons, with one doubling as a trackpad. The controller can be used for tasks such as virtually pointing, playing golf or just controlling the volume. It’s about 30 percent lighter than the Samsung Gear VR. Daydream-specific apps are scarce at the moment, as are compatible phones (Android only, of course) but there are plenty in development, according to the company. Meanwhile it can run any app that works with Google Cardboard. The eye-opening feature is the price, coming in at a category busting $79.
Merge VR Goggles
A ground-breaking design sets Merge VR apart, with a body made of lightweight purple antimicrobial foam (think NERF darts) that is both rugged and easy to travel with. Merge VR Goggles also have a removable slot in the front to accommodate a smartphone’s camera, which opens up the capability of running future augmented reality apps and games.
TCL P series 4K TVs
The Roku operating system has been the province of value-centric models with a paucity of features until now, but TCL’s P series boasts a robust set of high-end picture enhancement including full-array local dimming and Dolby Vision HDR. The starting price of $500 should appeal to the mass market.
Sony A1E Bravia OLED 4K TVs
Sony’s A1E series, available in the U.S. this month, finally brings some competition to the OLED category. Besides a top-flight menu of picture quality technologies, Sony’s Acoustic Surface technology makes possible the edge-to-edge design of the A1E series by doing away with conventional speakers usually located to the sides or below the TV. The A1E’s design eliminates any visible stand or speakers, the easel support conceals a subwoofer and cable-management system that can be folded in, against the TV, for wall mounting.
Como Audio Duetto
The Duetto Wi-Fi speaker features FM radio, six pre-sets for favorite music sources, 3.2-inch color display for artist/ song meta data and album art, dual independent alarms, Internet radio, Bluetooth with AptX, four high-res inputs, and an optical input. It measures 5.3 by 5.6 by 14.5 inches and is priced at $399 to $449, depending on finish.
Hailed by the company as “the first driverless car for hydroponic growing,” the Seedo is an automatic growing device. It features a built-in HD camera for livestreaming, a lighting system that automatically adjusts to the plant’s growth stage, and built-in CO2 cartridges and AC system. A smartphone app delivers notifications and lets users post and share photos and growth plans with others. Pricing is not yet set.
Samsung’s Gear 360 4K camera
The new camera features 8.4-megapixel sensors and Bright Lens f2.2 on both dual fisheye lenses. Real-time content sharing lets users sync a compatible smartphone or computer with the device to broadcast live video on such platforms as Facebook, YouTube or Samsung VR. It comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and has a 1,160 mAh lithiumion battery. The camera is compatible with a selection of third-party accessories and mounts, Samsung said, and offers greater compatibility with iOS devices.
The wireless in-ear sports headphones feature Bluetooth connectivity, ambient-noisereduction technology, sweat resistance, voice prompts, and a special earhook design to ensure they stay in place during activity. They’re currently available for $150 in black, white and blue.
These wired headphones connect via the Apple Lightning port, making them compatible with the iPhone 7. Features include built-in noise-canceling technology, the ability to start and stop music when placed in and taken out of the wearer’s ears, and a HearThru mode for runners and cyclists. They’re currently available for $99.95.
D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD (DSH-C310)
The Apple HomeKit-enabled security camera features end-toend encryption and authentication between the camera and an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It can work with other HomeKit enabled devices, including triggering scenes when motion is detected. The camera has a 180-degree wide-angle lens and is currently available for $199.
Odyssey Toys’ Pocket Drone II
This collapsible drone features a built-in camera and Wi- Fi video streaming. In addition to a handheld controller, users also have the option of operating the drone using their iPhone. It will be available this month for a $79.95 suggested retail.
LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate
This new kid tablet is said to include more than $100 worth of preloaded learning apps and videos. Users can also connect to the company’s App Center to choose from over 1,000 apps, e-books and videos. Features include a child-friendly web browser, parental controls with time limits, built-in rubberized bumper and a shatter-resistant screen. It will ship in the fall.
Nuvyyo Tablo Live
Geared toward cord-cutters, the device uses Wi-Fi to stream OTA content from its single tuner to streaming boxes, iOS and Android devices, and a web-based browser via free TV guide app. It’s slated to ship this spring for $99.99. It does require an external antenna.
Voxx International Terk Omni
This amplified, multi-directional HDTV antenna is positioned toward cord-cutting consumers. It features the company’s DualBoost dual-stage amplifier technology and 360-degree reception. Suggested retail is $59.99.
This floating Bluetooth speaker is designed to fit in any standard cup holder. It is IP67- rated for waterproofing and has a 50-hour battery life, according to the company, and comes with 360 built-in LED lights. The device feature four 2-inch speaker drivers and a 4-inch passive radiator. It weighs approximately 3.5 pounds. Suggested retail is $229.
The aftermarket portable heads-up display projects a live color image onto a transparent lens and presents GPS, traffic, text messages and other info in a driver’s line of sight. It features an eight-core 64-bit ARM processor, 16GB capacity, 2GB of memory, and LTE/4G and Wi-Fi support. It can be controlled with voice, gestures or a remote control with physical buttons mounted on the steering wheel. The device is powered and connected via a vehicle’s OBDII port. It will ship in May for $399.
Porsche Design Book One
The convertible and detachable two-in-one features a milled aluminum housing with a matte anodized surface finish. It comes with Windows 10 Pro, seventh-gen Intel Core i7-7500U processor, Intel 512GB SSD, and a 13.3- inch QHD+ IPS touch display. The two-in-one also has a 5-megapixel camera with IR sensor that enables biometric authentication. It’s slated to be available this month for a $2,495 suggested retail.
VTech Smart Communication and Gaming Device
VTech’s as-yet-unnamed smartphone- like device lets kids send texts, voice messages, photos, drawings and animated stickers over Wi-Fi to a preset list of contacts. Features include rubberized bumpers, shatter-resistant screen, 40 preloaded learning games, kid-safe web browser with parental controls, and an Android OS for downloading apps. It’s geared toward ages 4 and older and has a $99.99 suggested retail. The device will ship in the fall.
The wireless ear buds feature a touch interface that lets users control music directly on the tip of the bud. A magnetic docking “capsule” stores and charges the ear buds, offering three hours battery life with one charge and 12 hours of music. They will be available this spring for $249.
Designed as an attractive under-TV speaker, the Playbase features a single optical input for connectivity simplicity. It has six low-mid drivers and one tweeter in front, and an internal active 5.25-inch woofer with an S-shaped port. The Playbase is slated for April 4 availability at a $699 suggested retail.
Eleven Engineering Rush SKAA
The mini analog receiver from Eleven Engineering can be used with both headphones and speakers. It uses a 3.5mm stereo audio output jack and has volume control, the ability to remember up to 10 transmitters, and a 35-meter indoor range. It can be powered from a USB port, and up to four receivers can be used at the same time with just one transmitter. Suggested retail is $79.99.
Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt
This smart lock features voice activation accessibility via Amazon’s Alexa when paired with a Samsung SmartThings hub or a Wink Labs’ Wink. It holds up to 30 alarm codes that can be programmed for different times and days, and it has an anti-pick shield that protects from tampering. Suggested retail is $199.
LG Tone Studio
Billed as a Bluetooth wearable speaker, the DTS-enabled devices features two upward-firing speakers and two vibration speakers, as well as retractable ear buds. A toggle button lets users switch between the two modes. It comes in silver and is currently available in AT&T stores for $229. Distribution extends to other carriers next month.
Urbanears Connected Speakers
The Connected Speaker line from Urbanears marks the company’s first foray into Wi-Fi speakers. Two or more speakers can be paired for multiroom audio, and each comes with Bluetooth and an aux port. Two knobs push and turn to adjust volume, change tracks or select a preset. The fabric-wrapped speakers come in six colors and offered in two sizes, known as Stammen ($350) and Baggen ($450). They’re currently shipping.
Plantronics Backbeat 500
The on-ear Bluetooth headphones have 18 hours of playtime and a $79.99 price tag. Features include 40mm drivers, memory-foam ear cushions and on-ear controls. A Hibernation mode is designed to maintain battery charge for up to six months when the headphones are out of range or left on. They come in three colors — white, gray and dark gray — and are currently available.
Ultigesture Smart Wristband and Smart Car
Consumers can control the Bluetooth racecar with the wristband through gestures, or by using their Android smartphone. The car can go up to 13 mph and has a 22- yard range of control. It’s currently available for pre-sale on Kickstarter for $89.
Anvil Studios & Milwaukee Tool M18/M12 Wireless Jobsite Speaker
The rugged Bluetooth speaker is IP54-rated water and dust resistant, and comes with an impact-resistant “roll cage,” as well as reinforced side caps and grille. It can be powered by the company’s M18 or M12 batteries or via AC power. Wireless range is said to be 100 feet. Suggested retail is $149.
Designed for runners and walkers who venture out at night, the Spark headphones feature built-in illumination that can flash in sync with the music. Three different lighting settings are available: glowing, flashing or non-glow. The lights are rechargeable and will last for five hours of continuous use.
This battery-powered, wireless camera is designed for use in nearly any indoor space, whether on a shelf or mounted to the wall. It features 1080p video, night vision, remote motion sensor and two-way audio. It’s currently available for a $130 suggested retail.
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless
The company’s newest headphones feature 50mm drivers, Bluetooth and wired connectivity, AptX support, and frequency range from 5Hz to 40kHz. Battery life is listed at 14 hours. They come in matte black, matte white and Rose Gold for $330.