RetailVision Displays Easy Scanners, iPod Voice Control And More

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San Diego — Some of the up-and-coming products expected to stand out among consumer electronics accessories were highlighted at Fall RetailVision 2008 including a voice-activation module for an iPod from Innotech Systems and a tiny wireless DVR that can be placed anywhere as a “nanny cam” from DMTechnology.

There was a keyboard with a built-in scanner and a laptop stand with an iPod dock also showcased at Fall RetailVision, which drew about 550 industry participants to the Manchester Grand Hyatt here last week.

Overall “best product” winner for the show was Vuzix for its iWear video glasses that provide the viewing experience as if watching a 44-inch to 62-inch display.

The Neat Company won the “best peripheral” RetailVision award for its Neat Receipts scanner.

The Neat Company won “best peripheral” for Neat Receipt scanners with software that lets you scan your receipts, bills and business cards into a simple database on your PC, which may be organized for tax purposes.  

Also honored were Iogear for best accessory and Sling Media for best digital home product. Three merchandising awards were given to CPG/Woot!, while the best new technology award was given to Kotra.

Here are some of the other showcased products at RetailVision:

Chris Griswold application and sales engineer of Innotech demonstrates the iPod voice-recognition module at RetailVision.

Accenda Voice Control for iPod by Innotech Systems: It lets users control volume and next track/previous track for an iPod by voice. The iPod can be placed in the user’s pocket with the Accenda controller to his shirt. The matchbook-sized controller has an earphone jack. It is expected to be available for $99.95 in September and an iPhone version is under development.

Robert Palmquist president and CEO of SpeechGear explains the company’s instant language-translation software.

Compadre real-time language translators from SpeechGear: The company uses military technology to instantly translate whatever users say or type in its laptop software, for $995. A PDA/smartphone version translates semi-canned phrases for $59. The PDA would offer select phrases such as “Which way to the …” and then the user can type in a word such as “beach” for instant translation. 

 The “world’s smallest” GPS tracker from Gilsson Technologies: According to the company, it is a device about the size of a pager that requires no monthly service fees for basic use or extra equipment such as an antenna. The tracker can be placed on a person or thing. For spot tracking, the owner calls a given number and receives the device’s latitude, longitude, direction and speed, which can be located then on Google Maps. For continuous tracking, however, a monthly fee is required. It also offers a red panic button for kids or the elderly that automatically sends a text message to up to five people. When the device is placed in a vehicle, if it moves beyond a certain area, a text message is also sent. It carries a retail of $399.

The “world’s smallest DVR” from DMTechnology: A wireless camera about the size of an eyeball, it can record up to six hours and can be mounted on a headband for sports filming or placed behind a teddy bear as a nanny cam. It also has a motion sensor so it can start recording when someone enters a room. It accepts SD cards and has a USB port and carries a suggested retail of $249.

KeyScan showed a keyboard with built-in 600 dpi scanner.

A keyboard with built-in scanner from KeyScan: The KS810 keyboard has a built-in 600 dpi scanner with OCR that imports documents to many types of files, creates a PDF of the image and allows cut and paste options of the scanned image. Color images can be scanned in 15 seconds. The keyboard is available now at a suggested price of $159.

Lifeworks licensed the iHome name for products including a keyboard with iPod dock and a laptop stand with iPod dock and speakers.

Keyboard with an iPod dock from Lifeworks: Startup Lifeworks has licensed the iHome brand name for close to a hundred products to be offered by early next year, including a high-end keyboard with an iPod dock and the first laptop PC desk stand with an iPod dock and built-in speakers, it said. The keyboard has a suggested retail of $129 to $149. It can charge the iPod and has illuminated touch-sensitive keys for controlling iTunes functions. They keyboard also has two built-in USB ports and a headphone jack. The $149 laptop stand has speakers that are three to five times better than those of a laptop for improved music listening, according to the company. It also has built-in USB ports and a cable management system. It may be used with an optional 2.4GHZ wireless keyboard and mouse.

Fuel Cell Power Pack from Medis Technologies: Billed as the first “green” fuel-cell pack for portable devices, it resembles a small plastic box the size of a thick deck of cards. When squeezed, the fuel cell is activated and can provide up to eight charges over a three-month period. Before it’s squeezed, it can sit on a shelf indefinitely without losing power. The unit comes with plastic tips that work with leading portable devices, including cellphones and portable game machines. The charger is available now at a suggested retail of $34.99. Additional refills may be purchased for $19.99.

Many of the above technologies were part of technology showcase at RetailVision called “Fresh.” The showcase was hosted by the Sightline Group, which specializes in identifying emerging technology companies.


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