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UPCOMING EVENTS

CES 2014 Recap Part 2

Continuing with the coverage from CES 2014. This recap will feature the cars of the show, the new health trend innovation, bluetooth speakers, new technology, a couple cameras and more.

Audi showcased their latest technology with the Audi Sport quattro Laserlight concept and announced that they would be bringing their laserlight headlights to production. Audi claims the laser headlights can illuminate the road for 1640 feet and with three times the brightness of LEDs. No word on when and which production vehicle will receive the laser light technology first, but Audi will showcase the lights on their 2014 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro LMP1 racecar.

Scosche Electronics displayed the JP Edition Hyundai Santa Fe Sport which features a matte wrap, Advan wheels, Toyo Tires, Katzkin interior, Rockford Fosgate and Scosche audio by BP Autosound, a Magnaflow exhaust, AEM intake, custom JP edition headlights by the Retrofit Source and Retrofit House and also debuted a custom shaped JP Edition surfboard by NoBizPlan that sits on an Inno Rack surf locker.

GoPro showcased an amazing Carbon Pagani Huayra along with their product line-up. Tiffen also showcased the Steadycam Curve to use with GoPro. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to grab a photo of this product, but you can read more about it HERE. It looked really good and I would love to test it out.

Toyota showcased their FCV-R concept, hydrogen electric vehicle.

Toyota also featured their i-Road, which is compact, all-electric, zero-emission, nearly silent, and uses Active Lean technology. So basically part car, part go-kart and part motorcycle.

I just couldn’t resist showing the Delorean.

Moving on from the cars of the show to the car audio, Pioneer unveiled their NEX, networked entertainment eXperience, an innovative and powerful new user interface controlling a combination of on-board features with connected services. Designed for today’s smartphone-driven lifestyle. There are five NEX models that will be available and each comes equipped with a boatload of features such as navigation, Siri eyes free (one-touch of the display to prompt Siri through the vehicle’s speakers), and more. I had the chance to play around with the interface and must say that it is quite intuitive and easy to use. The touchscreen is very responsive and it was easy to move from one feature to the next. If I was in the market for a new navigation unit this definitely would be it…possibly for the next project car?

A trend that grows each year is smart phone compatibility, whether its portable music, at home gadgets, or fitness every company has come to realize that the smartphone controls everything.

One of the items that stood out for me was the MyKronoz ZeNano, smart watch designed in Switzerland. With a color touchscreen display the watch pairs via Bluetooth to your phone to allow you to make calls direct from your wrist. One feature that stands out is the ability for the ZeNano to sync with Android 2.3+ and iOS 4.0+ smartphones and download phonebook and call history. The voice-recorder feature is a nice feature to easily record audio memos and play them back. Another design cue that makes this style great is the option to wear on your wrist with the included strap or simply remove to attach with the clip on the back to your pocket, belt or any other item.

There were many great options for indoor / outdoor wireless speakers. One that stood out was the Braven BRV-X. This speaker is rugged enough for outdoor use and is even splashproof and shock resistant. With custom HD audio drivers, high-fidelity sound is achieved. Wireless audio can last up to 12 hours on a single charge and it even comes equipped with a portable power bank to quickly charge other devices such as smart phones via USB. One additional feature that stood out to me was that it also comes equipped with a speakerphone for hands-free calling and is compatible with Facetime, iChat, Skype, etc. Another option for added sound is wireless pairing, where you can pair up to two of these speakers together. For $229.99 I feel its a fair price for the many options and features it provides.

A brand known for their bluetooth in-car speakerphones, Supertooth, debuted their in-home Disco4, a handheld speaker that features a carrying strap, Bluetooth 4.0 and tap-to-pair NFC technology. The design stood out to me as something quirky and in fun colors (I really liked the matte grey). I didn’t get the chance to listen to this speaker in person so I’m not sure on the sound quality.

Scosche also has expanded their line of the BoomBox with a smaller more compact and durable bluetooth, wireless speaker that is also waterproof and shock resistant. What I like about this set-up is the size. Portable enough to take out on trips and even on the water. I could see this being useful for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and anywhere else you wouldn’t mind sharing your tunes while next to water.

The House of Marley showcased a few great designs with their in-ear headphones, over ear headphones and portable audio systems. I really the use of materials chosen in their products from the tweeds to the wood, which is as stylish as it is functional.

One of my favorite items of the show was this Soundfreaq Sound Rise alarm clock for its mid-century modern design. Simplicity is key and this product doesn’t try to do too much. The alarm clock streams music via Bluetooth and also includes a USB charging port and auxiliary cable for wired connections. The product goes to market in April for the fair price of $69. The company also has a great collection of other items including some designs from the Novogratz family.

For those sound quality enthusiasts, Sennheiser showcased a collection of superb products including these over ear headphones and in-ear headphones. The sound coming from both these products were crisp and clear, but for the high-end price of $999 just for the in-ear set shown only a handful of people may be able to enjoy that optimal sound.

For those that love the nostalgic look of vintage record players, but want modern sound quality Crosley Radio has you covered. Their vintage inspired electronics offer the latest in technology from Bluetooth, iPod docking and MP3 capabilities.

Samsung continues to be a leader in technology and innovation. The Samsung Galaxy 2 camera really shined to me with its retro leatherette and metal trim design mixed with a large 4.8 inch HD touch screen. According to the press release, “The Galaxy Camera 2′s revolutionary technology, which includes an upgraded 1.6GHz Quad Core processor and the Android platform, makes it faster and easier than ever for users to shoot, edit and share high quality images with friends and family.” This camera would be perfect for traveling or use when a DSLR just is too large and when a smart phone just won’t cut it. With the ability to share photos instantly from the camera to your social networks there is no more excuses for bad looking selfies.

Samsung has so many great products on display that its hard to choose the best to showoff. Here are a few that stood out to me. Samsung showcased their partnership with Kid Robot displaying some fresh art on their products. The Galaxy Note Pro tablet looked very intuitive and I could see this being a great tool for working as a potential replacement for my laptop while traveling. The new Ultra High Definition 4K monitor was simple amazing and would be so nice for photo and video editing.

The Nikon 1 AW1 digital camera is waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof making it one of the toughest cameras on the market. But what really makes this camera special is that it is the first waterproof interchangeable-lens digital camera. Currently, there are only two waterproof lenses, a 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6, which comes as part of the kit, or a wide 10mm f/2.8 lens that is sold separately. The AW1 features a 14.2-megapixel CX-format sensor and 6400 top ISO, along with 1080p video. New additions include an altimeter, depth gauge, GPS, compass and an accelerometer-powered option for switching modes with one hand. There is also a pop-up flash that works underwater as well. Set to release next month (maybe in time for my trip to Hawaii) this camera with kit lens will cost about $800 with the additional lens being about $200 more. This could become the go to vacation camera.

LG also featured some awesome monitors with their Ultra Wide QHD line-up. The 34-inch 21:9 monitor with resolution that is 2.5x that of Full HD, or 3440×1440 pixels. The new LG 34UM95 features one of LG’s own IPS-panels and has a Thunderbolt 2-interface. The screen is factory calibrated to sRGB at a 99% precision.

Connected Health and Fitness was a hot category at this year’s tradeshow. With many companies showcasing devices that track your workouts via their wearable device that connects to your iPhone.

One of the leaders of this product category is FitBit. Fitbit has some of the most stylish accessories available and with various styles to choose from there are many options to help users get healthy and track their activity. The Fitbit Force features a sleek OLED display that shows your activity stats right on your wrist. The Fitbit Flex is a minimalistic design for goal-oriented people that was more flexibility in accessorizing. The Fitbit One is an advanced clip-based activity and sleep tracker. The Fitbit Zip is a simple clip-based activity tracker. Each work with the FitBit app, which is also available for Android users.

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