When we ran across this hand-powered charger, we were foolish enough to think it was actually the first of its kind, but it turns out there’s a slightly chunkier emergency charger that’s already shipping.
The Yogen (hat tip) charges up with a string-pull mechanism that might be a little bit easier than finger spinning, and if you’ve got $40 handy, you can get one before the month is out. We’re not wild about the see-through case…but if it’s staying in your glove compartment, we doubt it’ll be a problem.
The next time you run out of juice just as you’re calling for directions—or in the middle of any declarations of undying affection you may have coming your way—you can spin this doohickey around your finger and get a few minutes of power to finish things off in a suitable manner. Keep it in a desk drawer or a glove compartment, and you may never go flat again. So far it’s still a concept, but with a little luck we’ll have it in our pockets before too long.
While everyone else is thinking about the latest, greatest smartphone (excuse us, superphone), we’re more concerned about all the gadgetry we’ve left in the backs of cabs over the years. Fortunately, it looks like there’s a gadget for that.
The ZOMM is a silicon-packed keychain that sounds an alarm whenever you move an unhealthy distance from your brand new phone. The wireless leash works via Bluetooth, so you can also use it as a speakerphone, but the real point is to get a priceless wakeup call just as you’re leaving the coffee shop—or, depending on your luck, just as the cab pulls away.
We’ve been sorting through the aftermath of CES for a few days, but as with any gathering, one of the most interesting parts was how the crowd was dressed. There were an awful lot of tucked-in dress shirts and khakis, and even more t-shirts and jeans…but we still managed to track down a few sartorial gems.
And of course, it wouldn’t be CES without a segway or two.
One of the sleeper themes at CES was the rise of the designer laptop sleeve…but we can’t say we love where this is headed.
The Finnish brand Golla led the pack with a few enormous Bowie-inspired posters and a whole lot of very expensive marketing. They tend to be a bit too fond of flowers and all those bright colors are Scandanavian enough to overpower the usual slate gray laptop, but it’s probably step above most of the laptop bags out there.
Still, it does look an awful lot like something you’d find at a Best Buy…
The trend in the tech world has been consolidating gadgets—by now, we’ve got a phone, email unit, media player, camera, and game module in one…and counting—but the big companies have overlooked some of the simpler ideas out there.
We’ve had a love/hate relationship with the radio for about ten years now, but it’s still one of the best ways to tap into the musical zeitgeist. If only the FM dial were a little less crappy…
The internet’s teaming with great audio channels—including stations broadcast too far away for you to tune in—but so far it’s been hard to tune in without going through tinny computer speakers. But where there’s a market, there’s someone looking to tap into it, so CES has been full of companies jousting for what’s been called “iRadio.”
Our favorite, so far is Sonoro’s entry, a discreet plastic brick that lets you search by title, genre or location. It should be coming out stateside around April, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
Until then…there’s always the occasional mp3 blog.
Polaroid may not be making old-school film anymore, but at least they know how great it was while it lasted.
Their CES booth included a genuinely wistful look back at the company’s past, including these pitch-perfect plastic models. (Our favorite was the 60s relic the “Polaroid Swinger.”) Nothing against their current line—which included a portable photo printer—but there wasn’t anything you could shake…
The award for most interesting market niche so far goes to Kibsgaard, a Danish company that specializes in the inch-long metal logos affixed to the bottom of most TVs…or at least most TVs made in the 90s. It’s not an aesthetic you see a lot in the age of the iPhone, but it’s nice to know where it comes from.
The latest from the CES front: This printer (the GT-451 from the ominously named Brother) can print a full color t-shirt in a few minutes, which should come in handy for getting those “Superbowl Champion” t-shirts out of the gate come January.
More people are printing up t-shirts in their basements these days, so if they get the price point low enough, this could be genuinely revolutionary…but we’re a bit skeptical. The art tee crowd is a pretty finicky bunch, and we doubt they’ll give up screenprinting without a fight.