So, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock all week, I’m sure you’re well aware that the biggest electronic trading show in the U.S., CES 2013, is happening right now. The event is a fantastic opportunity for companies to showcase their brand new products for the coming year. In line with its typical secrecy, Apple doesn’t take part in the show, preferring instead its own, exclusive keynote events. However CES always attracts a significant portion of companies that are in the business of supplying Apple customers with a huge array of gadgets, toys and accessories for their Apple devices. That being said, we’re now at the halfway point of CES, and so I’d like to take a few moments to pick out some of my highlights so far, that is, products that have really caught my eye, and products that I’m really looking to seeing out on the market in the not too distant future. Let’s go… (Links will take you to our original coverage of these products and their press releases)
Being British, I’ve always held a soft spot for British companies, and Belkin is definitely one of them. The Thunderstorm is an attempt to bring customers a portable audio system that can also be used as a protective case. Up until now, to turn your iPad into a home theater, you would have been required to dock your iPad on a stationary dock. The Thunderstorm fits around your iPad just like a case, complete with a smart case-like folding cover which doubles as a kick stand. Granted, it does add a little bulk, but with that extra bulk comes Belkin’s promise that the Thunderstorm’s audio capabilities will be top notch. Powered by Audifi, the Thunderstorm has stereo speakers that offer “rich bass and depth” with “low-distortion” and “high efficiency”. Now, at £179.99/$229.99, it’s not exactly a bargain, but if Belkin’s new device can deliver on its promises, it’s certain to be a big hit.
The 5 year old child inside me still gets excited over LEGO. Even more exciting than that, robots. LEGO robots? Overload. I’ve had a little bit of experience with LEGO Mindstorms, and I think they’re incredible. They’re fantastic both as an educational tool and as a toy. Naturally, I’ll be using this one as the latter. The main Intelligent Brick packs an ARM9 processor, 16GB of flash memory and 64GB of RAM. The compatibility for both iOS and Android makes this thing incredibly easy to control from most mainstream smartphones. At $350, I might have to ask for a pay rise, but it certainly looks awesome.
Before I got my iPhone, I was a Blackberry Bold user, and whilst that phone may have come up short in many aspects of its use, the one feature that I truly missed was its LED notifications. This new case is designed to bring LED notifications to your iPhone. The case connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth, and can alert you of notifications on Twitter, Facebook, texts and phone calls. The LED notifications can be customized, and all in all, the case looks really nice. Yes, Bluetooth is a big battery drain, however the case features a 1500mAh battery to compensate. Provided that does the job, I can see this case being a big hit.
Dead Trigger was pretty immense, I’m not going to lie. It had some great graphics, nice controls, and awesome features. Dead Trigger 2 promises to be more addictive than the last. Coupled with better graphics available on Apple’s latest devices, it sounds like DT 2 will be a fantastic game.
When it comes to more serious gaming on the iPhone, I only have one problem. The screen is too small to accommodate my fingers without infringing the display. From Zagg now, the perfect solution. The Caliber Advangate is quite simple, console controls, for your iPhone. Zagg describes the controller as “lightning-fast”, “tactile”, “responsive” and “accurate”. The principles this gaming solution is based on is fantastic, so if the Advantage delivers, this accessory might really improve iPhone gaming.
Whilst I know that there are hundreds of tremendous products on show at CES, these are 5 of the products that have really caught my eye, and that I’d like to own. I’ll be back in a couple of days time to round off CES with some more highlights, and I’m sure that just like me, you’re looking forward to seeing what CES has to offer in the next couple of days. Until then, why don’t you share some of your highlights in the comments section below? Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter @TiP_Stephen