CES 2014
by John Perkins

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held last week (January 6-10, 2014) at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Imagine a Best Buy, but it’s the size of a couple of football stadiums. Imagine going to a movie, accept about a third of the movie is previews of coming attractions. From a personal standpoint it was nerd/geek paradise.

My focus in attending CES 2014 was finding stories about products that might not get the same attention in the press as the latest popular new thing. I passed over most of the new video game consoles, cars, and TVs because they would already be covered extensively by reporters, bloggers, and marketing departments. I wanted to tell stories about products and future trends.

The descriptions and stories below are my own. I do not represent any of these companies. Contact information is listed below each description/story.

3D Printing

3D printing was one of the two ‘next big things’ things (the other being robots) at CES. If 3D printing were rocketry, it would be at the stage when Robert Goddard was still around and the world was starting to take serious notice. There will come a day when you, at home, can print just about anything you can buy now at a store. At CES 2014 I saw 3D printers that could print plastic, metal, ceramic, chocolate, and candy (sort of a fruit rollup material). I saw car parts made by a 3D printer.

3D Printer Pen

The 3D Printer Pin is the 3D version of using a pen to draw on paper. Compare a regular printer turning out machine-generated shapes and diagrams on a piece of paper to a 3D printer turning out assorted shapes in 3D. Now compare a pencil turning out hand-drawn letters and drawings to the 3D Printer Pen. The 3D Printer Pen looks vaguely similar to a soldering iron and functions somewhat like a hot glue gun. A stick of plastic goes in the back, the 3D Printer Pen heats the plastic up, a thin line of molten plastic comes out of the tip, and the line of plastic quickly solidifies into whatever 3-dimensional shape the user cares to draw.

JER Education Technology Co., Ltd
Justin Hu
Room 305, Suntek Technology Building, No. 51-53, Jian Zhong Rd
Tianhe Industrial Park, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China
0086-20-85571786 (phone)
0086-20-85578797 (fax)
0086-13600051886 (mobile)


It’s a 3D printer. It prints in ceramic, ready to be glazed and fired. Intricate patterns and shapes can be made, consistent and repeatable.

www.3dsystems.com (search for ‘cerajet’)



It’s a 3D printer. It prints in sugar, chocolate, and confection. The world’s first and only certified kitchen-ready 3D food printer.

The 2 pictures above are not a mistake. They are not ceramic. They are candy.

www.3dsystems.com (search for ‘chefjet’)


AIMe Camera Mount

The AIMe (pronounced ‘Amy’) is a tracking camera mount. The AIMe is placed on a standard tripod, then a video camera is placed on top of the AIMe. The subject wears a wristband/armband with a sensor inside. The subject, from 3’ to 150’ away, is tracked by the AIMe, which tracks the subject horizontally and vertically, keeping the video focused on the subject.

The AIMe has an unlimited horizontal range of 360 degrees and a max rotation of 360 degrees per second. The vertical range is 240 degrees (120 degrees up, 120 degrees down) and a max rotation of 240 degrees per second. The part attached to the tripod has a battery life of 2 hours. The wristband/armband has a battery life of 2 hours.The AIMe supports cameras weighing up to 1 lbs. While the AIMe has a rated minimum distance between the AIMe and the wristband/armband of 3’, a phone conversation with Jigabot determined that the AIMe should be capable of shorter distances.

Jigabot, LLC
5747 West 10770 North
Highland, UT 84003
801-369-6622 (phone)


Casio Calculators

The latest calculators from Casio were on display at CES, including the FX-9750GII, FX-9860GII, Prizm FX-CG10, and ClassPad FX-CP400. All of these models are capable of plotting equations and have memory ranging from 64 k (FX-9750GII) to 24 mb (ClassPad FX-CP400). The first 3 models (not the ClassPad) are permitted on the AP, SAT I/II, PSAT/NMSQT, and ACT tests.

I was a math/science person in high school and a math major in college. Speaking from personal experience, the importance and usefulness of a good calculator. Yes, the computer at home will calculate and draw graphs. There are Android and iPhone apps that will calculate and draw graphs. It’s not the same. A good calculator is like a new blacksmith getting their first anvil and tongs or an apprentice watchmaker getting their first set of tools. It won’t magically turn your child/grandchild into a mathematician or engineer, but it will encourage them toward that path.

Casio America, Inc.
570 Mt. Pleasant Ave.
Dover, NJ 07801
800-582-2763 (phone)


Dancing Party Animals

These are little dog/cat/etc. toy animals (called Party Animals) that sit on your desk and dance to whatever music is played through them. Imagine the motorized Santa toy (Walmart) that wiggles and sings Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, but give it a great deal more articulation (more moving joints) and give it the ability to play any music you provide, not just the one included song. The dancing animals also include teddy bears, pugs, rabbits, and dinosaurs. I believe the representative said they will make whatever custom animal you want on orders of 500 units or more.

Dancing Party Animals are available now at Walgreens and other retailers.

I called Cobra Digital (the makers of Party Animals) to ask a couple of follow-up questions. They have a new product, an education bear, who reads books to children. With around 86,000 audio books for children available on Amazon, the education bear can read all sorts of stories to children. On a special order, they could put a microphone and camera inside one of their education bears, allowing video and 2-way audio communication.

Cobra Digital also makes a wifi camera that you can access from your cell phone. The camera can do 2-way audio, night vision, measure temperature levels, and rotate and view 350 degrees side to side and 100 degrees up and down. The camera is capable of connecting over an internal company intranet as well as the internet.


847-537-9400 (phone)


DiCAPac Waterproof Cases

Waterproof cases for cell phones, tablets, and cameras. I’ve never had the urge to take my cell phone or tablet diving or even in the pool, but one place I always seem to want a waterproof container but I never seem to have one is at the amusement park, either on a roller coaster with a splash at the end or on a river rafting ride. There are DiCAPac models for various Samsung phones and tablets, Apple phones and tablets, and cameras of all sizes (including full sized DSLRs).

19164 Van Ness Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501
310-608-0008 (phone)



There were several electronic cigarette vendors at CES 2014. I remember smelling one booth 2 aisles before I got to it. No matter how e-cigarette companies dress it up, no matter how they try to dance around the issue, e-cigarettes are nothing more than a nicotine delivery system. This business about e-cigarettes being less harmful is nothing more than the same routine as tobacco marketing back when commercials would show us doctors claiming smoking was good for our health.


Epilog Laser Cutter/Engraver


A printer spits little drops of ink onto the surface of a piece of paper in whatever pattern (words, pictures, etc.) you desire. A laser engraver zaps away a tiny bit of the surface of whatever material you are working on. A laser engraver is like a wood chisel accept that it’s machine controlled (pencil vs. printer) and it can engrave wood, metal, plastic, glass, and any number of other materials. A laser cutter is like a laser engraver accept that it cuts all the way through the material, like a pair of scissors cutting through paper.

Epilog Laser
16371 Table Mountain Parkway
Golden, CO 80403
888-437-4564 (phone)


Flir One Infrared Camera

The Flir One is an infrared camera that attaches to an Iphone 5 or 5s. Infrared cameras see in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, at a frequency slightly below that of visible light, in the frequency range where objects emit heat. Infrared cameras see heat instead of visible light. Homeowners and building inspectors can see where a building needs more insulation. Animals can be found in the dark. Firemen can find people in a smoke-filled room. Police can find people hiding in a field or other foliage. There are Flir One models compatible with Android (as opposed to IOS) and Samsung phones on the way. The Flir One is a bargain at $350.

877-773-3547 (phone)


Garrett Metal Detectors

Garrett Metal Detectors had a booth with several metal detectors on display, including the one (ACE-250) I bought on Amazon about 4 years ago. My metal detector has always worked reliably. The representative (Adam) explained that the ACE-250 can go a couple of feet underwater (search coil and shaft, but not the control box). The AT Pro can go fully underwater, to a depth of 10’. The Sea Hunter can go underwater to a depth of 200’. The CSI Pro is available to law enforcement and is capable of distinguishing bullet casings from other items (coins, trash, etc.), as well as different types of bullet casings (.38, .45, etc.) from each other. The ATX is capable of detecting coins down to 15-18” (under good conditions) and bb-sized gold nuggets down to 8-10”.

Garrett Electronics Inc., Hobby Division
1881 W. State St.
Garland, TX 75042
800-527-4011 (phone)
972-494-1881 (fax)
sales@garrett.com (sales)


iMD Smart Filing System

It’s a hanging file folder and file cabinet system. The folders and cabinets are just like normal, everyday office equipment, accept that each folder and file cabinet drawer has a sensor and an LED light.

The Old Way

Let’s say you have a row of file cabinets and you want to find the John Perkins folder. The folders should be alphabetized. You should be able to find the right cabinet drawer, shuffle through the folders in that drawer, and find the John Perkins folder. If you have many people accessing those file cabinets or if you have a very large number of folders to deal with, the folders might not be sorted properly. If you can’t find the John Perkins folder, has it been checked out, lost, filed incorrectly, etc.?

The New Way

With this new filing system you just tell your computer that you want the John Perkins folder. The file cabinet drawer containing that specific folder lights up. You open the drawer and the John Perkins folder lights up. The neat part is that, even if a folder is in the wrong place in its drawer or in the wrong drawer, the sensors in each drawer and folder still know where the actual folder you want is located. If you put the John Perkins folder in the wrong place the system keeps track of the folders actual location. The folders could be sorted by date, by employee number, completely random, etc., and the system still knows where each folder is physically located. The system supports collections of up to 4 billion folders.

iMicroData Corporation
6288 San Ignacio Ave, Suite A
San Jose, CA 95119
408-226-3277 (phone)
408-281-1000 (phone)
408-281-9259 (fax)


Linkase Pro 3G/4G/Wifi Antenna

The Linkase Pro is a cell phone case for iPhone 5 and 5s, with a built-in antenna extender. The purpose of the Linkase Pro is to give the user an extra bar of signal strength. When not in use the Linkase Pro looks like any other cell phone case. When the Linkase Pro is in use, an antenna tab slides out, effectively adding an external antenna to the phone.

886-2-2791-6650 (phone)


Lit Motors C-1

The Lit Motors C-1 is an electric vehicle, 2-wheeled like a motorcycle, but sit-down and enclosed (roof, windows, windshield) like a car. The C-1 is classed (in California at least) as a motorcycle and requires a motorcycle license. The C-1 has a top speed exceeding 100 mph, 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds, a range of 200 miles on a full charge, 800 lbs curb weight. The C-1 has 2 internal gyroscopes that keep it upright and what the website describes as ‘landing gear’ for when the C-1 is off. The ‘landing gear’ are small versions of the balancing arms on large crane trucks. The C-1 can carry 1 passenger in addition to the driver. The C-1 is expected to cost $19,000.


Monarch Power Solar Power


Monarch Power makes solar power systems, 2 of which were shown at CES. Each system, provided the total voltage is kept below each circuit’s load/breaker limit, can be plugged into a standard electrical socket in the home. The solar unit just feeds power back into the home wiring.

The Lotus Mobile looks like an 8’ satellite dish flattened out and covered with solar panels. The Lotus Mobile is motorized with 2-axis sun tracking.It generates 1.2 kw of peak power and costs $5,000.

The Lotus Solar Awning looks like a tarp covered with solar panels. The Lotus Solar Awning generates 280 w of peak power and costs $500 per 3’4” x 6’8” panel.

Monarch Power Corp
SkySong Suite 140
1475 North Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
602-773-1277 (phone)



Naviscribe is a technology that combines visual data and orientation data (the ‘tilt’ function) from existing cell phones/tablets/etc. and combines those 2 sources of information to scan objects in 3D. While Naviscribe is a 3D scanning technology (like the Sense 3D scanner below), Naviscribe does not require a scanning handset and computer.

Hector Gonzalez-Banos, PhD
Chief Scientist
555 Bryant St, #142
Palo Alto, CA 94301
650-862-1085 (phone)


Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere Pedal Monitoring System

The Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere pedal monitoring system is a power monitoring system for pedaling on a bicycle. The demo person, professional racer Priscilla Calderon, says that, while there are other systems that measure pedal power, the Pioneer Cyclo-Sphere is the first to measure pedal power through an entire rotation with separate measurements for the right and left sides, as well as measuring both torque and directional force. The Cyclo-Sphere can display data in real time on its own display as well wirelessly to any location. Calderon’s trainer could see the data, even from the other side of the country.

Priscilla Calderon is a professional racer through USA Cycling, for Monster Media. Calderon works for Bike Religion in Southern California.

Bike Religion:  www.bikereligion.com
Monster Media:  www.monstermediainc.com
USA Cycling:  www.usacycling.org
USA Cycling, Calderon:  www.usacycling.org/results/?compid=221486




Robots were one of the ‘next big things’ at CES (the other being 3D printing). There were a bunch of robots at CES. While their technical specifications where no doubt impressive, I never found myself interacting with a robot and wondering about how much memory it had or how many degrees of articulation it had. I never found myself thinking ‘I want to see his guts’ or ‘I want to see his CPU.’  I walked by a booth and thought ‘I want to talk to him.’ Robots- human/animal form, designed to interact with a human- are transitioning from being machines that sit there and go ‘click, whir, beep’ to being companions, able to talk to us and keep us company. The future isn’t just fancier robots with newer technology. The future is common, everyday interaction with that technology, in a way that becomes more and more similar to how we communicate with each other.

Alibaba Robot

The Alibaba.com people had a sort of robot, but it was just a guy in a suit on a modified Segway. He was interesting to talk to. Alibaba.com sells various toys and other Chinese products.


Ava 500 Telepresence Robot

The AVA 500 telepresence robot is a combination of teleconference/web chat device and free-roaming robot. The remote person (anywhere in the world) can talk to a local person with live video and sound. It was a strange experience to have Caroline, an iRobot employee physically in Boston, MA approach me at CES in Las Vegas, NV to chat. Chatting with Caroline was pleasant enough after the initial experience of being approached by the robot. She explained that she could drive the robot around, turning it left and right and telling how far or fast to move. Or, given a map of the surroundings, the remote person can tell the Ava 500 to go to a particular spot on the other side of a facility- even a crowded, complicated place like CES. The Ava 500 is capable of self-direction, avoid obstacles both stationary and moving (people). If a route is too crowded the Ava 500 is smart enough to go find another route.

I got used to talking to the Ava 500 and Caroline, and I can see getting used to collaborating with workers in different locations. I don't think I could get used to my boss rolling around the office with one of these. I'm not sure why, but I suspect it has to do with humans being highly resistant to anything but another human being in a position of authority. I know there's a real person on the other end, but there's a part of me that I just don't see letting go of the feeling that I'm talking to a machine.

The Ava 500 could be used in the law enforcement / social services fields, in dealing with small children who have witnessed traumatizing events such as domestic violence situations or children who have been the victims of abuse. A law enforcement or social services agency might not be able to afford a full time child psychiatrist, but they might afford to own or hire an Ava 500. A trained child psychiatrist or a centralized team of trained child psychiatrists could operate multiple Ava 500s from a central location, with another person or persons handling the physical transportation and setting up of the Ava 500 in different locations. The remote person displayed on the Ava 500 could be in costume (ex: teddy bear, rabbit, etc.) or a particular demographic (female psychiatrist for a female child, hispanic psychiatrist for hispanic child, Twilight Sparkle for an autistic child that only talks to My Little Pony characters, etc.).

8 Crosby Dr.
Bedford, MA 01730
781-430-3000 (phone)
781-430-3001 (fax)

Mitsubishi RH-3SQHR Pull And Pick Robot

The Mitsubishi RH-3SQHR is a 'pull and pick' robot. It moves things from one place to another very, very quickly. The red and black pieces in the picture are just for demonstration. The RH-3SQHR is an industrial robot. It's not a desktop toy. On documentaries showing how things are made in factories- those are industrial robots. I couldn't help thinking about Bishop and the knife thing from the movie Aliens.

Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.
Americas Corporate Office
5900-A Katella Ave.
Cypress, CA  90630-5019
714-220-2500 (phone)


Rugged Cell Phone / Walkie Talkie

The Runbo MTK6589-T X6 is a rugged cell phone and walkie talkie. It is waterproof, dustproof, and shock proof. It features a quad-core processor, a 5.0” 1920x1080 TFT display, 32gb memory, 2gb ram, WCDMA and GSM network capable, 4200mAh battery, 13mp front and back cameras, Android 4.2, and on the walkie talkie side is capable of 400-470mHz (full U range). While it does not appear on Sprints’ web site, it is capable of working with Sprint.

Tintele Global (HK) Co., LTD
Room A701, Biologic Building, No. 25, Shi Hua Road
Free Duty Zone, Futian District, Shenzhen, China
86-755-83684461 (phone)
86-755-82799456 (fax)


Seahorse Protective Equipment Cases

They make rugged equipment cases, used for storing cameras, electronics, guns, etc.. The cases come with foam inserts, so you can keep items of any shape inside. Watertight, airtight, crush resistant, and they come with a lifetime guarantee. I wanted to re-enact the American Tourister commercial, but I did not have a gorilla handy at the time. The Seahorse rep said they were letting people throw one of their cases against a concrete column by their booth, but no one had been able to break the case.

Seahorse Protective Equipment Cases
2009 Wright Ave.
La Verne, CA 91750
626-339-6673 (phone)
626-331-8584 (fax)


Sense 3D Scanner

The Sense 3D scanner uses a handset to create a 3D object in the computer by scanning a real-world item (a person, a sculpture, etc.). The 3D object is not just a 3D photograph (2 slightly different flat images used to fool the eye). It is a true 3D object, created during the original scan, that can be rotated, stretched, and scaled in a computer, or printed with a 3D printer. The Sense 3D scanner is capable of scanning a cube of space up to 10’ on each side. The sales rep at CES said larger volumes could be scanned by overlaying multiple 10’ scans. The brochure suggests uses including graduation days, wedding days, bringing home a new baby, scanning objects from books to motorcycles.

Out of all the products I saw at CES, the Sense 3D scanner has far and away the greatest potential use in the law enforcement and legal fields.

Consider a crime scene where a bad guy walked into the room, shot the victim, left the room, and the victim is laying there dead. Under normal circumstances the police would take a bunch of photographs, mark where everything (body, stains, bullet casings) was found, and maybe track bullet trajectories. With the Sense 3D scanner the full 3-dimensional layout of the room is preserved, giving a far more organic, you-are-there sense than static photographs. A detective could explore many possible bullet trajectories without having to send people back out to the crime scene with string and markers.

The police and detectives have done their work and now the case is in court before a judge, attorneys, and a jury. The attorney could present a physical model of the crime scene, printed with a 3D printer, for the jurors to look over. Even better, the attorney could have the jury view the crime scene in 3D on a computer monitor, easily showing many different scenarios. The defense alleges that the victim committed suicide (display scene), but the victim couldn’t have held the gun at this angle (display gun) to produce this (display red trace line) bullet trajectory, ending in this (highlight impact point) hole in the wall.

The possibilities are endless.



Smart Nav 5

The Smart Nav 5 is a dashcam, bluetooth speaker, navigation display, music player, video player, and FM transmitter, as well as a number of other features. Ok, so what? There are many other devices that do these things. The Smart Nav 5 combines all of these functions into a single device- a rearview mirror with a built-in display. When the Smart Nav 5 is on and trying to display something, the middle half of the mirror stops being a mirror and shows a cell phone/tablet style touch screen display. When the Smart Nav 5 is on but When the Smart Nav 5 is off the mirror just looks like a mirror. Instead of having 4 or 5 separate gadgets, along with their cords and connectors, everything is combined into a single device. A bargain at only $900!

1605 Commodore Cove
Painesville Township, OH 44077
888-587-4111 (phone)


Smart Roll Electronic Gaming Dice

It’s a pair of regular 6-sided die, but they’re bluetooth-enabled. At their booth at CES, the dice were paired with an Ipad running a craps game app. Pick up and shake the bluetooth dice and the dice displayed on the Ipad shake was well. Roll the bluetooth dice and the Ipad dice roll as well.

As a gamer playing D&D, Gurps, etc., I hope Scosche will make friends with other companies (ex: Wizards of the Coast) and develop a full set of bluetooth-enabled game dice (6-sided, 8-sided, 10-sided, 12-sided, and 20-sided). If the existing bluetooth dice could be made a bit smaller, they might be useful in a game like Warhammer 40K (Games Workshop) that uses a large number of 6-sided dice. If they sell the dice with a decent GM app they should roll a natural 20 on their synergy check.

1550 Pacific Ave
Oxnard, CA 93033
800-863-4490 (phone)


Soloshot 2 Camera Mount

The Soloshot 2 is a tracking camera mount. The Soloshot 2 is placed on a standard tripod, then a video camera is placed on top of the Soloshot 2. The subject wears a wristband/armband with a sensor inside. The subject, from 30’ to 2,000’ away, is tracked by the Soloshot 2, which tracks the subject horizontally and vertically, keeping the video focused on the subject.

The Soloshot 2 has an unlimited horizontal range of 360 degrees and a max rotation of 80 degrees per second. The vertical range is 120 degrees (60 degrees up, 60 degrees down) and a max rotation of 25 degrees per second. The part attached to the tripod has a battery life of 5 hours. The wristband/armband has a battery life of 4 hours. The Soloshot 2 supports cameras weighing up to 5 lbs.

866-347-0869 (phone)


TCT Dynamic Workstation

It’s a desk, sort of like a drafting desk. There’s a larger part for computers, monitors, printers, etc., and a smaller part for keyboards and mice. The neat part is the desk legs (the vertical supports) contain motors that let the desk height adjust anywhere from 61cm to 178cm (about 2’ to about 5’10”).The internal mechanism that raises and lowers the desk is chain-driven, which keeps the desk more stable than other desks with piston-driven mechanisms. There is also a wireless cell phone battery charger built into the desk.

TCT Nanotec
886-4-2359-1666 (phone)
886-4-2359-1686 (fax)
stevec@tctnano.com (US)
paulh@tctnano.com (Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway)



I tried to avoid writing about products that are supposed to be the great new thing simply by being a bit larger or having a few more pixels, but I broke this rule in a few cases where the ‘wow’ factor made a product stand out far beyond the competition.

Leyard LED HDTVs

Leyard had 2 TVs on display at their booth. The first display model was a 110” (diagonal) with a built-in floor stand. It was big, bright, and sharp. The game they had running on this one showed no delay or image ghosting. A bargain at around $260,000. There were 2 additional models (144” and 164”) in the brochure. The other display model was a 220” monster. All of their TVs are nice and thin depth-wise, but at a diagonal 220” I get the feeling that the experience of watching a movie at home might start to feel like going to a theater. This one was a bargain at $380,000. The resolutions listed in the brochure seemed a bit odd. All models support a max resolution of 1920x1200 (just over 1920x1080, full HD), but the native resolutions were 1440x900, 1248x780, 960x600, 1920x1080, 1664x936, 1280x720, and 1872x1092 (the 164” model) (220” model not listed). I would be concerned to have paid a few hundred thousand dollars for a TV advertised as being capable of full HD (1920x1080), only to find that its max resolution was less than a quarter of that (960x600). Still, the 220” model (in the picture above) was impressive based on size alone.

Leyard Europe
Masarykova 22, 080 01 Presov, Slovakia
00421-51-759 25 91 (2) (phone)
00421-51-759 25 90 (fax)

Leyard China
Block 4, JiaAnDa Industrial Park, Dalang, Longhua District, Shenzhen, PRC (518100)
86-755-29671180-802 (phone)
86-755-29671239 (fax)


Sharp 8K 85" LED TV

It's a TV. It's an 85" LED TV. It's an 8K 85" LED TV. In visiting CES 2014, I tried to avoid covering products that were supposed to the next big thing just because they had little more of this or that, or because they did whatever they did a bit faster. I made an exception in this case.

I grew up with TVs that had what we now call SDTV resolution (480i, or 704x480). Full HD resolution is 1920x1080, also called 2K. TVs with 4K resolution (3840x2160) are starting to appear in stores now. 8K resolution is 7680x4320. Yes, fine, it's a bigger number. What the picture above can't convey- what can't be conveyed without being there in person- is the 8K picture. I got right up to the Sharp TV, with my eye about an inch or two away from the screen, and I could not distinguish the individual pixels at all. The displayed video was a repeating loop of fields, wheat waving in the wind, etc., at full 8K resolution. The Sharp representative told me the displayed image took 16 separate HDMI cables feeding into the TV (8K resolution = 16 x 2K resolution), and that I should expect to see this kind of TV on the shelves around 2018 to 2019. Sadly, I was unable to purchase this TV at any price because this was a prototype and the only one of its kind in the world.

Sharp USA
800-237-4277 (phone)


Ubislate Tablet

It’s a $40 tablet. I avoided covering things (tablets, cell phone cases, TVs) that appeared in hundreds of different versions at CES. To warrant coverage a product had to stand out far beyond other similar products. A slightly larger TV would not be worth covering, but a 220” monster (see below) would be worth it. There were tons of tablets throughout CES, but they all blended together. The Ubislate 7 tablet was the only one that stood out. The Ubislate 7’s specs will not compete for horsepower with top of the line Ipads, but that’s not the point. I wouldn’t want to risk a several hundred dollar tablet in the hands of a small child. I couldn’t afford to hand out a bunch of Ipads to a classroom full of students. I see no reason to spend $100 to $200 on a Kindle or Nook when the Kindle and Nook apps are free on any Android device.

At $40 I can see giving a tablet to a child. If they break the tablet it’s not a big deal for me to replace it when the next birthday or Christmas comes around. If I want to give tablets to an entire classroom (maybe as a replacement for textbooks), $1,200 per class (30 students x $40) might be reasonable whereas $15,000 (30 students x $500) would not. There are a large number of commercial uses as well. The Datawind rep at CES told me about one of their customers- a car dealer- who distributed instruction/repair manuals with their cars. Instead of printing individual manuals (which cost the dealer well over $40), the dealer distributed Ubislate 7 tablets with the manual included on the tablet. The dealer saved money and the customers got the needed product information and an effectively free tablet as a bonus.

There are fancier models with additional features (GPS, bluetooth, 3G data connection, etc.) ranging up to $130, but here’s the $40 models’ specs:

7” 800x480 multitouch capacitive screen
1gHz Cortex A8 processor
Android 4.0.3
512mb ram, 4gb memory
Wifi, G sensor
VGA camera
Micro-SD and Micro-USB slots



Woodees iPic

The Woodees iPic is a guitar pic with a tablet stylus nub (the squishy kind) on the end. It can be used for guitar strumming and other musical apps. It can also be used as a regular stylus, whether for games or texting. The iPic is ideal for cold weather use because the part held by the user (the pic part) is wide and easily held by a gloved hand.

Southern Audio Services Inc.
14763 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70819
800-843-8823 (phone)