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CES 2014

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Door locks are not meant to be cool. Door locks are not meant to be sexy. Door lock are supposed to be utilitarian devices that keep the bad people out of your house when you’re not home, and require limited access by using a good, old-fashioned key, the way our forefathers intended.

These are all things that Goji has clearly never heard, because the company’s new Smart Lock is by far the sexiest industrial design I’ve seen on a door lock. In fact, I think that Goji might do for the smart lock what Nest did for the smart thermostat.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Just when you thought you had found every way possible to connect your audio devices to portable speakers, Korus introduces their premium wireless speaker system. But wait! They’re not Bluetooth! Bucking the Bluetooth trend, Korus connects your device via the proprietary SKAA protocol which actually sends a signal from a plug-and-play dongle at a claimed near-zero-latency (40ms). The dongles come in every (30 pin/USB/lightning) configuration you could need and can broadcast to up to 4 separate speakers. Inside, those speakers can be up to 35 feet apart, outside up to 65 feet apart. The distance itself is rather impressive as most Bluetooth gets a few yards at best before beginning to crackle and sputter.

Also potentially handy is the fact that the dongle is literally plug in and press play easy to use. So no pairing with devices or entering passwords. What comes out of the device to which the dongle is attached is what you hear in the speakers. And because of the low latency, the Korus can also be used in conjunction with a TV specific dongle (they call it a Baton) to create a temporary TV speaker setup for a meeting, or as a permanent/ modular solution for TVs that have small speakers.

Available in two sizes, the V400 is 4.4 lbs with a low range of 125Hz and retails for $299 each, and the V600 is 11 lbs with a low range of 80Hz for $399 each.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Sennheiser has announced that they moving into the realm of the gamer with the introduction of two new PC gaming headsets: G4ME™ ZERO and G4ME™ ONE. Working in conjunction with Sennheiser was Io-Interactive (part of the Square Enix group that made games like the Hitman and the Kane & Lynch franchises.) The partnership included the Io-Interactive developers using Sennheiser equipment and headsets when creating the audio for their game releases. The goal was for he headset user to experience at home precisely what the developers intended in the studio. It's a pretty novel approach to mixing audio for games. The headphones themselves have been designed with not only comfort and ergonomics taken into account, but also with extra attention to things gamers need like: better noise canceling in the microphone, a boom that mutes the mic when raised, and volume controls in the ear cup. While G4ME™ ONE is focused on the home user, allowing for breathable long-wearing earcups, G4ME™ ZERO is made for tournament play, with a foldable design, hard carry case, and aviation level sound isolation factored into the design process. What all this will mean in real-time usage remains to be seen, but overall, I'm excited to see what Sennheiser brings to the lan-party.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
A consortium of flagship audio/video companies have once again teamed up to provide the most immersive, over-the-top home theater demo at CES 2014.

Using detailed engineering schematics from Antony Grimani’s firm, Performance Media Industries (PMI) they rebuilt a meeting room in the Venetian into the ultimate movie listening and viewing space. Grimani told me that his company reengineered the room omitting all of the “wrong” hotel dimensions, and coming up with the layout and design for the room’s seating, riser heath, screen size, acoustic treatments and more.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
You've seen lots of pocket speakers. They clip onto a phone case or otherwise connect wirelessly or not to your phone to improve playback fidelity. Given the abysmal state of built-in phone speakers, it's true that most pocket speakers provide quantitatively better sound. But, most of them are still awfully lacking in the fidelity department. Felt Audio's Nomad is a pocket speaker that actually takes its duties seriously.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 07, 2014 1 comments
During an impassioned keynote, Sony Chairman Kazuo Hirai promised to deliver content without the box. The first product in what Sony calls Lifespace UX will be the Ultra Short Throw Projector. A long, short rectangular box is placed close to any wall in your house and projects a 147 inch 4k image on the wall. Hirai described content that includes real time, life size images in this makeshift window that might include an outdoor view with transitions. The Ultra Short Throw Projector will be available Summer 2014.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Hisense is not exactly a household brand but the Chinese-based company came out swinging at a pre-CES press conference touting aggressive plans to grow its business in the U.S. and become one of the world’s top three TV manufacturers. The company, which opened a U.S.-based subsidiary in Atlanta more than a decade ago, sells boatloads of TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, and other products through Walmart, Best Buy, hhgregg, and Costco.com. In TV alone, it produces more than 10 million sets a year globally.

Hisense executives are counting on the new Android-powered H7 VIDAA series smart televisions to meet their goals.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Skullcandy has an image as a badass headphone manufacturer. They showed up at CES set on keeping that reputation. The Air Raid (MSRP $150) is a portable Bluetooth speaker that plays loud, and has drop-resistance and weather-resistance to take on all the abuses you can throw at it. I chatted with Sam Noertker, one of the engineers behind the Air Raid for some inside perspective.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Texas Instruments is touting miniaturization at 2014 CES with a showcase of 30 products based on its DLP Pico video projection technology. Several implementations were demonstrated at the Digital Experience exhibition on the eve of the show, including the “smallest video projector in the world” from Korea-based Sekonix.
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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
If you’ve never seen a 3D printer in action, well, then you are missing out my friend. Watching the printer head whizzing back and forth, slowly growing, building and creating a 3D creation, it is just totally cool and like magic. And in the world of 3D printing, MakerBot is at the forefront.

MakerBot’s Chief Executive, Ben Petti, says that his company and product is about unleashing your creativity and to date there are over 44,000 MakerBots in the world. And they see this number growing to over 1,000,000.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Tarsier Inc. unveiled the MovEye, a new generation gesture control that the company demonstrated with smart TV applications, games, and 3D CAD
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
SOL assures us that their newest headphone release will stay in your ears no matter how you move. Intended to be fashionable enough to wear on your commute, but rugged enough to handle use while jogging, SOUL Relays have a fit they call FreeFlex. FreeFlex is more or less a squishy rubbery ring around the earbud itself that SOL says helps to conform to any ear shape and enable the earbuds to stay put. Water and sweat resistant, they also feature a cable clip and in-line remote and mic. Also worth noting is that SOL offers free tips for life, so if you lose any of the four pairs of included tips, you can just simply request that more be sent to you.

Retailing for $79.99, they're available now in black and red, "lemon/lime" and blue in February. We're excited to take them for a test run.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2014 0 comments
Sony realizes that without 4K content, a 4k Ultra HD set isn't fully complete. There is, of course, the movie server the company has offered recently and continues to offer, with 120 movies now available for download onto it. There's also the promise, not yet in place, for downloading or streamimg 4K material from a range of Internet movie sites.

But perhaps the most interesting potential source may come from you, via Sony's new FDR-AX100 4K Handycam Camcorder. With 14-megapixel resolution, a Zeiss lens, Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization, and more, for $2000 you can record and play back your own timeless videos, either exasperating or thrilling friends and family alike with your inner Steven Spielberg.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 06, 2014 0 comments
Voxx isn’t one of those names that every consumer knows and owns. Standing in line for the press conference today, the guy behind me had to ask me what they make. While not one of the biggest names at CES, they unveiled quite a few new products that might make them one of the most interesting names at CES.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 06, 2014 0 comments
In just over 12 hours the first wave of 150,000 showgoers from 150 countries will descend upon the 2014 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center. As you can see from these photos, workers will be up all night frantically putting the finishing touches on the more than 3,000 exhibits. Somehow it will all get done—it always does.

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