CES 2014: Mobile tech and apps from the Consumer Electronics Show
Each year, Las Vegas plays host to the Consumer Electronics Show, where the biggest and newest trends in technology are shown off to eager attendees from around the world. Can’t make it to the show this year? That’s alright, as we’ve got a look at some of the newest tech and apps being shown at the convention this year.
Magnector Pogo Cable & Case (Magtron)
In this way, tripping over the cable simply causes the magnet to break away, rather than pulling the device off of the table and onto the floor to potentially be damaged. The company also encourages users to utilize the Magnector when driving, as users can simply attach the cable to their phone via the magnetic “pull,” instead of taking their eyes off of the road to plug a cable into a small charging port.
At CES, Magtron also announced a partnership to distribute Magnector cases and cables through Accessory Geeks, which will offer the product for Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 for $49.99, and for the Google Nexus 10 for $24.99.
Hideaway Cable Organizer (Bosign)
There’s no doubt about it, cable management is a pain. Zip ties and rubber bands work until you need to move cables around, and even if you do manage to gather cables together in bundles so they don’t become tangled, there’s still the issue of a massive group of ugly cables gathering dust behind your desk. Enter Bosign’s Hideaway Cable Organizer, the latest in a growing selection of “cubby” boxes for cable management.
The Hideaway comes in multiple sizes, but the basic “medium” box offers two entry holes on the bottom for cables. This way, large adapters, power strips and more can be gathered within the box, while the box itself lays flat on the floor or desk. The unit closes with a sturdy top lid, offering two additional holes for charging cables and other cords to come out of the top. Mobile devices can be laid on top of the box to charge, without ever removing the lid or being forced to reorganize cables.
The Hideaway is available in multiple color choices, including white, black and multiple faux wood treatments. They start at EUR 26.90 (around $36 USD).
TabletPillow 2 for iPad (Bosign)
Bosign offers more than just cable management solutions, as its TabletPillow 2 looks to offer a sturdy yet comfortable stand for using iPads and other tablets while sitting on the couch (or anywhere away from a desk or tabletop). Instead of resting your tablet on your lap at an uncomfortable angle, the TabletPillow props the iPad up for easier viewing.
Both sides of the triangular pillow are textured to prevent tablets from sliding around, and the ‘shapeable’ material allows the pillow to conform to the shape of your legs for maximum stabilization. Depending on the position, the tablet can be propped up at multiple angles (say, for playing games or watching a movie), and a bonus inner pocket serves as a padded sleeve to protect the tablet when it’s not in use.
The TabletPillow 2 comes with a removable, water-repellent cover for easy cleaning, and is available in a variety of colors. You can pick one up for EUR 29.95 (around $40 USD).
Spotliter Video on iPhone (Netomat, Inc.)
Netomat’s Spotliter Video editing and recording app on iPhone allows users to apply effects while their videos are being recorded, using tapping, swiping and pinch controls, among others. For instance, users can add a zoom feature to a particular portion of video, zooming into a person’s face, a sign in the distance, etc. Elsewhere, objects can be isolated and given different colors, like going from a black and white video to full color, but just in one spot.
Users can swap between the iPhone’s front and back cameras while recording, and can also freeze one moment in a video (say, a great sports shot), while the rest of the screen records at full speed. The app is available to download for free.
“Our goal for Spotliter was to make a video camera app that offered powerful, sophisticated effects yet was very simple and intuitive to use,” said Kris Ramanathan, CEO and Co-Founder of Netomat, Inc. “We wanted the user’s first reaction to be ‘yeah, this is how a touchscreen video camera should work.’ It was also extremely important to us that the touch effects themselves were not only fun but truly useful in helping people tell their stories in their own particular ways.”
Harbour 2 iPhone Case (STM Bags)
While STM Bags unveiled its new Annex and Velocity collections, which the company says are “lifestyle oriented” products, our eye was caught by the Harbour 2, an iPhone 5/5S case which includes a hinged design and becomes its own stand.
Users can simply flip the hinge and prop their phone up for viewing, or dock it onto devices that may not traditionally be compatible with cases. The Harbour 2 comes in a variety of color combinations and is available now on Amazon for $30.
StickNFind Bluetooth Tracking Stickers (StickNFind)
Ever lose your keys? Want to keep track of your pet at a dog park without keeping it on a constant leash? Need to keep track of your luggage on a trip? It’s hard to keep an eye on everything at once, so StickNFind has released a solution for busy smartphone users in its StickNFind bluetooth sticker set.
Each StickNFind set offers two stickers, which can be placed onto keys, purses, wallets, phones, luggage and even pets or children if the need arises. Using an Android or iOS device, users can track up to 20 items to a distance of up to 150 feet. The product utilizes watch batteries for easy replacement, and the company says each can provide over a year’s worth of life before the battery needs to be replaced.
Users can create alerts to be notified when tagged items go out of range, or they can page stickers, causing them to play music and flash for finding items in the dark. In our test, we found the noise to be quite loud, even when the stickers are buried in a purse or stuffed inside a wallet. However, it can sometimes take some time for the stickers to “wake up” when trying to page them, which is something to keep in mind when attaching them to moving objects.
The StickNFind app is available on both iOS and Android, and the stickers come in a variety of colors. Each two-pack comes with two keychain attachments for attaching a sticker to a keychain or lanyard (or another oddly shaped item). They can be purchased on StickNFind’s website for $49.99 a pair.
Evutec Karbon and Wood Series Cases (Evutec)
Mobile case manufacturer Evutec has announced its new line of cases for iPad Air, iPad Mini and Samsung S4 devices. The company says its the first in the world to use DuPont Kevlar for protective cases for iPhone, iPad/iPad Mini and Samsung S3/S4, and utilizes “high grade Aerospace materials” to create incredibly strong and protective cases for our most expensive toys.
The cases won’t block GPS, Wi-Fi or cell signals, and the cases are available in multiple colors and themes, including faux wood grain models, depending on the look you’re going for.
Evutec’s iPhone 5/5S cases are available in Apple retail stores now, while iPhone 5c, iPad Air and iPad Mini cases will hit the market in February. Samsung S3 cases are also already available, while the company’s S4 line will launch later this month. Cases range in price from $39.95 to $89.95, depending on the size and type of device.
SlingPlayer 3.0 for iPad (Sling Media)
Sling Media has announced the release of SlingPlayer 3.0 on iPad, giving Slingbox users the ability to control their TV programming from their iPad over a data or Wi-Fi connection. After installing a Slingbox at home, users can use the SlingPlayer app to watch live or recorded TV anywhere with an internet connection.
The app allows users to filter live TV programming in relation to their social media accounts. Once they’ve found an interesting program, users can watch a live feed of Twitter content related to the program, or can share their viewing status with friends via Facebook.
What’s more, the app offers split-screen viewing for navigating menus, looking at show details, engaging with social networks, keeping track of sports stats and more, while the video continues to play on the iPad’s screen.
Hogue and Ducati Smartphone and Tablet Cases (Element Case)
Element Case and Hogue, Inc have partnered to create a full line of smartphone accessories created with Military Specification (Mil-Spec) components. They’ll offer an ergonomic shape for easy gripping, and come in a variety of textures and price points, from cobblestone textured backplates to those offering heat stamped ultrasuede. The Hogue cases (like the one pictured above) range in price from $60 to $160 on iPhone 5/5s, depending on the color and material.
In addition, Element Case has revealed its partnership with Italian motorcycle company Ducati to release a full line of products sporting the Ducati Insignia. The cases will be available for iPhone and iPad and will range in price from $50 to $200. The product line is slated for production in February 2014.
CES is a big time for Element Case. Last year, the company showed off its Soft-Tec mobile wallets, which offer protection for iPhone 5/5S and Samsung Galaxy S3 devices, while also offering magnetic closures, credit card storage and safety lanyards. Depending on the case, they may be accented with leather, suede or water resistent materials. The Soft-Tec line of products will set you back $49.95 to $79.95, depending on the device.
PasswordBox named Mobile App Showdown Winner (PasswordBox)
PasswordBox has been named the 2014 CES Mobile App Showdown winner. Like other password storage systems, the app allows users to securely store, retrieve, create and share their passwords. The app allows storage of up to 25 passwords for free, and then offers subscription plans for unlimited storage ($1.99 per month or $11.99 per year).
In addition to storing passwords, PasswordBox offers a “Legacy Locker” for offering access to entire password libraries to other users (in the case of a death, for instance).
“PasswordBox is honored to be recognized as an innovator and technology leader in the app space,” said Magaly Charbonneau, COO of PasswordBox. “This is an exciting achievement for us as we enter 2014, and we will have more mobile innovation to share in the weeks to come.”