I trolled the trade show floor at the Consumer Electronics Show, searching for the coolest, wackiest, most fun gadgets for the DivineCaroline community. This is not a small search, considering more than 2,700 exhibitors participated in the event, which took up some two million square feet of convention and hotel space in Las Vegas. Here’s what I found:
#10 Battery-Powered Fashion.
Can’t get warm? Crank up your clothes with some truly hot fashion from MEC Addheat. The Taiwanese company’s fleece jackets ($180–$250) and gloves ($150) run on rechargeable batteries—yes, you do have to plug in your outerwear—that last two to ten hours.
Okay, nobody likes to mow the grass. Now nobody has to. Kyodo America Industries’ baby bumper car-sized LawnBott robot lawnmowers ($2,750–$3,300) run on rechargeable batteries and use sensors and a special wire along the edge of your lawn to keep from chopping up your kids and pets.
#8 Digital Photo Clock Radio.
Even when your kids are grown, they can still wake you up every morning with the Philips AJL 308 photo clock radio ($130). Load photos of your kids—even audio and video clips—into the seven-inch screen using a USB drive or memory card. Here’s the best part: you can control the volume on this baby.
#7 Home Health Monitor.
Watch out for your parents or grandparents, even when you’re not with them, with the 4HomeMedia Home HealthPoint system. The modem-like device ($30–$100 for monthly monitoring) links sensors throughout a senior’s home—in the living room, bathroom, and doors—and alerts you over the Internet when they’re triggered. It also comes with an emergency pendant.
#6 Is That a Button in Your Ear?
Now nobody will be able to figure out if you’re talking to yourself. Samsung’s new WEP 500 wireless cell phone headset ($50–$75) is about the diameter of a quarter and not much thicker than a heavy coat button.
#5 Big Screen for iPods.
Mustek’s PF-i700 device is a digital photo frame and portable video player for your iPod. The seven-inch frame ($130) comes with an integrated iPod docking station and can be used in either portrait or landscape positions.
#4 Time to Run.
Garmin’s GPS-enabled Forerunner 405 watch ($300–$350) won’t give you directions, but it will track your speed, distance, heart rate, and location when running or bicycling.
Other manufacturers make similar watches, but Garmin claims its timepiece is the first to incorporate GPS, touch technology, an online monitoring system—and look good doing it.
#3 A Real Viewty.
Forget the Chocolate—even the iPhone. LG’s Viewty (around $500) combines a five-megapixel camera, audio, video, and game players, Internet access, and oh yeah, a cell phone. It’s pretty cool. But here’s the catch: while it’s available in Europe and elsewhere, you can’t get one in the United States.
#2 Power Purse.
Charge your cell phone, PDA, or other portable device (but not your laptop) with solar bags ($125–$190) from Eclipse Solar Gear. Outside, a flexible solar panel gathers energy from the sun. Inside, gadgets get juice through a car charger-type cord. The messenger bags look best, but backpacks and camera bags are cool too.
#1 Be a Hero—Or an Airhead.
You may have heard of the Guitar Hero video game. Now comes the goofiest gadget of CES 2008. Strap the Air Guitar Rocker ($30) around your waist, strum a plastic pick in front of the sensor-equipped belt buckle, and suddenly you’re rockin’—and lookin’ wacky. Ten guitar riffs from Van Halen, Boston, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath are pre-loaded on the device.
Photo courtesy of Mustek