Belly-Bean Functional Workplace @ CES 2012

Belly Bean One of the biggest problem with laptops is that they get too hot to use on a lap. Many answers to this problem aren’t very stylish and look rather dorky. Belly Bean is a stylish solution for this problem. It looks like a cross between a skate board and a surf board. Belly Bean is made of hard-rock maple and on the back is EVA (Ethylene vinyl acetate) foam, which prevents heat transfer. EVA foam is also used in diving and dry suits.

Belly Bean is a functional workspace large enough for a 17 inch laptop with room left over. It is $49.00 and is available through the Belly Bean Web site. So now you can look great and be cool while you continue to work with a lap top on your lap.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central

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Sony Connects Up At CES

Sony LogoSony‘s CES focus this year is on electronics, content and network services combining to deliver high quality entertainment anytime and anywhere. Supported by a slew of product announcements, new connected devices range from TVs, Blu-ray players and A/V receivers through to tablets, smartphones and PCs and on to camcorders and mobile music players. Sony is combining these with online services for music, video and game delivery, creating a great user experience (as they say). TVs, PCs, smartphones and tablets are key to this experience as the four main devices used for entertainment.

Sony is committed to designing technologies for every aspect of consumer entertainment – in or out of the home, on the go, in the air, at work, at play, or wherever life takes you,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. “When these products are combined with Sony Entertainment Network (SEN), which offers innovative services like Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited, as well as PlayStation Network, the user experience is truly unmatched and only made possible by a company like Sony.”

The Bravia TV line has been expanded in all three areas; entry level BX, step-up EX and flagship HX. Brightness and contrast levels have been increased and picture quality improved with Sony’s X-Reality and Motionflow video technologies. In particular the latter helps to reduce blur caused by rapid camera movements which is often a problem with LCD screens. Sony is sticking with the Google TV platform with a new network player and Blu-ray player featuring Google TV. Certain Bravia models will link seamlessly to these devices to provide Google TV features directly on the TV.

Sony Xperia ion smartphoneSony’s Vaio range of computers will continue to be updated with more entertainment feature and new designs that fit with consumers’ needs and increasing mobility. At CES, Sony will be demonstrating new technologies and prototypes for a range of technologies including glasses-free 3D.

In the smartphone space, the Xperia brand has done reasonably well, but increasing the smartphone share in North America is now one of Sony’s highest priorities. Sony Ericsson will be subsumed into Sony Mobile Communications and all new phones will carry Sony branding. The latest addition to the Xperia line-up is the Xperia ion, Sony’s first LTE smartphone coming with an HD 720p display and aluminium body. Also new is the Xperia S which comes with 3D image capture.

Sony Bloggie LiveOn the imaging front, no less than 13 new Handycam camcorders are being unveiled. A new image stabilisation system called Balanced Optical Steady Shot has been developed that controls the complete optical path from lens to sensor as a single floating unit. This reduces handshake blur by up to 13 times compared to the previous models. There’s a new camcorder model with a built-in video projector that has improved brightness and enhanced audio. The trusty Bloggie range now has a “Live” model which will live stream HD video over a Wi-Fi connection and there’s an unboxing over at sister channel TPN.tv. Of course, Sony has a bunch of new Cybershot digital still cameras.

Z Series Audio MP3 PlayerFinally, it wouldn’t be CES if Sony didn’t announce a Walkman or two. The new Z series of MP3 players comes with an application interface and connectivity to both Sony’s Music Unlimited and the Android Market. Content can be played from Z series devices either wirelessly using DLNA or via HDMI to Bravia TVs. To further improve the audio experience, no less than eleven new Balanced Armature earbud-style headphones are now available as well.

That’s it – a quick overview of the products on show at CES by Sony and they all look like fun.

Vivick Anti-Theft Backpack Debuts at CES

Vivick LogoThe theft of mobile electronic devices has become increasingly attractive as the value of gadgets rises and the economy falls. A particularly easy way to steal is to simply open likely-looking backpacks and rucksacks while they’re being worn and remove the gadgetry without the owner noticing. Sometimes the pack can be unzipped quietly, other times it’s cut open with a knife or scissors. A skilled thief can do this while someone is walking along but more commonly it happens on trains and buses.

To defend against this thievery, Canadian firm Vivick will debut their new line of anti-theft backpacks at CES in January, comprising three bags constructed from an anti-slash military-grade gauge nylon with a combination lock built into the zipper tab. Each model is designed to look good while being sturdy and durable, and the carry straps are also strengthened.

Rifling through my satchel this morning, I found a laptop, a tablet, an MP3 player and a somewhat old smartphone (Palm Treo Pro). Even with this last item, the total value of the technology exceeds £1000 (or $1500), so this isn’t a purely theoretical risk.

Vivick is known for its professional electronic designs, having worked for Apple, Sony, Samsung and Dell to create accessories for their own product lines. Vivick has also worked with Aston Martin and Ferrari on interior automotive accessories. Based on these credentials, I’ll be very interested to see what they come up with at CES.

HP Workstation Timeline

HP has been around for quite awhile and they released a pretty interesting timeline recently. It shows off key innovations from the company, starting us off with the first documented “personal computer,” the 9100A. From there we move through the years until we reach present day and HP’s newest Z-series.

Clearly, you won’t find every PC ever put out by HP in this timeline –that would be a little too long– but, it is great look back at the history of this very successful company.

If you have fond memories of those ancient floppy discs and boring displays, or just want to see where it all began, take a few minutes and look through the timeline. As you will see, HP has come a long way over the past 40 years — thankfully.

 

GammaTech DuraBook Rugged Notebook

Paul Kim, VP of Marketing for GammTech demonstrates his rugged laptop to Esby and Jeffrey by giving it some abuse – you’ll have to watch the video to see what he does.

The new D12C is a 12″ convertible, being able to switch between a tablet and notebook configuration. It’s A10F-spec graded withstanding a 3ft drop and spill-resistant – it even has drainplug so that liquid can be let out of the bottom. The exterior of the case is a magnesium alloy.

GammaTech sells plenty of these to the military and the emergency services but they’re also available to consumers via BestBuy and other major stores.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com.

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GadgetTrak Remote Tracking Software For Mobile Gadgets

GadgetTrak is a piece of software that you install on your mobile phone or laptop. The software will periodically check in and let you know the physical location of the device. If a camera is present, for example on a laptop, it can even take a photo of the thief and email it back to the owner. The software cannot be disabled by the thief.

For a Mac or Windows laptop, the price is $34.95 per year.

For Android and Blackberry phones, which includes remote data wipe ability, secure encrypted backup and a loud piercing audible alarm even if the device is in silent mode, the price is $19.95 per year.

For iPhone, iPod, and iPad, the GadgetTrak app is .99 cents, The iOS version does not include remote data wipe, but does include remote camera and push notification support to inform the thief of the GadgetTrak software’s presence.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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Dish Network TV Everywhere

Francie Bauer from Dish Network describes Dish Network devices that are enabled via Sling technology to allow consumers to watch their programming content from anywhere in the world via the Internet on computers and other mobile devices.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Mobile Edge Scanfast 2.0 Checkpoint & Eco-friendly Stylish Laptop Bags

Matthew Olivolo of Mobile Edge Stylish Laptop Bags (www.mobileedge.com) presents the Scanfast 2.0 collection of Checkpoint-friendly and Eco-friendly laptop computer bags. Amazingly, the material is actually constructed out of corn and is therefore made of non-petroleum-based material. Featuring a butterfly design, the laptop does not have to be removed in order to be scanned, nor do the bags have to be placed into the TSA gray bins — they are designed to roll right down the rollers into the scanners. The laptop bags feature plenty of zippered pockets for numerous accessories. Models include a briefcase, messenger bag and backpack. The briefcase version will accommodate up to a 16″ inch laptop, while the backpack version will accommodate up to a 17″ laptop. The bags are priced affordable at $99 each and come with a lifetime warranty. If a zipper should break the consumer can send it back in for repair at no cost to the customer.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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Worth Avenue Group Electronic Device Insurance

Aaron Cooper of Worth Avenue Group (my.worthavegroup.com) talks about the insurance coverage they provide for iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, Cell Phones, e-readers, televisions, laptops, tablets and other high-value electronic devices. With so many high-value portable and other electronics devices, many with glass touch screens screens, insuring these devices can make sense. Their computer insurance even covers virus removal. They require that damaged covered devices be sent in to them.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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MobileMonitor Presents Monitor2Go & Field Monitor Pro With Keypad Portable 15″ USB Monitors

Lawrence Pensack presents two portable 15.4″ inch USB monitors that are designed to extend the desktop real estate of laptop computers. Monitor²Go, which is available in May, is a USB monitor that sells for $279 dollars.

The Field Monitor Pro With Keypad is available now and sells for $289, includes an integrated numeric keypad. Both monitors are DisplayLink Certified.

It is possible to daisy-chain up to 6 of these monitors for maximum high-performance portable screen real estate. Both units fold up into the shape of standard laptop computers to go into standard laptop bags and weigh about 4 pounds. They are powered with their own power adapters.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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