Tag Archives: CES 2012

Alcatel-Lucent Emergency Response Vehicle

Wayne from Alcatel-Lucent walks Jeffrey Powers through their geeked-out SUV loaded with every item found in the public safety realm, along with E-node B. They downsized it and connected to the emergency band in order to access the internet.

Alcatel-Lucent has outfitted this ERV with some very cool items. We also look at a special app that can be used for communication and information.

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WaterBlock by HzO

We’ve all done it. You’ve got your favorite smart phone, tablet or music player with you and you are washing dishes or maybe you are near a pool and you accidentally drop your device into the water. If you are lucky you spend a couple of days waiting for the device to dry out. If you are unlucky, as most people are, you may have to replace the device entirely. Eighty-three percent of all consumers have dealt with water damage to their electronic products. WaterBlock by HzO has been created to help solve this problem.

WaterBlock is a nanotechnology that protects electronic devices from damage by water moisture and small debris. The chemical property of WaterBlock is proprietary but the formula is a nontoxic, inert gases. The Coating is applied using a vacuum process. The device is placed in a sealed chamber and all gaseous particles are removed. An organic gas is then introduced coating the device, building up a solid film. The product is organic and nontoxic. It is a stable compound and will outlive most devices it coats. Waterblock is not a consumer product, it is applied during the manufacturing process. Currently WaterBlock is being used in the iPhone 4, iPads, Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire and many other devices. HzO hopes to have WaterBlock applied to as many devices as possible and is in talk with all major manufactures of consumer electronic devices. HzO is a privately held corporation it was spun off from ZAGG in August 2011.

WaterBlock is intended to protect from accidental drop in water or being caught in a rain shower for example. It is not intended to protect the device if you forget and take it snorkeling with you or leave it soaking in water overnight. How good it works is something only time will tell, unfortunately actual numbers are hard to come by but if it protects your device it’s worth it. Waterblock was introduced to the public at CES 2012, to rave reviews.


Among the thousand of items at CES 2012 that have the bling and the pop, often the ones that have a quieter presence may end up being just as important. In this category is a product called DiskCrypt by Singapore based ST Electronics. What is DiskCrypt?The DiskCrypt is a hardware based encryption solution. It turns any 1.8” micro-SATA device into a removable and fully encrypt storage. The enclosure is the size of a 2.5” drive that fits into most of today’s notebooks.

If you have a brand new machine (with no OS installed) you would install DiskCrypt like you would a normal hard drive and then boot-up from it. Once authentication is done, DiskCrypt will than show up as a normal drive. You can then install your OS, Windows or Linux as you would normally. DiskCrypt does not work on a Mac. If you have an existing drive, you have to remove the current drive first. It goes without saying that before you do this you want to backup all your data. Then install DiskCrypt and go through the authentication process. Then using a cloning tool such as Aronis and a USB to SATA Bridge you reinstall the OS and Data. Unlike most software solutions DiskCrypt encrypts every sector, including temp files, and the boot sector without a lost in performance. It uses Nist approved AES encryption algorithm. The cryptographic module in use is FIPS 140-2 level 1 certified. DiskCrypt offers key strength of 128 and 225 bits. With the addition of the optional DigSafe KeyCrypt cryptographic token two factor authentication is available. There is a Master password which is provided to the administrator, who can use that to recover a lost user password. If the Master password is lost, your out of luck, there is no way to recover that. This also means that a good master password that is kept in a secure location is the key. If a password has to be changed that can be done at the time of authentication without any lost of data.

The DiskCrypt enclosure is $450.00. At that price this is clearly not a product that is being sold to consumers. If you are a business small or large and your data is being carried into the field on notebooks that are easily lost then $450 may seem like a bargain compared to the cost of letting that data fall into the wrong hands.

Lamborghini Partners with NVIDIA for Android Super Car

It’s not a place you expect to see a Lamborghini Murcielago, but the one of the world’s hottest super cars made an appearance at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.  The Italian car maker has partnered with NVIDIA, who have strong ties to Android.

The Lamborghini Murcielago, which was recently replaced by the newer and faster Aventador, has quite a cockpit inside, with center console video display, powered by NVIDIA, that is expected to eventually run Android, and touch screen dashboard interface.  NVIDIA powers many of the Android smartphones today and is also entered into many automotive technology partnerships, but those partnerships involve proprietary Linux-based operating systems.  However many of those car makers reportedly have an interest in moving to Android in the future.

We may still be a little ways away from a full Android operating system for cars, but reports seem to indicate that we are heading in that direction and perhaps Lamborghini will be the first to run it.  It may not get to a lot of drivers, given the price of these cars, but it would make quite a splash in the tech and automotive news.

The video below is courtesy of Phandroid.

Craftsman Introduces the Connected Garage

One name that you may not expect to hear associated with the Consumer Electronics Show would be Craftsman, the famous tool maker who is part of the Sears brand.  In fact though, Craftsman have set up a booth at CES to show off some of their cool new tools and their mobile app that allows you to control those tools.  Here are the highlights of what they announced.

  •  A full-sized working demo of the Craftsman AssureLink Garage Door Opener– which allows homeowners to monitor and operate their garage door from virtually anywhere w/ their Internet-enabled device (iPhone, iPad, Android Blackberry) and the Craftsman app.
  • New features are being added to AssureLink – including the ability to control garage lighting and indoor lighting on the app for when you’re out of town or want a well-lit home upon arrival.
  •  Noise-cancelling headphones that are perfect for use while working with loud tools like drills and saws. They cancel out ambient noises while allowing you to hear music, voices, etc.

Other tools that Craftsman was showing off at their CES booth include Craftsman AssureLink indoor lighting controls for both lamps and switch-controlled lights; the Craftsman Contour Tool Storage, which not only stores and protects your tools, but has a built-in stereo that you can connect your MP3 player or smartphone to; and Craftsman Lighted Pliers, that have a sealed center-hub LED light that is protected from water, oil, and chemicals.

You can get more information and see pictures of these tools and more, by visiting Craftsman CES.  The AssureLink mobile app is available for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

D-Link Unveils New Home Networking Products and Services

D-Link, who make one of the most popular home routers on the market, have announced a new line of products that integrate their routers and with their new cloud services.  The list of new products includes a cloud-enabled WiFi router, a camera, an HD media router, and an all-in-one mobile companion.

The new D-Link DIR-605l is available now for a retail price of $39.99.  This isn’t just a standard WiFi router, but also comes with mydlink capabilities which allow users to share files remotely and also use the available iOS and Android apps to manage your home network from anywhere.

The new HD Media Router 3000 comes with “speeds of up to 900 Mbps, HD Fuel® for automatic bandwidth prioritization and new SharePort Cloud to remotely manage and share content, the D-Link® HD Media Router 3000 provides high-performance connectivity to support a range of bandwidth intensive applications. Delivering industry-exclusive 500Mbps PowerLine bandwidth, the D-Link Wireless N PowerLine Gigabit Router taps into a home’s existing electrical wiring to extend wired and Wi-Fi networking to hard-to-reach places for enhanced gaming, HD media streaming and super-fast Internet. ”  It will be available in late January for an MSRP of $169.99.

For more information on these two products and all of the others that are currently being displayed by D-Link at the CES 2012 show you can visit this link.  You may also want to explore the D-Link Cloud Services.


More than twenty percent of all car crashes and sixteen percent of all fatalities are caused by distractive driving in the United States. In response to this growing issue back in December 2011 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report, which recommended that all drivers should be banned from using portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. iOnRoad by Picitup took a completely different approach to the problem. They said instead trying to ban the use of cellphones, why not use their capabilities to prevent accidents.

iOnRoad is an Advance Driving Assistance System (ADAS) which warns the driver if they are getting too close to the object in front of them. It uses both the phone’s camera and sensors to do this. It has to have a clear field of vision in front of the car.  The camera then sees what is front of the car and the sensors can tell how fast the car is going. Using these two variables iOnRoad can then calculate what is the safe distance between the following car and the car in front. If the following car gets too close to the car in front, the warning light goes from green (ok), to yellow (caution) and then red (danger) and that point a warning sound is also issued. Recently iOnRoad announced that they have added a Lane Departure Warning and a Photo-base car locator. For this they received a Honoree in Software and MobileApp at CES 2012. The iOnRoad can also read aloud text messages and automatically start the speaker phone feature. There is the Road Snap Assistant button which you can push and take a picture of any road hazard you see and upload it automatically to Facebook. iOnRoad can run in the background and only issue warnings when necessary.

Advance Driving Assistance Systems is a growing business worth over $10 billion today and expected to reach $130 billion by 2016. Most OEM ADAS can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple of thousands. The iOnRoad is free and is available in Android Market today and should be available for iOS devices soon. I am sure this isn’t a solution that the NTSB would approve of, but in my eyes it is a more practical one. Trying to ban cellphone use by drivers is not practical, it is similar to the attempt to ban booze during Prohibition, and I suspect the results would be similar.