Designboom in collaboration with Plantronics and Altec Lansing held a design competition focusing on audio product innovation. 3487 designers entered with a detailed highlight of all the entries available here . The winning entry in the future speakers category was a tiny speaker (right) that plugs straight into a 3.5 jack much like a usb stick but for sound. Other design included a light bulb shaped bluetooth speaker (center) and a speaker (left) with a flexible top plate that changes color and height along with the music.
When opening up your walls to string wiring through just isn't a valid option several companies now manufacture paper thin wire that can be run along the outside of the wall and then painted over leaving an invisible uncluttered solution to your wiring needs. Speaker, ethernet, component, cat5 and HDMI wires are available in various lengths from FlatWire and Taperwire . FlatWire is also working on safe flat 120V AC electrical wiring which they hope to have available soon.
At CES this year Asus demonstrated a concept of a full HTPC enclosed in a keyboard. The Asus EEE keyboard was no thicker than your average keyboard but housed a working computer (most likely an Intel Atom) that used ultra-wideband wireless HDMI to transmit the video and audio signal to a television with a receiver in back. Making thing even cooler is the inclusion of a small touch screen on the keyboard right side that can display the desktop, multimedia controls or anything else. No word yet on price or real specs but Asus CEO Johnny Shih claims it will be available in the next three to six months.
The OLED Association are demonstrating a few proof of concept products at CES that show the potential of Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode . The first is a display that can be folded in the middle like a book while still maintaining a consistent picture. Also shown was a transparent display that displays images through glass in only the areas specified by the display. Oh Gizmo! has a few more pictures from the OLED Association's booth.
SlingPlayer Mobile gives consumers their entire home TV experience, including local channels, local sports teams, video on demand, pay per view, etc. Any program that you can watch on your sofa back home, you can now watch via your iPhone using a standard network connection (3G Cellular, WiFi). In addition, SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone users can also control their home digital video recorder (DVR) to watch recorded shows, pause, rewind, and fast forward live TV, or even queue new recordings while on the road.
Panasonic has announced three new DVR models. All feature Dual Digital TV Tuner, Blu-Ray burner, and DLNA Support giving you the possibility to access recorded TV programs from your PC or other devices. The DMR-BW95 (1TB), DMR-BW850 (500GB) and DMR-BW750 (320GB) with be available soon in Japan. Source news release.
Plushdepartment sells beautiful and simplistic computers including this gold plated computer and amplifier combination. Housed inside one ceramic casing is a full fledged Intel Core 2 computer and in the other case an audio amp. Plushdepartment's PCs are handmade and available in a variety of finishes available including gloss, brass, terra cotta and matte. More pictures and details available on the company website.
Ace Computers is the first company to offer a CableCard-compatible HTPC's for less than a grand. The LMS 250 comes with either a AMD Phenom X3 triple-core CPU or Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, DVD burner, and internal ATI Digital Cable Tuner. Both options run Windows Vista Home Premium and the newest Windows Media Center with CableCard support. Ace Computers is planning to show off the LMS 250 at CES next week. Source.
AVSForums has uncovered Samsung's 2009 lineup of televisions. Officially scheduled to be announced at CES Samsung will be updating its Series 3 through 7 HDTVs. Changes include support for 1080p movies encoded in the MKV, WMV, VOB, AVI, TS, 3GP, MGP and ASF file formats. An Internet@TV feature will replace InfoLive, and use Yahoo Widgets to integrate Internet content onto the screen while watching TV. Connecting devices to the TVs, including external drives, will be made possible through a pair of side-mounted USB 2.0 ports. More info available in the original AVSForum thread.
PonyCanyon, a subsidiary of Japan's Fuji TV, announced the first ever commercial Blu-ray/DVD disc. Originally developed by JVC more than two years ago, the disc has a blue laser top layer (25GB); underneath there are two more layers just like an ordinary DVD (8.5GB). The Hybrid BD/DVD disc is compatible with current DVD and Blu-ray players. Infiniti storage media (the company manufacturing the disc) claims that it achieves a compatibility of 99% according to tests made on 64 Blu-ray and DVD players. CDRinfo story with illustrations .
Philippe Starck is a french designer with products in both the Museum of Modern Art and Target. Here's how he describes his Zikmu Wireless Speakers, "Our design focused more on making the air vibrate. There is actually a three-dimensional feel to this vibration, meaning that the air is palpable, almost humanlike in presence, like a fragrance." In other words its a wireless speaker system with an ipod dock. Press release.
Introducing NVIDIA's Ion Platform. Combining Intel's Low Power Atom processor with the GeForce 9400M, the platform is capable of playing HD video (8 - 25Mbps H.264) on a motherboard just bigger than the palm of your hand (Pico ITX form factor) and with very low power consumption. Read AnandTech's preview to get a more detailed technical analysis of the future of Netbooks and small form media devices.
Mvix has a few multipurpose media boxes but the MvixPVR has almost everything. Official info is scarce but it supposedly functions as a PVR with component inputs for recording HD content to a 3.5 sata drive (not included). Additionally it includes HDMI output, 1080p playback, built-in iPod dock, torrent client, 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, USB, and 802.11g. Translated specs sheet .
If your looking for a book to get someone for Christmas, the first volume of The Best of Instructables might be perfect. Over 300 pages of full color how tos selected from Instructables.com including instructions on how to build Magnetic Refrigerator Lights , a DIY Vacuum Former , a computer-controlled milling machine and a bunch of great stuff with LEDS. Available at Amazon and all other major book chains.
The new 15-watt incandescent-shaped covered Energy Smart® CFL will appeal to people that want the energy savings and long-life performance of a GE Energy Smart® Spiral® CFL with the appearance, size and fit of a traditional incandescent bulb. The equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb, the new 8,000-hour rated life CFL is guaranteed for 5 years based on 4 hours of daily use. The new covered GE Energy Smart® CFL bulb, available only from GE, debuts nationwide at Target on December 28, 2008 . Youtube video demonstration .
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C1M1 offers a truly significant reduction in transmission time in comparison to other communicators that rely on dial capture or data bus decoding. This can result in quicker response time to emergency situations which could save lives and assets. By providing both IP and cellular pathways, C1M1 provides the reliability installers are looking for in an alarm communicator. C1M1 eliminates port forwarding and extra fees for remote access. Installers can remotely upload/download programming changes to M1 controls over IP or cellular using ElkRP2. Consumers can control the M1 remotely via the free ElkLink mobile app and web portal, as well as eKeypad and M1 Touch Pro apps. Other IP-based software and interface partners can connect to the M1 control over the local network through C1M1. C1M1 also provides email/text notifications for arm, disarm, and alarm events. ELK-C1M14GSM supports GSM (AT&T/T-Mobile) networks and ELK-C1M1CDMA supports CDMA (Verizon) networks.