While the annual Consumer Electronics Show doesn’t officially kick off for another few hours, a number of companies have showed off early bird looks at their upcoming products and accessories in the days ahead of the trade show.
We’ve already shown you bigger than ever smartphones, Swype crowdsourcing autocorrections, Project Shield and a touch-enabled iPhone case for gaming, and now we have a more extensive pre-show roundup that follows ahead.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3
If you haven’t heard of LEGO Mindstorms before, they are customizable and programmable robots that utilize actual Lego pieces to form the mechanical system of each kit. For over a decade, the Mindstorms were reliant on computer control.
But, in the day in age of tablets and smartphones, LEGO has introduced its Mindstorms EV3 kit with out-of-box Android and iOS support. LEGO says this product should ship in the second half of this year for an estimated price of $350.
Mindstorms EV3 runs on new Linux firmware that’s ready for Android and iOS control out of the box, creates an overall more hackable platform and allows further programming on the core Intelligent Brick itself; accordingly, there’s an SD card slot for local storage. A built-in infrared sensor expands the possibilities for a more autonomous design, as well.
Griffin PowerDock 5, PowerBlock and PowerJolt
Nashville-based accessory maker Griffin Technology has shown off its new PowerDock 5 peripheral, the latest iteration of its popular docking station that can charge up to five iPads simultaneously.
With many people owning multiple iOS devices, this USB dock can be very useful for charging everything from your iPhone and iPad to iPod nano and iPod touch. The PowerDock 5 is said to launch in Spring, and will set you back $100.
Griffin also announced its new PowerBlock wall charger and PowerJolt car charger, both featuring the company’s ChargeSensor technology that meters out the correct level of energy required to charge your device. The PowerBlock and PowerJolt will retail for $30 and $25 respectively, with both available in the Spring. These two peripherals are cool, but nothing we haven’t really seen before.
iLuv Bluetooth Speaker Docks
iLuv has introduced a trio of new speaker docks that are both Bluetooth- and NFC-enabled and feature built-in wireless charging.
The MobiRock has a Qi-certified wireless charging pad and NFC capabilities, while the MobiAria is a speaker that streams wirelessly over Bluetooth with NFC pairing. Last is the Syren with built-in NFC. No pricing details are available yet, but look for these products to hit the market next May and June.
New Philips Accessories
Philips has debuted its new In.Sight camera monitor ($129.99) that provides you with added security by allowing you to see what is happening in your home using your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone or tablet.
The service works over a Wi-Fi connection or cellular network, be it EDGE, 3G or LTE. The app will automatically alert you when there is movement in your house, and start a video recording right away. There is also real-time monitoring.
Moreover, there is the CES 2013 award-winning In.Sight Baby Monitor ($169.99) for iPhone and iPad, plus the Philips InRange ($49.99), a thin credit card-sized leash that keeps your belongings close to you and works with several apps. Philips also unveiled a number of new docks for iOS devices, such as the TwinPlay and Party Machine Dock.
Other notable mentions
- COOKOO watch, connects to iOS devices using Bluetooth 4.0
- Griffin StudioConnect MIDI dock updated with a Lightning connector
- Eton solar-powered Bluetooth speakers
- ION Audio ‘Scratch 2 Go’ turns your iPad into a DJ controller
- Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater, an iPad case with integrated front-facing speakers