Palo Alto Design
Palo Alto Design showed off two sets of USB speakers. The speakers are stylish and fully digital — and they require no additional software to run. They also managed to preserve response to 70-80 Hz frequency range to a 3 db level.
I inquired about line-in support for other audio devices. The rep said that Palo Alto Design has received a lot of requests for such, and that it’s being considered for a future model or revision.
Cobra + Phone Halo
Phone Halo showed off a device it has partnered with Cobra to produce called the PhoneTag. It’s a key finder and phone finder in one. The tag goes on a keychain, and an application goes on the Android or Blackberry phone (there is an iOS version, but its features are limited due to iOS’s not-quite-multitasking modes).
The tag establishes and maintains a Bluetooth connection with the phone. When the two are separated and lose connection, the phone and the tag beep to notify the user of the separation. After a period of time, the phone will dispatch an email or text message with location data so that the user can make an effort to recover their lost phone or keys.
Look for the PhoneTag in the summer. The tag will have approximately a one week battery life.
While D-Link always has an LVCC show floor booth, but I prefer the more intimate environment of Piero’s for discussion of the company’s products.
It was widely publicized mid last year that the Boxee Box produced by D-Link switched chipsets from NVIDIA Tegra 2 to Intel ATOM in order to provide better 1080p performance. Since then, the Boxee Box went on sale and it’s sold thousands of units for ~$199. Recently, Boxee announced a partnership with vudu to provide 3D streaming video.
Next up, D-Link showed a prototype unit they’re simply calling the “Yahoo! Box” for now. It takes the Yahoo! TV widgets system found in many high-end televisions and adds it in-line to TVs without it. Moreover, it analyzes the audio of the content displayed and retrieves information about the content. In a demo for me, the rep played a boxing match and used the Yahoo! Box to bring up fighter information, schedules, and more. Yahoo! partnered with TV’s Survivor to bring a “vote off the island” widget to the Yahoo! ecosystem, including on this new unit.
“The Yahoo! Box doesn’t provide content,” clarified Steve, the representative with whom I spoke. “Rather, it makes existing content interactive.”
Pricing and availability weren’t available yet, primarily because the unit is still in development.
Next, D-Link showed a new wireless router with what it calls “SmartBeam” technology. This technology can identify the location of a stationary device in area and attempt to direct signal at it, rather than relying solely on omnidirectional broadcasts. The goal is to provide the strongest signal possible to devices that need it, such as media players.
Also, D-Link showed its new line of 500 Mbps Powerline network adapters, which use a house’s existing power cabling in place of Cat5/6 cabling.
D-Link also showed its Sharecaster NAS that uses Mi Casa software to provide a seamless experience for accessing the NAS.