Day two had me out wandering the show floor again. While Gizmodo and Engadget have been posting on everything from a pig shaped iPod dock to robot shaped iPod docks, I thought I’d look at stuff that I might actually buy or use (or play).
So here’s round two in the gadget run-down.
Bowers & Wilkins bring us the Zeppelin. Bowers & Wilkins are known for making high-end audio components for recording studios, and they’re bringing that technology to iPod docking systems. At $599, they cost more than most, but the sound they deliver is phenomenal. They look like a big black pill with a bright shiny chrome belt wrapped around it – your iPod provides the buckle.
Sonos has a very cool media system that operates in conjunction with your centralized music collection. Whether it’s on a PC or network attached storage device, the Sonos system allows you to wirelessly control your tunes from any room in the house. The basic setup comes with two receivers and the remote. Tell it where your music is, call it up with the remote, and tell it what room to play it in. One remote can handle up to 32 different rooms.
At $999 for the basic set up, and $349 to $449 for each additional room, it’s a bit pricey, but not unrealistic compared to the cost of buying additional receivers, or additional Zeppelins for each room.
Do you have a flat panel TV hanging on the wall, but would prefer not to look at a big black box when it’s turned off? The Decoframe is different from some TV frame systems in that it doesn’t just frame the TV. When the set is off, an art print on canvas (chosen from a set of licensed images or provided by you) rolls down in front of the screen. This makes your hidden TV look like art, not a framed TV. Cost varies by size and other factors.
If your big on first person shooters, but can’t get fully immersed in the action unless you actually feel the bullets, the 3d Space gaming vest is for you. Unlike common rumble systems, the vest focuses impulse sensations on very specific locations so you’ll feel a grenade going off all over, but a bullet hits in only a small spot. The vest retails at $169.
If your a fan of Second Life, but wish it was a little more sci-fi and a little less strip mall, then the Entropia Universe maybe for you. Similar to SL, Entropia is a massively multiplayer universe based on a real cash economy with citizens exchanging the PED for transactions. It has an outworld theme with characters that look vaguely like Master Chief (see above) running around. I spoke briefly to a guy named Neverdie who put $100,000 grand into the virtual economy two years ago and bought an asteroid. He has since parlayed that initial investment into a million bucks. He was at the show promoting Space Pirates a massive event taking place in Entropia to appeal to new players. If you want to check it out, Entropia is available via a free download here.