Events

[CES 2011] Razer Switchblade demonstrates adaptive keyboard technology

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[CES 2011] Razer Switchblade demonstrates adaptive keyboard technology

Razer’s prototype of their upcoming Razer Switchblade mobile PC gaming device is an intriguing proof-of-concept for small-scale mobile computers aimed at a serious gaming crowd.

The Switchblade’s most notable feature is its context-specific adaptive keyboard, designed in concert with game developers, which changes the keys displayed and their functions to correspond to in-game commands or abilities. Each game has both its own unique keyboard interface and an option to switch back to conventional keys for text chat on demand, and the prototype supports both Bluetooth and wired external keyboards.

Razer designed the Switchblade to allow a gamer to play unhindered by the usual performance and ergonomic issues expect from a machine of its size. The diminutive little machine runs a customized OS based on Windows 7, powered by an Intel Atom processor.

The Switchblade has been in development for approximately two years. Razer hopes to release the Switchblade by the end of 2011.

Razer also had a selection of their high-quality keyboards, mice, and headsets on display, including a series designed explicitly for Starcraft II and one themed after Tron. The Starcraft II set included lighting-based APM monitors and user-defined contextual alerts, reprogrammable keys, and on-the-fly macro recording.

The Tron set featured a unique design with a rearrange-able numpad, ambidextrous mouse, unique sound and lighting cues based on the Tron franchise, and bioluminescent lighting including a visible light trail from the mouse in dark environments.

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[CES 2011] Days Three & Four Impressions

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[CES 2011] Days Three & Four Impressions

Days Three and Four at CES were both exciting and exhausting.

Day Three

Day Three was a flurry of frenzied activity as Huneyuctt and I rushed from interview to interview. There’s always going to be far more at the show than any one or two people can see, and the locations of kiosks are often rather counterintuitive. Even the largest company sections were often so swamped by people that it was almost pointless to try and talk to a representative. I can only feel enormous sympathy for the PR and marketing types who have to keep things moving.

The technical highlight of the day was undoubtedly iBuyPower’s Erebus computer, a terrifying monolith of computational power stealing the souls of those who beheld its magnificence to feed its own dread processes. Without any benchmark programs to test the mighty machine, I can’t say that I’m yet claimed by its allure, but from a purely engineering and aesthetic perspective I have to confess I was intrigued.

After Huneycutt pulled himself away from the computational Gorgon, we hit a few other booths whose products are detailed elsewhere. Then the time arrived to head over to the Adult Entertainment Expo to meet with FyreTV.

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[CES 2011] Latest FyreTV product supports wireless HD

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[CES 2011] Latest FyreTV product supports wireless HD

Distributor FyreTV’s latest product supports wireless HD audio and visual content from over one hundred adult entertainment studios.

Like other audio-visual content streaming devices, FyreTV is expanding mediums as well as content. It is already compatible with major Blue-Ray devices such as Android devices, Roku and BDLive, and is expanding to include the Playstation 3. Users can also purchase the standard device for $89.99, the HD model for $120, or rent it for $9.95 a month with one hundred minutes service.

FyreTV technology has been embedded into the cable box of Polish cable provider Toya, and is compatible with other Broadcom chips.

FyreTV hopes to expand to other entertainment markets based on the technological merits of their product.

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Billy Dee Williams to Appear at LA Convention

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Billy Dee Williams to Appear at LA Convention

If you have nothing to do next Sunday, January 16, and live in the Southern California area, why not stop by at the Shrine Auditorium Expo Center in Los Angeles and meet Lando Calrissian?  That’s right, Lando himself will be appearing at the L.A. Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention. This is your chance to get up close and personal with Cloud City’s administrator and have some Star Wars memorabilia signed.

From comicbookscifi.com:

BILLY made one of his first Convention appearances at the LOS ANGELES COMIC BOOK AND SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION during 1999, and now he’s returning to give STAR WARS Collectors another opportunity for an autograph.  BILLY will be signing autographs in the Dealers Room 12:00-2:00 P.M.  While there is a charge for each autograph, it includes a choice of photo.

The convention will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is only eight dollars for regular admission, while kids five and under are free. For more info, visit the convention’s website.

[CES 2011] CTA displaying a selection of third-party motion control peripherals

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[CES 2011] CTA displaying a selection of third-party motion control peripherals

Hardware developer CTA’s kiosk featured an array of third-party Playstation, Playstation Move™, Wii, DSi and Kinect peripherals on the CES floor, from induction charge stations to gun controller and bowling ball modifications.

CTA’s product lineup suggested a willingness to take risks. While the concept of induction chargers isn’t a brand new one, CTA is releasing a line that mixes up the formula. Their Nintendo branded unit charges Wii remotes, as well as a DS, their PS3 focused unit charges 3 and includes external USB battery-packs that both allow for induction charging and extend play lifetime.

CTA is also developing several peripherals for the Kinect, designed mostly to make interaction easier. These included a playing mat with distinct zones for the solo or first and second player, and a plastic prototype for a handheld steering wheel.

The Brooklyn-based developer specializes in online retail aimed at the US market.

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[CES 2011] Warpia StreamHD hits market

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[CES 2011] Warpia StreamHD hits market

Within the first day of CES, Warpia president Mike Walsh had already received an order for a thousand of Warpia’s brand-new StreamHD SWP120A PC-to-TV wireless units to fulfill corporate demand.

Debuting on the market the same day, the SWP120A delivers high-definition sound and picture (1080P) wirelessly from a laptop or PC to an HD television or projector with a maximum resolution of 1920×1080/1600×1200 and 48kHZ 16-bit Stereo or surround sound audio. The device has a range of 30 feet in the same room and features VGA and HDMI connectors. It is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP Service Pack 3.

Also on display was Warpia’s Easy Dock Pro, a wireless laptop docking station designed for PC and Mac. Like the SWP120A, the Easy Dock Pro streams audio, visual, and input data to external devices like monitors, keyboards, mice, and speakers, connected to the docking base by a DVI connector (VGA adapter included), 3.5mm Stereo audio jack, and 2 USB connectors. It has similar picture quality to the SWP120A, and 48 kHz, 16-bit stereo audio quality.

The Easy Dock Pro is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP Service Pack 3, and Mac OS Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6).

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[CES] LevelUp offering new furniture for 2011

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[CES] LevelUp offering new furniture for 2011

Video game storage manufacturer LevelUp is expanding its product lineup in 2011 to include a folding ottoman licensed for the Wii, Playstation, and Rock Band, and a Wii Fit-licensed full ottoman.

The new furniture, like the universal ottomans available since 2009, incorporates a compartment for video game controllers, titles, and other paraphernalia. Like other LevelUp furniture, it is constructed of robust material; most of the models on display were cushioned and padded with leather on the outside and felt on the inside.

LevelUp will sell the new products through major retail outlets in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Australia such as K-Mart, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us, JC Penny, and  Bed Bath and Beyond. The folding ottoman has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $29; the universal ottoman is priced at $79.

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[CES 2011] Digital Storm’s Hailstorm gaming rig running at -5.19 degrees Celsius

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[CES 2011] Digital Storm’s Hailstorm gaming rig running at -5.19 degrees Celsius

It’s not every day you see almost an inch of ice caked to a heat sink inside a fully-functional, high-end gaming PC. Much less in a comfortably room temperature suite beneath the snowline.

Digital Storm specializes in such computing marvels. Their suite at the Venetian for CES required only a single example of their craft: one of their Hailstorm gaming PCs with its case open to reveal its Sub-Zero Liquid Chilled System, a conspicuous temperature readout displaying a temperature of -5.19 degrees Celsius.

The Sub-Zero Liquid Chilled System does exactly what its name implies. It is a liquid cooling system containing fluid kept at subzero temperatures, allowing components such as the processor to be overclocked to staggering speeds of over 4.5 GHz. The system’s core includes a series of TEC peltier coolers without any moving parts, increasing its reliability.

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[CES 2011] Aerielle offering new Stream XR and StreamBase audio transceivers

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[CES 2011] Aerielle offering new Stream XR and StreamBase audio transceivers

Aerielle Technologies representatives said their StreamBase and Stream XR wireless audio transceivers will be available for purchase on Amazon.com around the end of January.

Already available through Costco’s Canada branch, the Fremont-based developer’s transceivers extend the broadcast range of home entertainment systems, iPods™, MP3 players, televisions, and gaming systems. The portable Stream XR connects via a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, while the StreamBase is intended for use with home entertainment systems and includes RCA, Digital Coaxial, Digial Optical, and headphone connector plugs alongside two Mini-USB charging parts.

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