CES - Zeus - Day 1 At CES - Shozu, Zalman and HillCrest Labs

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CES - Zeus - Day 1 At CES
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Shozu, Zalman and HillCrest Labs

Shozu:

ShozuI can almost guarantee that many of you have never heard of Shozu.  Shozu has a goal to help people get video, photos and music on and off your phone or mobile device .  Best of all their service is free to the end user.  Shozu believes that the cellular network simply doesn't have enough bandwidth to deliver high quality content in real time and after having a look at their video playback vs, like streaming, I'd have to agree.  They work on a subscription based feed from many online distributions such as ESPN, MTV and many, many more.  Their service is not limited to video streams, but new streams, pictures, audio and more.  They are completely different from Mobile TV in the fact that not only does ShoZu allow you to download content, they also make it super easy to upload contect to youtube, flikr, Wordpress and dozens of others.  Through their simple to use navigation, you can upload, download, update, and manage storage on your phone.

I inquired about uploading content and how much per MB carriers charge.  The bonus of ShoZu is that when you upload content once, it remains on their server as long as it remains on your phone.  This way you only have to upload it once.  At that point, you can issues the request to email the video, or send it to an FTP account, and you won't have to upload it again.

This service is carrier independent, but requires Windows Mobile for best results.  It works on Symbian OS as well, and even via a java client.  The java client lags behind in development as it is harder to program software for the many types of java phones and devices.   At this point ShoZu is a free add-on service, but they are hoping to get companies like Motorola, Samsung, LG, and Nokia to include the software pre-installed on their devices.

 

 

Zalman:

Zalman has long been a supporter of BCCHardware and it was great to finally be able to meet with the people we've been talking with on the phone for over a year.  We met with Yu How Low and he showed me some of the interesting things that Zalman is showcasing this year.  They have a lot of boards and coolers all set up with their archive of products, but the real news is at the front of their booth.  They've added a new Fan Controller to their lineup that offers PWM control and monitoring of up to four fans.  Not only that, but it also displays real-time Watt Usage from the power supply.

 Zalman Fan Controller
Zalman Fan Controller
 Zalman 3D Display
Zalman 3D Display

A product that I certainly did not expect to see at the Zalman booth was a 3D Stereoscopic Gaming Display Demo.  This display can switch between 2D and 3D mode at the press of a button and works very well in each application.  The display features a Samsung panel and displays 3D when a user wears 3D eyewear.  The glasses look very stylish, are very light and really enhance the gameplay and media experience.  The depth of field looks very good, but is currently limited by a narrow viewing angle.  Zalman has both 19" 5:4 (1280x1024) and 20 16:10 (1680x1050) units coming down the pipe in 2Q of 2007.

I know that many of you will immediately feel that the 3D display is gimmicky, but it actually plays very smooth and works quite well.  For users looking to enhance the total immersion experience, they will have to drop around $500USD for the 19" model.  No word at this point on pricing for the 20" model.

Hill Crest Labs - Space Ring Remote:

One company that I really didn't expect to impress me was HillCrest Labs and their "Space Ring Remote".  This remote has four buttons and a scroll wheel and will be implemented in cable boxes and other Consumer Electronics.  The remote works in conjunction with software that allows very ease of use and total control over your TV, Video, Audio, Pictures, Video on Demand and anything else that you could ever want to see on your TV.  The little software package and remote hardware turn a simple cable box into a multimedia portal - especially when coupled with a broadband connection.

 Ring Remote
Ring Remote
Ring Remote to Scale
Remote Scale

What makes this system so innovative and easy to use is the way you navigate your TV menus.  The remote works on a positioning system and controls a cursor or mouse pointer on your screen.  It doesn't use gyroscopes - the technology was invented by HillCrest Labs themselves and they wouldn't reveal their trade secrets to me at all.

HillCrest's idea with this system is that people don't like to scroll through pages of text-based menus with a 50-button remote.  Instead they offer features, looks and functionality like you see below.

 MainMenu
Main Menu
 Internet - Google
Internet - Google
 Whack-a-mole
Whack-A-Mole

 That pretty much wraps up my first day at CES.  We've got lots more show to cover and it will be an exciting Day 2 as we meet with Razer, Crucial, Guitammer and more.