CES - Zeus - Day 1 At CES

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First Day:

We had an awesome first day at CES.  We managed to meet a ton of new people, check out a lot of new products, and got a chance to peruse the Sands/Venetian for most of the day.  I'm not sure what I expected by attending CES, but it is much bigger, better and more interesting than I thought.  Below I have featured a few of the more interesting booths that I got a chance to visit.  Things were not quite as busy as I thought they would be and I got a chance to spend a fair amount of time with my scheduled appointments and jump into a whole bunch of stuff that was not on schedule.

CoolIT:

We stopped by the CoolIT booth and managed to take a look at some of their new products .  They have recently launched the Boreas cooler - which uses 12 TECs and draws a whopping 130W to keep up two dual core CPUs and two 8800 Series chilled and running top-notch.  The big news from CoolIT is the companies that are starting to use their products.  Companies such as MainGear, Alienware, Velocity Micro, Shuttle and more are all jumping on board this Canadian-based cooling company.

 

 Velocity Micro
Velocity Micro PC 

 Inside Velocity
Inside Velocity

 

Other PC manufacturers are doing some neat stuff and pulling some pretty impressive hardware specs inside a CoolIT cooled machine.  Below are some more pictures of these machines.  You can check out all of the pictures in the full gallery over here .

 Dual Opteron
Dual Opteron
 Dual 8800
Boreas
Boreas
Dual 8800
     
 Dual Opteron & Dual 8800
Dual Opteron & Dual 8800
 Alienware
Alienware
 Shuttle
Shuttle

 

We talked to Geoff from CoolIT and they are releasing even more information about upcoming parternerships, products and more.  CoolIT Systems has showing off some new software that can be used to control temperature, fan speed, startup delay and shutdown delay on the cooling system.  This is really the tip of a new iceberg from CoolIT.

Alphashield:

We spent a very interesting hour with Alphashield as they gave us the lowdown on their new line of routers .  I know that many of you think that a router is a router, but not with Alphashield.  They have some very powerful products that are tuned for psycho range and performance.  For instance a standard Linksys WRT54G outputs at 27mw and comes with a 3dbi gain antenna.  Alphashield has refined technology to put out 1W and boost things even farther with a 7 dbi gain antenna.  It is not as simple as that though as they require some pretty sophisticated stream processors to perform dedicated monitoring and adjusting of horizontal vs vertical power based on the orientation of the connected clients.

 Alphashiled
Alphashield Router

 

Our entire impression of this router is that it is one amazing machine.  It offers many of the features of today's competition, but offers many more features such as 5 10/100/1000 ports, and 4 USB2.0 ports for print, web, storage and connectivity of many other devices.  It is a product to keep an eye out for in the future for sure.


 

CWS Solutions:

As we carried on through the morning, we took a look at some storage and backup solutions from CWS.  They have a few different products, but the ones that caught our eye are the portable storage device as well as the desktop storage device.  Both of these units come with software and hard drive pre-installed and are in fact backup solutions, not merely enclosures for the end-user to build their own solution.

 CWS Portable Backup
CWS Portable Backup
 3.5" Desktop Solution
3.5" Desktop Solution

 

These products come in sizes ranging from 40GB to 160GB for the portable unit and 80GB to 750GB for the desktop unit.  There are a couple of other features worth mentioning as well.  The portable unit employs a standard PATA 2.5" HDD and can be used to do a full file mirror of a system.  Once that is done, it performs incremental backups to speed up the backup process and save space on the device.  The same is true of the 3.5" device as well.  This drive can actually be removed the enclosure and place in your system for immediate restoration in the advent that your main drive fails.

Super Talent:

Next up we stopped by Super Talent to see what was new and interesting from the American Manufactured and produced memory company.  They have a huge number of flash storage products on display including USB flash drives, flash based media players and more.  They also have their own DDR2 DIMMS and DDR2 SODIMMS at the show and are looking to broaden their market in Canada.  That is a good thing for us for sure!  Hopefully we can acquire some samples for reviewing later.  They have some pretty mean looking RAM.

Super Talent
Super Talent

Super Talent invited us to a after hours party on Wednesday evening and we may see more from them at that time.

Transcend:

Also on the topic of memory products and more - we stopped by Transcend as well.  They are greatly growing and have a number of items at their booth.  Nothing seems really groundbreaking, but it was neat to see all the products they have a hand in.

 Transend MP3
Transcend MP3

 Transcend Memory
Transcend Memory

 Transcend has some pretty hefty heatspreaders on some of their DDR2.  This memory is geared toward the overclocker and we are hopefully going to be able to take a look at it and compare it to other RAM we have on the bench.

 

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.