Gadgets, gadgets everywhere


The upcoming 2010 Consumer Electronics Show [CES] is an extravaganza of newfangled gadgets. One of its most popular events is the Last Gadget Standing ceremony. Contenders have been lined up and are jockeying for votes.

Submitted gadgets came from any company taking part in CES. They were judged by a panel of 10 ?experts? within the technology community. The competitive field has been narrowed to 25 semifinalists. They range from e-readers, to robotics, to augmented reality accessories, to a 3D PC . Already the competition is getting underway with views and votes being counted. Each on-line voter has 25 votes to bestow on their favorite(s) to determine the people?s choice. The field will narrow to 10, and then a live audience at the CES event in Las Vegas on January 9 will determine which is number one ? the Last Gadget Standing.

Previous year?s winners are now familiar names: Roomba, the robotic vacuum; OnStar, an entry from General Motors; Celestron Sky Scout with GPS for identifying sky residing objects; Hewlett Packard?s TouchSmart PC; and Heartmath?s biofeedback-based emWave for monitoring stress. Here is an overview of just a few who are in the running this year, not in any particular order.

ASUS EEE Keyboard PC

For space conscious folks, there is an entire computer, cased in the size of a full sized keyboard from Asus. This computer was launched back last year but now it is finally hitting the production, thus it can be considered as a 2010 gadget. It touts a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, a 30 GB hard drive, and an integrated touch screen. It is being called a nettop.

Tripp-Lite ECO750UPSTripp Lite ECO750UPS claims to be an energy efficient UPS, that is eco friendly. It provides 12 outlets for $89. Maybe this is just a ho-hum, or it could be a money saving convenience in the long run. You be the judge. Another household helper is hoping for a win similar to a previous contender. The next generation of "doing it itself" vacuum, Neato Robotic?s Neato XV-11, will be performing for the audience.

The W PhoneWatch from Kempler & Strauss probably meets the definition of "gadget" better than most entrants. It is a Bluetooth-enabled wrist watch that triples as a mobile phone and camera, with a touchscreen, and microSD card slot for your MP3s. Now, you?re talking Flash Gordon, but will it sell? For $199.99, each component better be of some quality. You could spend your money on a lot of other gadgets that are probably more practical, if not as trick.

The number of views is an indication of what tweaks the public?s attention. As of this writing, the Motorola Droid has a respectable number of hits – 536 people looked at it. Banking on the e-book fad, the Que proReader clocks in at 863 views. The Intel Reader interested 637 people, while it strays from the pack in that it is designed for sight impaired readers. More than the display of a downloaded book, the Intel Reader is a camera that takes a picture of what an individual wants to read ? the newspaper, a flyer, a letter from a friend, and converts the words into audio or into text which it displays enlarged on a 4.3 inch screen.

enTourage Edge e-ReaderThe enTourage Edge has gleaned 902 views. It has a netbook form factor, one half of which is LCD, the other, e-ink where you enter your own notes. With Android running, you have a smartphone, netbook, tablet combo. It won?t be out until February to prove its worth. At $490, it had better be worth a lot, but it has caught the interest of the audience already.

So far, the least amount of votes has been registered by the Crescendo Voice headset by Blue Trek. It advertises itself as a discreet and elegant wireless headset with Noise Lock to eliminate annoying sounds. Its claim to fame is the integration of Bing Live Search access. However, so far the public isn?t as enamored as the judges were with this entry.

And finally, here is one entry you?ll be hearing a lot more about. As of this writing, it has captured the most viewers, 2934, who have given it a 4.92 rating out of 5. The SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector by Microvision also has the greatest number of votes by a long shot over its competition so far ? remember one person can vote 25 times. Using lasers instead of LCD?s, the resolution of this pocket sized projector is said to be stunning. The image, projected at any size from approximately 6 inches to 100-plus inches, is always in focus. You can project photos, movies, TV shows, music videos, YouTube, podcasts, and presentations. You can couple it with a stereo jack for earbuds or external speakers.

To have your say in what may become the Last Gadget Standing, you can see, and vote for any or all the contestants.