Live From CE Week 2014: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
Every year, Manhattan hosts CE Week — the official summertime event of the Consumer Electronics Association - and iLounge sponsors iLounge NYC, a dedicated area for Apple accessory makers. CE Week officially opens to attendees this morning, with exhibitions running through tomorrow afternoon.
This year, iLounge NYC is hosting the following Apple accessory companies, and we’re currently assembling reports on each of their offerings at the show. Check back with this article throughout the day for what’s new - we’ll be adding plenty of pictures and additional details!
Adonit: Currently focused on styluses, Adonit just announced Jot Touch with Pixelpoint (see our full First Look, here), including compatibility with past Jot Ready apps and new Adobe Creative Cloud apps.
Amzer: Best known for its cases, Amzer also sells screen protectors, Lightning cables, and vehicle mounts, typically at extremely aggressive prices. The Crüsta iPhone case ($45 features a tempered glass front and back with a TPU ring that goes over the outer shell. Available in a variety of colors, it comes with a holster.
BodyGuardz: BodyGuardz showed ScreenGuardz HD Impact ($30 for iPhone, $40 for iPad), a crystal clear or anti-glare screen protector with the ability to absorb drop impacts by dispersing energy across the film. It also showed an anti-glare version of ScreenGuardz Pure ($40 for iPhone, $60 for iPad mini, $80 for iPad Air), tempered glass screen protectors with a new installation system.
Boombotix: Speaker maker Boombotix has introduced a new version of Rex ($100), a compact, bike-mountable stereo Bluetooth speaker featuring IPX5-rated water protection, “remastered” sound, and 10 hours of battery life, plus an integrated clip and speakerphone functionality. It’s due out in July.
Henge Docks: Having just released the Vertical Docking Station (above, and see our extended preview) for Retina MacBook Pros, Henge Docks also sells Horizontal MacBook Docks and the Gravitas stand for iPhones and iPads.
iHome: A decade-long leader in clock radios for Apple’s portable devices, iHome has spent the last several years expanding into wireless speakers and affordable headphones, as well. The rugged iBN6 (shown above) made it into our Best of Show Awards at CES earlier this year, and will be in stores in the next two weeks.
The iBN10 is a Bluetooth clock radio with a handsome industrial design and four speakers inside. It’s coming in September for $120.
iBN27 ($60) is a newly-released small portable Bluetooth speaker clearly designed to compete against Jawbone’s Jambox series, with a similarly textured and colorful body relative to the original Jambox, only at a third the price.
Notably, a teaser on iHome’s web site indicates that the company will be getting into Apple HomeKit-compatible Smart Home accessories, as well. iHome spokesman Evan Stein told iLounge, “We’re thrilled to be developing smart products that will work with Apple’s new HomeKit Accessory protocol. HomeKit will allow us to provide a simple and easy experience for our customers, with the ability to securely pair and control devices throughout the house including integration with Siri.”
Kensington: Equally skilled at making keyboards, cases, and security devices, Kensington this week debuted the $100 KeyFolio Thin X3 (see our full First Look), a Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad Air with an integrated iPhone-charging battery pack — assuming you supply your own Lightning to USB cable. It also automatically turns itself on and off automatically to manage power. X2 ($90) and X2 Plus ($100) versions of KeyFolio Thin lack the iPhone charging port; X2 Plus has an LED-backlit keyboard, while X2 does not.
Livescribe: Having previously released the pen-and-paper alternative Livescribe 3 Smartpen for iPads, Livescribe today demonstrated updates to the Livescribe app, notably including much-requested extensions to support easier sharing of your written/drawn content over Evernote and OneNote.
Mimoco: Maker of charming USB drives and new battery packs, Mimoco introduced Star Wars MimoPowerBots ($70), officially licensed 5200mAh battery packs in the shape of Darth Vader and R2-D2. Also shown were Adventure Time Finn and BMO versions at the same $70 price; versions with original characters rather than licenses will be available for $60, all in October of this year.
Rain Design: We’ve previously covered iSlider, Rain Design’s cool iPad stand, which is now available in pink and black versions beyond the original silver model. The company also is offering mBase ($50-$60), a stand and drawer for iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays, managing cables and storing small items immediately below the leg of Apple’s monitors.
Snow Lizard: As a maker of ruggedized iPhone cases, Snow Lizard previously released SLXtreme 5, the first and probably only solar-powered ruggedized iPhone 5/5s case; it also offers SLXtreme for iPads and iPad minis ($180-$200), which are IP-68 certified drop- and splash-proof to 2 meters, and contain a 10200mAh battery, which can also charge an external device using USB. The company showed SLXtreme for iPad 4 ($200) as an example, promising iPad Air and iPad mini versions for release later this year.
STM Bags: Based in Australia, STM Bags is a maker of MacBook bags and iPad cases with numerous superb options over the years. The company showed the laptop-ready bag Drifter ($140, above top), 10” iPad-ready bag Link ($60, above middle), and 13”/15” laptop bag Trust ($130), which we’d previously seen at CES.
Ztylus: Although you might expect a company named Ztylus to make styluses, the company has actually debuted a pretty incredible new camera case and lens system for the iPhone. The Ztylus Original Camera Case for iPhone 5/5s ($40) uses aluminum and rugged plastic to make your iPhone look like a classic point-and-shoot camera, complete with a kickstand. What’s impressive is the Revolver Lens Attachment ($70), which goes onto the Case’s back, rotating with four different lenses — wide-angle, fisheye, macro, and a circular polarizer — each popping out and automatically fitting right in front of the iPhone’s integrated camera. Both are available together in a $100 “combo” bundle; Ztylus plans new attachments for the future.
Hyper/Sanho: This accessory vendor showed off iStick, a USB flash drive with an integrated Lightning connector that was crowdfunded via Kickstarter. It enables users to access separately-stored files via a dedicated app, and is coming in August. An 8GB version will start at $79, doubling capacities step by step up to a 128GB/$249 model.
Libratone: Audio equipment manufacturer Libratone didn’t have anything new to show off, but it was featuring its Loop speaker, which sells for $500.
Olloclip: After previewing it at CES, and following our review, Olloclip’s 4-in-1 Photo Lens for iPad Air + iPad mini is now ready for the public.
Verbatim: We don’t see too much from Verbatim, but the company was on hand to display its Folio Slim Keyboard Case for iPad mini and its $90 Dual Power Pack, a 12,000mAh dual USB port charger with 2.1A and 1A support.
Incipio/Braven: Braven’s 705 ($100) is its IPX5 waterproof speaker. In addition to a built-in powerbank, it can pair with another unit for dual-unit stereo streamig. It also supports speakerphone capabilities.
Withings: After announcing the product early this week, Withings was demoing its Activité activity tracker. It’s scheduled to ship in the fall for $390.
Otter Products: This morning, OtterBox announced its Agility iPad case/stand system, and here are the first hands-on images. Pictured here are the Shell ($40), the core of the system, as well as Folio ($50) and Portfolio ($70), optional accessories for extra protection. Also shown is Dock ($50), a mounting system for your tablet.
Also on display is the $100 Resurgence Power Case for iPhone 5/5s. It offers military-specced iPhone protection, plus a 2000mAh battery for backup power.
Thinium: Although a Lightning version isn’t quite ready—that’s expected in the fall for $25—Thinium was demoing its Connex charge and sync cable in a Micro-USB variant ($20).
Harman/JBL: JBL was showing its Synchros E40 BT ($100) Bluetooth headphones, introducing a new “Share Me” technology allowing two users to listen to the same song by sharing a Bluetooth connection from one headset to the other.
JBL also had Synchros Reflect BT ($99), a new set of fitness earbuds with reflective tape for night time use.
Other vendors at CE Week included Huckleberry, iLuv, Jabra, Philips, zNitro, and uNu — we recently reviewed uNu’s Ultrapak Go + Ultrapak Tour, which the company was showing at the event.
Featuring on-site reporting and photography by Phil Dzikiy, and additional vendor details by Nick Guy.
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