Macworld Expo 2007: The Complete Guide (D-O)
Macworld Expo is here! As always, the Editors of iLounge have quietly been working behind the scenes to bring you the best possible coverage of North America’s biggest Apple-related trade show. Rather than forcing you to sift through lots of separate coverage in different sections of the site, our Complete Guide to Macworld Expo 2007 serves as our central hub for all the big announcements, booth details, and other surprises that are in store. We’ll update these pages regularly with tons of photos and new information, so bookmark the Guide and keep checking back through the end of the Expo!
This part (Part 2) of the Complete Guide covers companies beginning with letters D through O. Click here for Part 1, which covers general Expo details, companies with names A through C, and our Best of Show Awards - after they have been handed out mid-show, or Part 3 (companies with names P through Z).
Responsible for everything from on-TV iPod docks and car accessories to armbands and cleaning solutions, DLO previously but quietly announced the HomeDock Pro, a custom home installer’s premium version of its on-TV iPod docking solution. As new releases, the company has debuted the new speaker system iBoom Travel, a new 2007 edition of its car charging, mounting, and FM transmitter solution, TransDock, and an upgraded version of its on-TV docking solution HomeDock Deluxe. Prices and release dates were not immediately available at press time.
• iBoom Travel: This unit combines an iHome-style brightly lit LCD clock radio - here, FM only - with two speakers, a buzzer, and an iPod dock. Using battery or AC power, it’s capable of playing back iPod music, digitally tuned FM radio stations, or the alarm buzzer as you prefer, and unlike the previous DLO speaker iBoom, can easily fit into a small bag for travel. It will be available in black or white versions.
• TransDock: The new version of TransDock boasts a “new enhanced mounting arm,” video-out for use with in-car video displays, a new design with a top- and side-mounted antenna for superior FM broadcasting quality, and removable faceplates to help you match your iPod or car. Like the prior TransDock, which was also known as TransPod, this version charges and plays audio from your iPod via FM transmission; an auxiliary input lets you connect other devices for the transmitter, and a USB pass-through so that you can charge other USB-based electronic devices.
• The All New HomeDock Deluxe: Though cosmetically near-identical to its predecessor, the new HomeDock Deluxe now includes on-screen album art display on a dedicated Now Playing screen, the ability to navigate both music and videos through an on-screen menuing system, and 12 new color themes and screen savers. A feature called My Jukebox enables you to create “on the fly” playlists for a party, as well.
This small Asian company was reselling some of the same speakers marketed by Qool - and many others overseas - including the rectangular DS-326 Bluetooth speaker with iPod dock, the DS-311 docking system with AM/FM radio and remote, and the DS-306, which was specifically made for the discontinued iPod shuffle (first-generation).
As both a manufacturer and reseller of iPod accessories, Dr. Bott will have a large booth to co-host vendors such as Marware, Case-Mate, Sonic Impact, MCA, HandStands, Parliant, Key Ovation, Matias, and H2O Audio.
Debuted at CES and available in five colors (blue, silver, white, red, black), the Eton Sound 101 (Etón Sound 101, $250) is a table AM/FM radio with integrated Sirius Satellite Radio tuning, a remote control, and a physically separate iPod dock. Based upon the company’s prior Etón Sound 100, the new model promises clear reception for all radio stations and a single speaker. The company’s earlier low-end model Etón Sound 50 ($100) remains available without radio functionality, boasting a four-speaker design derived from a recent Asian OEM system.
High-end headphone maker Etymotic will show its recently-released Ety8 Bluetooth 2.0+EDR headphones for the iPod, as well as wired headphone products. New products from the company - ER-4-derived earphones for gamers, touted as capable of improving your performance in sound-heavy games, were shown in prototype form in both blue and red versions; these new earphones and others will come from a new arm of the company that’s tinkering with smart new solutions to cater to the non-audiophile crowd.
The maker of ezVision Video iWear goggles and other ez-branded cases, headphones, and stands will show its previously announced ezPlay DVD Player attachment for the ezVision goggles, as well as an updated version of its ezEars SX50 earphones. New products will include the SX100 Bluetooth 1.2 Headset and Dongle (price TBA, Spring 2007), the ezWake Alarm clock Radio/Remote in white or black (mid-January), and ezVision V4, a 640x480 version of its prior Video iWear product with 5 hour battery life, stereo audio, and a simulated 60” screen.
This maker of iPod replacement battery packs has already released 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G iPod do-it-youself batteries, plus nano, mini, and shuffle kits. We’ll have to see whether anything new is coming for 5G iPods, which are tricky to safely open.
Equipped with a huge array of iPod-ready speakers - some with integrated iPod docks, some without - Creative appears to have retrofitted past Zen-ready designs for sale to iPod users. TravelDock was being shown for iPod shuffle, PlayDock I as a Bose SoundDock-styled competitor for the iPod, and Zen Aurvana earphones were being shown with iPods at the booth - no Zen hardware. The company’s Xmod Wireless docking and audio enhancement system was also on display.
Small but in a good location on the show floor, this new Expo vendor was showing inexpensive rubber cases, cord managers, and more for the iPod, including Bone Wrap, Bone Strap, iMagnet, and cases with various textures and colors.
This maker of artistic, photo-quality iPod sticker-based covers will exhibit current and new designs at the show.
Creator of Titan Gear cases and clips for iPod nanos, GizMac also sells storage racks for servers.
Griffin Technology has now announced all of its major Macworld Expo offerings; with one exception, prices and dates of availability for the following products were not available at press time.
• Evolve ($350) is a digital wireless stereo system for iPods, aiming to deliver CD-quality wireless music transmission with a range of up to 150 feet. The Evolve features a universal iPod dock, an RF remote control, and two removable and rechargeable speakers, each sporting a full-range 4-inch driver. “Unlike conventional wireless speakers made by others, the Evolve system sends digital packets to the speakers at CD quality 44.1khz 16bit sample rate,” says Griffin. So, no matter what you plug in—iPod or external input—you’re getting the best possible signal.” New: Our First Look with additional pictures and details can be found here.
• Amplifi is a 2.1 iPod sound system featuring an all-wood, acoustically tuned enclosure, two front-firing 2-3/4” neodymium drivers and a 5” downward-firing woofer. It also offers a built-in iPod dock, 3.5mm stereo input jack, and IR remote. Featured in the 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide. New: Our First Look with additional pictures and details can be found here.
• Journi (previously known as Voyager) is a mobile speaker system that features a Wrapstand exterior which “protects your iPod when you’re on the go, then flips open to create its own stand.” It has internal Lithium-Ion batteries (8-10 hours of play on a single charge), an adjustable dock bay, and speakers with SRS Labs’ SRS WOW digital signal processing. Featured as Voyager in the 2007 iPod Buyers’ Guide. New: Our First Look with additional pictures and details can be found here.
• AirDock (A) is a silver metal iPod dock that allows you to connect your iPod to a stereo or TV. It also charges an iPod and comes with a 5-button RF remote for controlling playback from up to 60 feet away.
• Dock Adapter for iPod Shuffle enables use of the second-generation iPod shuffle in devices with an Apple Universal iPod Dock.
• TuneFlex AUX is identical to Griffin’s TuneFlex automobile charging cradle, but includes a 1/8” (3.5mm) auxiliary input cable instead of a cassette adapter.
• TuneJuice 2 is an improved version of Griffin’s battery backup brick for iPods. Powered by 4 AAA batteries, TuneJuice 2 adds up to 14 additional hours of audio play and 2 additional hours of video play.
• Reflect Cases (B) for the second-generation iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod sport polycarbonate hard shells with a mirrored-chrome reflective face. “Wake up your iPod, and the bright, clear iPod screen shows up as if by magic,” says Griffin. The Reflect cases have a matte black rubberized back.
• Tempo for iPod shuffle (C) is a new adjustable armband for the second-generation iPod shuffle. It features a built-in cord wrap and reflective accents for night safety.
• iClear Custom (D) is a new version of Griffin’s see-through iClear case which gains a slot in the back to add your own photographs and artwork. Versions will be available for the second-generation iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod.
• iTrip for iPod nano (Second-Generation, not shown) is an update of the company’s same-named device made to fit current-generation aluminum nanos.
Griffin has also announced Radio Shark HD and Radio Shark 2, shark fin-shaped computer HD radio and AM/FM/Internet radio tuners, respectively, that promise to use software automation to record and sync radio content directly to an iPod, and enable songs heard through the radio to be purchased in full, unadulterated form from the iTunes Music Store. It also quietly introduced Kalamari, a ribbed rubber case design for the iPod, in three packs.
Maker of 10-foot-submersible waterproof cases for iPods, nanos, and first-generation shuffles, H2O Audio will also show its splash-resistant Outdoor Case for iPod nano. It has also announced a Sports Integration System ($25) for the Outdoor Case, including a custom locking clip system that lets users mount the Outdoor case and enclosed nano on a variety of surfaces including handlebars, backpacks and hiking gear. The system is designed to help iPod users get more rugged outdoors enjoyment with their nano.
The iPod case developer will be releasing its previously announced Core Cable Manager with a giveaway at the Expo.
Speaker, headphone, and car accessory maker Harman Multimedia has previously used trade shows to unveil unexpected new speaker systems, high-end car integration kits, and more. Last year saw the debut of the beautiful On Time; this year the company will show Micro Radial, the high-end boombox Go+Play, and numerous Reference series headphones, in addition to some surprises. One is Drive + Play 2.
Significantly updating its earlier Drive + Play Premium Car Integration Kit for iPods, Drive + Play 2 is a color-screened, user-expandable version. The new model begins with the same elements found in Drive + Play—a car-mounted control knob, a separate display screen for iPod menu navigation, and a hub for connection to a car’s cigarette lighter port, your iPod, and the car’s audio system—but upgrades each for a more deluxe user experience.
Rather than running a wire from the hub to the unit’s control knob, Harman’s new knob—still featuring a twist mechanism and buttons for scrolling and selection—is wireless. New features accessible from the control knob include a one-touch “more like this” button that lets you call up more or fewer songs from the same artist, album, or genre, plus an automatic “Dynamic Channel creation” function that auto-sorts an iPod’s content into groupings that can be broadened or narrowed at the user’s discretion. The knob also includes incrementally faster scrolling, bolstered by voice-based letter announcement and voice menu prompting features, letting users hear the menu and/or letter of a song list they’re currently accessing.
A new 3.5” full-color screen is Drive + Play 2’s most conspicuous improvement. Now using an interface that looks more like a Microsoft Portable Media Center than the iPod’s, the unit displays menu options in light blue text on a dark blue background, with translucent highlights, green scroll bars and menu titles, and small icons. Harman notes that the system is additionally compatible with non-iPod portable media devices, and can be expanded with optional modules to include support for Bluetooth mobile phones, Sirius Satellite Radio playback, and future devices and functionality. The Bluetooth adapter will include an embedded microphone for hands-free cellular use, as well as the ability to stream music from an A2DP-supporting phone to the system.
According to Harman, “Drive + Play 2 is easily installed in any make and model automobile using an auxiliary line connection, hardwired FM connection or included wireless FM transmitter,” with the wireless FM transmitter and 3.5mm cable-based audio hub included in the core package. Hardwired connections will require additional installation expertise, but be aided by an included hard-wire harness capable of concealing the hub and cables. It will be priced at $400 - twice the cost of its predecessor - and is planned for Spring 2007 availability.
Hands-on Details: The biggest surprise with Drive + Play 2 is that Harman has fully eliminated the old, large hub found in its predecessor, integrating all of the same components into the smaller, cigarette lighter adapter shown in photographs. Its wireless wheel now has the feel of a ball-bearing ratcheted design, and scrolls endlessly rather than springing back to center - we prefer the new design. And the screen delivers a clear picture on most viewable angles, using a brightness sensor to dynamically adjust itself for changing light conditions.
Additionally, the JBL side of Harman was showing numerous colored skins for its Spot and Spyro speaker systems, in a wide array of textures and looks - highly eye-catching and fun, though not “new” products per se.
Harman also showed the Etymotic-developed EP 710 ($100) EP 720 ($150), and EP 730 ($200) earphones, derived from Etymotic’s ER-4 and ER-6-series designs and similar to Altec Lansing’s Etymotic-developed offerings from last year.
This developer of iPod security systems will likely show the second-generation iPod nano version of its iLOCKr theft deterrant device, complete with iRap protective shrinkwrap.
Responsible for some of the more innovative iPod cases we’ve seen in the past year, including its signature customizable iPod 5G wrapz cases and Tadpole holders for kids, ifrogz has created new Aluminum Canz, plastic Clamz, leather cases and more for the fifth-generation iPod, plus new ZipBagz and iYoYo headphone carriers.
Responsible for the iPod’s top-selling clock radio system iH5, iHome Audio has announced several new iPod audio systems and clock radios, as well as new “colortunes” versions of earlier products in colors that match the latest iPod nanos. Among the new iPod accessories announced were:
• iHome iH10/iH14 - A classic-styled tabletop iPod speaker system with AM/FM radio. It features rotary knob controls, tuned wood cabinet construction, and top-mounting universal iPod dock. The iH10 comes in white or black plastic, while the iH14 comes in black leather or wood finishes.
• iHome iH4 - An alarm clock that lets you wake and sleep to the music on a docked iPod. It features EXP Expanded Bass and Reson8 technology, an AUX/MP3 input jack, and adjustable LED side accent lights. The iH4 is available in white or black.
• iHome iH5 (colortunes) - A new version of the company’s popular iHome iH5 with colored speaker grills to match the 2G iPod nano. The colortunes iH5 will be available in white with grills in blue, green, and pink.
• iHome iH3 (colortunes) - A new version of iHome’s iH3 iPod alarm clock and speaker system in blue, green, pink, and silver to match the 2G iPod nano models. The colortunes iH3 is being sold exclusively at Target stores.
• iHome iHM1 (colortunes) - An updated and colorized version of the company’s ultra-portable speaker system. Available in blue, green, and pink, the speaker system works with 1G and 2G iPod nanos.
• iHome iH19 (colortunes) - A new version of iHome’s water-resistant stereo sport case for iPods. The case, now available in blue, green, pink and silver, features two integrated stereo speakers and an external iPod control pad.
Pricing and availability were not provided.
Maker of numerous iPod accessories across various categories, but focused on speakers, iLuv has introduced the upcoming i277 and i199 Bluetooth speaker systems for iPods, plus i903 and i202 Bluetooth headphones.
i277 ($150, March) is a Bluetooth 1.2-ready alarm clock with video output for iPods. A new dongle technology called BluePin enables you to dock your iPod inside and hear its music through separate Bluetooth headphones, speakers, or other Bluetooth-ready devices, while such devices can also broadcast back to the i277 for easy listening. Available in white or black, it’s based upon the company’s previously-released i177.
i199 ($230, March) is described as an “all-in-one multimedia center for iPod,” featuring the same BluePin technology, plus an audio/MP3 CD player and USB device connectivity. Available in black or white, its speakers surround a negative (black-backgrounded) LCD screen for time and AM/FM tuning, which also shows ID3 tag information for certain audio files. An AV cable is included for video output.
iLuv is also showing its previously announced i903 ($130), a pair of Bluetooth 1.2 noise-cancelling headphones, and i202 ($110), a pair of Bluetooth 1.2 stereo ear clips, which are both available now and capable of receiving broadcasts from i277 and i199.
Previously unknown in the iPod accessory market, IntelliTouch has announced a new wireless multi-room speaker system for iPods. The Eos system uses Wi-Fi technology to link up to four wireless satellite speakers, and broadcasts “CD quality sound” up to 150 feet through walls and ceilings. The Eos base station/transmitter features a built-in iPod dock, two stereo drivers and a ported sub-woofer. Each remote wireless speaker also has two drivers and a ported subwoofer. An Eos core system, with a docking station/transmitter and one wireless remote speaker, will be available in March for $299. Additional Eos wireless speakers will cost $129.
Second-generation iPod nano Tokidoki Vibes were on display, along with its iSkin for iPod nano (second-generation) - in special edition black and red colors. The company also showed its Cerulean RX/TX system, which uses Bluetooth 2.0+EDR wireless connectivity ($130) to enable an iPod to be used from 30 feet away from any existing speaker dock; the system uses an iPod-mounted transmitter sized to fit the iPod nano, but also works via a USB port and line-in with a PC or Mac computer, and is capable of 8-hour battery life. There were also slick black Cerulean-branded Bluetooth 2.0+EDR headphones ($130), which looked quite nice by comparison with other BT2.0 earphone designs, but still somewhat like mobile phone earphones. We were impressed by the comfort and sound quality of the Cerulean earphones; a little less so with the Cerulean RX/TX, though both will go through final audio tuning before release.
The company also showed iSkin Duo for iPod nano, which fuses a rubber insert with two-toned metal casings in various colors.
JVC has announced four new iPod-ready speakers, including the UX-EP300 ($250; Sept.), a 2.1-channel DVD theater system featuring 3D Phonic Front Sound technology; the UX-EP100 ($150; April), an ultra-compact two-channel desktop music system with CD/MP3/WMA playback; the MX-KC58 ($200; April - shown), a 400-watt mini system that is XM-ready; and the RD-HA3 ($350; May), a boombox that features side-firing subwoofers and XM Satellite Radio readiness.
Responsible for iPod docks, speakers, and car accessories, Kensington has always used trade shows to introduce updates to its product lines. This year is no different. So far, the company has announced the FX500 Speaker To Go ($50) and Car Mount for iPod and MP3 Players ($30), budget-priced items relative to most of its prior offerings.
The successor to Kensington’s earlier FX300, FX500 is a combination iPod case and speaker system, here promising stereo sound from a 1.25” “ultra-thin,” high-density foam enclosure. Its speakers are based on NXT flat-panel technology, and run off of 3 AAAs for up to 10 hours.
All black, Kensington’s Car Mount features a flexible arm and adjustable, padded cradle for positioning your iPod at your preferred angle in a car; a lever-assisted suction mount grips your car. The cradle resizes to fit various iPods and even smaller nanos, with space at the bottom for connection of other accessories. Interestingly, Kensington warns California and Minnesota drivers that Car Mount can’t be mounted on their car windows; it needs to be attached instead to the dashboard in these (and potentially other) states.
The French company Kersonic will show Wizidock, a Mac-, Linux-, and Windows XP-compatible wireless stereo and charging dock for the iPod, capable of synchronizing one or more iPods wirelessly with your iTunes library, as well as downloading “iPod content with or without computer” connectivity.
The maker of innovative iPod docking and remote solutions will be showing the cool color LCD screen-equipped TuneView.
Responsible for the component audio system iFi and the all-in-one systems iGroove and iGroove HG, Klipsch has unveiled its least expensive iPod audio system yet: iGroove SXT. The iGroove SXT features a universal charging iPod dock, dual 2.5-inch woofers in a ported enclosure, premium crossovers and dual 1-inch MicroTractrix Horn-loaded tweeters. The system also has a rear auxiliary input, S-Video output, and comes with an IR remote. The iGroove SXT will be available in April for $150.
Responsible for the Bluetooth fifth-generation iPod cell phone accessory Hookup, Lenntek will be unveiling two Made for iPod accessories: Hookup-Auto is a hands-free, car-ready version of Hookup, while Hookup-Lanyard for iPod nano will be a necklace-wearable, physically smaller version of Hookup designed specifically for the smaller iPod nano.
Now responsible for several of the world’s top-selling iPod speaker systems, as well as Bluetooth headphones and wireless music systems, Logitech routinely updates its lineups at trade shows, at least modestly. It will also likely show new Mac-related accessories, perhaps including new keyboards and laser mice.
Vendor of car accessories, batteries, adapters, and cases for iPods, Macally has historically done a good job of picking the best of the iPod accessories developed in Southeast Asia for release in North America and Europe, and produced some innovative cases, too. This year, the company showed showed TunePro ($130), a new flat-panel stereo speaker with charger, AM/FM radio, and alarm clock. The speaker’s face surface is a mirror, and the clock displays in the upper right of the face, through the mirror, for a really cool visual impact. Uses NXT flat panel technology, and SRS Wow for enhanced stereo sound.
It also debuted PowerTune, a box-like combination speaker and battery pack, made specifically for the second-generation iPod nano. It provides power and audio output at the same time.
Other items included IceFM ($30), a combination FM transmitter and charger for the iPod with a switch to toggle between four stations, AP-A181 ($50), a retro-styled stereo audio recorder for nanos and 5G iPods, and AP-A803, a 17-button remote control and dock connector attachment for iPods.
Known for both well-made “traditional” iPod cases and innovative new designs, Marware has recently expanded into simple electronic accessories - iPod docks and cables - and will be showing its current lineup, plus a new iPod shuffle 2G dock for laptops. The only unfamiliar product at the booth was Sport Grip Backwinder, a case for 5G iPods.
Canada’s Matias pioneered the original iPod Armor; now its nano Armor cases are available in multiple colors.
Previously responsible for low-end iPod accessories, Maxell has announced three new hybrid clock radios, each with unique features: Desktop/One Dock, Bedside Alarm Clock Radio, and Desktop/Wall Mount Alarm Clock. All three systems include flash media readers, USB and auxiliary audio inputs, remote controls, dual alarms, sleep and snooze modes.
• Desktop/One Dock ($100) combines picture frame functionality with a speaker system and clock radio, enabling users to replace the iPod’s standard screen with a personal photograph. The unit charges and performs audio from an iPod, or provides access to AM and FM stations.
• Bedside Alarm Clock Radio ($150) boasts an “extra large, backlit LCD screen,” four speakers, and a bass chamber for added resonance. Unlike Desktop, it emphasizes sound quality and clock functionality.
• Desktop/Wall Mount Alarm Clock ($200) boasts a temperature weather display and AM/FM radio tuning. It’s designed to be mounted on a wall, or set on a tabletop.
Release dates were not available at press time.
Having already released and re-priced its award-winning myvu for iPod wearable video display, the company has no new announcements planned until at least April.
In addition to its Mac-ready TV tuning and recording tools, Miglia showed its tiny, pocket-sized Microsound speakers ($39), Diva 2.1 tube-styled speakers ($99) and a podcasting system called Harmony Audio ($149).
Though we’ve most all of their prior iPod nano case products before, Mophie has launched an Expo-long Illuminator case design contest, allowing people to come up with case designs that will be voted upon at expo; the winner(s) will be turned into actual cases. One of the winners, named Schlep ($30), is a flip-open design that will be sold in iPod 5G and iPhone versions, each with credit card sleeves and a zippered storage pocket, and suitable for mounting on a bag strap. Two other prototype products - Bevy ($15), a shuffle-fitting keychain holder-slash-bottle opener, and Montage, a digital photo frame with an iPod dock - were also chosen as winners. Mophie also showed Mueva Wraptor for nano ($25), a hard case with a side-mounted cord manager, as well as two flip-style cases: a combo ballistic nylon and leather case set called Mueva IPO ($30) and frayed leather design called Mueva IPA ($25).
The speaker maker showed the HTS All-in-One Flat Panel Sound System ($500), a six-driver (two 1”, two 4”, and two 5”) speaker system designed to be wall-mounted under a flat-panel television. A LED display at the center tells you the current audio source; an iPod dock is on the right, and a remote control provides bass, treble, volume, and iPod menu access.
Newer Technology/Other World Computing (OWC)
In addition to TRAFFICJamz, a combination FM transmitter and car charger, NewerTech showed NuPower ViDEO+, a $55 battery pack and case combination similar in most regards to Sonnet’s previously-released, more expensive Volta.
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