If wireless is the unofficial theme of the 2012 International CES, Soundfreaq is certainly on board. The company has unveiled its Sound Kick (SFQ-04) Bluetooth speaker, set to be available in March for $99. Designed for travel, the speaker has a compact design that opens up to boost the sound. It has a built-in rechargeable battery for up to seven hours of playback that can also be used to charge your iOS device, a metal grille, an auxiliary input, and a matte finish. It will also be available in a case model, details of which have yet to be announced.
We’re live from the floor at the 2012 CES, and there’s an overwhelmingly huge collection of new Apple accessories and apps on display. Rather than saturating you with thousands of new products, we’re going to focus on the big new debuts: things that are catching our Editors’ attention and really making a dent in the Apple ecosystems.
One of the most striking booths we’ve seen thus far is the Ferrari + Logic3 partnership, which has launched a large collection of gorgeous-looking headphones and speakers with Ferrari branding and styling. Half of the collection is devoted to Ferrari’s pro racing vehicles, and the other half to consumer cars, each with distinctive design touches including metal grilles and logos, leather accents, and other premium finishes. The headphones start at around $125 and climb from there, with speakers ranging up to a 250-watt $750 model with AirPlay, Bluetooth, and promised power in the multiples of Bowers & Wilkins’ Zeppelin Series. Lower-end speakers drop the wireless features and wattage, with $400-$500 prices.
FiberShell is showing both its iPhone 3-D printed cases and handsome new MacBook versions.
iDevices is showing a shower-mounted Bluetooth speaker system called iShower that promises to allow users to hear iPod, iPhone, or iPad music—safely—while washing off.
Incipio is previewing the world’s first active suspension case, here made for the fragile glass iPhone 4/4S. The case uses a special compressing and expanding foam to provide anti-shock, anti-drop protection for the iPhone; different styles and colors will emphasize the foam element inside the case’s core.
LightSpeed is demonstrating a complete point of sale system for businesses, featuring Mac and iOS-powered apps that let a store manage inventory and transactions with Apple-like design sensibilities.
MacLocks has a large collection of different iPad security kiosk systems in different styles, enabling the iPad and iPad 2 to be used safely in businesses without fear of theft.
Our growing photo gallery from the show is available here. Much larger photographs are available there!
iLounge is proud to announce the release of the official iLounge Pavilion app. The app features a news feed of our latest stories, iLounge Pavilion maps, a complete, searchable exhibitor listing, a listing of our most recent Tweets from the show floor, buttons for sharing your iLounge Pavilion experience via Facebook or Twitter, and a section dedicated to our Best of Show awards. Even if you’re not at the show, it’s the easiest way to keep up with all our coverage from the 2012 International CES on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. It’s a free download from the App Store, and is propagating through various stores right now. Grab your copy today!
Apple’s newly-released iOS 5.1 beta 3 contains references to Siri dictation on the iPad, according to a new report. Citing self-proclaimed hacker Sonny Dickson, 9to5Mac reports that the beta contains a new section in the keyboard menu labeled “About Privacy and Dictation” that, when tapped, displays standard legal and feature information for Siri dictation. As noted in the report, this menu item does not appear on the iPhone 4S, but is instead found under the Siri preferences and covers both Siri and its dictation feature, suggesting that its appearance on the iPad is not the result of the code accidentally being carried over from the iPhone 4S.
It looks like IK Multimedia has been pretty busy leading up to the 2012 International CES; it had three brand new iOS-compatible audio products to introduce at this year’s show. iRig Mic Cast ($40) and iRig Mix ($100) are both scheduled to be released this month. The former is a monaural condenser mic specifically made to record speech, and is designed to be especially useful for interviews and podcasts, somewhat unusual given the quality of the microphones in Apple’s devices these days. It connects to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch’s headphone port and comes with a stand. iRig Mix, on the other hand, is a DJ mixer made for use with two iOS devices. The accessory gives you full mixing control, allowing for complete turntable replication. It works with IK’s free iRig DJ application, as well as many of the other popular DJ-related apps in the App Store.
Finally, there’s iRig Stomp; the company’s billing it as the first stomp box guitar interface for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. It’s a pedal version of the iRig and interfaces with the AmpliTube apps. It’s designed for live performances, and will ship in April at a cost of $70.
Our official Twitter account has been sharing all the Apple-related news from the Pepcom Digital Experience event at the 2012 International CES. Here are some of the highlights:
Savvy, a cool new iOS app for saving money on recent purchases: Snap a photo of a receipt, get notified of reduce drops twitter.com/iLounge/status…— iLounge (@iLounge) January 10, 2012
Contour wearable video camera for sports enthusiasts, full HD recording to SD card, iOS app for preview and control. twitter.com/iLounge/status…— iLounge (@iLounge) January 10, 2012
Energizer inductive charging. Prices are stupidly high for these $60 pads (& $35 cases). All they do is charge phones. twitter.com/iLounge/status…— iLounge (@iLounge) January 10, 2012
New Monster diamond headphones. Very unique design alongside other female-focused options. twitter.com/iLounge/status…— iLounge (@iLounge) January 10, 2012
Bracketron has unveiled its iRoom iDock Touchcode for the iPad at the 2012 International CES. The Touchcode is a motorized in-wall iPad dock, offering the ability to house the device in landscape or portrait orientation, an LED-lit keypad to restrict access, composite audio output, compatibility with both the iPad and iPad 2, and optional Power over Ethernet and USB connections. Pricing and release information is not yet available.
As usual, iHome is making a major splash at CES, expanding its traditional lineup of speakers and clock radios to include a major new Bluetooth keyboard, new AirPlay models, and additions to its ColorTunes family of glowing speakers. Most striking are new introductions to the iW AirPlay series: beautiful white with silver chrome versions of the previously announced iW1, iW2, iW3, and iW4, as well as a totally new model called iW5.
While iW2 and iW3 were originally shown at last year’s show, both have undergone significant internal improvements, with the iW2 now clearly serving as a $179 miniature version of the iW1 without a battery, and the $199 iW3 re-engineered to add a rechargeable battery pack like the iW1’s. iHome also is showing multiple beautiful fabric color options for the new models, which could conceivably let users swap off the fabric speaker grilles for different decor-matching looks. Each unit is now being shown with an optional iPod/iPhone charging dock. A new version called iW5 is being previewed as well, smaller than the rest and simpler with swappable front speaker grilles.
The iDM5 Executive Workstation is an all-in-one iPad-focused Bluetooth keyboard with speakers, a microphone, and charging ports built in, capable of playing music, handling FaceTime/VoIP calls, and letting you type on an Apple-style chiclet keyboard. It’s expected to debut in March for $130. Additionally, a low-end portable speaker extension to the ColorTunes family of color-shifting LED units caught our attention: tiny pocket-sized speakers that glow in their centers, at a very low price point.
It looks like Scosche has been busy lately, as the company had plenty of new products to introduce at this year’s International CES. Up first is railKASE, the company’s aluminum and silicone hybrid case for the iPhone 4 and 4S. The contoured metal frame is designed to offer superior protection and comfort, while the rubber skin helps protect from bumps and scratches. It will be available in the first quarter of this year for $60.
Next up are the company’s charging solutions—the reVOLT h2, reVOLT c2, reCOIL II, and reviveLITE III. The reVOLT h2 is a dual USB wall charger offering 2.1A for fast charging of two iPads simultaneously, while the reVOLT c2 packs the two ports into small cigarette lighter adapter-sized body. The reVOLT c2 will be available in the first quarter and will sell for $25, or $35 packed with a cable; pricing and release information for the h2 has yet to be announced.
The reCOIL II is a 2.1A car charger featuring a retractable, three-foot, magnetically locking 30-pin cable, while the reviveLITE III is the latest generation of the company’s combination night light and docking charger, with a side 2.1A USB port for charging an iPad.
Finally, the company is showing off a new range of headphones and earphones, including the REALM RH656md on-ear headphones and REALM IDR676md earphones. The RH656md headphones feature 40mm drivers, copper voice coils, neodymium magnets, leather ear cushions, and ported sound chambers. The IDR676md are a new set of earbuds with 11mm drivers. In addition to the claimed audio quality, the buds are unique in that there’s a bass level slider on the side of the three button remote and mic. The earbuds are priced at $130 and are expected to ship second quarter of 2012; pricing and availability for the RH656md headphones has yet to be announced.
An iPhone 4S model compatible with China Telecom’s network has been approved by regulators. The Wall Street Journal reports that an Apple device, model number A1387 — the same number as current iPhone 4S models — was approved by the national telecom regulator’s China Radio Management agency, and is listed as being compatible with CDMA-2000, the same 3G network technology used by China Telecom. As noted in the report, the device must receive other certifications, including a network access license, before it can be sold in the country, but the approval does signal that the handset should be available on China Telecom in the near future. Currently, China Unicom is the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in China; it will launch the iPhone 4S this coming Friday.
At the 2012 International CES, CableJive is showing its redesigned DockStubz 30-pin pass through adapter and charge converter for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad, which features a thinner dock connector and a micro USB pass through. In addition, the company informed iLounge that it is currently working on redesigned version of its dockXtender dock connector extender cable with a more tightly tailored male end for greater case compatibility.
XtremeMac is showcasing a number of new products at the 2012 International CES. Included in the mix is the Tango TT, an audio charging dock for the iPod, iPhone, iPad featuring a flexible 30-pin dock connector, that allows the device to be docked in landscape or portrait orientation, a sliding back support that raises and lowers the device for multiple viewing angles, multi-directional speakers, an auxiliary input, and a companion app. It will be available this summer.
Also being shown is the Soma BT, a portable combination Bluetooth stereo speaker and battery pack for the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and other compatible devices. It features a 2W x 2 speaker setup with a passive radiator for improved low-end performance, an internal 1150mAh battery that provides up to six hours of playtime and can be used to charge a separate device over USB, a high-power microphone for hands-free calling, and a line-in jack for connecting non-Bluetooth audio devices. It will be available in the second quarter of 2012.
Available in Duo Plus, X3, or X5 versions—signifying the number of devices that can simultaneously be charged. There is a Dock Connector plug for each, so that they may stand in an orderly line and no additional cables are required. Pricing for the Duo Plus has yet to be announced, while the X3 and X5 will sell for $100 and $150, respectively. All three charging stations are expected to hit the market in Q1.
The company is also showing a 3-in-1 USB Mobile Cable that offers micro USB, mini USB and 30pin tethered tips, the InCharge Boost, a portable battery pack with a 2300 mAh lithium polymer battery, an integrated 30-pin connector and USB connector, an integrated carabiner, a dedicated on/off switch, and LED status indicators, and the InCharge Micro Boost, a 500 mAh battery pack, which also features an integrated carabiner, 30-pin connector, and LED status indicator lights. All three will be available in Q1; pricing on the 3-in-1 cable has yet to be revealed, while the InCharge Boost and InCharge Micro Boost will sell for $50 and $25, respectively.
Finally, the company is showing a variety of cases, including options for the iPad, iPhone, and MacBook.
Apple this morning seeded its registered iOS developers with the third beta version of iOS 5.1. According to Apple’s sparse release notes state simply that the release contains “bug fixes and improvements”. The update is currently available as an OTA Software Update for devices already running iOS 5.1 beta 2, and will likely be available shortly to registered iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.
Corning has, as promised, announced details of its new Gorilla Glass 2 material, the second-generation of the damage-resistant cover glass used in iOS devices. According to the company, Gorilla Glass 2 enables up to a 20 percent reduction in glass thickness, while retaining the same damage- and scratch-resistance as the original. Corning claims that the new material will allow for slimmer devices, brighter images, and greater touch sensitivity. While Gorilla Glass 2 will debut on Windows-based PCs, the company claims that a number of its global customers are expected to unveil new devices using it in the coming months.
At the 2012 International CES, House of Marley is showing two new bag-style Bluetooth speaker systems, Block Party and Nomad, as well as One Foundation, a high-end tabletop speaker system. Block Party is a two-channel Bluetooth audio system, featuring two 3.5-inch woofers, two one-inch tweeters, a ported speaker chamber, a built-in rechargeable battery, an interchangeable bag, and 20 watts of total power. It sells for $249. Nomad is also a two-channel Bluetooth speaker system, offering dual 2.5-inch woofers, two 2.5-inch passive radiators, the ability to run off AC power or alkaline batteries, a built-in bag, and 10 watts of total power. It is priced at $200. Finally, One Foundation is a high-end system, offering an iPod/iPhone/iPad dock, AirPlay support, two 5.25-inch woofers, two one-inch horn-loaded tweeters, a ported speaker chamber, wooden baffle, RCA and 3.5mm auxiliary inputs, an included remote, and 200 watts of total power. It will sell for $600; release dates have yet to be revealed.
Dexim will be showing off its Click Stick Bluetooth remote package for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Package consists of a flexible-leg adjustable device mount, a small, matte-black Bluetooth remote shutter control, and a companion camera app that works with the remote and also offers various filter, editing, and sharing features. Click Stick will be available in late February and will sell for $40.
Previously known for audio accessories, ION Audio attempted last year to branch out into Apple gaming add-ons with the release of iCade, a joystick and eight button set mounted inside an iPad-sized arcade cabinet, relying on Bluetooth wireless to send commands to the tablet. Though Apple’s lack of official iOS software support thus far for game controllers has limited the number of developers willing to add peripheral support to their titles, a small number of companies have released iCade-compatible games, inspiring ION to expand the iCade range with three new versions.
iCade Core cuts the original model down into an angled iPad-ready platform with the same joystick and eight button configuration, losing the oversized and needlessly expensive cabinet-style housing. No pricing has yet been announced. Next is iCade Jr., which looks like the original iCade, but shrunken to fit the iPod touch and iPhone 4/4S, with only four buttons alongside the joystick; it will sell for approximately $50. Like the first iCade, neither of these units is designed to be portable.
Finally, there’s iCade Mobile, a joypad-based controller that is expressly built for portability. An interesting design enables either an iPhone 4/4S or iPod touch to be rotated within a central housing from portrait to landscape mode, while the joystick and buttons remain in their hand-grippable positions. This $80 model has both face and rear buttons, further raising questions about what sort of buttons developers are supposed to expect from iCade device to device.
At the 2012 International CES, Hex will be showing off its new Fleet Collection of bags, backpacks, and sleeves. Encompassing 12 different options, the collection includes the Cross-Body bag designed to carry an 11-inch MacBook Air and an iPad, complete with a PadPort that allows for use of the iPad while still encased, a 13-inch Messenger Bag for iPad, and a 15-inch Messenger Bag for iPad, as well as other sleeves and cases dedicated to the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air, and other bags and backpack.
With the opening of the 2012 International CES just hours away, we are moving all of our CES-related news over to our CES mini-site. On our mini-site, you can find the latest Apple-related news from CES, as well as a list of exhibitors, and links to the 2012 iLounge Pavilion floor map and our Flickr photo galleries. In addition, don’t forget to keep your eye on the @iLounge Twitter account for bite-sized news nuggets from the show floor. It’s sure to be a busy week, so check back often!
At this year’s International CES, Supertooth is following up its win for Car Accessory of the Year in our 2012 iPhone + iPod Buyers’ Guide with the introduction of two new products.
The first is Disco2, which will be available at the end of the first quarter of this year for $99. A nicely designed Bluetooth speaker, Disco2 is portable and rechargeable, and can be used alone or in a pair for a stereo setup. Next up is Crystal, a car speakerphone. Made to clip to a sun visor, it allows for handsfree calling and supports voice features such as Siri. It will be available for $69 around the same time as Disco2.