You’ve already seen dozens of our pre-show reports from Las Vegas, but today’s the day when the 2013 International CES officially opens for business. Completely filling the Las Vegas Convention Center’s floor space, offices, and meeting rooms for the rest of this week—as well as the nearby LVH and just about every other hotel—CES is going to be packed from edge to edge with new product and service announcements—many of potential interest to iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac users.
iLounge’s team has been in town for days now, meeting with leading developers from around the world. We’ve shared “under construction” photos from the massive 120,000-foot iLounge Pavilion at CES on our Twitter account, and posted everything from First Looks at new products to company-by-company previews of what’s about to be shown. Join us today at CES.iLounge.com for plenty more live coverage of all things Apple from the show floor—we’re very excited by what we’ve seen so far, and can’t wait to share more with you.
With so many 2013 CES reports (visit our special CES site!) hitting iLounge yesterday, we wanted to make sure that the latest CES First Looks didn’t get lost in the crowd.
Speck’s CandyShell and CandyShell for iPad mini are excellent updates to its prior signature product, slimmer than expected for Apple’s tablet.
As a new entry into the Beats-alike market, the Audiovox 808 Studio Headphones are glossy plastic on-ears at a budget-ish price.
The new Native Union Switch is a stylish Bluetooth speakerphone with stereo music streaming and a very cool volume knob.
Based on earlier Cushi stickers, the id America Cushi Plus is equivalent to a full case thanks to added protective elements - and has some great designs, too.
One of the most value-packed super-protective cases around, the SwitchEasy FreeRunner for iPhone 5 is ready to challenge far more expensive rivals such as LifeProof and OtterBox cases.
Audio-Technica has announced its new line of products for CES, including new additions to its QuietPoint headphones line and the introduction of its SonicSport headphones. The company’s budget-priced ATH-ANC29 ($100) over-ear headphones provide up to 87 percent noise cancellation, and interestingly, the cord can be detached for cordless noise-cancelling headphone use. Also, the ATH-ANC33iS ($80) in-ear headphones offer up to 90 percent noise cancellation and feature volume control with an in-line mic and control. These earphones come with Comply foam tips for comfort and fit improvements. Both headphones come with a case, airline adapter and AAA battery. They will be available in April.
Audio-Technica’s new SonicSport headphones are designed for sports and active use. The three debut models include ATH-CP700 ($100), which features a headband that wraps around the back of the neck and a cord-mounted remote and built-in microphone; the ATH-CKP500 ($75), which feature earpieces with angled housings that direct the cord behind the user’s neck; and the ATH-CKP200 ($50), which use a hinged ear hook that adjusts around the ears. These SonicSport headphones will be available in January.
SuperTooth has announced that it will debut its new HD Voice ($89) at CES, a new portable hands-free car kit designed to clip to a car’s visor and pair to a phone using voice commands. The HD Voice will also be able to announce callers in one of 12 different languages and will incorporate two speakers and two microphones to provide enhanced quality.
The company has also announced the new Disco Twin package, which it will be showing at CES along with its entire collection of speakers. Disco Twin ($199) provides users with a pair of SuperTooth’s portable, rechargeable speakers designed to pair with each other and a Bluetooth device wirelessly to provide left and right channel stereo sound. [via Engadget]
Corning has announced that it will officially introduce Gorilla Glass 3 at CES, which the company claims is stronger and three times more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass 2. According to the company, 40 percent fewer scratches will be visible thanks to Native Damage Resistance improvements, and Gorilla Glass 3 will be 50 percent better in retaining its strength after the glass is flawed. Prior versions of Gorilla Glass have made it into Apple’s devices, albeit without any Corning branding. [via Engadget]
NYNE has announced that two Bluetooth 4 speakers will debut at CES, the NB-550 ($300) and NB-500 ($200). The NB-550 is a 100-watt speaker with an aesthetically neutral design, which notably includes a USB charging point and auxiliary input, as well at the very recent Bluetooth 4 streaming technology.
The NB-500 is a smaller, lower powered version of the NB-550, which also uses Bluetooth 4. Both speakers will be available in the second quarter of 2013.
Logic3’s Ferrari by Logic3 sub-brand has announced the Cavallino GT1 ($649), a Bluetooth speaker dock. Heavily based on the Cavallino GT1 Air, which was announced at last year’s CES but never actually released, the GT1 borrows design details from Ferrari’s GT car. An integrated subwoofer boosts the GT1’s speaker system, which features two tweeters and two drivers. GT1 includes Bluetooth and a legacy 30-pin Dock Connector, rather than AirPlay.
A composite video out, auxiliary in jack and USB charging port are all included on the GT1, as is a remote control based on Ferrari’s metal gate gearbox. The GT1 is said to be available now.
iHome has announced its new product lineup to be unveiled at CES, which includes the company’s first Lightning dock speakers. The iDL100 ($150) is a stereo FM clock radio with two Lightning docks, plus a USB charging dock; it’s capable of charging up to three iPads at once with triple 2.1-Amp power. By comparison, the iDL45 ($100) is a version of the iDL100 with only one Lightning dock, retaining the USB charging dock.
iHome is introducing the iBT44 ($200), a portable FM stereo Bluetooth retro boom box. The stereo can operate on six D batteries or use a USB connection to stream audio. Two woofers and tweeters are included, as is a remote control. Other Bluetooth-enabled products announced include the iBT20 ($80), a wireless FM alarm clock radio, and the iBT88 rechargeable mini stereo speaker system, for which no price was given. The iB85 ($100) Bluetooth headphones are foldable and include an on-ear remote and built-in mic, and the iB10 Sport Earhooks ($20) and iB22 ($15) noise-canceling headphones were also introduced. No release dates have been announced.
New audio company FELTaudio has announced two new products that will debut at CES. Offered in white, black, and gray, Pulse is being pitched as “the world’s smallest multi-functional Bluetooth speaker;” a portable speaker with a clip, the Pulse can fit in a pocket, and attach conveniently to the back of new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch cases. When used with an iPhone, its microphone allows for hands-free calls.
FELTaudio’s Rewind wireless earbuds work up to 40 feet away from Bluetooth devices. Housed in a hard plastic box with a clip—and the ability to interface with the aforementioned Apple device cases—Rewind has a cable management system to prevent the silicone-tipped earbuds from getting tangled. Integrated volume controls are included on the earbuds’ box, and a microphone is included on the cord. Rewind earbuds also come in white, black, and gray. Release dates and pricing were not announced.
Mobee has announced three new products that will debut at CES, two leveraging the company’s inductive charging platforms for ease of use. Magic Juice ($79) is a backup battery/charging station that can be carried in a pocket, and inductively recharged using Mobee’s previously-released Magic Feet or Magic Charger charging platforms. Somewhat curiously, the battery promises to fully charge an iPad once or an iPhone twice, and is compatible with Lightning and Dock Connectors, mini USB and micro USB, thanks to a standard USB port on one end.
Magic Tunes ($99) is a wireless Bluetooth speaker. Equipped with speakerphone functionality, it’s billed as the first “double wireless” speaker, capable of both wireless audio streaming and inductive wireless charging. Finally, Magic Link ($49) is an energy-saving wall adapter and illuminated cable for Apple mobile devices, showing you charging status through the cable’s glowing color before turning off automatically to conserve power. Magic Link also promises Lightning, Dock Connector, mini USB and micro USB compatibility. All of these new products will be released in 2013.
Lunatik has announced a new series of iPhone 5 cases that will debut at CES. The cases include Taktik Extreme, an iPhone 5 version of the rugged, previously-reviewed iPhone 4/4S case featuring Corning Gorilla Glass, and Taktik Strike, a similar case without the glass cover.
Brand new to Lunatik’s lineup, Seismik is a unique suspension frame case — shown above and discussed here in a First Look — while Flak is a lightweight, two-material hard and soft plastic case akin to Speck’s CandyShell. Release dates and pricing were not announced.
Alongside the massive iLounge Pavilion at the 2013 International CES, enterprise technology-focused publication MacTech will offer MacTech Insight, a CES conference track focused primarily on technical topics related to Apple’s products and services. Starting at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 10, MacTech Insight will offer sessions on topics including iCloud, storage solutions, content and app creation, organization-wide mobile device management, backing up data, and home automation.
Same-day admission to the one-day MacTech Insight conference track is $500, and includes access to the CES show floor; use the coupon code MT25P for a 25% discount off the regular registration price. The conference will take place in North Hall N260, up the escalators from the iLounge Pavilion’s North Hall show floor area. A full list of conference topics and a registration link can be found here.
Soundmatters has announced Dash 7 ($249), a slim, pocket-portable Bluetooth wireless soundbar speaker system. A 3/4-inch-high speaker featuring a miniature woofer and rechargeable battery with up to 12 hours of life, Dash 7 also works as a speakerphone. It serves as a smaller sequel to the company’s earlier foxL series, which inspired Jawbone’s Jambox, while promising wider stereo separation and similarly powerful volume levels.
Dash 7 is designed to rest in front of an iPad without blocking the screen, but an angled stand is also included. Coming in four colors, the Dash 7 will be shown at Soundmatters’ CES booth at the iLounge Pavilion, Jan. 8-11.
From all of us here at iLounge, Happy New Year! We’ll be on a limited publication schedule until the second of January as we celebrate with our families and friends.
While 2012 was an uneven year, it had several highlights, including the debut of the first iPad with a Retina display, the mid-year announcement of iOS 6, and then the near-simultaneous releases of two new iPods, the iPhone 5, and two new iPads before the holidays. With substantial iPad and iPad mini updates expected in 2013, it’s no surprise that the new year is shaping up to be very exciting indeed.
Once again, we are beyond thrilled to be hosting the largest iLounge Pavilion in the history of the International Consumer Electronics Show—this year, with over 120,000 square feet and 500 exhibitors devoted to iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac products. The 2013 International CES officially kicks off on January 8, and there will be plenty of news and events before the doors open. Our editors will be there for all of it.
Feel free to browse through our archives until we return, and be sure to join us for our upcoming CES live coverage. Once again, Happy New Year!
iLounge proudly announced this morning that the iLounge Pavilion—the unified exhibition area at the International CES dedicated to iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac products—is officially the largest in CES history, by a wide margin. Now featuring over 120,000 square feet of new products, the Pavilion will stretch from the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center to the adjacent Las Vegas Hotel, hosting a record number of exhibitors: over 500 from around the world. Both in size and exhibitors, this represents a major jump from 2012’s CES, which saw a then-record 350 third-party Apple vendors occupy 85,000 square feet of space.
The 2013 International CES officially opens on January 8, 2013. iLounge will feature live coverage before and during the show, with a brand new mini-site devoted to all of the show’s Apple-related announcements.
Among the usual plethora of cases, speakers, earphones and other accessories, we also occasionally see a few products that are a bit unique in their design or approach. Below we’ve highlighted some of the most interesting of these products that we’ve seen.
Sound Egg Chair: Designed with an eclectic look that may remind some of Mork from the classic seventies sitcom, the Sound Egg Chair provides a 5.1 channel surround sound system built into an enclosed, egg-shaped chair. A swivel arm provides a mounting point for a TV screen and ports on the back provide for audio input from an external amp. A variety of colors and interiors are available, and the Sound Egg Chair price ranges from $1,400 for a base model to $3,000 for a fully-loaded model with leather interior and included HDTV.
i-Dice Speakers: Vaguely reminiscent of the fuzzy dice you might find in a car windshield, the i-Dice speakers provide a dock for an iPhone, iPod or iPad and are available in black, white and red versions.
3DLuxe’s Cases go beyond the usual 2D designs, incorporating raised relief 3D embossed artwork.
The Crystal Pirate optical mouse from Pat Says Now is joined by a variety of other unique and eclectic optical mouse designs.
TekChick Designs turns computer parts into jewelry and fashion accessories, recycling old Mac keyboard keys, RAM chips, and other appropriate into earrings. While the designs may not be for everyone, it’s an interesting idea and a good use for components that might otherwise end up in a landfill somewhere.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has just confirmed a staggering statistic: after selling out its entire original footprint last year in two hours—eventually leading to an even larger, 85,000-square foot space—the 2013 iLounge Pavilion just sold over 95,000 square feet of exhibit space in three hours. According to CEA, demand for additional space is at an all-time high.
This year’s Pavilion, which featured over 350 exhibitors, reportedly benefitted from exceedingly strong CES attendance of more than 153,000 people—conservatively measured prior to an official final number—which, if accurate, would represent an all-time attendance high for the world’s largest consumer technology trade show. Designed as a dedicated area for Apple’s iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac products, the iLounge Pavilion has been receiving rave reports from exhibitors. Thousands of new products were shown inside the Pavilion, top picks from which were spotlighted in iLounge’s 2012 Best of Show Awards.
We have to give Portable Sound Labs credit as the “most improved” developer we spotted at CES: after some stale past products, the new design direction it was showing off at this year’s International CES has us genuinely excited. On display were some unique speakers, many of which are still in the prototype phase but are slated to be released later this year. The first is Aire SideKick, an iPad 2 speaker that doubles as a cover for the tablet. It attaches with magnets much like Apple’s Smart Cover, and the final version will be made out of aluminum. This will make the flat speaker thin and light.
Next up are Pipeline and Base, both portable wireless speaker systems. Each is modular and works in sets, or as individual pieces. Pipeline’s central unit is a long horizontal tube, and it comes with two satellite speakers called Drops that attach to either side with magnets. Base, on the other hand, is a large dish-sized cylindrical shape, with detachable speaker units called Slices.
What’s unique is the satellites are also Bluetooth-enabled, which means they can serve as standalone units on the go. Both Pipeline and Base come with two of the smaller speakers, but more will be able to be added if purchased individually.
We also saw AllSpark, which has a very different design from anything we saw on the show floor. The set is made up of two pyramid-shaped speakers that attach to one another with magnets in their bases, creating a cube that can be held at an angle in the included stand. AllSpark supports a Bluetooth connection, with one speaker acting as the receiver and carrying the audio to the other over a cable. Each of the items is being targeted for very aggressive pricing; AllSpark for instance is slated for a $100 selling price.
One of the Apple accessory areas of particular interest to iLounge’s editors are products for kids—speakers, cases, and headphones if they’ve been designed to be safe for little ears. Here are a few of the more noteworthy items we saw at this year’s CES, which is just now winding down in Las Vegas.
Case-Mate: Showed off a huge collection of kids’ cases, including many made from multi-layered rubber with different cool artwork—ice cream, animals, and the like. Some of the cases are abstract versions of animals, others are obviously so. Case-Mate also showed Marvel/Disney-licensed hard shells that had great iconic art from the comic company’s biggest-named series.
Electric Friends: This division of Noetic showed four different animal speaker systems targeted at a sub-$60 price point, and they were seriously cute—like Chew Chew the Dog, each has its own name and backstory, with two big speaker grilles protecting eye-shaped audio drivers. The price is right, the design is right, and the sound is respectable.
More images and details are below.
While our focus tends to be on mainstream consumer products, there are several companies here at the iLounge Pavilion that are aiming at the higher end of the market, including the ones we’re spotlighting below.
Known for their carbon fiber cases, Moncarbone is taking the material to the next level with its Art Collection, which features graphics that are subtly integrated into the material using dye injection methods. A nice change of pace from standard carbon fiber cases, which have become a bit stale recently. The cases are priced at $60 each.
We’ve seen loads of leather cases for the iPhone over the years, but few as simple or elegant as Eblouir’s slim pouch. Made from high-quality leather, it features two interior slots—one for the iPhone and one that’s cash-sized—as well as a simple closure that uses a long strip of leather to hold the entire thing closed. It sells for $45.
Continuing an ongoing trend, there are a number of exhibitors here focusing on female users—and among them is Tyla Rae. This fashion-focused brand offers a wide range of bags for the iPhone , iPod, and iPad. The bags are made primarily from leatherette, and range in price from $60 to $220.