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.
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.
One of the products Altec Lansing has announced at the 2012 International CES is its LIVE 5000 Wi-Fi Music Speaker, which will sell for $500. The speaker uses existing 802.11 b/g/n wireless networks to stream and control content from the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or computers. Inside the unit are dual three-inch mid-range drivers, two tweeters, and a four-inch subwoofer.
We’ve confirmed with the company that it is not leveraging AirPlay, but rather its own system that also allows access to Internet radio stations and relies on your computer as the media server for everything else. A free LIVE Controller iOS app will give you control over the content. Alten Lansing has not yet announced a release date for this speaker.
Withings is known for its lineup of iOS-compatible health products, and its new Smart Baby Scale—just introduced at CES—is no exception. Coming out in the second quarter of this year and costing $179, the device does exactly what the name would imply: weighs babies, and toddlers too, up to age eight.
For the smaller ones, there’s a removable basket. The free app that accompanies it tracks weight, height, and other information over time, allowing the user to keep track of progress.
Modular iPhone 4/4S cases seem to be a trend at this year’s International CES, and Nuu’s ClickMate Power Plus is among them. Shipping in March for $70, the battery is part of the company’s ClickMate Series based around a standard Foundation Case—one of the shells is included with Power Plus.
It has a 1600mAh capacity, which is right around the average for battery cases, and allow simultaneous charge and sync via the passthrough port. The twist here is that additional pieces, including a card holder, a belt clip, and eventually a Bluetooth keyboard, will be offered as alternative plug-ins relative to the battery.
Our official Twitter account has been sharing all the Apple-related news from #CES Unveiled. Here are some of the highlights:
Belkin showed the Thunderbolt Express Dock for Mac, which for $299 gives MacBooks desktop-class connectivity.
Belkin also announced a new Dyle Mobile TV receiver for iPad / iOS, giving these devices access to over the air digital TV. No price or final release date, but second half 2012.
Case-Mate showed cases, largely for the iPhone, including a new color block lineup of female-friendly cases and clutches for iPhone, iPad, and iPod, plus Creature & Snap cases for iPhone 4, the latter with super cool snap-out stand. You press a button and a stand curls right out.
Cobra showed the new Cobra Tag G5, the Bluetooth Smart version of its prior Cobra Tag device locator keychain. Bluetooth 4/Smart takes Tag from a weekly recharge to 1 charge every 6 months!
Dexim debuted the Click Stick, a Bluetooth remote shutter control and companion camera app, which was launching in Feb. for $40.
Griffin had one more thing to show off at CES Unveiled. The AirCurve Window mount combines two older products. Neat.
Hex debuted its new Fleet Collection of bags, backpacks, and sleeves, including several with play-through iPad pockets.
House of Marley debuted 2 new bag-like Bluetooth speakers, Nomad and Block Party, and One Foundation, a $600 system.
LaCie debuts two new Thunderbolt external hard drives - 2big and 5big Office+ for Mac - with up to 8TB capacities.
Parrot’s new AR.Drone 2.0 offers better cameras, new control system.
Powerbag’s redesigned cable system was shown off on the Crosstown Messenger.
Pure showed the Contour 200i Air speaker, which handles AirPlay streaming at $329 price, challenging Zeppelin Air.
Withings debuted Baby Scale iOS, which can track a child’s weight from birth to toddling age 8 with an app-aided scale.
ZOMM showed Lifestyle Connect, a $199 device that lets you communicate with a person who needs to be monitored.
Well-known for its innovative accessories, Griffin is taking a more iterative approach at the 2012 International CES, debuting many logical extensions of existing product lines alongside at least one genuinely awesome idea. The company previewed several new kid-focused products from its collaboration with Crayola, including two new entries in the MyPhones line of volume-limiting headphones. Crayola MyPhones Earbuds ($15) are available in a variety of colors, and come in a crayon-shaped case that also houses additional silicone tips. For those looking for an on-ear solution, there’s Crayola MyPhones Headphones ($25). Coming in either pink/purple or blue/green combinations, each set comes with stickers and markers, allowing children to customize the design. They’re both volume-limited so as to avoid damage to young ears.
Also part of the collaboration are two new cases. Crayola Crayon Classics for iPod touch 4G ($25) are simple hard shells that feature one Crayola crayon color a piece—purple pizzazz, cotton candy, caribbean green, and blue berry. There’s also Crayola Color Clickers for iPod touch 4G ($25), a polycarbonate shell that’s recessed in the middle, allowing users to customize the design with 28 included color strips.
Griffin also showed off three new apps. Crayola Lights, Camera, Color! HD ($2) allows users to take a picture or use one already on the device, drain all the color from it, and then color it in with Crayola’s color pallet. Crayola Silly Face Swaps HD is also a coloring pages type app, but this one allows you to insert your own face photos into coloring pages. It will cost $2 when it’s released in the Spring. Finally, there’s Crayola Case Creator. The app itself is free, but it’s made to work with a case and inserts sold by Griffin. Users will be able to design their own cases, print them onto the inserts, and slide them into an iPod touch case akin to the previously-released Reveal. The set will retail for $30 in the Spring.
Travel accessories are also a big part of the new lineup, including PowerBlock Reserve. Now with a larger, 2,000mAh battery and a complete redesign, the unit maintains its flip-out charging blades. An Apple-specific version shipped with a Dock Connector cable will cost $60, while a cordless version is priced at $50. They’ll be available in Spring. The company also showed off two new mounting solutions: WindowSeat 3 HandsFree ($40) is the newest iteration of the car phone holder, now redesigned to accommodate pretty much any smartphone with a three-point adjustable security bracket, and also now featuring a levered suction cup for added security. That accessory is becoming available now, while Tray Table Latch Mount will be coming at some point later in the quarter. It allows for an iPhone, iPod touch, or e-reader to be mounted on the latch of an airplane’s tray table. The idea is genuinely cool and much needed, we can’t wait to see it in action. No price has been announced yet.
We also saw some new iOS music accessories from the company. MIDIConnect ($80), available this Spring, simply provides MIDI input and output ports to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. StudioConnect ($150) takes that a few steps further, adding an iPad resting and charging dock, wall power, and audio in through a mono 1/4” plug or the stereo 3.5mm input. It has RCA ports for output, and there’s a very nice glowing-rimmed volume control on the top. StudioConnect will be available very soon.
Our favorite new product from Griffin at this year’s show is one that looks like it’ll be genuinely awesome. Twenty is a digital amplifier for Apple’s AirPort Express, and it’s really a first of its kind accessory. On the top of the device is a dock for the router; simply plug it in, hook up a pair of speakers, and you have an AirPlay system ready to go. As a neat touch, there’s a brushed aluminum volume dial on the top of the unit. Without pricing or date information, however, Twenty is being shown only as a “sneak peek” to CES attendees, and it’s really unclear as to when it will be out.
With the 2012 International CES starting next week, you can be sure there’s going to be a ton of Apple-related news to report from the show floor, and we’re bringing out our entire editorial team to help get you all the big news, photos, and more. We’ll be on a special publishing schedule, starting with some weekend updates and continuing actively throughout the pre-show and show events.
Three of our six team members have Twitter accounts that you can follow for individual observations: Jeremy Horwitz (@horwitz), Jesse Hollington (@jhollington), and Nick Guy (@thenickguy) will all be tweeting about Apple- and non-Apple-related topics before and during the show. To stick solely to the key news from CES, our official @iLounge Twitter feed is available.
Our CES mini-site is already in the process of being updated with new maps, photos, and more. Show attendees will soon find the latest maps of the iLounge Pavilion, the 75,000+ square foot area dedicated to Apple-related products, as well as a list of exhibitors.
Visit us before and during the show for plenty of great updates—we look forward to sharing them with you!
As we prepare to join the growing iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac accessory and app industry at the 2012 International CES next week, iLounge’s Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz (follow @horwitz on Twitter) will be taking pre-CES questions on Twitter this morning from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM ET. Topics will include anything that interests readers, including further discussion of yesterday’s next-generation iPad tweets, big things we’re expecting to see at CES, and more.
iLounge began its partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association three years ago with the creation of the iLounge Pavilion, a unified area for all iPod, iPhone, iPad and Mac related products. This year’s Pavilion is bigger than ever, and home to approximately 350 vendors—based on what we’ve heard thus far, we’ll be seeing and showing you some very cool things. Additionally, iLounge expanded its partnership with CEA to become the premier place for Apple-related coverage at CES, the official iPartner of the 2012 International CES.
Tweet your questions to @horwitz and be sure to keep an eye on our @iLounge Twitter feed throughout the coming week. We’ll be posting tons of news on all of the latest and greatest products directly from the 2012 International CES.
We have some great news to share with you today!
Three years ago, iLounge partnered with the Consumer Electronics Association to create the iLounge Pavilion—a unified area for iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac related products at the world’s largest consumer technology trade show. Today, we’re excited to announce that iLounge has expanded its partnership with CEA, and is now the official iPartner of the 2012 International CES: your prime destination for Apple-related news, pictures, and more, direct from the floors of CES!
In the past, iLounge was a coordinator and centrally-located exhibitor for the Pavilion, helping to bring hundreds of companies together from across the world to show off new products at CES. Our CES booth has featured History of iPod and iPhone displays, iDevice charging stations, and comfy chairs to accommodate Apple users at the show. This year, our booth is evolving to embrace our media partnership with CEA, and will help guide visitors directly to the best Apple-related products of both 2011 and 2012, independently selected by our editors after covering thousands of new releases. We welcome you to visit us in the center of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall, booth 3810.
Our editors will be very busy on the show floor. We’ve spent the last two months preparing behind the scenes for this show, which promises to host the year’s largest collection of new Apple-related product announcements. Approximately 350 vendors will be showing off iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac products in the massive iLounge Pavilion exhibition area, and based on the early announcements we’ve seen, some very cool things are coming for each of Apple’s devices. iLounge will focus on the best of them—with frequent news updates, hands-on details and photos, and our prestigious Best of Show Awards. The updates will start before the show’s official kickoff on January 10, 2012, and continue through its end on January 13.
“CEA is pleased to expand its collaboration with iLounge to include this media partnership for the 2012 International CES,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president of events and conferences for CEA, the producer of the International CES. “iLounge has experienced exponential growth at CES over the past three years and we look forward to seeing iLounge’s editorial coverage of all the amazing news announcements coming out of this dynamic exhibit area at the 2012 CES.”
We created the iLounge Pavilion with CEA to help keep the Apple ecosystems strong, and we’re thrilled with the incredible success of the collaboration, which has grown bigger and better every year. Moreover, our editors are extremely proud of our continued pull-no-punches editorial independence, through which we promise to deliver unvarnished, honest coverage of this important event. Please join us here for all of the updates!
Intended for a March 2012 release, Audio-Technica has introduced its new ATH-CKS55i In-Ear Headphones at its booth in the iLounge Pavilion at the 2012 International CES. This addition to the Solid Bass lineup is made specifically to pump up the bass with its Double Air Chamber System, but the company claims to also provide solid midrange and highs. The “i” in the title is to indicate compatibility with Apple’s devices via an in-line three-button remote and mic. ATH-CKS55i will retail for $80.
The Consumer Electronics Association today announced that the iLounge Pavilion at the 2012 International CES has grown to 75,000 square feet, making it the largest dedicated exhibition of iPod, iPhone, and iPad related products and services in the world. “The success of the iLounge Pavilion is unparalleled, featuring the largest number of i-related product launches at any event, any time of year,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, events and conferences, CEA. “With strong industry demand for a showcase of these popular products, the iLounge Pavilion at the 2012 International CES is the place where key business is done for this space.”
The 2012 iLounge Pavilion will feature products from more than 250 companies spread across its space—compared to 200 companies across 50,000 square feet in 2011. Notably, the 2011 International CES’s independently audited attendance of over 149,000 people was up 18 percent from the year prior; it is the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world. The 2012 International CES will be held January 10-13, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Consumer Electronics Association will hold its CE Week 2011 event next week in New York City, and iLounge will be on hand to provide coverage. As part of the event, there will be a special iLounge + NYC section of CE Week’s Line Shows dedicated to products for the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and will feature Summer/Fall 2011 lineup unveilings from various companies including iHome, Incipio, Monster, and Scosche. CE Week 2011 runs from June 20-25, while the Line Shows will be held June 22-23 at 7 West 34th Street. We look forward to showing you what’s new in the Apple accessory world, live from the show!
In an announcement that amazed even us, the Consumer Electronics Association revealed today that it sold out of its allotted 50,000 net square feet for the 2012 iLounge Pavilion in less than two hours during CES exhibitor space selection, a record time, and will add additional space to meet demand. “The iLounge Pavilion is experiencing unparalleled success and has undoubtedly established itself as the center of the ‘i’ Universe,” said Karen Chupka, CEA senior vice president, events and conferences. “Exhibitors made their intentions loud and clear in purchasing more iLounge space in two hours of space selection than ever before. It’s evident that there is strong industry demand for a showcase of these popular products at the International CES, and space for the iLounge Pavilion will increase as a result.” The 2011 iLounge Pavilion featured over 200 companies across 50,000 net square feet, more than an acre of space, and launched thousands of new iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac related products.
“Our CES experience was amazing. We couldn’t have dreamt of a better place to release our new product, and I do not mean just CES, I mean in the iLounge Pavilion,” said Michael Shumski, CEO, of start-up KIOKY. “We were swarmed with American distributors, but took the company global the day we launched! Look for us there next year because we made sure to reserve our space again.” The 2012 iLounge Pavilion, sponsored by iLounge.com, will be included in the 2012 International CES running from January 10-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada; companies interested in exhibiting in the growing Pavilion should contact Tira Gordon, senior account executive for CES, at [email protected]
The Consumer Electronics Association has announced impressive attendance numbers for the 2011 International CES, as well as dates for next year’s show. According to CEA, preliminary numbers indicate that over 140,000 industry professionals attended the 2011 CES, including a record-breaking 30,000 attendees from outside the United States. In addition, it has announced that the 2012 International CES will be held on January 10-13, 2012, moving the show from its traditional Thursday-Sunday slot to a mid-week Tuesday to Friday timeframe.
A number of companies have launched new products at the 2011 International CES. While we’ve covered the cream of the crop in our 2011 Best of Show and subsequent articles, here’s a brief overview of some other major product introductions from the show.
Monster: Monster introduced a number of new automotive accessories for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad at the show, including the iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect. The iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect functions as a traditional car charger and audio-out accessory but adds the ability to control basic music playback functions with gesture controls. It features a charger bulb-mounted sensor to track movement, and also features a black and silver body, red, black, and chrome cords similar to those found on the company’s Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, and a built-in hinge for adjusting the direction of the sensor. Monster’s iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect will sell for $120; other new items include the iCable USB to Dock Connector Cable ($25), the iCarPlay Direct Connect AI 900 ($60), the iCarPlay Direct Connect AI 2000 ($70), the PowerPlug Dual USB 700 Car Charger ($40), the PowerPlug USB 600 Car Charger ($30), the iCar Dual USB 700 Car Charger ($45), the iCar USB 600 Car Charger ($40), and the AirTalk Bluetooth Handsfree Car Kit ($80).
Toy maker Mattel is showing a new Angry Birds-branded playset at the 2011 International CES. Named “Angry Birds: Knock On Wood,” the multi-piece plastic set includes recreations of the red, yellow, and black bomb birds from the game, a variety of wooden set pieces and pigs, and a slingshot launcher. Also included are point cards for keeping track of the score. Angry Birds: Knock On Wood will launch in May and will retail for $15; a second playset is planned for release, as is a card-based Angry Birds game. Keep reading for more pictures.
Lingo has debuted its new iRis Battery Pack + FM/DAB Receiver for the iPhone 4. The iRis features a glossy plastic frame with a folding design to allow for insertion and removal of the iPhone, open access to all ports, controls, and cameras, save for the Dock Connector, a bottom-mounted headphone port and speaker, and a micro-USB charging port. It works in conjunction with the company’s free DAB GO! app to provide tuning of FM and DAB broadcasts as well as battery management features, including the ability to monitor both the iRis and iPhone 4’s battery level and optimize the duration of charging. Lingo’s new iRis Battery Pack + FM/DAB Receiver for the iPhone 4 will sell for $80; availability has yet to be announced. For more information on the iRis Battery Pack + FM/DAB Receiver for iPhone 4, see our First Look article.
Verbatim is showing its new Bluetooth Wireless iPad Keyboard at the 2011 International CES. Meant as a companion to the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or other Bluetooth-capable mobile device, the Keyboard features a thin profile, a single-fold design that collapses for travel, Bluetooth connectivity, an included storage case, built-in media controls, and an included stand for the iPhone, iPod touch, or other handheld devices. Pricing and availability has yet to be announced.