Macworld: Hot on the 2005 Macworld show floor P-Z
Power Support has a likely must-have product in the 3D Wheel Film and a stunningly beautiful Japanese fashion case in the iPod & iPod mini Cloth and Leather Case, which it will distribute for Kyoto-based Miyavix. The Japanese companies, which have long produced some of the iPod’s very best accessories, are continuing to expand their offerings in ways that we love. 3D Wheel Film for the first time adds center button coverage to the company’s great transparent Click Wheel protectors for iPods and iPod minis, closing the loop on complete iPod protection for many iPod cases.
Speck’s Tough-Skin ruggedized 4G iPod case is certain to be a winner with people who worry about dropping their iPods. It adds chunky plastic coating to the iPod in just the same way as the recent generations of pre-ruggedized tablet computers, and has a flip-open transparent plastic Click Wheel shield.
Shure’s new E4C iPod-matching headphones ($299) look, feel, and sound great. At consumer request, the company’s upped the bass response from its popular E3C.
Sonance’s iPort is tackling the iPod’s highest-end market - people who want to physically integrate the iPod into their homes. With a base price point of $599 for a unique white or black iPod dock that’s actually mounted inside a home’s wall, Sonance says the iPort “turns your home into an iPod accessory” in the same way as BMW’s car adapter transforms your car. A low-end installation of iPort with simple in-wall speakers, a control system, and the Dock will set you back roughly $1000 in total, with ultra high-end options adding up to prices that all but the wealthy will find staggering. Most impressive was a LCD remote control panel that mapped the iPod’s controls onto an iPod-esque touch screen.
Ten Technologies is on iLounge’s “one to watch” list. With a goose-neck iPod mini mount called FlexDock mini (and a 4G version on the way), a highly impressive Bluetooth stereo kit called NaviPlay and a new super-charged remote control system called NaviPro EX, Ten has awakened from its 2004 slumber with serious force. Numerous companies at the show are integrating Ten’s remotes into their systems, and the company has partnered with HP to offer impressive quality Bluetooth headphones in a bundle with Naviplay. We really liked what we saw at this booth.
Japan’s Tunewear showed off its entire line of recently-announced iPod and iPod mini cases, with an intriguing mix of precision-cut rubber, hard plastic, and metal products, as well as whimsical fashion pieces. Having created two sizes of iPod-holding wallets, the company is now exploring the option of distributing a line of iPod-friendly clothes - but isn’t sure about market demand. Its new WaterWear cases are cleanly and impressively designed, but only water-resistant - not water-proof.
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