First Look: Monster iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect
Gesture-based control of Apple accessories is going to be a mini-theme at this year's CES, and Monster is one of the biggest names with something new to show. Though awkwardly named, iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect ($120) is a traditional car charger and audio-out accessory with a brand-new control scheme, enabling you to wave your hand in front of its charger-mounted sensor to change tracks and play or pause songs. Wave gestures several inches in front of the front screen move forward and back through tracks, while a "push" gesture towards the screen pauses or starts playback, seemingly using Infrared so that the sensor works during day and night with only little hiccups. The flat Dock Connector cable, Dock Connector housing, and auxiliary audio out plug all feature design elements reminiscent of the company's Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line, with chrome and red-colored upgrades to the more common black plastics used in rival chargers and adapters. You can also move the plastic housing backwards from the gesture sensor to have a place to store the cabling, and use a hinge to tilt the sensor to a better angle if your car's power port isn't oriented to your liking. Whether you'll want to shell out the $60 premium charged here for the gesture control feature is up to you, but the idea of being able to control your music without fidgeting with button-based controls is pretty neat.