2012 International CES Sum-up Day 2
I wouldn’t be fooling anyone if I said that there wasn’t a lot of news coming out of opening day of the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, but the truth is that many of the really big announcements were made during a barrage of press conferences yesterday (Monday) and today is for the masses to start crowding the floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center while the exhibitors let their press releases speak for themselves. There’s still a lot to talk about and, like yesterday, we’ll be updating this throughout the day when noteworthy releases or demos come our way.
Walk the Street with Elmo
Last night, Microsoft held their CES press conference to push a few things like Windows 8 and new Windows Phone functionality. They announced that the Kinect motion sensor will be made officially available for Windows PCs with a few tweaks for close-up use and a developers kit for a rumored 250 price tag. Ryan Seacrest co-emceed the event with a very exciteable and almost cartoonish Steve Ballmer. Between mispronouncing key product names (It’s know-kee-ya Steve, not knock-ya) and screaming buzz words repeatedly at Seacrest and the audience, it appeared as if he took a little too much advantage of free drinks at the slots.
The stand out presentation however was from the Xbox division. No, they didn’t talk about Xbox 720, or really anything that wasn’t already said at E3 earlier in 2011. What stood out was a partnership with the Children’s Television Workshop, the people behind Sesame Street. Using the Kinect, kids will soon be able to interact with the characters and situations on the screen, just like they’ve been pretending to do for decades. By linking key moments in current season episodes to additionally staged interactive points, kids can help Grover pick up the coconuts he’s dropped, then count them out loud with his help. The reverse can also be true, where a demonstration used the Kinect’s cameras to render the children inside of Elmo’s colorful World, even standing next to the iconic Muppet and interacting with his world. It’s an impressive level of immersion, made that much more noteworthy because it’s an educational effort and not a combat simulator.
Nyko Makes a Mad Dash at the Vita
Gaming peripheral progenies, Nyko Technologies, are known as much for their orange-haired booth babes as they are for mountains of console accesories. Not one to neglect the kids, Nyko is running with a line of products that carry the Yo Gabba Gabba! characters to a tech level. The questionably shaped red Muno stars as his own clock radio and charging station for iPods, iPhones and Nintendo 3DS devices. Kids can wake up with built in music from the show or play music from their device while it charges as Muno waves his waves over the DJ station.
For more grown-up fare, the Power Grip, Power Armor Kit, Speaker Stand and Game Case will all be available for the PS Vita when it launches in the U.S. later this year. The Power Grip triples the battery life while elongating the device for better grip without hindering the rear touch panel for around $25. The Armor Kit includes a hard case for the PS Vita, one AC and one car charger and a USB cable for transferring files as well as the ubiquitous cleaning cloth all for around $30. The Speaker Stand speaks for itself. It doubles as a charging dock but includes a remote control presumable for adjusting volume and/or skipping tracks. The Game Case holds games.
A Millenium Falcon USB Drive? Yes, Please.
Mimoco, well known for their branded collection of USB flash drives featuring original artwork, Transformers and Hello Kitty announced their new MimoMicro. These new USB drives actually house interchangeable microSD cards as either stand alone drives or an easy way to transfer files to and from mobile devices. What really stands out though is they take a slightly different design approach from a smooth pill shaped painted surface to more of a sculpted, cap-free flip-out design. Fans need only to wait until March to get their hands on brand new DC Comic and Star Wars characters including Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, C3-P0, Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and The Millenium Falcon.