3 Unlikely CES Standouts: A Case, Mat and Radio

Since CES is the biggest tradeshow in the electronics industry and features some of the best new technology and hottest gadgets in the world. So it’s more than a little odd that my three picks for standouts at the conference can be described in relatively simple and non technical terms. This doesn’t mean they don’t use technology or innovation, but looking at some of the best ideas from the show, these three examples are worth checking out:

#1 – Eton Radios
I never would have thought you could describe a radio with a handcrank as beautiful, but these radios truly were. From their beautiful matte finish to the way all the knobs and components fit together, the radios were designed to be works of art. Fortunately, they are also highly functional. You can buy the big one for about $50, and get a radio, flashlight, and lots of other emergency tools built in. They sell in bulk to hospitals and have a partnership with the Red Cross, but don’t be surprised to find them at Target soon. Being caught in a huge storm or blackout without electricity never looked so good.

#2 – Cocoon Bags
These bags were getting a lot of attention at the show because of the smart use of elastic grids to hold just about anything in place. The founders were clearly worried about knockoffs of this simple idea, as he mentioned their patent pending status several times, but it’s a brilliantly simple new idea that makes their bags worth checking out. They ship them to retail in April or May of this year.

#3 – Powermat Wireless Charging
This was one of the few booths that had a bouncer at the door and was only letting media or buyers in, and by appointment only. I managed to get in and get a demo where they talked about using some sort of magnetic radiation to charge your devices without plugging them into anything. I’m not sure that I understand the technology behind it, and the obvious concern with it would be frying your portable memory sticks in your devices with the magnets … but if it works it has amazing potential. The second video below is a demonstration of their vision for the "kitchen of the future."

While these three examples were interesting, some of you may still be longing for a more "gadget" oriented video. Check out the following compilation of three manufacturers all producing mind-blowingly slim LCD monitors. Each had amazing picture clarity, were less than an inch thick and had crowds of people surrounding them and dreaming of owning one. Ultra-thins make flat screens look like they are for amateurs.

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