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Highlights from CES 2012

The Consumer Electronics Show is an annual gathering of companies unveiling their latest techno-gadgets for all consumers to enjoy. With 140,000 visitors and 2,700 exhibitors in the flashiest place on the planet, Las Vegas, it’s nothing less than a 4-day long spectacle, a giant toy room and a zoo full of the latest and greatest.

Here are some of the most interesting highlights:

1. Earbuds that Monitor Heart Rate:

Gym fanatics and runners are going to love this one. Instead of having to deal with all the extra weight and wires that come with carrying a heart rate monitor around the chest or arm, plus an iPod tucked into an arm strap with headphones, a company called Valencell demoed some of their 2-in-1 earbuds this year. The earbuds would monitor heart rate without the need for additional equipment. Talk about being light on your feet! And cyclists note: only one earbud is needed to check pulse, so you can still listen for traffic. Let’s hope the demo went over well so we can see these available for purchase soon.

2. Microphone USB:

As gadgets get more and more streamlined, here’s one to add to the list. Rather than using recording technology and then transferring it over to the computer, Blue Microphones propose using their handy dandy microphone USB. It plugs right into the computer so you can record and then plug in with one single motion. The company touts the Tiki device as having as-good human voice recognition through voice isolation and noise-cancelling technologies. Tiki goes for $59 on the consumer marketplace.

3. A Projector for iPhone Photos and Video:

Epson, the leader in printing technologies, now adds iPhone projectors to its long list of technological advancements. White it’s great to look at photos and watch videos wherever you are by powering up the iPhone or other Apple devices, it’s even better to watch them in full big screen glory. Now you can share photos and videos with friends by popping your iPhone into the Epson MultiPlex, which has a dock for Apple products and can also be connected to any laptop or Blu-ray player. Then you just need to find a nice big white surface, and voila! Instant projection of your favorite media. These bad boys retail between $599 and $699.

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Epson Releases Slew of New Projectors

Epson, TechnologyNancy Woo05 January 2012

As we let go of the old and usher in the new during this exciting time of year, there’s one company that’s successfully bridging the divide between the two. Epson, a company which has long been a leader in printing devices, is also one of the world’s premier projector developers. Now, a projector, you say? Projectors are largely associated in the pop culture mindset as responsible for those campy 1970s sex ed videos in high school classrooms, or as an early form of film viewing. Thus, the old.

However, Epson has been lately breathing fresh life back into an old form of technology. No longer are these projectors dinosaurs to be dug up from the attic, but revamped, brand new tools with high definition imaging to be used either for home viewing or office presentations.

Let’s start with the latter. Just this week, Epson announced the release of its EX5210 Multimedia Projector.

Sleek and shiny, it is meant for business use, offering bright, HD images for sharp presentations. No computer is necessary for hook-up, making transport easy and convenient. All you need is a USB device to plug in. The data projected is 3LCD quality and the device comes with a solid feature set, like a built-in TV tuner, remote mouse support and speakers included. With native resolution of 1024 x 768 and brightness rated at 2600 ANSI lumens, this projector will surely do any presentation justice. However, some reviews say that text imaging could be sharper, and there is no wireless connectivity. The product retails between $499.99 and $549.99.

Also, perhaps unbeknownst to American audiences, Epson India has also just unveiled their 3-D projector for home use, a stunning 3-D HD product that was just revealed at the Consumer Electronic Imaging Fair and Photofair 2012. Developers and product critics expect for this news to trigger similar HD3D home use projectors from competitors like Sony and Panasonic. As it stands now, the EH-TW 6000 is being directed at wealthier consumers in India, and the company hopes to sell at least 750 units in the first year, or roughly 0.5% of the total market.

3-D projectors for the home theater? Who knows how that will pan out in competition with HDTVs that offer 3-D technology? Perhaps we shall see.

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