You may also be interested in part 1 of this series, which focused on audio.

Recycling old ideas

A company called People Power had a pretty neat idea. There are currently 50 million functioal but disconnected iPhones sitting in people’s houses. Why not do something with them? So they invented the Power People Presence app, which allows you to monitor events your disconnected iPhone on your home’s local wireless network picks up, and respond to them.

The PPP app can respond in a wide variety of ways, from playing a sound, emailing you, informing a connected third-party device to do something, turning on the camera, uploading video, and streaming pictures to the internet.

This runs on an open platform that anyone can code for greater control. At the moment, the company supports Monster’s line of remote control outlet plugs and several devices, so a user walking up to the door might be greeted by the living room lights coming on, or if the back door sensor detects something, you might decide to turn on your stereo, play a loud shotgun cocking noise, followed by the sound of someone walking down the stairs.

You can use it as a baby monitor also, and streaming video is on the horizon, but the triggers you can set up in the app were pretty extensive.

The other pretty neat thing is that it’s not just for old abandoned tech; it also moves forward to support any future sort of sensor input: thermal imaging, excessive power drain, water detection, and more can be incorporated as they come up.

The app will be rolling out shortly, and will be available for more than i-devices soon.

There were other companies at CES that had much the same idea, but none seemed ready yet or that far along.

Energy boost

5-Hour Energy and GoldX are combining forces. Charge your brain, charge your phone. The combo was evidently proposed to get GoldX into the places that 5-Hour Energy already was, and seemed to fit.

You can look for similar displays popping up everywhere fairly soon. Bookstores were evidently the initial planned marketing path.

Several companies have released portable chargers this year that look like a Wiimote controller, and GoldX is one of them.

Roaming power

Travelocity appears to have decided to enter the mobile power and charger market. You’ll never have to roam alone, or worry about your battery going dead.

 

Video is catching up to the future

There were several interesting video enhancements this year, none of which looked at all good in a photograph or video.

Combining humidifier technology, a decently powered fan, and a projector, one company made an in-air screen. While cool looking, it was cold and damp. Excessive moisture limited the places you could use this without a dehumidifier.

Another company had a really neat pyramid floating 3D display that projected an image into the middle of a giant glass pyramid. It was quite neat, except for needing to have a giant glass pyramid in order to see an in-air display.

There were several transparent windows that could be turned into grey-scale advertising. They seemed to be aimed at jewelry stores and other things that would have a strong back-light, but they could probably easily get into the window replacement game. Want to watch TV? Open the curtains.

It was pretty neat, but nowhere as functional as the LED curtains I saw years ago. It seems someone should combine LED curtains, solar cells, point of contact air conditioning, and these new displays, thus creating a window that you can either look out of, “close the curtains,” watch TV, use as a tablet, or move heat in one direction.

TVs were bigger, thinner, smaller, had larger or smaller numbers, and generally did not appear to change much. I’m sure someone who’s really into video will tell me I’m wrong.

I saw a 3D Android tablet that a Korean manufacturer is attempting to put out in the sub $100 range. However, I couldn’t even look in that general direction, as the thing was very disorienting. That’s odd, since I’m fine with every other 3D screen I’ve run across.

There were more devices playing Gangnam Style and Empire State of Mind than there had a right to be. Also, Marvel’s The Avengers. If a TV or radio was on, it was playing one of those three, it seemed.