In-Depth

5 Cool Tech Announcements from CES 2011

Here's what we're looking forward to getting our hands on from last week's Consumer Electronics Show.

First up for 2011's trade show ticket was last week's CES, held in Las Vegas, Nev. The Consumer Electronics Show give the world a glimpse of the gadgets, appliances, software and devices that we'll be clamoring (and emptying out wallets) for in the near future. While the show gave us hundreds of announced products to salivate over, we have narrowed down the list to feature the five products that we're most excited for:

5. RealNetworks' Unifi



Between your home and work computer, laptop, digital camera, smartphone and mp3 player, your digital media is spread far and wide. RealNetworks wants to consolidate all this data in one source: the cloud. Its Unifi cloud service looks to store all your movies, photos and music to access on whatever device you want, wherever you are. It also will sort and organize all your digital content -- perfect for those who have been putting off the time it will take to name those 15 Gigs of music that are unlabeled.
Company: RealNetworks
Cost: There will be both free and premium (cost unknown) versions at service launch
Release date:  First half of 2011

4. MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer



While 3D printing devices have been around for a while now, its cost and operational skills needed have kept them out of the hands of the average consumers. That was until the 3-man company of MakerBot Industries (formed in 2009) showed off its affordable Thing-O-Matic at this year's show. The open-sourced printer can replicate 3D images into relatively affordable plastic ($5 per pound) from a device that can easily fit on a desktop.
Company: MakerBot Industries
Cost: $1225
Release date: Available for order now

3. Toyota Entune



Make a dinner reservation, buy select movie tickets, search Bing, check stocks, sports scores, real-time gas prices and stream Internet radio from your car's dash with Toyota's Entune. This multimedia tool, which streams from your smartphone device, looks to be the next step in connecting the everyday commute with the Internet. Or it could be the next step into making drivers even more distracted.
Company: Toyota
Cost: Not announced
Release date: Will be available in select 2011 Toyota models

2. BlackBerry Playbook



This year's CES proved one thing: Tablets are in high demand. And on the heels of the success of Apple's iPad, all the hardware heavy hitters had their own device to show off. One that impressed the crowd was BlackBerry's Playbook. Weighing less than 15 oz. and sporting a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, Research in Motion showed off how well the Playbook can multitask. And with a front- and rear-facing camera, this tablet, which can connect over a 4G network, is perfect for live video stream (with full-1080p playbook) and video conferencing.
Company: Research in Motion
Cost: Not announced
Release date: 2011

1. Motorola Atrix



With a dual-core Tigra 2 chipset and 1GB of RAM, the Android-powered Atrix looks to shake up the landscape of the smartphone market with the addition of a very unique feature: When plugged into the back of a specially designed laptop dock, the smartphone transforms into a fully functioning PC. Navigate the Web and an assortment of Android apps while having the responsiveness of a real keyboard and mouse. Back on the phone side, the device is the first to use qHD display, includes a 5.0MP camera that can capture video in 720p, features a screen made out of heavy duty Gorilla Glass and has a battery life of nine hours on talk time and 250 hours of standby.
Company: Motorola
Cost: Not announced
Release date: Quarter 1 of 2011

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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