Back in January at CES, Mari and I saw a lot of cool stuff — gadgets on the horizon, scheduled for an early 2010 release. But Quarter 1 has come and gone. And we’re left wondering where some of this stuff is.
One of my show highlights was the Popbox (pictured above). In which Syabas jammed the mighty processing power of the Popcorn Hour C-200, along with a variety of web services and a fine looking UI, into a much smaller enclosure and intending to launch at the low price of $130. Since we checked in at CES, they’ve gone on to demo at SXSW, changed their corporate email from @syabas to @popbox, replaced their PR agency, and just announced a revised shipping schedule… but no actual shipping date. I’m still very much looking forward to this device. And, given the number of inquiries, so are others.
In Vegas, I was (voluntarily) sucked right into the Ideapad U10 excitement. However, after the show I realized Lenovo’s Skylight is potentially a better solution for me. It’s a lighter weight device with a singular, lighter weight Linux OS in the ‘smartbook’ category. Sort of what the never launched Palm Foleo might have evolved into. Originally scheduled to ship in April, we now hear the Skylight mini laptop is slated for a worldwide June launch.
The makers of the HAVA placeshifters appeared poised to rebrand themselves with the Volcano – a “God box” device, combining DVR, Slingbox, and media extender capabilities. A few weeks after CES, they put out a press release riding the iPad coat tails, re-announcing the product as the Vulkano (ugh) and reaffirming a March launch. I don’t mind this one being a bit late as they have huge ambitions and the prototype was extremely rough around the edges. Some extra time for Monsoon to smooth it out should work to their advantage and they’re now advertising an April, 2010 launch.
Slacker Caching on iPhone
Slacker is our preferred Internet radio provider, and at CES we learned they’d bring station caching to the iPhone platform. Offline playback being ideal for those times when you don’t have cell reception or WiFi. Like cross country flights. Unfortunately, the software update didn’t launch in February as originally intended. But I’m no less excited and regularly email my Slacker reps for updates… and know it’s still coming. Hopefully we’ll learn more in the very near future.
Plastic Logic QUE
The sexiest (and priciest) of e-readers will blow right past their April ship date with Plastic Logic QUE pre-orderers being notified of a summer launch, perhaps June 24th. And the company may or may not be up for sale. Perhaps the delay will provide enough time to reevaluate pricing (and perhaps manufacturing) in light of the iPad.
I had a pretty strange experience with the the ZAGGbox people at CES. Their rep didn’t effectively explain why I’d want it and what a screen protector company is doing in this space. Additionally, I was told they’d announce pricing and begin taking pre-orders the day after CES. Given how my briefing went down, I can’t say I was surprised when that didn’t happen. In fact, three months later, we still don’t know when the HD switching and recording device will ship or for exactly how much.