A number of cool and weird items are on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show, including a money-saving surge protector and a pair of goggles that double as a mobile TV. Also on display: Silicon Mountain's Allio high-definition LCD TV, which doubles up as an all-in-one PC, and Meade's ETX-LS, a smart telescope that takes novice star-gazers on an audio-visual tour of the night sky. Here's a snapshot of some of the cool gadgets and electronics on the CES show floor.
Save money on power
Finding a way to save on energy bills? Monster Cable is showing the GreenPower MDP 900 surge protector, which automatically cuts off energy supply to electronics like PCs and peripherals when they're not in use. Users can keep devices plugged into the power, but not worry about wasting kilowatts whenever they go into sleep mode.
The surge protector is particularly effective for PCs. If a PC is shut off or goes to sleep, the surge protectors cuts power supply to connected PC peripherals like printers and monitors. When a PC is switched on, the power supply to peripherals is activated. The power strip isn't visually pretty, but it can pay for itself if you use a lot of consumer electronics.
Depending on the connected equipment, using the GreenPower MDP 900 can return as much as $US100 to $130 annually, a Monster Cable spokesperson said. That's pretty close to its $129.95 pricetag.
Mobile TV goggles
If your cell phone doesn't play TV, why not try a pair of goggles? Siano Mobile Silicon and Hongshi have fancied a pair of goggles that can receive live TV signals, enabling users to watch TV on the go. The goggles can display TV images on a screen, and TV broadcasts are processed by a tiny box that connects to the goggles through wires. Headphones are attached to the side of the goggles. Users simply have to slip on the goggles and choose the TV channel they want to watch. No cellular networks or cables are required, the company said.
The goggles, made by Hongshi, uses Siano chips to receive and process television signals. They currently support only the CMMB (China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting) broadcast standard used in China, but may work with other broadcasting technologies in the future, a Siano spokeswoman said.