CES: A weather predicting umbrella, cell phone backup, the MoJo Mouse and more....

CES: A weather predicting umbrella, cell phone backup, the MoJo Mouse and more....

Summary: Here at CES, in between stops for the longer product discussions that I've had with many of the exhibitors so far, I've been doing what I call drive-bys. This is where I stop for really quick takes at some products or gadgets that might be of interest to some members of ZDNet's audience.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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Here at CES, in between stops for the longer product discussions that I've had with many of the exhibitors so far, I've been doing what I call drive-bys. This is where I stop for really quick takes at some products or gadgets that might be of interest to some members of ZDNet's audience. I already posted one series of drive-bys and now I have the second. In this collection, I took a look at five products.

One of the products I "drove by" is called Backup Pal (pictured left). At first, judging by its name, I thought it was one of those backup products that tries to take the drudgery out of trying to backup your PC. But, as I found out, it's for backing up your cell phone instead. Backup Pal is for backing up the contacts in your cell phone. Then, if you ever lose your cell phone or just change to a new one, you can restore them from Backup Pal with the push of one button. The cable that comes with Backup Pal for connecting it to your phone has interchangeable tips for compatibility with most phones on the market.

Quite frankly, I think our wireless carriers should be providing this sort of backup as a service to us and it should be seamless and transparent. It's ridiculous that our phones don't automatically replicate the data to some repository on the carrier side so that, at any time, the data can be retrieved. It would also be a way for the carriers to maintain loyalty with their customers. Let's say you have a couple of hundred contacts in your phone and you want to get a new phone. Knowing that your wireless carrier can load your new phone with your contact data at the time of purchase, you'd have some incentive to stay with that carrier.

<sidebar>The three most important things when buying a phone are coverage, coverage, and coverage. If a wireless carrier doesn't offer solid coverage at your place of employment, in your home, and on the roads you frequent, a phone that's provisioned by that carrier may not do you a whole lot of good.</sidebar>
Also in this series of drive-bys, we saw Magna's Video Mirror. Magna has done something very clever by taking the image of a video camera a piping it into rear-view or side-view mirrors of your car so that you can see what's behind your car as you're backing up. After seeing Planet82's "Nano-Cam," I can envision Magna's Video Mirror along with the light sensitivity of a Nano-Cam forming a new dynamic duo of car safety.

Another product I drove by was the MoGo Mouse (pictured right). If you're one of those road warriors that prefers an external mouse to the touchpad or pointing stick used on pretty much all notebook computers, then MoGo Mouse may be for you. It's a wireless Bluetooth mouse that collapses into a form factor that's so small that it fits into a PC Card slot. Even better, that's how it recharges itself. About the only downside I can imagine is that if you're on the road, and using the mouse everytime the computer is powered up and open, then it misses most of its opportunity for recharging (I'm not sure if the MoGo mouse will recharge itself in a PC Card slot while a notebook is in stand-by mode).

In this video, you'll also see the Accuweather-enabled umbrella: an umbrella with a handle that lights up when the Accuweather weather service (which blankets most of the country) predicts than rain is on its way.  And finally, for you guitar players out there, you'll see me doing a little guitar lick from Yes' Roundabout (I'm not very good) and piping that into a PC where any sound recording application can record it. The product that makes this possible is called Lightsnake. It has a 1/4" phono jack on one end (goes into your guitar) and a USB adapter on the other. And, it lights up while you're using it.

Here's the video:

 

 

Topic: Mobility

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