CES: Digital Experience doesn't disappoint

By Ted Kritsonis, Special to CBCNews.ca

LAS VEGAS - The Consumer Electronics Show's Digital Experience event at Caesar's Palace was bustling Sunday night with new and up-and-coming companies eager to show off cutting-edge products.

Eye-Fi has an SD-shaped memory card with built-in Wi-Fi capability so that you can take photos and have them saved to any folder you want on a networked PC or Mac right on the fly. No word on when we┬╣ll see it in Canada, but it should be sometime this year. The Eye-Fi retails for $100 in the U.S.


MagicJack is a USB-based voice-over-IP (VoIP) gadget much like the V-Phone from Vonage. You just plug it into your laptop's USB port, and you can make or take calls - no software to install at all. Currently, you can make calls all over the Canada and the U.S. for $40 in the first year, and $20 per year thereafter. Unlike the V-Phone, the MagicJack will work on a Mac, too.


Then there was iLuv, which showcased the i1255. It's the first iPod/DVD hybrid player that lets you play content from both mediums. It will retail forabout $150 when it finally hits retail in Canada this spring.


The Channelme.tv station was generating some buzz, too. It's partly a pet project of popular talk show host Carson Daly, and it basically tries to give people a platform on which to set up their own web broadcast channel. Hard to say how far this will go, but representatives told me that it will be possible for users to make money from advertising if they can attract and audience. And this all starts with a $25 annual investment for your own online station. I'll report more as I hear about that.

Finally, PVConnect is a software application that allows you to stream content to a variety of devices in the home through Wi-Fi. This could be video to a TV, photos to a digital photo frame or music to another PC. The cost is about $20, though a company executive admitted the software marketing plan isn't really aimed at taking the consumer market by storm at this point (looks like they might want their technology to be bought). Still, it's a cool product that anyone out there can download and buy.

(The author is a Toronto-based freelance writer)