Road Worrier has spent the past week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, checking out the latest and greatest in gadgetry. That means that once again it's time for a roundup of the new products that might tickle the regular traveller's fancy in 2010.
The big trend at CES was 3D televisions, which aren't going to make much difference to travellers for a while. By 2013 I expect there'll be some kind of 3D portable media player, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. The handful of products that grabbed me this time around were decidedly more pragmatic in nature.
One of the reasons earbuds often sound lousy is they don't fit in your ear very well. Yurbuds are rubber sleeves which come in a variety of sizes — grab the one that matches you and pop it over the buds for a fitted listening experience. To select the size, you can either email a photo of your ear to the company or use a specially-developed iPod application (though that process also used a US coin for a sizing comparison when it was demonstrated at CES). After getting a size 6 pair, I have to say there's a noticeable difference in sound, and the added bonus that the earbuds won't fall out if I accidentally yank on the cord. Yurbuds are available now via the company's site for $US19.99.
Sony Bloggie camera
As the name suggests, the Bloggie is aimed squarely at people who want to take pictures and shoot video — more specifically, high-definition video — to post online. That makes it a potentially interesting travel tool, but what makes it particularly notable is that it makes good on Sony's pledge to move away from Memory Stick, using an SD card as its main storage option.
I'm going to run a full review of the camera, which I got the chance to play with ahead of its Australian release in March, next week — suffice to say that it's pretty easy to operate. For a taster, check out some Vegas footage (of the volcano attraction at the Mirage) I shot on it, which proves that a tripod might still be a useful addition in my case:
Given the ubiquity of the BlackBerry in the corporate world, it's amazing that this product has taken so long. Plug it into your BlackBerry and you can then connect it directly to a projector or monitor, letting you give PowerPoint presentations without needing a laptop. It's a specific niche, but one that makes the notion of leaving your PC at home for brief business trips much more realistic. The product is due to go on sale later this year.
Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman has been branded as a Vegas expert by fellow Australians this week, but is keen to get home. His Road Worrier column, looking at technology and organising tips for travellers, appears each week on Lifehacker.