Other companies have tried--and failed--to marry the worlds of the Internet and TV. Yahoo is hoping to change that with its new ConnectedTV service. The service will require an Internet-connected TV (many of which also have been announced here at CES); that will allow you to visit a Yahoo site where you can browse and download available widgets right to your TV.
These widgets--which will be created by third parties like YouTube, eBay, or Flickr--overlay Internet content on top of your regularly scheduled programming. You could select the eBay widget from the dock at the bottom of your screen, and shop as you watch TV. Or you could hit a Twitter widget, and begin "tweeting" about the show you're watching in real time.
The Nearly Indestructible Motorola Tundra VA76r
If you're a bit on the klutzy side, you might be interested in the rugged Motorola Tundra VA76r from AT&T. This cell is designed to withstand the most strenuous conditions, meeting US 810F Military Specifications (MIL) for drop, dust, vibration, humidity, severe temperatures and rain. Its thick, rubberized encasing can endure being dropped, thrown, kicked--you name it. It is the ideal phone for people who work in tough environments--and for the accident-prone individual. Yes, it can even endure the dreaded tech embarrassment: being dropped in a toilet.
The Tundra also has Motorola's new CrystalTalk Plus for background noise elimination. Motorola demoed this technology at their CES booth and it was quite impressive. Even with loud music blaring in the background, parties on the other line came in loud and clear.
At a time when the digital music industry is finally moving decisively away from restrictions on your tunes, SanDisk unveiled a new MP3 player that goes entirely in the opposite direction. The company's $100 slotRadio comes with a microSD card loaded with 1000 songs and almost as many constraints.
The songs are locked not only to the card, but to the player. You can't even determine the order in which you play them; you can switch from genre to genre, but if your favorite Country tune is #10 in the playlist, you have to listen to the nine songs ahead of it before you hear the one really want. When asked about the constraints, the company suggests we "think of it like radio." But isn't the whole point of the digital music revolution that we don't have to deal with the annoyances of radio anymore?
Keep your eyes feeling fresh with Gunnar's specially tinted, wraparound glasses. They're designed to prevent eyestrain, because they're calibrated to focus best at the distance at which most people keep their screen. And because people tend to blink less when they stare at a screen, which leads their eyes to dry up, the Gunnar glasses wrap closely around your head to raise the humidity near your eyes, keeping them moist. They also feature a yellowish tint, which is designed to make the fluorescent lights found in most offices seem warmer and more soothing.
If you've got perfect vision, you can pick up Gunnar glasses over the counter for somewhere between $100 and $180. If you need a prescription pair, they get more pricey, as much as $600 for a pair with progressive lenses. But that's a small price to pay for both feeling better and looking like Bono.
Tiny OLED UMPC from OQO
We've seen a lot netbooks here at CES already. We've even seen some nice slim and sleek laptops from Sony that we'd like to call netbooks . But the latest from OQO, the Model 2+ (actually classified as an Ultra-Mobile PC) makes those other notebooks look like back breakers.
The OQO Model 2+ weighs less than a pound, sports a 5-inch OLED touch screen display (800x480), and has a slide-out backlit keyboard. The dainty UMPC packs a 1.86-GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, a 60GB SSD HD, and can connect via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HSDPA, and EvDO. Your price: $1000.
TiVo's New Search System
Who says there's nothing on TV? Your TiVo set-top box just may be able to help you find something to watch. TiVo showed us its new beta search system for TiVo HD, HD XL, and Series 3 DVRs. It helps you find content you're interested in from many different sources and lets you search in interesting new ways.
For example, you can search for a TV show by typing in its name. Once you've found the series you're looking for, TiVo Search gives season and episode numbers for each upcoming show, and will also alert you to opportunities to buy or rent the video from services like Amazon On Demand. It also finds related videos from sources like YouTube and suggests related shows that you may like.
Seatback In-Car TV Delivered by Audiovox and MediaFlo
Wednesday night the duo showed off their cellular-based in-car TV system. Programming will cost $50 a month, and will include remixed broadcasts of shows from Comedy Central, FOX, NBC, and CBS.