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From Thunderbolt to Robots: Apple cast a big shadow over CES 2012

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Apple didn't need to pay for a booth at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show this week to make a big impression; the company's products and technologies were visible everywhere, from third party demos to its competitors' future roadmaps.

A wide range of trade show exhibitors at CES made heavy use of Macs and iOS devices, a big shift from previous years where, even at the Apple-centric Macworld Expo, third parties often demonstrated their products primarily using Windows PCs.

Segments of the CES exhibit halls were dedicated to iOS devices, or other markets dominated (or well represented) by Apple products acting as a host for third party apps, devices, accessories or services, a reflection of the growing presence of Macs and iOS devices among consumers in general.

From the GlobalVCard virtual credit card transaction system being demonstrated on an iPad 2 using video mirroring to video surveillance systems with iPad and iPhone clients such as the Withings "Smart Baby" monitor (the company also demonstrated a Smart Baby scale and builds WiFi BMI scales and an iOS blood pressure monitor) to the BigC Dino-Lite digital microscope shown attached to a MacBook, Apple's devices were visible everywhere. That's in part, no doubt, because Apple's gear has a fit and finish that makes it well suited to demonstrate.



Made for iOS, Mac

Other appearances of Macs, iPads and iPhones were exclusive, ranging from iOS docks and accessories spanning from pico projectors and 3D projection devices to dye sublimation printers (using Bluetooth, not AirPlay) to remote control helicopters and model cars outfitted with cameras and controlled via apps.



Small developer Catalyst Lifestyle demonstrated its $69.99 EscapeCapsule, a waterproof case customized for iPhone 4 and 4S to protect the device from "water, rain, snow, sand, mud, scratches and anything else you can throw at it," and capable of keeping it dry even submerged a few feet under water.



On the Mac side, accessories developer Belkin was showing off its new Thunderbolt Express Dock, a $299 unit that connects to 2011 model year Macs via Thunderbolt.



Similar to Apple's own Thunderbolt Display, it makes available three USB 2.0 ports, one Firewire 800 port, one HDMI port for video output, one 3.5mm Audio port, one Gigabit Ethernet port and two Thunderbolt ports (one upstream and one downstream) for daisy-chaining to another Thunderbolt compatible device.

While Intel is hoping to bring its Thunderbolt interconnect to general PCs later this year, Apple embraced the new technology a year ago and rapidly rolled out support for it across its entire product line of Macs that previously lacked PCIe expansion capabilities.

On page 2 of 2: I, Robot

I, Robot

CES saw a number of celebrity visits from stars such as Justin Timberlake (co-owner of MySpace), Will Smith (promoting Sony's 3D films) and Kelly Clarkson (performing during the Sony keynote), before the show floor's robotics area received an enthusiastically paid celebrity endorsement visit from Justin Bieber.

Bieber appeared to handle TOSY's mRobo, a dancing robot endowed with a large speaker (below).

Nearby, a separate booth was showing off a new robotic base kit for iPhone by Xybotyx (a product which Bieber incidentally referred to as "neat" while perusing the show floor).



Slated for availability around March, the $110 device gives an iPhone mobility via wheels. Or from the opposite perspective, the iPhone gives the Xybot's wheeled base around $800 of computing power, cameras and sensors, enabling the base to deliver a sophisticated robotics device that shares its expensive core in a dual role as a smartphone.

David Shafter of Xybotyx outlined some of the features the new device, including the ability to remotely control the base from another iOS device, with support for video surveillance and even a FaceTime-like display of the operator (show below navigating the maze from an iPhone app).

Because the robotic iPhone can be controlled from anywhere via the Internet, Shafter explained it could be used to explore around at home from any remote location, or even used as a way to play hide and seek with your kids while off on a business trip.




The kit will offer third party developers tap into control of the iPhone robot via its included software or from their own apps. Shafter noted that the iPhone 4 was virtually ideal for serving as the brain of such a robot device, given its available processing power and a wide array of sensors ranging from its accelerometer and gyroscope to its digital compass and cameras.

While other smartphones now offer many of the same technical specifications and sensors, they don't support a standard port or API, making it more difficult to deliver a general purpose robot that can tightly integrate with apps to deliver a fully functional product like the dock-connector driven Xybot.

One alternative on display was the $130 Sphero, a standalone robotic ball that can be controlled via an external smartphone (including any 2009 or newer iOS 4.0 or 5.0 device or some late modeled Android phones with Bluetooth and support for one of four screen resolutions). The hard plastic ball includes color changing LEDs and incorporates an internal drive with its own guidance system including a gyro, accelerometer and compass.

Sphero doesn't take advantage of the iPhone's hardware like the Xybot can, so it offers a simpler experience and limited functionality at a higher price, but can work with a broader array of smartphone clients, specifically listing nine popular Android models. Rather than being an open ended robot it, Sphero is more of a gaming accessory that expands app-based games to control an external, interactive ball device.



Outside of the throngs of third party developers and distributors showing off their apps and accessories for Macs and iOS devices, Apple's more direct competitors were also making passive mention (intentionally or not) of the biggest and most successful tech company to ignore CES.

A followup report on Apple's peers at CES will describe how the company's overwhelming presence was felt in the reactions of the industry to the runaway success of iOS, MacBooks and initiatives such as iCloud, AirPlay and the App Store.
post #2 of 16
I hope Monkey Boy noticed this fact on his last official visit to CES. Apple everywhere, love it!
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #3 of 16
Hello - do you guys ever proofread your articles?

"and capable of keeping it dry even emerged a few feet under water" I think you mena submerged.

Then in another one you have in the first paragraph "support" where you mean report.

You guys a slipping badly!
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Hello - do you guys ever proofread your articles?

"and capable of keeping it dry even emerged a few feet under water" I think you mena submerged.

Then in another one you have in the first paragraph "support" where you mean report.

You guys a slipping badly!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Hello - do you guys ever proofread your articles?

"and capable of keeping it dry even emerged a few feet under water" I think you mena submerged.

Then in another one you have in the first paragraph "support" where you mean report.

You guys a slipping badly!

Wow, you're so angry you posted it twice!
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rothgarr View Post

Wow, you're so angry you posted it twice!



no - it was an accident - I even tried to delete the second but that did not work. I only clicked the "post" button once but it gave me 2.
post #6 of 16
Why does that robot have a huge erection?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why does that robot have a huge erection?

Aw, man, you just couldn't let it slide, huh? I guess someone was bound to say it.

Maybe he's a really big Bie-le-ber.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why does that robot have a huge erection?

Because its getting a HJ from the Beeb
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Hello - do you guys ever proofread your articles?

"and capable of keeping it dry even emerged a few feet under water" I think you mena submerged.

Then in another one you have in the first paragraph "support" where you mean report.

You guys a slipping badly!

The appropriate way to report a minor typo in a weblog entry is to email the author or the site with a correction. Posting a seething comment about how the sky is falling because you found one error in a long report just makes you look like a douchbag.

It's not necessary. We're not paying to access AI. This is not Encyclopedia Britannica. Get a grip. It doesn't appear that AI monitors the comments that closely anyway, so if there's some significant error, emailing the site will probably get it fixed faster. Unless your goal is just to be a dick.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

The appropriate way to report a minor typo in a weblog entry is to email the author or the site with a correction. Posting a seething comment about how the sky is falling because you found one error in a long report just makes you look like a douchbag.

It's not necessary. We're not paying to access AI. This is not Encyclopedia Britannica. Get a grip. It doesn't appear that AI monitors the comments that closely anyway, so if there's some significant error, emailing the site will probably get it fixed faster. Unless your goal is just to be a dick.

Careful. You spelled douchebag wrong. He may turn his ire on you next.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Why does that robot have a huge erection?

Justin Bieber is just REALLY into robots.

Seriously though, he'll never again hold a microphone up to a robot's groin area with quite the same orientation.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

Hello - do you guys ever proofread your articles?

"and capable of keeping it dry even emerged a few feet under water" I think you mena submerged[/I].

Then in another one you have in the first paragraph "support" where you mean report.

You guys a slipping badly!

Did you proofread your own post?
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post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Aw, man, you just couldn't let it slide, huh? I guess someone was bound to say it.

Maybe he's a really big Bie-le-ber.

I guess it is not just the teenage kids who like JBieber, now robots too judging from his manly* reaction.

*and why did DED posted that pics anyway?
post #14 of 16

"Bieber-Bieber-Bieber"

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #15 of 16
I'm sorry but that photo of Bieber grabbing the "joystick" is just wrong.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Slated for availability around March, the $110 device gives an iPhone mobility via wheels. Or from the opposite perspective, the iPhone gives the Xybot's wheeled base around $800 of computing power, cameras and sensors, enabling the base to deliver a sophisticated robotics device that shares its expensive core in a dual role as a smartphone.

Meh. Let me know when it can climb trees.

Only a matter of time before you can play hide-and-seek with your kids using the Parrot AR Drone quadricopter when you're on business trips.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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