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4:30pm ET, 4/16



Where did Ed park that horse and buggy?

Kerbango Internet radio  

CES blitz:
Work and playthings

January 10, 2001
Web posted at: 4:50 p.m. EST (2150 GMT)

Ed Curran

(CNN) -- The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) covered over 1 million square feet, drew over 110,000 people -- and is over. The closing, Tuesday, was my fifth day in Las Vegas and although I had that trade-show glaze over my eyes, I liked what I saw.

graphic Which of the gadgets Ed Curran mentions here would you most like? (Yes, you can say "all of the above.")

Cirque's tiny keyboard
Ectaco's talking translator
Sony's WEGA TV
SMaL digital camera
Zenith's HDTV
Kerbango Internet radio
Microsoft's Ultimate TV
Toshiba's portable DVD player
Sony's AV/IT wireless pad
All of the above
View Results


From a career standpoint, there's a ton of items to talk about. From a lifestyle standpoint, there's a ton more. Here are a few cool items I found.

•   Cirque's tiny Palm keyboard If you're tired of entering all that data into your Palm-like device with a stylus, have I got a keyboard for you. I played with a prototype of a QWERTY keyboard that plugs right into the bottom of your personal digital assistant.

Flat, small, cool, $40. High-tech doesn't mean high price. I love the folding Stowaway keyboard for $99 but this one from Cirque is very different and also very cool. Available in a few months.

•   Ectaco's talking translator A handheld device that's great if you travel for business or pleasure. This thing has a bunch of common phrases in it. Ask the question, "Can you point me to the closest bathroom?" The unit recognizes what you're saying, finds the appropriate phrase in the other language and says it. Simple.

You talk in one side and the speaker on the back, aimed at the person you are speaking to, talks to them in their language. Available mid-year for about $200 from Ectaco.


•   DataPlay Wow, does this have possibilities. Imagine a record-once CD the size of a quarter. Now imagine that it holds 500MB, or about five hours of digital music. Now imagine that it costs less than $10.

Now you know why so many people are excited about DataPlay. This storage device can hold information from your PDA, cell phone, MP3 player, digital camera or any other digital device. Speedy, low cost, low battery drain.

Watch for DataPlay to be included in a bunch of devices from many manufacturers by the end of the year.

Enough about work

There's so much to talk about, not all of it career-oriented.

"I hope this Sony wireless touchpad comes to the United States soon, it's currently available in Japan for about $1,500. You know, I may be Mr. Technogadgets, but sometimes the Japanese make me look Amish."

I love the new Sony WEGA TV with a 40-inch picture tube; the SMaL digital camera the size of a credit card and as thin as a flat calculator; the 27-inch Zenith High Definition TV with receiver for $2,000; the Internet radios like Kerbango from 3Com; Microsoft's Ultimate TV; and the Toshiba Portable DVD Player with an 8-inch screen.


Finally, the Sony AV/IT wireless touch-screen pad that can be carried around your house.

At the touch of a button it displays the output of your satellite TV receiver or cable box. Press another soft button on the screen and it shows what's playing on your DVD player. Press a button and it lets you jump onto the Internet. Another button to just do e-mail, while your DVD plays in a picture-in-picture display.

Or you can simply use it as a digital, wireless, picture frame to view the digital photos on your computer.

I hope this Sony wireless touchpad comes to the United States soon, it's currently available in Japan for about $1,500. You know, I may be Mr. Technogadgets, but sometimes the Japanese make me look Amish.

Ed Curran has covered the world of high-tech for more than a dozen years and is the publisher of Technogadgets® -- In addition to his weekly column here at, watch for Curran's reports on CNN television.



Trends elusive at Consumer Electronics Show
January 9, 2001
Microsoft unveils new video game console
January 8, 2001

Ectaco Handheld Electronic Dictionaries
Sony Electronics
Stowaway Portable Keyboard
Toshiba Portable DVD-Video Player
Ultimate TV
Zenith High Definition TV

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