Skip to main content

Six eye-catching things from CTIA 2013

We round up our favorite tech news and toys to come out of this week's all-mobile show



LAS VEGAS -- When it comes to emerging tech, crazy accessories, and carrier news, you can always count on a mobile conference to deliver.
CTIA 2013 was a much quieter show than in years past, with the biggest carriers and manufacturers largely opting out to focus on their own launch events.
While this confab felt the brunt of companies' shifting strategies, the absence of the brightest stars meant that we had time to scope out other finds that would usually be drowned out in the din.
Future shows are expected to regain CTIA's breakneck pace and vigor. A move to a fall "supershow" in 2014 promises to bring back the mobile product-palooza just in time for the holidays. Fall 2014 is a long way off, so in the meantime, we present you with the most interesting products and announcements from this week's all-mobile get-together.

CTIA 2013 brings new phones and devices (pictures)

1-2 of 16
Scroll LeftScroll Right

1. Viva Movil cell phone stores
We all hoped Verizon would announce its version of the HTC One during its CTIA press event. Instead, the carrier shocked by announcing an initiative with superstar Jennifer Lopez:Viva Movil.
Essentially a chain of mobile retail stores aimed at the U.S.' Spanish-speaking demographic, Viva Movil stores will exclusively sell Verizon phones and service. Lopez, who is Viva Movil's chief creative officer, also holds the majority stake.
Jennifer Lopez and Verizon Wireless team up for Viva Movil, launching this June in New York.
(Credit: CNET/Kent German)

2. Kevo electronic door lock
It's hard to overstate the cool factor of Kwikset's Kevo electronic locks for your home's front door. The power of Bluetooth stands behind the nearly keyless entry, which requires just a smartphone app and the touch of your finger to secure and gain entry to your residence.
Military-grade security layers help manage the app's security, and immediately wipe and deny entry in the event of a misplaced or stolen phone.
Kwikset Kevo
As soon as this summer, locking your front door when you leave the house could happen in a tap.
(Credit: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)

3. Damson Audio Pearl speakers
We've seen countless wireless Bluetooth speakers over the years, but none quite like theDamson Audio Pearl.
For $199, the Pearl produces quite a bit of volume despite its small size. The gadget uses unique down-firing woofers to reflect sound off of tables and other hard surfaces. A silicone pad coats the speaker's foot to ensure that the device stays put.
Even more interesting is that the Pearl consists of two separate units that handle left and right channels for wireless stereo. The product also can function as a speakerphone when connected to handsets and pairs easily using NFC technology.
Damson Audio Pearl
Damson's Bluetooth Pearl speakers stand out from the crowd.
(Credit: Brian Bennett/CNET)

4. Ericsson's 'smart window'
Ericsson has taken the saying "window of opportunity" to new levels. At CTIA, the company highlighted two novel approaches to integrating mobile technology into your everyday window pane.
One demonstration embeds a cellular antenna inside a glass, which can increase reception inside buildings and trains -- potentially turning a dull offline morning commute into a more productive trip. Ericsson also decked out a window with IR sensors around its edges. With these sensors, users can swipe and tap the window to carry out tasks like switching on a light bulb or turning down music.
Though these "smart windows" won't come to market anytime soon, Ericsson is scoping out companies to license out this useful, future-thinking technology.
Ericsson's "smart window" has a transparent antenna built in, which conveys superior indoor coverage.
(Credit: Roger Cheng/CNET)

5. Kyocera Hydro XTRM
Kyocera doubled down on its successful waterproof smartphone from last year, and announced the Hydro XTRM. ("Extreme," get it?)
Available through U.S. Cellular, the XTRM features a welcome boost in specs compared with the original Hydro. Not only does the XTRM ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it also features a 5-megapixel camera and Smart Sonic Receiver.
Yet the XTRM's main draw is its shockproof durability, and the fact that it can stay underwater at a meter's depth for up to 30 minutes.
Read more about the Kyocera Hydro XTRM.
Kyocera Hydro XTRM (U.S. Cellular)
Kyocera's waterproof Hydro XTRM for Sprint can handle a major dunking.
(Credit: Lynn La/CNET)

6. ZAGGkeys iPad Mini keyboard cases
Case maker ZAGG announced a pair of impressive enclosures for the iPad Mini. Like their counterparts for the full-size iPad, the ZAGGkeys Cover and Folio add a physical keyboard to Apple's popular tiny tablet.
Both priced at $99.99, the Folio accepts the iPad Mini by clicking into a hinge, while the Cover actually encloses the tablet for greater protection. Another interesting twist is that the keyboard is backlit and offers seven lighting options to choose from. Although ZAGG is just shrinking its existing design for the smaller iPad, it's a relatively affordable and usable design for a mass-market product.
ZAGGkeys
Zagg introduced finger-friendly keyboard cases for the iPad Mini.
(Credit: Brian Bennett/CNET)

Scenes from CTIA 2013 (pictures)

1-2 of 14
Scroll LeftScroll Right

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

'Star Trek II' producer talks Ceti Eel, J.J. Abrams, and more (Q&A)

Robert Sallin, producer of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," shares his experience working on the film, looks at the future of "Trek," and dishes on whether that was Ricardo Montalban's real chest.

The release of "Star Trek Into Darkness" has not only spurred interest in the "Trek" world in general, but especially in its film daddy, the original Khan-as-villain movie "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." While the new film takes quite a few detours, it is full of homages to the earlier work. Let's look back to 1982. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" had been released in 1979 and faced a poor critical reception. Paramount, the film's studio, was gun-shy after the movie nearly doubled its original budget, ending up with a $46 million price tag. Nonetheless, plans for a second movie plodded along. It's 30, 40 years later and we have new audiences. You can't keep dwelling on the old guys and the old things. It has…

How to boot directly to the desktop in Windows 8.1

The Windows 8 Start screen is a good starting point for Windows 8 devices with touch screens, but on PCs with standard screens, you might prefer to boot directly to the desktop. Previously, you could bypass the Windows 8 Start screen with Start8, but Windows 8.1 now lets you do it natively. Here's how:
Step 1: Right-click on the Windows 8.1 taskbar, then choose Properties.
Step 2: Click on the Navigation tab, then under the Start screen section, check the box next to "Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in."



The next time you boot Windows 8.1, you'll go straight to the desktop without ever seeing the Start screen.

Best tech gifts under $100 for Dad

Roku's speedy streamer is the best box yetThe good:The Roku 3's excellent new interface and faster processor makes it feel quicker and more responsive than any other streaming box. More than 750 channels are supported, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB.TV, Amazon Cloud Player, and Vudu. It also has cross-platform search that scours several major TV and movie services to find content. And Roku's nifty new remote has a built-in headphone jack that lets you listen without disturbing others. The bad:There's still no official YouTube channel. Some services have an outdated interface on Roku compared to other streamers. The Apple TV still works better within the Apple ecosystem. And the Roku 3 isn't a great option if you're mostly looking to stream your personal digital media collection. The bottom line:The Roku 3 is the best streaming-video box yet, with tons of content sources, lightning-fast performance, and an innovative remote wit…