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The Overlooked Hits at CES 2012

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New Card Ushers in Age of Instant Digital Image Publishing
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the largest trade show of its kind worldwide. With 140,000 attendees, all the glitz and hype it's all too easy to miss some really interesting new products that can be game changers.

In a little booth tucked away in the back of one of the 36 football fields of displays in a more than a dozen halls, in a non descript booth of the SD Association, Toshiba is showing is showing its 8GB FlashAir card. The card incorporates WiFi on the card.

This can turn hundreds of millions of digital cameras worldwide into instant publishing devices.

Take hi res pictures of the hockey game you're at with a digital SLR and by connecting to your cell phone you could instantly broadcast those to your Huffington Post Tech blog! Or send images to the photo editor at the Globe and Mail, or to your Facebook page without having to connect to a PC.

Toshiba originally announced the product in Germany in September. But it hasn't made it into the buzz amongst the journalists here at the show.

For Heavy Smartphone Users
I tweet heavily when I'm at a conference or trade show. And I take and post a lot of pictures to Twitter. At CES I will probably hit 100 tweets and photos in a day (follow me @JimHarris). As a result, I run my Blackberry battery down three times during a 16 hour day -- and the Blackberry is known to be highly optimized for efficient power consumption.

If you're in the middle of a conference or walking a trade show floor there's no electric socket that you can plug into. That's where Tylt's Energi comes in. It's a travel charger (the electric plug folds up and down) that also serves as a back up battery. Its Lithium Ion battery holds 1,800 mAh ( milliampere-hour) of power. It has an embedded flexible micro USB charging cable and a USB socket -- so you can actually charge two devices from it simultaneously.

I've been using the Energi heavily during my 16 hour days here at CES. I've even been charging my Blackberry 9900 while walking the show floor. The device is sleek and a must have for heavy smartphone users. There are a few other competitive brands which I haven't evaluated yet, but I think I'll do a roundup after the show comparing them all.

For tablet users, Tylt also has a 5.4 ounce 5,000 mAh device called the PowerPlant which will charge a 7" tablet once or a smartphone twice.

For a heavy mobile user like me, in a show like CES this product is absolutely invaluable because I will run through three charges in a day.

Real-time Health Diagnostics
2012-01-13-Toshiba8GBFlashAir.jpgOne of the big themes of this year's CES is bio medical feedback. A company called Valencell is demoing earbuds pictured here that measure your heart rate while working out.

There's an adapter that attaches to your iPhone so that you can listen to music while monitoring your pulse. You only need one earbud (the right one) to get your pulse - so cyclists who also want to listen for traffic can.

More on this theme real time biomedical feedback in a future blog.

Jim Harris is at CES all week blogging and tweeting about innovation, what's new & exciting and Green IT. He is a management consultant and bestselling author who speaks at conferences and seminars on leadership and change.

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