So Cebit has drawn to an end, drowning under floods of sweat, beer, coffee, Jaegermeister, bratwurst fat and even sunshine. Around 339.000 people decided to hang out in Hangover. Unfortunately the locomotive driver trade union thought it’d be spiffing to strike on Friday, Deutsche Messe wasn’t all too happy and claimed the strike cost 10,000 visitors.
Despite being sunny for most of the week and closing with a friendly sun shining down on the fairground, it did indeed snow on Friday night 2 am. It seems the weather has very volatile, short cycles in Hangover.
As every year, hardly anything utterly titillating was launched waiting to tickle and pounce on consumer’s wallets, as is the case with Mobile World Congress, Computex and Consumer Electronics Show.
Cebit, however, is far from boring. For hacks, it is a great place to meet and greet each other, and it is always fun to say “hello!” to the major companies, hear what they have to say whilst being politely critical and drinking up their coffee. Except, that is, when a product is utter crap and should be stuffed into a recycling system along with the people responsible. Please set to slowest speed for prolonged suffering and amusement, thank you.
Whatever the case, it is time for Techeye’s Top of the Pops and Flops of the Poops.
The prize in the category Cheekiest Chinese OEM Product Copy goes to this unit. Somehow it managed to go unnoticed by the authorities despite infringing Sony’s PSP logo trademark.
Techeye’s lips will stay sealed who made it, yet let it be known that it comes with capacities of 2GB, 4GB and 8GB for $28.80, $30 and $35 respectively. This is presumed to be the wholesale price.
It can run “public domain” NES, Sega Megadrive, Gameboy Advance 32 and 64 bit games, at least that’s what the catalogue says. It can be used as a voice recorder, MP3 player and supports diverse vidf formats such as RM, AVI, FLV, 3GP MP4, WMV, MPG and so on as long as the resolution is below 1280 x 720. The catalogue contains a ton of other units which seem to be Gameboy Advance and PSP copies, alongside – what else – tablets.
Last year’s nominee had its booth raided before Techeye managed to wander back and take a picture of its Amazon Kindle ebook reader.
And the winner in the category Most Innovative Product goes to the vacuum cleaners on display in the iF product design display in pavillon 11. No, just joking.
It is rather difficult to determine a winner, since most of the stuff has already been shown off elsewhere and was not unveiled during the course of the week.
Nonetheless, Techeye believes the ACL/ SeeFront booth showed a promising 3D technology, using the pixelshaders in a GPU to keep an autostereoscopic image in line with head movement.
“Rather Useless Gadget That Is Nice To Have” is Aiptek’s 3D HD camcorder on sale for around €200. Only useful if one has a 3D telly and shutter glasses lying around somewhere at home. Buy it for the kids, it will make the happy and keep them busy for at least a week or two, although one might wind up having to watch their newest home-made movie every few hours.
“User Friendly Tablet Of The Show” award goes to the Asus for giving the Slider tablet a keyboard, making it a bit more usable and useful than its brothers and sisters from hither and thither.
“Retro Unit Of The Show” goes to GNet, or Qingbang Elec (SZ) Co., Ltd. from Shenzhen for making a unit that brought back memories of the now ancient and extinct Psion PDAs and organisers, albeit with touchscreens in addition to the keyboard.
Two pocket sliders were on display running Windows, the MI15 and MI12. Mouse functionality was either the surface on the right of the screen (MI12) or a optic mouse pad (MI15). The MI15 was based around an Intel Atom Z515 clocked at 1.2GHz, whereas the MI12 can be bought using either the Z515 or Z510. Both had USB 2.0 ports, a Micro SD reader and the obligatory headphone out, mic in. MI15 featured GPS, WiFi and 3G, its smaller brother only 3G and WiFi.
German company Dermalog gets the first (and last) prize for “Dual-Use Tech For Potential Misuse”. Dermalog has been around for 15 years and holds patents for fingerprint scanners that can tell whether its a real, live finger pressing down on the scanner, or a cold, hacked off finger, or a copy.
Around 95 percent of Dermalog’s customers are in Africa and Asia, where high illiteracy rates persist. Systems are used for ID solutions, such as identity cards, and e-voting.
The company’s newest product is a keyboard which makes sure only a certain user can access certain data. Access can theoretically be logged, alongside data manipulation, copying etc. Dermalog said the system was developed for a hospital to make sure only the doctor in charge can view patient data. Users are automatically logged out if an account stays idle for a minute.
Certainly a good way to keep critical data safe, as well as help keep secrets inside of Pandora’s box. If the US Army would have used Datalog’s products, Bradley Manning would’ve never been able to hand over a ton of stuff to Wikileaks.