Last evening found us at Pepcom, a gathering of numerous companies displaying their latest offerings in a single venue at the Mirage. Both fledgling and well-established companies were represented there. Read along as we visit booths showing off some interesting technology.
3D printing is steadily gaining popularity and traction, and Robo has developed some new 3D printers aimed at making this new technology more affordable. Their two new offerings are the Robo C2 and Robo R2. In the first image above, we see the R2 in action as it creates a replica of the Star Wars Millenium Falcon spaceship. The second image is of the C2 in action as it creates a 3D topographical map of the San Diego, CA area. MSRP for the C2 is $699.99, with the R2 at an MSRP of $1299.99.
Here we see a foldable electric bike from URB-E. These bikes are very light weight, being made from aircraft-grade aluminum. Even with the battery pack in place, the total weight of the URB-E Pro is only 35 pounds. It has a range of 20 miles on a single charge, and a top speed of 18 m.p.h. The battery pack also has charging ports for your USB devices you might be carrying along with you.
Next we visited the Portal booth to see their newest high-performance Wi-Fi router. If you live in an urban area, when you search for your Wi-Fi network on a portable device, it is sometimes a bit of an eye-opener to see how many other Wi-Fi networks are within range of your device. Your Wi-Fi signal needs to be strong enough to overcome this type of congestion. With all of the companies present at Pepcom, and in a large Vegas hotel, the number of Wi-Fi networks detected by their test devices (phone and tablet) was over 50. In spite of this, the Portal router was able to attain download speeds of just under 100 MB/s, and upload speeds of 20-30 MB/s.
For you dog and cat owners, Whistle had on display their new Whistle 3 all-in-one pet tracker and activity monitor. 50% smaller than previous models, the Whistle 3 easily attaches to your animal’s collar. You can designate virtual boundaries, such as your home or office, and receive an alert on your smartphone if your pet wanders outside of those areas. 3G nationwide GPS coverage means your animal can be tracked nearly anywhere in the country.
While we are on the subject of pets, the PetNet booth was offering their latest product, called the SmartBowl. This Wi-Fi enabled pet bowl can be programmed to dispense a pre-measured (via a scale contained within) amount of food at pre-programmed times. Your pet is always fed the right amount, and at a consistent time of day.
IOGear had on display their Thunderbolt 3 docking station that turns your laptop into a high-performance workstation. The Thunderbolt 3 contains 3 x USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports. IOGear’s Thunderbolt 3 docking station is capable of transferring data at up to 40 GB/s, and can provide up to 15 watts worth of charging power. MSRP is set at $299.99.
Our next booth visit was with ViewSonic to see their latest monitors and professional display screens. One of the most vivid was their new VP3881, a 37.5″ curved display with resolution of 3840 x 1600 and an ultra-wide aspect ratio of 24:10. The color sharpness and vivid images were quite eye-catching. Connectivity for this beauty includes display port, HDMI, USB 3.1 Type C, as well as a USB hub.
Our favorite booth was a trip down memory lane when we stopped at the Stern pinball booth. Traditional pinball is making quite a comeback in the U.S., with games now featuring modern technology to make gameplay even more entertaining. They had set up for our enjoyment their latest Aerosmith-themed game. Talk about your lights, bells and whistles! We were invited to try our hand to best their employees’ top score, and on our first try this old pinball hand bested them to the tune of 55,000,000 points. Stern is welcome to drop this demo unit off directly at my house after CES closes!