Tech Check

DigitalLife: Some Really Cool Gadgets Here


It's a consumer electronics invasion here at the Javitz convention center in New York City. 50,000 consumers will attend what's being billed as the biggest electronic expo FOR shoppers. Unlike the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, open only to the industry, everyone is welcome at DigitalLife.

I just took a walk around, a kind of digital recon mission of the 175 companies showcasing here. Some pretty cool stuff, too.

Spykee Robot

The "Spykee" robot from a company called Erector is a wi-fi, web-enabled robot that can be remotely controlled from anywhere in the world. It features a web cam so if you're traveling, you can keep an eye on your home, and virtually wander around your property. It costs $299. One of them looks like a nifty robot. Another one is modeled after R2D2.

Mio is debuting a couple of mobile GPS devices. iSuppli says this will be a $16.5 billion consumer electronics segment by 2013. Mio is in the catbird seat with an all-in-one device that speaks very specific directions, complete with street names. Says Mio's Erik Larsen: "You get not only the world's best GPS with full maps of Canada, U.S., and some parts of Mexico. You're going to get a full blown digital media player, a built-in digital camera which will let you navigate back to where the photos were taken, but it also comes with this very handy TMC cradle so you can have the ability to get real-time traffic updates and if you see there's an accident a couple miles up the road you can route right around that as you drive."

We rolled the wrong video of this device during my live-shot on The Call, but I'll probably use it again in TechCheck so you can take a look. It's a nice device.

Hottest New Tech Gadgets

Gateway is unveiling its new "One" computer. It looks very slick. Jet black, pretty display, and taking a page out of Apple's playbook since the screen and tower are built into a single device. The one we got a chance to play around with seemed a little fragile, but Creative Strategies Tim Bajarin, who helped organize this expo, is very excited about it.

We've got some good coverage coming up. Our First-On CNBC interview with Palm's CEO Ed Colligan on "Street Signs." Lots of news with these guys, not the least of which is the new Treo he'll be showing us. And we'll talk about the financial future of the company as well, thanks to that recent big-time cash infusion from Roger McNamee's Elevation Partners.

I'll be sitting down with Colin Angle, iRobot's CEO. The company releases two new robots today, but after losing a key government contract last week, when the stock dropped by 20%, we'll have lots to discuss. And coming up on "Power Lunch," we'll show you the latest in casual--mobile phone--video games. It's a huge market, growing fast. We'll focus on Namco.

"The great thing is that 225 million people have cell phones, but we are very, very early in this industry in America and so only about 11% of those people have ever even downloaded a game. So we are all about educating the market and trying to grow the industry," Scott Rubin of Namco, tells us.

We'll also show you another company called Turbine which will unveil a web-version of its new Lord of the Rings title. This is the 70th anniversary of the book's release this week, so there's a lot of attention being paid to the title.

Cool stuff! Now back to, ummmm, work!

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