Top new gadgets from CES 2008

Top new gadgets from CES 2008

Our staff scours the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show floor looking for what's hot, cool and new. Check out our favorite picks.

Linux modules for the geeky side of you

Ballyhooed BUG Labs showed off its Linux-based, snap-together electronic modules that let you build and program your own mobile gadget. The modules come with a fully programable/hackable Linux computer powered by an ARM1136JF-S microprocessor and 128MB of RAM plus include built-in Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 and Ethernet interfaces. Popular Science likes the BUG modules so much, they've started the " Build a BUG Challenge " for BUG and Linux enthusiasts.

BoomPhones from Qlick

BoomPhones from Qlick (pronounced "Click") provides the user with standard headphones for listening in quiet environment as well as external speakers for really letting the tunes blast. The BoomPhones (available in about two months for $129) are battery driven to help provide added power and greater frequency range for audiophiles.

Sony Rolly

A big hit here at CES, the Sony Rolly is a mini-robot that rolls around and dances to the music. Should be big with the kids this year. See it in action:

GameCenter

GameCenter gives new shape to the home entertainment center. This unit looks like a new VW Beattle and should be available in Q3'08. Video game and TV not included.

GameSpeed Simulator

Get your own gaming simulator! The GameSpeed Simulator is a "complete simulation, gaming and entertainment cocoon that the entire family will love." We just want one for our cube.

Pyramat's PC Chair 2.1

Pyramat's PC Chair 2.1 is better than your average office chair. It features built-in speakers and pulsating back to give the ulimate game experiece. The chair can run on batteries for 5 to 6 hours and connects to an audio source wirelessly, so no cords to get tangled up in when doing a victory lap. It'll set you back $249.

The Bang & Olufsen Serenata phone

For those that want to be ultra trendy with their choice of cellphone plus want the ability to play tunes without headphones, the Bang & Olufsen Serenata from Samsung is the choice. Slide the back of the unit up, and a speaker appears to belt out your favorite tunes. No word on the price, but given the Bang & Olufsen label we're guessing it ain't cheap.

Cellpoint's Flamingo headsets

New designs from Cellpoint include EarClick technology that allows users to attach the headsets to their ears without having to go inside the ear canal. The Swedish company makes Bluetooth headsets and stereo headsets.

Fujitsu's Fabric PC concept

With advances in Fujitsu's e-paper (flexible display technology) now allowing for color displays, Fujitsu was showing off the idea of a fabric PC that could open up the display for larger screen size. The technology is about five years away from mainstream adoption, the company says.

Fujitsu Clerk Browser concept

Fujitsu's PC division was showing off new product concepts based on e-paper development. The Clerk Browser is an arm strap that would have a color e-paper display for retail associates that would connect to a back-end server. The associate could answer any questions about products, and then also process a credit-card from the customer, quickening the sales process.

Panasonic's 150-inch plasma TV

Holy TV Batman! Panasonic wins the award for biggest TV at the show: A 150-inch plasma giant. We could set this up across the pond from our office and still see it clearly. The screen has a 2,000-by-4,000 pixel resolution and is 11 feet wide. No word on pricing, but the 103-inch model Panasonic unveiled last year goes for $70,000.

Excalibur Electronics' motorized bumper boat

The ultimate pool accessory. Excalibur Electronics' motorized bumper boat for your pool which will make lazily floating around a thing of the past. They have have a remote control butler for delivering drinks while you float in the middle of the water.

Jada Toys Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker

Unleash your inner rock star by attaching this mini-amplifier and belt buckle sensor that plays guitar riffs when you wave a plastic pick in front of the sensor. The $29.99 device is aimed at kids aged 13 +, but focus on the "plus", because I know a lot of 30-year-olds and older who will love riffing with their air guitars.

Tonium's Pacemaker

Get down on the wheels of steel from anywhere. Tonium's Pacemaker looks like some sort of Sci-Fi communicator, but it's really a pocket size mixer for budding DJs that don't want to carry bulky gear to jobs. Pacemaker comes with 120GB hard drive for storing music and DJs can mix between two tracks, adjust levels, and crank the bass from the touch controls. Tonium expects to ship the Pacemaker sometime this quarter with a pricetag of $700.

Audio Technica's AT-LP2D-USB turntable

Is this 1980? What's a record player doing at CES? This is Audio Technica's AT-LP2D-USB turntable with a USB connection for helping transfer your vinyl albums to digital format. The LP2D in the name stands for "LP to Digitial" (ah, those clever marketing guys.) Vinyl lovers can pick up one of these for $229.

 Whirlpool's CentralPark

Is that an iPod dock on my fridge? The refrigerator is not just keeping the milk cold and ice cream frozen. Whirlpool's CentralPark comes with an interchangeable hub that lets customers add an iPod dock (shown), whiteboard, tablet PC or digital photo frame.

Iqua Bluetooth sun visor speaker phone

The Vizor from Finnish company Iqua (prounounced "ee-qwah") attaches to your car's sun visor to provide hands-free speaker phone capabilities for your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone. The large buttons on the device are designed to let you operate the device without causing a car accident.

SanDisk Sansa Clip

Taking on the iPod Shuffle, the Sansa Clip has 4GB of storage space for digital music files (4x the amount of the Shuffle), an FM radio and digital audio recorder. The $79.99 device includes up to 15 hours of battery life on its rechargeable battery.

Dash Express

Dash Navigation's new Internet-connected GPS device ($599.99) allows for real-time traffic information updates, Internet searching, and automatic mapping updates. The company is taking pre-orders now on its Web site ( www.dash.net ), and will begin shipping by the end of February.

Mustek PF-i700

This device converges the digital photo frame with the iPod speaker dock to create a new device that lets you view digital images, movies and listen to music in an affordable package. The $129.99 device (for the 7-inch model) is expected to ship in March.

Fabrik's SimpleTech Signature Mini Drive

These flavorful storage drives offer more than just food-related colors and styles (although how can you go wrong with names like Kiwi, Marshmallow, Bubblegum and Black Cherry). The drives are the first portable drives to offer local backup software and online backup in one package. Each drive comes with 2GB of free online backup space through Fabrik's online storage service (unlimited space for $4.95 per month). Capacities range from $119.99 (for 120GB) up to $229.99 (for 320GB).

iRobot Looj

We love the name of this robot, but we love what it does even more. The iRobot Looj is a gutter cleaning robot that lets users avoid climbing and repositioning their ladders multiple times. The Looj is controlled by a wireless remote control that also works as a detachable handle, to clean gutters. The robotics company says the Looj can clean up to a 60-foot section of gutter in 10 minutes. Available now, prices of the Looj range from $99 up to $169, depending on accessories.

iRobot Looj in action

Get your mind out of the gutter.  iRobot's Looj makes it easy to clean out the gutters of your home. Forget climbing up on a ladder and scooping up all the nasty leaves. Just drop this $99 unit in and let it clean away.

Westinghouse Digital wireless HDTV

Using ultrawideband technology, the Westinghouse Digital TX-47F40S uses Pulse-Link's integrated CWave UWB Wireless HDMI technology to transmit high-definition video content between video source devices or even from another HDTV. The TVs are aimed at the B2B digital signage market, and are expected in Q2 2008.

IOGEAR Battery Tester

This handy $6.95 gadget lets users figure out how much power is left in their regular or rechargeable batteries. Supporting 1.5V, AA, AAA, C, D and 9V types of batteries, the gadget has a meter that identifies power levels, and includes a keychain attachement. The company says this can help protect the environment by having users not throwing out batteries with power still in them.

iTornado

Data Drive Thru's iTornado is a device designed to simply the transfer of data between a PC and Mac. The product is designed for PC to Mac "switchers" who want to take their data to their new Macs without having to rely on a service technician to do it for them. It's coming in March and will cost $79.95.

Netgear's ReadyNAS Duo

The latest version of Netgear's network-attached-storage device is aimed at consumers to let them centralize, organize and share digital media with new performance, scalability, versatility and data redundancy features.

We want to hear from YOU!

Let us know what you think of the products you've seen so far, would like to see, or -- if you are at the show -- what are your favorite new gadgets and why.