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CES 2011

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The Consumer Electronics Show opens in Las Vegas later this week and the GearDb staff will be there searching out compelling new products and services for both initial mentions and also for actual usage testing.  We’ll then post in-depth reports of our findings here on   Happy New Year!

The AR Drone by Parrot

Ah, the AR Drone by  It is a helicopter with 4 rotor blades that you control with an iPhone.  But wait, there’s more!  It has 2 onboard cameras – a front facing VGA and a lower res downward one.  You can see the VGA video on your IPhone and play augmented reality games, including dogfighting another AR Drone.  So cool!

Here’s a few other ideas – what if you are stuck in a horrible traffic jam and can’t see what the problem is? Which side of the roadway is the obstacle?  Is the jam a short one or does it stretch for miles? Or what if you are offroad and wish you could have a birds eye view from about 150 feet up?  Well if you had an AR Drone on board you’d be golden.  Battery life is about 15 minutes and max range is about 50 meters.  If you are a software programmer, the AR Drone has an open development SDK so you can do more “not as yet imagined” fun stuff.

Parrot also makes car audio and handsfree Bluetooth cell phone devices as well as bespoke home WiFi audio components and digital picture display frames.

Yurbuds Premium Earbuds

Yurbuds have a clever way of keeping earbuds – those small earphones that fit in your ear – securely in place with no external hooks, hoops, or loops while you bounce or jounce about. They offer you a range of different-sized soft rubber tips/covers that fit in your ear canal and keep the buds from falling out. To figure out which size tip fits you best, you hold a coin below your ear, take a digital photo and either email it in to Yurtopia or use their free Iphone app. Then you’ll know which size to order.

If you’re not driving, then plug in both ears and crank the volume up. But if you’re the driver or walking about near a busy street, you should keep one ear unplugged and open for situational awareness!

Oh yeah, if you use these as much as I do, skin oil will eventually collect on the Yurbuds, wick in between the rubber covers and the rigid earbud housing and make things slippery. I almost lost a Yurbud! When you get this buildup, wash the rubber covers in soapy water and also wipe off the rigid earbud housings. Good as new baby!