The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) clambake in the hot Las Vegas sun opened today after the obligatory Bill Gates keynote -- I'll point you to this spot here for what Microsoft is offering up at this year's show.
What I found particulary interesting instead was the CES Innovations Awards, which takes all of the gadgets at CES and breaks them down into 29 categories -- from Audio Accessories to Wireless Peripherals.
Amid all the excitement about big screen TVs, new cellphones and the like, here's a look at some of the winners in the Personal Electronics category:
Able Planet's Able Talker Assistive Listening Device enhances speech clarity and filters background noise to enable people with hearing loss to communicate in unfavorable acoustic environements; www.ableplanet.com
Black & Decker's Bullseye Laser Level Studfinder is an innovative, third generation model that is better, smarter and smaller for finding studs behind walls and making sure everything is level; www.blackanddecker.com
Emtrace Technologies' WidgetStation is a desk clock which can run various human friendly, easy to learn widgets; www.emtrace.com/widgetstation/
Oregon Scientific has three award winners: ATC2K is a water- and shock-resistant hands-free helmet cam that attaches to a helmet, arm, leg or bike! Talking Wireless Oven/ BBQ Thermometer verbally alerts you when your entree has reached the perfect temperature! and the WMS802 WeatherNow2 uses MSN Direct wireless service to receive a four-day regional weather forecast without the use of any outdoor sensors; www2.oregonscientific.com
SDI Technologies has two winners: the iHome Mobile is the first Bluetooth stereo-enabled clock radio, capable of streaming music wirelessly from MP3 phone/computer through speakers; and the Timex TM80, the first clock radio to wake/sleep to digital music by inserting a thumb drive or SD media card; www.sdidirect.com
SmartShopper uses voice technology to make grocery store shopping easier -- press "record" and say the item you need at the grocery store or an errand, press "print" and out comes your grocery list by category; www.smartshopperUSA.com
Teydo America's Gemtek combines GPS, GSM and the Internet within one small device to request and receive a location from any cell phone and computer; www.teydo.com
Yamaha's DGX-620 digital piano features 88 weighted, graded hammer piano-style keys, 500 instrument voices, easy song arranger and performance assistant. www.yamaha.com
So many gadgets, so little time ...