Another day at the Consumer Electronics Show, another million square feet of gadgets, electronics, software, and other high tech goodies. It’s easy to wander down the wrong hall and get surrounded by people telling you about how their core platform extends the business value of your IT infrastructure through modular time sharing. But I’ll spare you that and just focus on the most fun tech of the day. You know, like robots designed to give back massages, like the Whee Me.
Life can’t always be about massage robots, though. Sometimes you have to protect yourself from cybercriminals and malware. Thankfully, I saw a few security products today. Security isn’t much fun, I know, but AhnLab’s V3 Click ($50) comes pretty close to making me smile. It’s, quite literally, a giant illuminated button that plugs into your PC’s USB port. When it is lit up green, you’re clean and safe. But if it turns red, the V3 Click has identified malware. Press the button and it springs into action to protect you. It also has a pair of USB ports – insert your USB memory sticks for a secure review before anything gets copied to the computer.
Likewise, there’s the YubiKey from Yubico. I like this gadget a lot – it introduces “2 factor authentication” to all of your Internet activity. Two factor authentication is when you verify who you are by entering information like a one-time key from your phone when visiting a secure website. The $25 YubiKey makes that easy – leave it in your USB port and tap it when you need to securely log in. Take YubiJKey with you so you can use it on all your PCs at home and at work.
I’m interested in wireless home security cameras, and indeed, I told you about some from earlier in the week. iWatchLife is really interesting because it takes an innovative approach to warning you about potential security issues. You can use the software to paint a “detection fence” in the camera’s field of view, and it only alerts you via email when someone or something crosses the boundary. Each camera costs $150 and the monitoring service starts at $5/month (no matter how many cameras you have).
Not all the gadgets shown at CES are available for purchase quite yet. Tethercell , for example, is being crowdsourced at Indiegogo and won’t be for sale for a few months . That said, Tethercell is a crazy awesome idea, and I can’t wait to get one (it’ll cost about $30). It’s a AA-battery-sized gadget that takes a AAA battery for power and includes a Bluetooth transceiver. Just replace one AA battery in a device with a Tethercell, and that device suddenly becomes controllable via your smartphone as long as you’re within Bluetooth range.
Finally, every time I go to CES I run into some goofy, fun tech that almost defies description. This year, Neurosky was showing off two gadgets that bubble right to the top of the list. For $99, you can get a pair of motorized kitty ears which move around in response to your brain activity. And if that’s not enough telepathy-powered goodness for you, try the $189 Puzzlebox Orbit, a toy RC helicopter that doesn’t come with a remote control – the “remote” is just your brain (and the headset that reads your brainwaves).