Each year, Pat Meier-Johnson hosts a two-day lunchtime event at Piero’s, a classy Italian restaurant across catty-corner from the Las Vegas Convention Center. There, many companies from around the word — most notably VIA and D-Link — show off their wares in a more intimate setting than the show floor.
I visited these exhibits and herein present a brief from each of many companies
Brite View produces the Airsync HD, a WHDI-compliant high definition video transmitter and receiver system. It can broadcast uncompressed 1080p video up to 66 feet. Any HDMI device can plug into the transmitter. It costs $200 and is available now.
A similar unit, the HDelight, is a PC to TV kit with similar abilities, but only a 30′ range. It retails for $115 and is also available now.
Hannspree showed off an Android tablet. Running Android 2.2 on a 1 GHz TI OMAP 3630 with 512 MB of RAM with an 16 GB Flash storage. They’re shooting for 10 hrs of battery life. The device will be available for an as-of-yet undetermined price in Q1.
SpeakWithMe built VoiceDJ on 10 years of research in voice recognition at Carnegie Mellon University. VoiceDJ is an iOS app used to control a custom media player using one’s voice. Piero’s is a pretty noisy place, and even still VoiceDJ was able to discern the commands of the user. One can not only playback songs by title, artist, and album, but also construct playlists and more. There will be an Android version available in March.
C3 is a spin-off from Saab AB. It released an SDK for creating games and applications which use extremely high quality, 3D maps. More than 100 cities worldwide are mapped using aerial photography and assembled into detailed 3D models of entire cities. Not an end-user product itself, C3 is aiming the maps SDK at developers of PC and mobile applications to see what they can do with it.
VIA Labs is a division of VIA Technologies currently specializing in USB 3.0 development. VIA Labs showed off its ZeroClient concept, wherein a glorified USB 3.0 hub powers a multi-terminal setup connected to a high-powered server running Windows Multipoint Server. The goal is to utilize the bandwidth of USB 3.0 and leverage the processing capabilities of powerful server hardware to provide desktop services to a user.
Also, ZeroClient is platform independent. I questioned the rep about using it with LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) and he said that it would probably work with some finagling, as Linux’s USB 3.0 support isn’t 100% functional in all aspects yet.
VIA Labs also showed a fiber USB cable much thinner than the standard, thick, and not-easily-bended USB 3.0 cable. The fiber cable has a two inch bend radius (requires two inches of cable to do a 90° bend).
VIA showed off its Nano X2 processor. It’s a 1.4 GHz dual core x86-architecture unit. When combined on a Mini-ITX motherboard with VIA’s VX900 MSP, Chromatic HD video engine, Chrome9 2D/3D graphics, and multi-codec hardware HD video decoder, plus up to 3 GB of DDR3 RAM, the result is a very powerful media computer cable of driving HD video playback and HTPC functions in a tiny form factor.
VIA also showed the Artigo A1100 Pico-ITX DIY kit, a tiny unit perfect for embedded applications or office use. ThinkComputers previously reviewed the Artigo DIY server, an ancestor of this device.
VIA also brought in Jeffery Stephenson, who designed a computer he calls the “Level 11”. It’s a tribute to the Thermaltake Level 10 case and the custom case which inspired it. It runs a system with the original Nano processor, an Intel SSD, a slot-loading optical drive, and a pressurized cooling system (the flat back is hollow!).