Gadgets:: CES has come and gone



Over the years while covering the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas I’ve had massages, shaves and just about every other industry gimmick you can think of – all right on the show floor.

This year I sat in a Lamborghini to list to an incredible sound system designed by Monster and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to destroy a brand new smartphone.

The company ProtectCELL sells annual insurance for your phone, covering just about everything. This includes getting lost, stolen, dropped in a toilet (very common insurance claim) and even if you get your phone gets caught in a blender.

A week before the show they sent me a brand new smartphone and invited me to come by the booth and destroy it.

After talking with some company representatives, who explained how the insurance policy works, they invited me to toss my new phone in a blender and whip it up.

Without hesitating I accepted and if you want to see a series of the photos just email me.

The blender destroyed the phone, creating millions of pieces from my brand new hardware.

If that was your phone, you would then call ProtectCELL, explain what happened and they would send you a new one immediately, no questions asked.

The company started in 2006 with 91 participants and now has more than 700,000 with a 25 percent renewal rate.

Your phone can be a personal one or company-issued with plans ranging from $199 for two years of coverage for an iPhone 5s to $59 for simpler phones.

ProtectCELL will even back up your contacts and other data to help restore them in the event a new phone in needed.

The Cellfy SticOver the past year or so we have all become familiar with the smartphone photography term of “selfie.”

A company called Cellfy has designed a hardware kit to help users take quality self-photos and videos using smartphones or tablets.

For the smartphone model, the patent-pending Cellfy Stic is a universal mount with suction cups on both sides to work in portrait or landscape modes.

First download a timer for your device _ they suggest. TimerCam for iOS or CameraZoomFX for Android.

Then attach your phone to the front side and attach the backside to any clean, smooth surface such as mirrors, windows, clean car panels or glass.

Set the timer, choose your pose and photos will now be better composed with the hands-free hardware.

They also have a tablet model ($24.99), which doubles as a accessory to mount on the back of a headrest for back seat viewing. It also has a built-in kick-stand for use on a flat surface in addition to the front and rear suction cups. Cellfy Stic $9.99, available in orange, pink, gray and white

House of Marley LEGENDI’m a sound junky, which is very different from a sound expert. I love trying on headphones for comfort as well as great sound in both over-the-ear headphones and earbuds.

Every year at CES sound is a big and never-ending trend. I tried on countless headphones and found a lot of them to be great but the one that caught my attention was the flagship Marley Legend active noise canceling in-ear earbuds ($199).

Each of the earbuds comes with five sizes of tips to get the right fit, Each also comes on a tangle-free cord.

In-ear Legends are built with FSC certified sapele and maple wood and recyclable aluminum, which adds up to a great looking product to compliment the great sound.

In addition to the display of headphones named after the legend Bob Marley, the company had one of the coolest booths with a a contemporary earthy feel and look.

A live DJ kept the tunes flowing without music from some 20-something-year-old former Disney character turned spoiled brat, like so many others.

Just an observation on my part.

The comfortable furniture in the Marley booth also didn’t hurt since I had walked more than  50,000 steps (thanks iBitz) at the show.

Many of Marley’s over-the-ear headphones are designed with exclusive Marley fabric, which is made with organic cotton, reclaimed hemp and recycled plastic bottles, along with other earth-friendly materials.

Other products on display included incredible desktop Bluetooth speakers, some currently out and other sneak-peaks at future 2014 Marley products.

AwoX StriimLightAnother product to grab my attention was the AwoX Striimlight B-10 lightbulb and Bluetooth speaker.

The multi-functional eco-friendly LED light bulb has a integrated Bluetooth speaker to stream wireless music right from the light fixture.

An included IR remote controls the light on and off along with the speaker volume. The setup consists of screwing in the lightbulb and then pairing the speaker with any Bluetooth enabled device.

As for the long lasting LED Lighting, it’s is 40W incandescent equivalent. $99

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