The newest member of the Solio family is the Solio Magnesium, which boasts an eco-friendly magnesium oxide shell, which the company claims is biodegradable. While details on how or why were scarce, sales and marketing vice president Dan Porras said that, according to Solio's product engineer, if you throw the casing (not the battery or the solar cells) into the ocean, it will degrade.
The fan-shaped, three-blade design of the Solio Magnesium has plenty of surface area that can be exposed to the sun, yielding a full charge after eight hours of exposure to direct sunlight. According to company literature, it will hold that charge for up to year.
Geeking out over an inessential keyboard
Andre Lebedev, a Moscow inventor and designer, made a keyboard that you don't need, but if you see it, you'll want one. And if your gadget lust starts spiraling out of control, the only antidote is the price tag: $1,500. (Click here for a related video.)
Lebedev's OptimusMaximus keyboard replaces boring old keys with organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, which turn each key into a little 10x10-millimeter monitor. "You may show pictures, images, weapons, porn -- anything can be displayed on the keys, even animation" explained Lebedev. The keyboard comes with software, called Optimus Configurator, that allows a user to remap any of the keys to trigger nearly any combination of inputs.
Lebedev used OLED displays because they have a superior viewing angle. "It's almost 180 degrees," he said. "The image doesn't disappear. There are no shades, no ghosts. They are extremely clear and the resolution is incomparable to anything else because when you look at the screen, you don't see pixels." Art Lebedev Studio sees the Optimus Maximus as a useful tool for designers, type-setters, video editors and other professionals who need more flexibility than a normal keyboard allows (and tend to use several hotkeys and macros during daily work).
For $500, you can buy the keyboard with just one OLED key; the rest of the computer will have standard buttons. Then, whenever you have a free $10, you can get a new OLED key, until you replace all 113 keys.
A new kind of instant gratification from Polaroid
When the team heard that Polaroid had developed a way to reproduce the immediacy of the original Polaroid system in digital cameras and camera phones, nostalgia mandated that we check out their digital instant mobile photo printer.
The little Bluetooth-enabled module is nearly pocket-sized, at three by five inches, and can print 15 two-by-three-inch photos on a full charge of its lithium ion battery. It prints via ZINK (zero ink) technology on ZINK photo paper, which is a sheet covered with billions of cyan, magenta and yellow dye crystals in their colorless forms. "ZINK Technology is a company that incubated within Polaroid over a decade ago," says Polaroid global product planner Andy Mitchelides
The crystal layer is covered with a heat-sensitive polymer coating, which breaks down under heat—in a process called "thermal printing"—allowing the crystals to colorize and an image to display. Photos can be sent via USB or wirelessly to the printer, which needs to be loaded with a new sheet between each print. After the image is transmitted, the printer renders it and then passes the paper through a heat source that activates the crystals and copies the image to the surface. The whole process takes about 30 seconds, and the result, dangling from the device like some bit of 80's nostalgia, is a print that's a reasonable simulacrum of the original Polaroids.
Oh, memories! And now, CES 2008, you are one, too. That's all the news that's fit to print--some of what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.