Three of the cooler ideas and products I saw this week at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Boogie Board – writable e-paper – write or draw notes, erase at the touch of a button. $40 for the basic version, $130 for a larger one that also saves to PDF. Replaces 50,000 post-it notes.
Invisible Keyboard allows typing on a touch screen without the keys actually being visible. Four locations on the screen combined with predictive word matches brings back screen real estate. Indeed, why would the QWERTY layout – designed for another era – be relevant in the world of touchscreens?
This design holds the world record for fastest text message.
biscotti TV phone (like the biscuit) is a small biscotti-shaped device that mounts on top of your HDMI television and turns it into a video phone. Calls are made via Google Talk, with video on the far side either to another TV + biscotti unit or computer or smartphone.
Their data sheet and web site includes the tagline “created by a team of lovable scientists in Texas” and their booth display was easy to understand and the personnel friendly, plus they were giving away actual biscotti biscuits.
Finally, a Swiss army knife with death ray laser! (well, death-by-PowerPoint laser pointer, plus USB stick). As seen in the absolutely huge Swiss army knife booth. Available online, for example here.
This also allows me to mention the Swiss army knife company, Victorinox as one of the rare companies with a great sense for customer experience. We have had several pieces of their luggage for a number of years. Each piece comes with a lifetime warranty for common types of damage. We bought these pieces in part because of this warranty, since we are tired of regularly having to throw away items that are designed for a short lifetime. We have put easily several 100 thousand airmiles on the suitcases and have had one of them repaired under warranty three times. We simply took the suitcase into the local luggage store where we bought it and they took care of the repair for a small $10 service fee. We had the repaired suitecase back within 8 days all three times. The third time, they actually sent us a new unit for free (!) because the repair would have been too extensive. Highly recommended.