Our article earlier this week (“Gadgets Galore!”) previewed a few “products of the future” made for the outdoors as seen at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held this week in Las Vegas. We’re back from Sin City and the show after a whirlwind trip. Here’s another dose of “future gear” products that caught our eye. —John Peacock
Solar Jukebox — This portable, Bluetooth-enabled sound system from Etón Corporation has a 40-inch square solar panel for power and can link to your phone, iPod, or tablet wirelessly to play music. It will cost $149.95 and has an E Ink display that saves on power (compared to common LCD displays) and is “readable in direct sunlight with a 180-degree viewing angle,” Eton cites. A pair of speakers pump the bass. A built-in rechargeable battery provides hours of music playtime outdoors. Advertised to wirelessly stream music via Bluetooth and “never run out of power” when set outdoors and in the sun.
Canon Flash Memory Camcorders — The humble video camcorder apparently did not die out with the digital-camera revolution of the past few years. Canon unveiled its VIXIA camcorder line at CES, which includes models with wi-fi connectivity built-in, letting you shoot and then wirelessly upload videos to social sites like YouTube and Facebook or other properties online. The camcorders record HD video (1920 × 1080) in MP4 or AVCHD file formats. Data is stored on internal flash memory with capacity up to 32 gigabytes. $349.99 and up; www.usa.canon.com
GTU 10 Tracker — This GPS pod device from Garmin was announced last year at CES. It clips on a backpack strap or belt and tracks your position via GPS once every 15 seconds. Your real-time location and GPS track is viewable online. For 2012, Garmin upgraded the GTU 10 with a cell tower positioning feature that kicks in to provide geospatial coordinates in a case where a GPS satellite signal is too weak, including indoors. Weighs less than 2 ounces. Can be set to track automatically every 15 seconds for up to 5 hours straight.
Rugged Shooter — Olympus continues to build on its TOUGH line of rugged digital cameras. This week at CES the company unveiled a budget model, the TG-320, which will cost $179.99. For that price you get a waterproof, shock-proof, dust-proof camera with 14 megapixels of resolution. Caveat: Waterproof to only 10 feet under the sea. www.getolympus.com.
RV-Ready GPS — Hit the open road! Magellan’s latest vehicle GPS was designed specially for RVers. Called the RoadMate RV9145, the device has an extra-large and high-resolution display (7 inches diagonal) as well as customized routing tools based on a vehicle’s profile so your camper never encounters a bridge or tunnel too small. It has an A/V input for a back-up camera, DVD player or iPod. A built-in Good Sam Club guide can route RVers to more than 11,000 private campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada. $349.99, www.magellangps.com
Underwater Radio — “Defeat boredom by listening to music, news, or sports while swimming.” That’s the simple pitch from Fitness Technologies Inc. for its UwaterK7 waterproof FM radio. It has a 1-inch LCD screen and 19 station presets so you can channel surf quicker while doing the front crawl. Underwater earbuds included. $40, www.fitnesstechusa.com
In-Goggle Video Preview — Recon Instruments hinted at a major upgrade to its in-goggle display product. Namely, the company said its tiny screen, which mounts inside ski goggles, will soon be able to display video previews from recorded helmet-cam footage. The company was tight-lipped on details but would say it has “created a connectivity app for future use with P.O.V. action cameras.” Watch for more updates this winter as the company finalizes partnerships with camera companies to make in-goggle movies real.
—John Peacock is an editor and founding partner with GearJunkie. See our first report (“Gadgets Galore!”) for another dose of gear snooped out at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.