This week's Cybershake takes a look at some of the new products at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, investigates a biometric security device for home computers, and examines the new and redesigned Apple iMac computer.
The Big, Loud, and Odd at CES
If it takes batteries or plugs into a wall, chances are it was represented at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
For audiophiles, there was plenty to hear — and see. At the booth for JVC, Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue was on-hand to unveil his line of audio amplifiers for the company. "The flames [and] black lights make it cool," says the bass guitarist for the rock band.
Just around the corner, Sony had amid its audio and video displays its latest toy wonder: a robotic dog called Aibo. Jeremiah Raxter with Sony says the dog will "actually play with a ball just like a [real] pet would do." But this dog will cost a pretty penny at $1,500.
Naturally, there were plenty of new TVs to wow the crowd of attendees as well. Digital flat-screens TVs were everywhere. And Korean electronics giant Samsung displayed its pride and joy. With a screen that measures 63-inches, it was one of the largest digital TVs at the show says Richard Tudanger with Samsung.
But not everything at CES was about sights and sounds. At Panasonic's booth, for instance, the Japanese giant also showed off a high-tech massage lounge chair. "People that have these wonderful [entertainment] systems," says Karen McCall with Panasonic. "This is a perfect match for that."
Certainly, CES had something for every couch potato's dream.
— Al Mancini, ABCNEWS
Home PCs Get Fingered
After the terrorists' attacks, biometric security methods that can identify people by their unique body characteristics — fingerprints, facial features, voice patterns — has been all the rage. Now, Digital Persona is offering home computer owners a chance to dip their fingers into biometric security.
The company's U.Are.U device is a fingerprint reader that can connect to PC running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system. About the size of two nine volts batteries stacked end to end, the device scans and stores the fingerprints of those who need access to the computer.
"You simply touch [the device's] optical window with your finger and it will take a read of your finger and compare it to what was stored before," says George Myers, senior director of product marketing with Digital Persona. If the prints match the database stored on the computer, the person's granted access to the computer.
Myers says the U.Are.U device has a variety of uses. But it is especially useful in homes where many family members share a single PC. "Each individual [user] can just come up and touch the sensor to securely log on," says Myers.
He also says the device is useful online, too. "We also have finger applications that allow you to log on to all your websites without having to remember passwords anymore."
The U.Are.U device costs around $70.
— Michael Barr, ABCNEWS
Shedding Light on the New Apple
Apple Computer describes its new and redesigned iMac computer as the missing link between desktop computers and portable laptops. But to Cnet.com's Ian Fried, "It looks a little bit like a desk lamp with a flat screen where the light bulb would be."
Along with the unique look, Fried says the new iMac has some definite out of the box advantages.
"The screen is extremely maneuverable," says Fried. "The arm lets you both swivel it around 360 degrees, you can tilt the screen up and down and you can also tilt the angle of the screen."
And while it only has a 15 inch screen, it's a flat screen. "It's the equivalent of a 17-inch traditional monitor," says Fried.
Apple says the most powerful iMac model will come with an 800-MHz processor and a "SuperDrive," which can create movie disks that can be played on DVD players. The $1,799 machine will debut at the end of January. The cheapest iMac model is due out at the end of March and will cost $1,299. That model will come with a slower processor and a drive that can create music CDs but not DVDs.
— Karen Chase, ABCNEWS
Cybershake is produced for ABCNEWS Radio by Andrea J. Smith.