Summer Gadgets Preview
Pepcom’s Digital Experience tech event always showcases some eye-popping new products, and the latest on Thursday evening was no exception.
The event, which is open to press and analysts, took place at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York. Pepcom usually has a special theme for each of its events, and last night’s was the Summer of Love. That translated into a VW microbus festooned with psychedelic decals and bandanna-wearing hippies passing out flowers, along with waiters serving up drinks like the Acid Drop and Purple Haze. While all this couldn’t quite compare with the appearance at another recent Pepcom event earlier this year of “Family Ties” star Michael Gross—who was incredibly kind and gracious—they still added up to a fun time for participants.
Pepcom usually showcases some interesting and useful products, and at recent consumer electronics events it showcased PNY’s PowerPack BL8200 rechargeable battery for smartphones and tablets, and Miracle Grow’s indoor AeroGarden.
At Thursday’s Digital Experience event, computer makers like HP, Lenovo and Toshiba showed off some of their latest notebooks, tablets and desktops. Samsung had a Chromebook and an all-aluminum PC, the ATIV Book 9, along with a beautiful curved-screen monitor, the SE790C.
There weren’t any accounting-specific products, but some of the wares on display could be useful for accountants and their clients. For example, a new company called Purism has created an innovative computer built around the concept of privacy and security. Its Librem 13 notebook PC includes hardware “privacy switches” to prevent hackers, stalkers and data thieves from stealing information. The computer features slider toggle switches near the hinge that ensure the electrical circuits for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, the camera and microphone are physically turned off so they can’t be remotely turned on by a hacker.
Another security-minded product on display was the Wocket Smart Wallet from NXT-ID (Nasdaq: NXTD). The device is able to store information from credit and debit cards and other kinds of payment cards. Users swipe their cards into a card reader in the wallet and they can be selected from a screen on the device. The wallet, which has biometric voiceprint verification security, is supposed to be able to store up to 10,000 cards. It also includes a card of its own that can be used for physical purchases.
Pitney Bowes showed off its global ecommerce services, which aim to make it easier for retailers to handle cross-border purchases for international shoppers. The company also demonstrated a new personalized interactive video service that can facilitate communications between businesses and consumers.
The Ring Video Doorbell is a Wi-Fi-enabled high-definition video doorbell that streams live audio and video of a home’s doorstep directly to a smartphone or tablet via an iOS or Android app. Meanwhile, the Ring Chime provides a WiFi-enabled doorbell speaker.
There were also some fun products on display, like the 3D Simo Mini, an electronic pen that can draw in three dimensions as well as burn, solder and cut. A designer was on hand to demonstrate how it can produce sculptures and burn designs into objects like eyeglass frames.
Wearable fitness trackers are becoming increasingly popular in the Fitbit age, and the LifeTrak from Salutron provides heart rate and sleep monitoring, while also keeping tabs on activities like the number of steps and distance covered. GPS maker Garmin also highlighted its new line of wearables including the vivo line of smartwatches and activity trackers, and the fenix 3 multisport watch, along with VIRB XE action cameras. These and other products can help accountants keep track of their out-of-the-office activities as they get outdoors for summer fun.