Slideshow

In pictures: The most innovative products of CES 2009

CES is always full of eye candy and interesting products. Here are some of the truly innovative products to make an appearance this year.

  • Microsoft Kodu: LittleBigPlanet brought a fresh and interesting approach to user-created content in video games when it launched for the PlayStation 3 last year. Now Microsoft is trying its own hand at the same basic concept with Kodu for the Xbox 360. It's more application than game, but still allows users to use pre-built assets in order to create their own games. The company's CES keynote saw a 12-year-old girl create a simple game. We can't wait to see a community of users create their own games.
  • Asus Eee Keyboard: Asus' Eee branding has touched everything from the innovative to the downright mundane, and we're glad that the latest addition belongs to the former category. Unveiled as a prototype at CES 2009, the Asus Eee Keyboard integrates an embedded computer and Wireless HDMI within a form factor not much bigger than your standard computer keyboard. Though a full-sized keyboard may be a little cumbersome to cart around the house, the idea of packing a media centre into the keyboard rather than having yet another box next to the TV is truly intriguing.
  • Windows 7: We all knew it was coming and, while those who skipped Vista still have a steep learning curve ahead, Windows 7 is shaping up to be a treat. Steve Ballmer used the Microsoft keynote to announce the launch of a public beta for Windows 7 and over the next few days, chaos ensued as everyone and their cat tried to download it.
  • Palm Pre: Without a doubt the highlight of the show, the launch of the Palm Pre is set to bring a serious contender to the smartphone market (insert obligatory "iPhone killer" cliche) and the possibility of stemming the exodus of dedicated Palm users. The Pre introduces an entirely new operating system built with multitasking and dedicated office tasks in mind, not to mention wireless charging.
  • Sony VAIO P: Netbooks are traditionally low-powered devices reserved for simple tasks like Web browsing and e-mail. Sony's entry into the netbook market is set to change tradition with the VAIO P, the "world's lightest 8in netbook", which packs enough punch to run Windows Vista Ultimate. Of course, whether it runs the operating system well is something we're waiting to see, but with an LED-backlit LCD capable of displaying a 1600x768 pixel resolution and integrated 3G connectivity, things are looking good.
  • Polaroid PoGo: Despite the demise of the Polaroid camera and the second bankruptcy to hit Polaroid Corporation this century, the legend of the instant photo lives on. At CES 2009 this came in the form of Polaroid's PoGo digital camera, combining last year's ZINK instant printing technology with a digital camera. With a 5-megapixel camera and the ability to print 2x3in prints in under 60 seconds, the idea sounds good in theory, but we can only wait and see if the quality and convenience are worth the bulk the printing capability adds to the unit.
  • 2TB removable storage: Flash media is quickly catching up to hard drives when it comes to storage capacity, and CES 2009 saw it match the current extremes of the magnetic mediums. Both MemoryStick and Secure Digital are promising new maximum capacities of a whopping 2TB with the release of the MemoryStick Pro and SDXC formats, respectively. Of course, it will be years before we see those numbers in reality, and there's almost no hope of proper compatibility with older devices, but we'll continue to wish.
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