The 2008 Consumer Electronics Show was jam-packed with sophisticated technology that could do everything except slice your bread every morning, but sometimes the best tech is the simple innovation which makes life easier without much fuss.
Luckily there were many examples of useful, but simple devices at CES and here are a handful that may be worth a glance:
The $14.99 Energizer Duo battery charger connects to either an AC outlet or to a computer’s USB port and can charge two AAA or AA batteries in two to five hours, depending on size and power rating. Since many small devices, like some digital cameras, require only two batteries, the slim charger can help some mobile professionals travel a little lighter.
In addition to a set of LEDs on the outside that let you know the charging status of the batteries, you can also surf to the Duo’s Web site and download a small utility which lets you see the charging status right on your computer screen. The utility is available in both Windows and Mac versions. The unit comes with two AAA batteries and an AC adapter.
Sonic Alert Portable Vibrating Alarm Clock
If you’re a really deep sleeper, chances are good that you’ve met your match with the Sonic Alert Portable Vibrating Alarm Clock (Model SBP100ss) from Sonic Alert Inc. of Troy, Mich. When the alarm goes off, you get not only an audible alert but a surprisingly strong rattling mechanism kicks in and shakes the unit with enough force to send tremors throughout your mattress, thus bringing an abrupt end to your sleep cycle.
No the technology in the $29.95 unit is not particularly cutting edge, but anyone who has missed an important morning meeting because of a wimpy hotel alarm clock or a wake-up call that never came might appreciate the circular unit, which is just one in the company’s line of Sonic Boom vibrating, flashing and/or extra-loud alarm clocks.