Macworld 2007 roundup: Back seat Macs; new markets; Apple's "killer app"
As Macworld closes for another year, here are my reflections on a show of surprises and omissions.
The star of the show has to be the iPhone, yet it's the first Expo I can remember where a product has been announced before it's available. Not only is it frustrating for consumers but it also gives a long lead time for competitors to line up their iPhone alternatives - and you can bet that they're doing just that.
Some are calling the iPhone 'vapourware' because the product can't be bought. In fact, you'd be lucky to just touch one.
Apple TV had been announced last year, and whilst it got its share of limelight in Jobs' keynote, as soon as the iPhone was announced, it's fair to say that most people forgot about it.
That's not to say that it's an unimpressive piece of kit, though I have my doubts about how it will fare in a UK market.
First video of Apple's iPhone
Yes the iPhone does exist and it is not a collective hallucination of the people who attended MacWorld last week and the thousands who watched the launch on the web.
The proof is here courtesy of CBS News who secured a demo from Apple. First thoughts are it looks pretty impressive but I can’t remember the last time I used a phone two-handed. So can you operate it with one hand? Does it matter? Guess we’ll have to wait until we get our own to play with before that question can be answered.
It is amazing though that it seems to be the only legit vid of the iPhone on YouTube. Apple is certainly keeping the handset very close to its chest for the time being.
Macworld 2007: Portago multi-function case for video iPod
Tursiogear used Macworld to show off their new Portago case that allows 5th generation video iPods to connect to a broad range of output devices, whilst serving as a protective case, charger, and dock.
It comes with a remote for controlling the iPod at a distance. It offers various output ports, including S-Video, AV line out, and a 30-pin dock connector.
The click-wheel is accessible through a window in the case door, whilst a clear cover protects the screen. It also features a retractable power outlet plug, plus an adaptor insert to accommodate the thinner 30GB video iPod.
Macworld 2007: Wear your iPod nano on your wrist with Tune Belt's Open View Armband
Tune Belt's products aren't new but they have evolved with the iPod range, allowing you to wear pretty much any of them in full view on your wrist. Ideal for workouts, and for mugging invitations.
They offer a wristband carrier and a belt case for the iPod nano, plus an armband for the shuffle.
Macworld 2007: Kensington introduce Si670m Bluetooth wireless mouse
Kensington have introduced their latest Bluetooth-compatible wireless notebook mouse, the Si670m. It is designed for the growing number of notebook computers with built-in Bluetooth, so doesn't come with a USB receiver of its own.
Macworld 2007: Fujitsu intro enhanced ScanSnap S500M scanner
Fujitsu have been showing off an enhanced model of its award-winning ScanSnap scanning solution for Mac, the S500M.
It boasts 20% faster scanning speeds - up to 18ppm for single-sided documents and 36 images per minute for double-sided ones - improved automatic paper size detection, and a new design that complements modern Mac computers. It can also handle optical character recognition (OCR) and business card reading with a free mail-in offer to receive ReadIris Pro v11 and CardIris 3.5. Hopefully this offer will extend to the UK.
Macworld 2007: EzWake Alarm Clock for iPod
ezGear has announced the ezWake Alarm Clock specifically designed for the iPod. Not surprisingly, it's another speaker dock with clock.
This one features a bright blue LED display with dimmer, easy to use controls, and a wireless remote control.
It works with all models of iPod, has a built-in battery for time backup, and the LCD displays time, mode, alarm, radio station, and iPod and sleep icons. The alarm can be set to iPod, radio, buzzer, or an external audio source.
Macworld 2007: ezGear X4 Video iWear released
ezGear unveiled their latest model of their ezVision "Video iWear" which offers four times the resolution of their standard ezVision glasses. Additionally, they also now simulate a 62 inch screen viewed from 8.5 foot away.
They can display 922,000 pixels, are ultra light in weight (60g), and have built-in stereo audio delivered through high quality earphones. It's ready to connect to your video iPod via the supplied interconnect cable.
Macworld 2007: Best of Show winners announced
The "Best of Show" winners for Macworld 2007 have been announced and featured in a live presentation this afternoon. Hosted by Macworld VP/Editor in Chief Jason Snell and Macworld.com News Director Jim Dalrymple, the 11 winners were announced through short video clips created by the editors discussing the award-winning attributes of honorees interspersed with live demos on stage.
Without further ado, the 11 winners were:
Macworld 2007: IntelliScanner Mini Home Organisation Scanner
Truly a gadget for the super (anally) organised, the IntelliScanner is a "Mini Home Organisation Scanner" which means it will happily scan and then help organise your home collections - not just the more obvious things like CDs, DVDs and books, but wine, groceries and comics.
The IntelliScanner Corporation say that they're the worldwide leader in smart organisation scanners for home and business. Good to know...
This offering is about the size of a car keyfob, and uses barcode technology and AutoFill item identification. Ahh, so you probably won't be able to categorise any collection without barcodes on - drawing them on yourself with a rolling-ruler and a biro probably won't cut it.