Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Exploring iStuff at CES With Mobilized (Video)

With a little time left at the end of the Consumer Electronics Show, I finally had a break from private meetings, press conferences and onstage interviews. I used the time on Saturday morning to briefly tour a section of the massive show floor.

Given that I only had about an hour for my grand tour, I decided, in true Vegas style, to explore the first thing that came to me when I entered the show floor. Fortunately, since I cover mobile stuff, that turned out to be the iLounge-sponsored Apple area. It took me back to my early days of covering MacWorld Expo, back when it was an event Apple attended.

Some of the vendors were names I recognized, like Speck and Griffin and Mophie–companies that I had covered since their early days, companies that I had watched transformed from start-ups to serious players amid the explosion in the market for companion products to the iPod and, later, the iPhone.

There were also plenty of companies that I had never heard of, eager to find global distribution for ideas ranging from an iPod speaker resembling a gramophone to stickers that make the back of an iPad appear to be etched with a portrait of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, among other famous faces.

There were also T-shirts, headphones, keyboard attachments and even a booth with a representative of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

My only purchase of the day came after I had left the show entirely, though. With some urging from BoomTown’s Kara Swisher, I splurged on Pinball Magic, an accessory that transforms an iPod Touch or iPhone into a pinball machine, which was on clearance for $25 at the Brookstone store in the Las Vegas airport.

Here’s a video look at some of what I found.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus