We spend a lot of time at shows like IFA ‘pounding the beat’ and visiting as many booths as possible to find hidden gems – from both the industry’s big names as well as the lesser known players.
One category of devices that seems to be ever-present at these tech shows is the portable Bluetooth speaker. More often that not, you end up with a strong feeling of déjà-vu from seeing booth after booth with similar looking devices. You can therefore imagine how the Jabra Solemate caught our eye at ShowStoppers earlier this week. The Solemate has a distinctive shoe-like style, with a thick rubber sole designed to reduce reverberations, along with a tab on it’s ‘heel’ for the imaginary task of pulling it on to your foot (don’t try that at home!).
The Solemate is billed as ‘go-anywhere, do anything’ portable speaker with up to 8 hours of continuous play. It has 3 front-facing speakers which will go up to 120 dB SPL (at 0.5m) and supports Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio cable and USB connectivity. Coming from Jabra, it might not surprise you to hear that the Solemate also doubles up as a speakerphone complete with a noise filtering omni-directional microphone with mute feature.
We were told that the Solemate’s RRP is 179.99 euros (approx £140-145). For further product information, visit http://www.jabra.com
Generally speaking, we found the quality of exhibitors at this year’s iLounge (the area for Apple related products) to be quite poor. It never fails to amaze us how many new companies want to enter the already crowded market of supplying iPad and iPhone cases! Nevertheless, there were a few hidden gems amongst the clutter, such as the Kanex MySpot.
This compact device, from the Californian-based firm, enables you to turn a wired (ethernet) connection in to a wi-fi (802.11b/g) hotspot. This is ideal for those situations, such as in a hotel room, where wi-fi coverage might be patchy or unavailable. It also means you and your colleague could pay for a single ethernet connection and then share it, wirelessly, between multiple devices.
Kanex were keen to point out that their MySpot is much lighter and smaller than Apple’s Airport Express and also, as it’s USB-powered, doesn’t require you to carry around a power cable. MySpot will be available towards the end of September 2012 with an expected retail price of £59.99. More info at http://www.kanexlive.com/