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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

CES 2012: Whoa — back to the future?

LAS VEGAS — It’s easy to feel deja vu at the Consumer Electronics Show this year.

Some of the new gadgets on display look awfully familiar.

Behold the smart watch, from Casio. No, this isn’t the smart watch that Bill Gates showed at CES in 2003 or the “Dick Tracy” watch that LG showed in 2009.

Casio’s GB-6900 uses new Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology — which has ultra low power requirements — to share information with wearers’ smartphones. For instance, the watch has alerts for incoming calls and SMS messages and the phone’s ringing can be stopped by tapping the watch.

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Then there’s the new home phone with a built-in camera and video display.

Similar concepts have been shown at CES for over five years, but the new Canna runs a 1.2 gigahertz processor and the Android operating system (version 2.3) behind a 7-inch touchscreen.

The phone, which should go on sale at the end of the month for about $249, won an “Innovations” award from CES organizers. It’s made by HFC Technology of Beijing, which is also showing a 10-inch model without the physical buttons. It should list for $349.

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This one really takes you back — all the way to ancient Easter Island.

They’re sensor devices that monitor rooms for temperature, smoke and fire, carbon monoxide, ozone and dust. They also function as motion detectors and take pictures, in case there is an intruder.

To equip a home with this advanced monitoring system, each room would have one of the devices, called Moai, after the Easter Island sculptures upon which they are modeled.

Designer Francis Riquet (below), who hails from Montpellier, France, said they should retail for around $100 apiece. He’s looking for partner companies to begin distribution.

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Comments | More in | Topics: Apple

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