With many of the press conferences behind us, day two of CES was more about hitting the pavement than staged events. Here are some of the highlights.
Alan Mulally with Ford Focus Electric
Ford CEO Alan Mulally, sporting his trademark red sweater vest, gives a smooch to his company's latest addition, the Ford Focus Electric.
The new Focus is the automaker's first-ever zero-emissions vehicle, and the company says it offers better mileage than the Chevy Volt and charges twice as fast as the Nissan Leaf.
The Focus Electric will launch later this year, and Mulally says the company's electric lineup will expand to five vehicles by 2012.
During the Ford address on Friday morning, Mulally also talked about an improved version of the company's MyFord Touch console, a new tool made in partnership with Microsoft that analyzes utility rates so people can charge their vehicles in the most cost-efficient way, and a mobile app called MyFord Mobile that lets Focus Electric owners do things like find charging stations, determine optimal charging times, and preheat their cars on cold days.
Day two of CES kicked off with a talk about innovation in the U.S.
Panelists pointed to many factors hindering the U.S. from keeping pace with the rest of the world, including a faulty education system, plus policies around exports and the highly emotional issue of immigration. Click here for a more complete summary of the talk.
The panelists(from left): CES President Gary Shapiro, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Cisco CEO John Chambers, and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt.
Remember the Chumby? The adorable little Internet widget/audio player/alarm clock mutant? Well, now it's back and my how it's changed.
The latest step in the Chumby evolution sports an 8-inch screen, headphone output, and a full Web browser, as well as the news feeds, alarm clock, games, photo frame, Internet radio, and weather functions it always had.
Whatever your feelings about Pleo, the robotic dinosaur that's been lurking about technology shows for several years now, it is back--reborn at CES as the Pleo Rb with improved interactive features, longer battery life, and better skin.
The dino's maker says this version of the toy is designed to be more emotional and that its Life OS allows individual Pleos to demonstrate different personality traits.
Anyone who's experienced the horror of realizing they've left their brain phone at home only after they're too far away to return will appreciate the effort made by the Bringrr team.
This gadget sits in your car's cigarette lighter and, as the car gets started, wirelessly pings your phone to see if it's in your car. If it's not, it will alert you with a flashing red light and an audible notification.
Of course, this system only works if you drive a car everywhere you go. Maybe next year the company will have a solution for those of us who commute on buses and subways.
Once a phone is outfitted with a thin, inductive Powermat backing, it can be charged by simply setting it down on the mat. That should be handy for those times when you forget to charge up overnight and have to hit the road.