Though we've looked at a variety of CES newbies, here's a first-time exhibitor that is familiar with the consumer electronics industry but is now breaking into the area of geeky gadgets.
Meet the VNA Group, a conglomerate of companies that manufacture fitness equipment, transportation vehicles, gaming technology, and other consumer electronics. The San Diego, Calif.-based business is bringing its newest ventures, iGUGU and Kempler & Strauss, to CES 2010.
iGUGU is taking a formal approach to bridging the gap between PC gaming and television. Gamecore is a three-part system which includes a a wired or wireless connector between the TV and PC, a TV-friendly software for browsing, and a wireless controller. Although pricing for the full package isn't clear, the controller is slated to cost $80.Its second product is the InterneTV, a similar setup with focus on browsing the Internet and accessing the computer for other general purposes.
But the VNA Group is grabbing most attention for Kempler & Strauss, a company that engineers mobile technology. Its W Phonewatch is the smallest wearable GSM phone watch and earned the company the spot as a CES Innovations 2010 Design and Engineering Award Honoree.
The 8-month-old company already developed six products for manufacturing, two smartphones, and a watch phone.
Unlike LG's $1,300 phone watch, the touch-screen W Phonewatch retails for only $200, a price that many consumers can agree upon. But who's actually going to wear it? Kempler and Strauss stresses that the phone is designed for early adopters and outdoorsy types who might benefit from a hands-free, wearable device.
Although it's low-priced, it's jam-packed with features: a video camera, a still camera, a bluetooth headset, audio playback, and text messaging.
After CES, the VNA Group will push to make its products available at big retailers such as Best Buy and Target.