The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) was in London yesterday to drum up interest in the International CES held in January in Las Vegas, including a preview of a small number of companies that will be exhibiting.
One of the more interesting companies was Damson, which won a competition to exhibit at CES run by UKTI, the British government department responsible for promoting overseas trade. The company makes speakers that can produce sound when placed on any hard surface, even a pack of Doritos.
James Talbot formed Damson earlier this year after being frustrated with the quality of sound he was getting from the speakers he came across while travelling for business. Talbot says he has sold 10,000 of his first product, the Cisor.
The Damson Cisor (right) is about to be joined by the Twist (center). The battery is good for four hours of playback when using Bluetooth, and it will cost $130 when it's available at the end of the month. On the left is the Perl, which will be officially launched at CES in January. A beefier speaker brings the price to $150, and it will ship in February.
The Damson Oyster will also launch at CES. With more drivers inside, it produces a louder sound again, has a rechargeable battery that lasts for four hours when using Bluetooth and nine hours when you plug in an audio cable. It will ship in March.
Pure is a British company best known in the U.K. for making DAB digital radios (like the ones in the background), but it has ambitions to take on Sonos in multi-room audio with its Jongo S340B speakers, to be launched in the U.S. at CES. For around $200, you'll get a portable speaker that streams music from Apple and Android devices with a rechargeable battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 360-degree sound.
The Pure Jongo speakers can be controlled with this iPad app. You can broadcast the same music stream to more than one device, such as other Jongo speakers or certain radios that Pure also sells, but you can't use one controller to play different music on different speakers.
BabyPing was born out of a British surveillance company. It's a camera that helps you monitor your baby on an iPhone or iPad. The company claims it's the only baby-cam with "invisible night vision" -- the others emit a soft red glow from their IR sensors.
Another British company was showing off the Fitbug Air, about to be launched in the U.K. and pushed into the American market at CES. It measures your physical activity through the day, sending the results to your phone via Bluetooth as well as uploading them to the company's Web site, so you can keep tabs on your fitness levels.
This phone charger from Energenie has a gel on the back that sticks it to your phone. Plug the cable into the USB port and it will use its battery to replenish your phone's power. The company is hoping for a U.S. sales push in the wake of CES.
The Tinke from Zensorium was actually unveiled at CES 2012, but is only just about to go on sale. It's a small box that plugs into an iPhone and measures your heart rate, oxygen levels, and more. It will cost $119, although strangely the company wasn't sure if it will actually be at the 2013 CES.