CeBIT Australia attracted around 30,000 people last week to its computer expo at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Here are our top picks from what we saw and CNET.com.au's CeBIT 2006 People's Choice Award the best consumer product or service.
VoIP service: Freshtel
FreshTel is unique in the VoIP landscape in that it has created the hardware, software and the network that's used to run its services. Freshtel's Internet Telephone Adaptor (pictured here) has been designed to enable VoIP calling without being tethered to a computer. One end connects to a router, while the other connects to a regular telephone handset. Freshtel also sells its 2070 VoIP handset and its 4030 Stick Phone, which both connect to a PC via a USB port. The benefit of this connection is that users don't need to have a sound card installed.
Mobile Phone: Sagem myMobileTV2
Sagem's myMobileTV2 is GSM phone with a built-in DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) tuner to watch television on the go. A twelve-month trial into the the technical and commercial feasibility of DVB-H in Australia began last year in July. Seventeen digital services are currently being broadcast in Sydney with participating companies including The Bridge Networks, Telstra, Foxtel, SKY Channel, ABC, SBS and Nine Network Australia.
Availability: Sagem doesn't expect the MyMobileTV2 to be available in Australia any time before September. The release of the handset depends upon the outcome of the DVB-H trials in two months and if an Australian carrier picks up the handset for use on its network.
See also: Nokia N92
All-in-one PC: OzIQ
Australian technology company Tucana Innovations showed us its all-in-one PC where all the components are contained within the monitor -- except the keyboard, mouse and power supply. It has an HD-ready 22-inch display, 64-bit AMD processor, 350GB Serial ATA II HDD and gigabit LAN -- but no TV tuner unfortunately. The base is removable so the OzIQ can be mounted on a wall or extension arm. See a larger photo in our CeBIT photo gallery.
Availability: PCs are built to order and available now. Contact information can be found on the OzIQ Web site.
See also: Apple iMac G5
Digital media adaptor: MediaGate MG-350HD
The MediaGate MG-350HD is a wireless digital media adaptor that enables the streaming of high-definition video content from networked PCs to a TV. It also comes with an 80GB or 120GB built-in hard drive, 10/100 LAN, USB connectivity. A/V connections include component, S-video, analog 5.1-channel, stereo and optical/coaxial digital audio outputs. Supported file formats include JPEG, MPEG, AVI, WMV9, XviD, M2V, DAT, VOB, OGG Vorbis, MP3 and WMA.
Availability: A MediaGate representative told us he expects the MG-350SD to be available in Australia within a couple of months -- once its operating system is translated into English.
Portable video player: Aigo PMP P891
Looking much like Microsoft's Origami tablet, the Aigo PMP 891 is a portable media player that offers a large 7-inch screen. It supports 16:9 widescreen aspect ratios, almost all video/audio/photo formats and can record TV programs direct to its 20GB hard disk. The expected RRP is AU$999.
Availability: Beijing-based Aigo's local distributor Linophir promises that the device will be available at major retailers such as Harvey Norman by the end of the year.