Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 | 7:27 p.m.
Among the thousands of products displayed this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show, from phone cases to iPad-powered guitars to waterproof speakers, a select few were chosen to be honored with the CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award.
Several dozen products were housed in sleek black and glass cases in the Venetian ballroom, representing categories including personal electronics, high performance audio, computer accessories and software applications.
Twenty-one items were honored with the “Best of Innovations” awards. Among the honorees was the Nest Learning Thermostat, a small gray dial with a digital display that is touted as the “world’s first learning thermostat.”
The thermostat can learn its user’s preferences, and then programs itself to maximize energy efficiency while maintaining a comfortable temperature in the home. As it learns the schedules of its users, the thermostat can turn down the temperature while nobody is home, and then begin heating the house back up before people arrive.
Honored in the digital imaging category, the small, rectangular Lytro light field camera allows users to adjust the focus of an image after it has been taken.
The Invoxia NVX 610 offers a modern twist on the classic office telephone. Honored in the portable home appliances category, the sleek, white Invoxia integrates with an iPhone, which plugs in on top, and provides an acoustic receiver handset for more comfortable chatting around the home or office.
Described as the world’s only custom-fitting earphones, Eers, developed by Sonomax Technologies, offer all the features of traditional headphones, including sound isolation and high fidelity playback.
But the twist on this unique offering is that the earphones form specifically to a user’s ear within four minutes, providing a high level of comfort.
In the wireless handset category, HTC’s Amaze 4G, available on the T-Mobile network, was honored for its high powered processor, 4.3-inch high definition screen and its eight megapixel camera.
Other honorees include a wall charger developed by Audiovox that converts standard AC outlets into USB chargers; the Libratone 360 degree audio speaker; Sony’s S1 tablet; and a multi-sensor monitor that users can wear around their wrist that monitors heart rate, calories burned and physical activity and then links the data with a personal online account.