The show consisted of about 1,000 exhibitors stretching over an area of 15 ½ football fields. An emphasis of the show was on simplicity, ranging from devices that are easy to use to must-have accessories that let people get more out of technology they already own.

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NEW ORLEANS — Christmas may be nine months away, but it’s not too early to start drawing up your wish list.

The perfect place for ideas was this week’s Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association wireless conference, an event used by the industry to show off the coolest gadgets, whether they come in small, neat packages, flashy colors or clunky prototypes.

The show consisted of about 1,000 exhibitors stretching over an area of 15 ½ football fields. An emphasis of the show was on simplicity, ranging from devices that are easy to use to must-have accessories that let people get more out of technology they already own.

Among the countless gadgets and hot new ideas, here is just a sampling of the eye-catching paraphernalia from the show:


About 1,000 exhibitors participated this week in the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association wireless conference in New Orleans.

• Eastman Kodak had a number of items that fell into the category of trying to get the most out of your wireless devices.

Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Carp said 25 billion to 68 billion photos will be taken by camera phones this year, but 60 percent of people rarely or never upload pictures to a computer and 70 percent rarely or never share photos between phones.

To capture some of those photos, Kodak offered a number of solutions. Two of those are the Kodak Easyshare-One digital camera and accompanying printer.

The Kodak Easyshare-One zoom digital camera can be equipped with Wi-Fi to allow users to e-mail images to friends or to online albums by using a touch screen and a stylus.

The camera will also have access to T-Mobile hot spots later this year. (Suggested retail price: $599. Available in June. Wi-Fi cards sold separately.)

The camera can be used in conjunction with the Kodak Easyshare Printer Dock Plus printer. With an additional Wi-Fi card, it can print pictures wirelessly from PCs or the Easyshare-One digital camera. (Suggested retail price: $199.95. Wi-Fi card sold separately.)

• The award for the show’s “Winning Wireless Widget” went to a device that is the epitome of simplicity: the Firefly phone (

Phone for kids

The phone is targeted at kids ages 8 to 12, but appeals to parents because it is limited in what it can do.

The size of a pager, it has a small black-and-white display and only five buttons. Two are designated for calling mom or dad.

Another connects to the address book, which can hold up to 22 numbers.

Priced at about $99, it’s expected to be available in May from Firefly’s Web site through Cingular.

“Our research showed that parents found buying an adult phone for their kid too indulgent. It was too much, too soon,” said Fred Bullock, Firefly’s chief marketing officer.

• Here’s a little something for man’s best friend.

The GPSTracks GlobalPetFinder allows pet owners to track their pet’s location remotely using text messaging.

The dog wears the device as a collar. When the rascal leaves a pre-designated area, the owner receives a text message pointing out the intersection of the dog’s location.

Or, if the owner is in front of a computer, the dog can be tracked using a map online.

The device, about the size of a cellphone, also can alert owners to temperature changes, so that they know if it’s too hot or cold for the dog.

The device is available from GPSTracks ( through a partnership with Syniverse. It costs $349.99 and service costs $17.99 a month. There’s a one-time startup fee of $34.99.

• The GlobalPetFinder was on display at the show’s Wireless Home, a 7,000-square-foot model home featuring futuristic products and devices that may someday become reality.

Some of the items on display included a microwave that scanned a frozen dinner’s barcode for information on how long to heat it.

In the bathroom, family members could monitor their health with a vest that measured heart rates and blood pressure.

The information was collected in a database that could be shared with their doctor over the Internet.

Electronic cabinet

Also in the bathroom was an electronic medicine cabinet that used radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to monitor which prescriptions were taken in and out of the cabinet and by whom to avoid a mix-up. When prescriptions run low, a couple of touches on the screen would alert the drugstore for a refill.


If Fido wanders off, a GPS GlobalPetFind, worn as a collar, can track the dog and notify the owner by text message or computer.

• The Kyocera Slider Remix KX5 mobile phone is not just a phone, but a camera, music player and a video-game player. It comes loaded with a MP3 player and 1.3-megapixel camera with flash and digital zoom, but with the Slider’s accessories, it can do even more.

For the kid in us, there’s an attachable game controller for playing games on the mobile phone.

The controller looks like — and is comparable to — a full-size one that comes with video-game consoles.

With directional controls on either side, it is more ergonomic than using the small keypad of a mobile phone. The controller uses three AAA batteries, so it does not drain the phone’s battery.

The phone also offers a Kyocera Music Dock, a cradle that features a jack to attach speakers. Slider Remix KX5 and accessories should be available soon.

• The next two accessories are about using wireless phones hands-free.

Particularly popular at the show was the Bluetooth headset for the mobile phone. Bluetooth is a standard that allows two devices within 30 feet of each other to network wirelessly.

Many attendees cruising the floor wore slick earplugs that flashed blue with a small microphone near the bottom of their earlobe.

Jabra makes numerous headsets and other devices. It also offers the SP100, a speakerphone that allows you to share a conversation in the office, or comes with a visor clip and suction cup for mounting in the car. (Available for $149.99.)

• Taking the Bluetooth speakerphone to the next level is Motorola with its Bluetooth blnc IHF1000 Car Kit. Instead of channeling a phone conversation through a stand-alone speaker, Motorola sends the call through the car’s stereo.

A small device with buttons allows you to send and end calls. A higher-end version can be installed in the car, and some cars can be delivered with it off the factory floor. (Bluetooth blnc IHF1000 Car Kit retail price: $299.99.)

Tricia Duryee: 206-464-3283 or