With the exception of Apple, which brings fanboys out in droves to line up for the introduction of every new model of iPhone, redesigns don’t often get a lot of attention. That's particularly true at CES, where there are plenty of brand new products to catch the attention of journalists and buyers.
Last night, however, two redesigns of familiar products caught my attention.
First, I spotted Novatel’s MiFi 2 hotspot. You are likely familiar with MiFi, a mobile device you can buy from your cellphone provider to create an instant hotspot for wireless online access. It’s been around for a while. The MiFi 2, is a definite improvement, both in look and in function. The touchscreen serves up all sorts of useful data, including critical data usage stats. Pricing depends on carrier and contract.
And then there was BodyMedia’s bluetooth armband, a wearable computer that monitors motion, temperature, and other factors of health and activity . You would have had to been an extremely devoted fitness geek to think that wearing the somewhat clunky first generation BodyMedia armband was a good idea, but the new, much smaller, version, the Core2, will likely have broader appeal. At least it appealed to me. Pricing hasn’t been set, but BodyMedia representatives said they expect it to cost about the same as the first generation product, listing at roughly $120.
Photo: MiFi 2
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Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.