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Samsung Galaxy S6 to Be Unveiled at CES 2015? Rumors!

Posted by wicked December - 15 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

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Ah, Samsung. The Korean electronics giant has muscled its way into the hearts and minds of all of us, citizens of the world. It has done so largely through a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach to product releases, and it seems to have served them well.

Though for every forgettable tablet with awkward nomenclature that none of us can keep straight, there’s a beacon on the hill in the form of the Galaxy S series of phones. When the Galaxy S series initially launched, it was to minimal fanfare. But due to Samsung’s aggressive support of the line, it has now become one of the most popular phone platforms in the world.

Samsung has incrementally moved up the announcement of its next Galaxy S phone, with last year’s S5 making its bow in February and the S4 announcement coming in March the year before. Now Korean site Chosun Biz alleges that Samsung has moved up the timeline yet again, with the intent to drop the Galaxy S6 at CES in January. The S6 will be accompanied by what is rumored to be its own S6 Edge variation, akin to the Galaxy Note/Galaxy Note Edge relationship.

And on top of this, the Korean site states that the phones might go to market immediately, all in an effort to boost sales. Samsung executives aren’t pleased with the S5′s performance, which they attribute to a poor release schedule, not the fact that it was an extremely minor upgrade to the 4S and offered little reason for consumers to make the jump.

Leaks abound regarding the specs for the S6, but in an effort to keep that pot stirring, it’s said to have an Exynos 7420 octa-core 6-bit processor, an ARM Mali-T760 graphics chip, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of local storage standard (with the traditional SD card slot), and a 16 or 20 MP camera. Android 5.0 Lollipop will ship out of the box.

It seems unlikely that Samsung would use CES as the stage to launch its next flagship. Samsung typically prefers to hold its own events or occupy time at a more focused one in order to avoid being buried by dozens of other tech stories that will likely come out of an event as large as CES. But hey, crazier things have happened.

If you want a fantastic example of Samsung hubris at its finest, check out the video below of the Galaxy S4 launch event in 2013 – Samsung UNPACKED. Remember, this was when the Galaxy S series was really hitting its stride, and Samsung wanted to play into what they perceived as the extreme brand devotion of the howling masses. Also, yes, that’s Nashville‘s Will Chase as your emcee. Poor guy.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: Naver

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Samsung publishes its schedule for CES 2015

Posted by wicked December - 5 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

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Samsung has just published its schedule for CES 2015. The South Korean company will hold a press conference at 2.00 pm on Monday, January 5, in the Las Vegas Convention Centre, followed by a keynote address by Samsung Electronics CEO and President, B K Yoon, at 6:30 pm.

During these two conferences Samsung is expected to announce its new lineup of smartphones for the first half of 2015, which should include the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Mini and the Galaxy S6 Zoom. Recent rumors also suggest that a new series of devices dubbed the ‘E Range‘ is on its way.

On the same day Sony will hold its CES keynote, which will start at 5 pm. So it looks like January 5 is going to be a pretty busy day. If all goes according to plan we should be seeing a handful of smartphone announcements from two of the biggest manufacturers in the Android industry.

Here’s to 2015!

Source: Samsung

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Nano Magnetics working on the Nanoport, should be ready for CES 2015

Posted by wicked December - 5 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

The name Nanoport magnetic connector alone gives us an idea that this is one cool concept. Anything with the word “nano” and “magnetic” could be something great and this new project from Nano Magnetics is no different.

The Nanoport’s patent is still pending but we know this technology is going to be big. It’s still in the works but a working model is expected to be showcased at the CES 2015 as the company promised during the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The team showed off a mock-up back in January and promised to be back with a real, working product next year.

The working model should be ready and complete next month. We hope to see the magnetic connections that keep the devices together—those connections that also allow data transfer seamlessly.

The idea of Nano Magnetics is to bring different gadgets together and connect them to create a one, big device. Smartphone, speakers, cameras, and battery packs with Nano Magnetics’ magnets can be connected together to build what they call Nanoport-enabled devices.

This Nanoport can transfer power and data securely and quickly between several devices when connected. No need for cables or a special software to finish the transfer. Just connect the magnetic devices and the Nanoport will do what it needs to do.

Nanoport reminds me of the Project Ara but the guys at Nano Magnetics are set to reveal the magnetic system very soon. A developer kit is expected to be released soon for app developers and hardware manufacturers. We’ll see if Nano Magnetics will be able to keep its promise. CES 2015 is a few weeks from now so we’ll see.

VIA: SlashGear

LG G Flex 2 tipped to launch at CES 2015

Posted by wicked December - 1 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

It’s hard to believe, but we are only a month away from the annual CES show in Las Vegas where hoards of new gadgets and electronics launch each year. With the show so close, the rumors are swirling about what products we may see at the show. One of the rumors says that LG will launch the G Flex 2 at CES 2015 next month.

The rumor doesn’t bring much in the way of details about the device with word being that the G Flex 2 will be a major update to the original device. A higher resolution plastic-based OLED screen is tipped while the device will become smaller overall.

The original G Flex packed a large 6-inch screen and presumably, the screen size will remind the same. Full HD resolution is expected for the G Flex 2, lower resolution was one of the downsides of the original G Flex. The curved profile that gives the G Flex 2 its name will certainly be carried forward.

That flexible design allows the phone to be bent slightly without causing damage, something that can’t always be said for larger smartphones, I’m looking at you iPhone 6 Plus. With CES 2015 only a month away, we will keep an ear out for more details on the LG G Flex 2.

SOURCE: Android Authority

Sony hypes CES 2015 presence with probable Xperia Z4 launch

Posted by wicked November - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Crazy – that’s the word we have for it. We have no arguments whatsoever that the tech industry moves heck fast, but Sony is trying to redefine that statement as we are continuing to receive leaks that Sony will indeed be launching its next flagship phone, the Xperia Z4 this coming January in Las Vegas.

A lot of us are looking forward to CES 2015 – one of the biggest gadget trade shows on the face of this earth – but Sony seems to be giving us more reason to get excited. Phone Arena published a tip from one of its sources that the Japanese manufacturers are already lining up the launch of the Xperia Z4 just mere months after it released the Xperia Z3 (September 2014).

The source also says that the Xperia Z5 will be sporting a 5.4-inch TRILUMINOS display reportedly powered by a Snapdragon 805 processor – not the Snapdragon 810 that we all expected. Rumors also say that the Xperia Z4 will be backstopped by a ginormous amount of RAM – 4GB to be exact. What that will do to the pricing of the device, we still can’t say – but Sony has never back down on RAM before.

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There are leaked pics – which all but confirm the 20.7 MP main camera. We hope it’s the new IMX230 sensor that Sony recently unveiled, as that will bring image plane detection AF technology, 192-point autofocus for blur-free snaps of fast-moving objects, and real-time HDR (wow).

Lastly, the source has news for the Xperia Z4 Ultra, which might be launched side-by-side the Xperia Z4 in Las Vegas (crazy, we tell you). The Ultra will purportedly have a 5.9-inch screen, the same Snapdragon 805 processor and 4GB RAM, but a lower 16MP main camera. The selling point of the Ultra is rumored to be a razor thin 5.7mm chassis.

Are you ready for the Xperia Z4? We ourselves can’t quite believe it yet, but we expect we’ll know for sure soon enough.

SOURCE: Phone Arena

During last week’s CES, I had a chance to sit down with Motorola executives Steve Horowitz (SVP software engineering) and William Moss (director of corporate communications) to talk the year that was, what they took away from all that happened in 2013, their thoughts on wearables, and where we are headed in 2014. Our chat was a brief 30 minutes, but we managed to cruise through all sorts of topics including how they managed to update the Moto X to Kit Kat in under three weeks.

I think you’ll notice a theme quickly emerging throughout that most of you will all be fans of:  Motorola wants to do more of the same, which means continuing to provide value and choice with a stock Android experience anchoring it all. While they wouldn’t give up their roadmap for 2014 (don’t worry I tried to get it), I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll see MotoMaker stick around, new choices of materials will be a part of the scheme, new features will be added onto their suite of Touchless Control and Active Display, and prices will remain as good as ever.

Let’s run through it. (Sorry for the delay, but man, do I have new love for professional transcribers.)

Question:  As far as 2013 went, do you have a favorite moment whether it be Moto X or something else?

Horowitz:  It’s been very interesting to see people start to understand the value in doing less and not focusing on the spec wars and escalations of bigger screens, how many cores, etc. We really are pleased to have seen a shift – by no means are we done – and a momentum that’s really picked up with the products we’ve launched. X and G, not only do they have their legs under them, but we’re really pleased with how things are doing, Moto G in particular. It’s hitting a price point for performance that is really resonating with consumers. Everybody learns, so we’ve learned a lot, but we’ve learned that our core tenants of choice, value, and a nice pure, simple experience, really are starting to win over consumers. We’re very happy with that.

Question:  Goal going forward with core experience, to add on top of Touchless Control and Active Display?

Horowitz:  That’s exactly right. We started off a year ago and started from scratch. We’ve got years of legacy built up in our codebase – we’re getting rid of all. We’re literally going to start with a fresh drop of Android, and we’re going to simply add in the minimal things we need to be carrier, legally, and geographically compliant, which is a small set of things if you really boil it down, and then we’re going to add experiences that are complementary of Android, not in competition with Android.

I know the [Android] team very well, I was an engineer there for 3 years when we first built it. I know the talent. I’ve always been a believer in a pure Android experience and the basics. I don’t think anyone’s ever sold more phones because their calendar had a better search box than the stock calendar or their launcher was just a little bit better. Instead of focusing on differentiating and competing with Android, we focused on things that are complementary to it and getting out of the way. That’s been one of these kind of virtuous circle things, that by taking that fresh approach with our code base we’ve been able to execute on upgrades at a pace I think nobody really expected. In addition to that, we’ve also done things with our experiences to make them market upgradable, Play store upgradable. And again, all these things are enablers for us to move really, really quickly.

Moss:  You were asking for single moments for us from the past year, and I think being the first OEM to come out with a Kit Kat device was a huge moment for us. As you may recall, our reputation, say a year, year and a half, two years ago – was such a turn-around in how we were able to approach the software experience and the upgrade experience. Members of the public feel differently about that, but there is definitely a core for whom that is super important and we had heard from a lot.

Question:  On that note, when you guys announced that Kit Kat was rolling out for the Moto X, it was under 3 weeks (19 days to be exact according to Horowitz), how did you guys do it?

Horowitz:  There really are two fundamental things that enabled us to do that. When I say “two things,” I mean two categories. One is this core Android experience that is just fundamentally more pure and less modified than anything we have ever done. And I would argue anything that any other OEM has ever done. So we started with a true pure Android approach. That is a facilitator, and that coupled with challenging the team to think really hard about making as few modifications as we possibly can enabled us. We then had to go to our partners – because it’s not something we can do on our own – we had to work with Qualcomm and Verizon, AT&T and Sprint and say, “Guys, let’s take a different approach to this. Let’s not treat this as business as usual where cycles happens in the following way with the following deadlines. Let’s rethink this from scratch.” And so they were great partners for us in doing that. As you said, it did require these two fundamentally different things to happen. But we proved to our partners as well as to consumers that it can be done. And I think we set a new bar and can be even better.

Question:  Moto X specifically – wood or natural backs – initially when you first announced them there were other materials. Still plans to do those?

Horowitz:  Yeah, I think you’ll see a lot of additional things in the domain of consumer choice, and new materials, and things like that in Moto X. I think one of the things you’ll see that’s consistent in this area is we also want to be careful and not try to do things that will lower the quality bar. We want to make sure we do fewer things really well. We started off with Bamboo so we could make sure – even then, Bamboo is technically not even a wood, as I learned myself – but each material has its own set of challenges both in terms of how you ensure the quality level, the manufacturing, the drop testing, the rigidity, the antenna. There are a lot of different factors. And then there is also the sourcing. We also want to make sure we’re responsible on the sourcing and making sure it’s sustainable and things like that. As we’ve learned – because again these are all learning processes for us – we have wanted to just do this carefully. But you’ll definitely see some other materials come into play.

Question:  MotoMaker – here to stay?

Moss:  Rolling it out from – you know it started on AT&T – to all the other carriers was a very big step for us in the last couple of months. That really helped to drive adoption of broad customization to a much bigger audience and we were really glad to be able to roll it out more. It’s going to be a big priority.

Horowitz:  The way I would characterize it is I would say it’s part our bigger story of consumer choice and options. We really expanded that beyond just carriers. Our direct to consumer channels and some of the sales we’ve had for some of the unlocked devices over the holidays were incredibly successful for us. Even if you look at Moto G – which isn’t a MotoMaker product – has choice. You can still have backs. It is arguably even more customizable than X because, my daughter can have 3 different backs – what’s her outfit look like today – “well I can use my blue back or my purple back or my yellow back.” Consumer choice is important, so I think you’ll really see us accelerate in areas like that.

Question:  Touching on price – Moto X is now $399 – is that another focus going forward? Initially, phones launching at a reasonable price point that people can get off contract?

Horowitz:  The way I would begin characterizing that is it’s about value to consumers. Really our goal here is very aligned with Google – we want to get phones and information access to billions of people out there that don’t have it. The first thing you have to do is get devices at a price point that can reach different kinds of consumers. Really what you’ll see us is us focusing on value. And that isn’t just value in terms of cheaper or lower cost phones, it’s value at every segment. Moto X we think is a great value at that price, and you’ll continue to see more of that with us.

Question:  Project Ara – how are things coming there?

Horowitz:  Things are going well – we don’t have anything really new to announce in that domain. As you might expect it has generated a lot of talk. Even internally we were surprised at the way that that’s resonated with – obviously not the broader consumer population – but it just goes back to choice. Consumers, ultimately there is not a one size fits all, and something like a Project Ara will allow people to specify not only at order time, but even dynamically. Like, I’m going out on vacation and maybe I want to rent a super high-end camera module or maybe I need to optimize for battery, so I put 4 batteries in the various slots so I can have extra long battery life. So consumer choice not just at product conception but depending on the individual use case is incredibly possible.

Moss:  I bumped into the technical project lead for Ara yesterday in the office before I left and had a quick chat with him. They are definitely making progress – stay tuned – there will be more to come.

Then things got interesting for a moment when Moss asked me a question, basically giving me the power to tell them what they can do better. He wanted to know what it would take to get their product into my pocket as a daily driver, since I showed up to the interview with a G2 and Nexus 5 (Whoops!).

Question (from Moss):  You have a couple of different devices out here (on the table). Where do you see where we are at now? When you look at our devices and how they fit into the competitive environment – as somebody who follows Android closely – where are we good and not good? What would it take so that you are carrying our devices around as a primary device?

Me:  I basically told them to do more of the same, but that some people do still care about specs as much as the Moto X helped slow down the spec wars. I also told them that we focus a lot on cameras these days because the camera on your phone often times is all you have and it needs to be awesome. It’s the little things that make a smartphone great, since almost all smartphones are good these days. And last, I told them that the Moto X (with Bamboo) is actually my daily phone, but that I was using the G2 in its place for the extra battery life while hotspotting during CES. They joked about me being one of the few that are buying Bamboo.

We then moved casually onto Moto G. Both shared some thoughts.

Moss:  You also asked about things from the past year that had been big moments for us and I think the other thing (other than software upgrades), when we put G out and we saw the reception to it – we were optimistic about the product and we felt that there was a good strategic case for it – I think we were pleasantly surprised by how positive the reaction to it was from reviewers but also just from people who appreciated somebody putting out an affordable phone that wasn’t crappy. And you know, the response from consumers has been very good and we have been very, very happy with that. I think that was a big lesson for us – Steve talked about choice before, in terms of how we bring different kinds of choices to people and I think that formed very much our decision to do off-contract Moto Xs for $399 and give people more choices around value and around options that aren’t driven by contracts. So that was a very big deal for us.

Horowitz:  I think Moto G really shows – you talk about specs, and there obviously is as you say, is going to be core group of folks [who cares], which is fine, great, because the world needs variety – but what Moto G, we’re hoping it shows, is that by doing less, by having a more pure experience – again this is part of my Android championing part that says the product can do great things if you don’t get in its way. And that’s what we think we have done with Moto G. We have created the kind of experience that is – there are still some great Motorola experience stuff in there – but it’s a pure Android experience on a phone and it shines, given the relatively [lower] specs. I would put even the Moto G up against some of the highest end smartphones today and I would challenge you to tell the difference in many cases.

Question:  2014 – plans?

Horowitz:  Well, our product roadmap is… (jokingly)

I think thematically you’ll see just more of the same which is, we want to continue to do fewer things and do them very well. We want to offer things that are of value to consumers and increase the accessibility of the internet. We want to have more and more choice. We want to build things that we feel have resonated. We have done a lot of things over the last year, made a lot of changes, and we have been surprised in a lot of cases. Like anybody will learn with what resonates with consumers we’ll see more of – I know I’m being very generic here – nonetheless, themes of choice and value will be accelerated.

Question:  Wearables – the hot topic right now – you guys at one time did the MotoActv, so any plans to think about going back in there?

Horowitz:  As you can imagine, we’re not going to announce anything, but really it’s an area that we’re [thinking really hard about]. When we do something we want to make sure we are careful about and don’t want to just do it for the sake of doing it. Clearly it’s an area that we think is resonating with a certain subset of consumer. Even though the bands and the fitness part is a broad consumer thing, I think having a more interactive experience with wearables is still a much smaller market as people learn to integrate.

And that was our chat!

As you can tell, they weren’t about to give up dirty little secrets or specific plans for the future. However, if you were a fan of what Motorola did during 2013, I think you should be excited to know that they are going to continue to focus on using stock Android, giving us great pricing (hopefully out of the gate this time), bringing customization, looking into wearables, and updating phones faster than they did last year.

Jordan0113

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 gets a leaked Android 4.4.2 KitKat build! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that Sony Xperia M got an unofficial Android 4.4.2 KitKat Release and the Sony Xperia TX has a leaked version of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!

Jordan talks about all the videos released on XDA Developer TV this weekend from CES 2014 including the a hands-on video with the Samsung Note PRO 12.2, Tab PROs and Galaxy Camera 2, Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G, and the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch video by XDA Developer TV Producer TK. Check out our whole CES 2014 Playlist. Pull up a chair and check out this video.

Links to stories mentioned:

Check out Jordan’s YouTube Channel and Jordan’s Gaming YouTube Channel

In Brief: Android-related accessories announced at CES 2014 (Volume 1)

Posted by wicked January - 13 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

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This edition features smartphone-related products and accessories announced for CES 2014.

In Brief is a compilation of notifications, rumors, and Android-related news tidbits which, for whatever reason, did not end up with a post of its own on HelloAndroid. These are things that we still feel are worth knowing, even if in a passing manner. Consider it a grab-bag of Android goodies. If you have something that you think is worth a mention on HelloAndroid, be sure to reach out to us via our contact page.

For the sake of this article, we will use excerpts from press releases.

read more

International CES 2014 Wrap Up – What Got Announced?

Posted by wicked January - 13 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

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The spectacle that is the International CES show has come to an end for yet another year. While there are bound to be more Android announcements at the upcoming Mobile World Congress, there are still some things announced this week to look forward to—and some things that were announced that you won’t look forward to.

Huawei

Let’s start with the unexciting. The mobile device manufacturer with a name that is not pronounced how it is spelled, Huawei, released an updated version of the Ascend Mate phone. Adding in 4G LTE connectivity, the creatively named follow-up, Ascend Mate 2 4G sits squarely in the middle of the road. With a Mediatek chip running four cores and sporting a 6.1” 720p screen, this device won’t be making the list of juggernaut phones for 2014. As a favor to you, we got hands on with the device to show you what you won’t be missing.

LG

To follow in this pattern, let’s talk about the LG G Flex. While the G Flex has been announced and available internationally for a while now, LG announced US carrier versions. As the name implies, this device is flexible and sports a curved design. This devices still disappointingly rocks Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and is really nothing more than a bent LG G2. However, we can’t blame LG, as they were not the only ones who think the future of consumer electronics is bending your old products.

Sony

To be honest, we are a little disappointed by this company’s announcements. Sony has made some great devices, and unfortunately they are content with just making some small tweaks. This year they released a duo of phones: the Xperia Z1S and the shrunken Z1 Compact. If you shorten the name, you could call it the Z1C—though Sony won’t call it that, and you have a familiar naming convention.  Not only is the naming convention similar, so is the approach to product design: Take an existing device and tweak it. The Z1S is Sony’s attempt at capturing some of the delicious US market share. The device will only be available with T-Mobile. The Z1S is basically a Z1 made of plastic with pre-installed Sony apps, like the PlayStation app. The Z1 Compact is the Z1 only smaller. And since it also features a 720p resolution on its smaller screen, the screen density goes down. Some say the screen is better than the bigger brothers, but that’s in the eye of the beholder. If you want to know more about Sony’s devices check out our video.

Samsung

Sony is not the only one to announce a hardware “refresh.” Android device powerhouse Samsung released newer versions of the Samsung Galaxy Camera, a new big Note, and a trio of new Galaxy Tabs. The tablet updates are all Pros: The Note Pro 12.2, the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, 10.1 and 8.4. These tablets introduce a new navigation idea called Magazine UI, which reminds us of Windows Phone live tiles. There was a lot of information about these devices. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, check out our video to learn even more.

Nvidia

Perhaps the most exciting announcement of CES 2014 turned out not to be a device at all, but rather a mobile chipset. Nvidia announced their new 192-core Tegra K1 chip. This Tegra chip features the same architecture as Nvidia’s desktop GPUs, while sipping only 5 watts. This allows for some tremendous eye candy. To check out some of that eye candy, check out the video.

Smartwatches

A big thing this year was the so called wrist revolution. There were many smartwatches at this year’s event. From the LG LifeBand Touch, which is a better fitness tracking device than smartwatch, to the stylish new MetaWatch and huge Neptune Pine; smartwatches might be the next big thing. Our favorite from this year is possibly the svelte all-in-one smartwatch, the Omate TrueSmart. Check out our videos to learn more about the different type of smartwatches.

Omate TrueSmart

Neptune Pine


Video Courtesy of Twildottv

MetaWatch


Video Courtesy of Twildottv

LG LifeBand Touch


Video Courtesy of Twildottv

Conclusion

Another CES has come and gone. And while there was some news of impending mobile devices, nothing really stands out and the must have device of this year. However, don’t think that means there will be no good smartphone releases this year. You will just have to wait for them. They may be announced at Mobile World Congress or some other event. We wait eagerly for the next must have device to be announced, so save your money, and join us. Just don’t hold your breath.

Omate TrueSmart Hands On and Interview with Laurent Le Pen at CES 2014 – XDA Developer TV

Posted by wicked January - 12 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

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This year at the International CES 2014, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan saw a lot of smartwatches—everything from the Neptune Pine to the new MetaWatches, and much more. You can see all of this on his channel. However, he wasn’t the only person in attendance, nor are these the only Smartwatches on display.

XDA Developer TV Producer TK was on site, and he got his hands on the Omate TrueSmart. This watch is not just a notification panel for your smartphone. It, like the Neptune Pine, is a standalone mobile device. TK sat down and talked with the Laurent Le Pen at Omate. In the video below, you will see this interview and a demonstration of the Omate TrueSmart. Check out this video to see what the Omate looks like.

Relevant Links:

Be sure to check out more CES 2014 coverage:

Check out Jordan’s YouTube Channel and Jordan’s Gaming YouTube Channel