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The best gadgets from CTIA Wireless 2010

New tools for the iPhone, Android & Windows

The CITA Wireless conference in Las Vegas last week has a number of innovative wireless gadgets on display. Here's our pick of the best.

Also at the Innovators event, executives from a Finnish start-up named Aava Mobile described their reference design for a fully open mobile device that can be customised by manufacturers and wireless carriers.

It's based on Intel's forthcoming Moorestown chip, which is part of the Atom lineup and is expected to be released in May, said CEO Markus Appel.

He said it will run either Android or MeeGo. Aava first described the concept in February at the Mobile World Congress.

At the Innovators event, Apple showed how the design could be used to support other conceptual products.

He showed an artist's rendering of a smartphone attached to a device that would project a virtual keyboard via a laser onto a tabletop, as well as a drawing of a smartphone attached directly to a projector to display the phone's content on a screen.

Also, a company called Toktumi demonstrated Line2, an iPhone app that allows a second line on an iPhone that functions as a voice-over-IP connection when the device is used in Wi-Fi zone.

Line2 can also turn an iPod Touch into a VoIP phone, said Peter Sisson, founder and CEO of Toktumi.

Sisson gushed with enthusiasm when describing how the application won praise from New York Times reviewer David Pogue.
Pogue noted that the VoIP calls won't give carriers any revenues, meaning "it can ruin the sleep of mobile phone executives everywhere".

Line2 service costs $15 (£9.83) a month after a 30-day free trial.

Another unusual new product shown at CTIA, the Zero Charger, came from a big company, AT&T, in conjunction with Superior Communications.

The Zero Charger plugs into wall outlets like other chargers but, unlike other chargers, it senses when a mobile phone isn't plugged into it and stops drawing power from the wall.

Most chargers are guilty of what's known as 'vampire draw', meaning they keep drawing - and wasting - power even if the device to be charged isn't plugged in.

The Zero Charger will be available in the US in May at AT&T. Pricing or UK availability has not been announced, but the charger will cost about the same as existing replacement chargers, AT&T said.

It's USB compatible and will work with many mobile devices, helping reduce the need for a variety of chargers for different devices.

  1. We look at the most innovative products on display at this year's CITA event
  2. Even more wireless gadgets

See also: Group test: Top 5 wireless-n routers of March 2010

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