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Today in Gear, CES 2014 Edition: January 7, 2014


Have you (geeks) heard? CES is on, and we’ve got two men on the floor, app-ing and connectivity-ing and syncing with a vengeance. We’ll be updating you all week with the coolest thing’s we’ve found so far. Here’s the first batch.

LET’S GET TECHNICAL Best of Gear Patrol 2013: Tech | Tested: Xbox One | Best External Desktop Hard Drives
Lyve-Gear-Patrol LyveHome
LyveHome is the Mothership of photo storage devices, instantly hoarding all of your photos from all of your devices (iOS, Android, OS X and Windows) via a Lyve app. And we mean hoarding: the always-on, touchscreen-faced box can purportedly hold millions of photos and videos. Here’s hoping Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum don’t blow it up. $299
ASUS-Transformer-Gear-Patrol Asus Transformer Book Duet
Forgive Asus their pidgin-sounding “In Search of Incredible” motto. They’ve got other things on their minds, like this quad-threat tablet/laptop Windows/Android device. Yes that’s right — it converts both from a tablet to a laptop and, more unconventionally, from a Windows 8 OS to an Android OS (and in just four seconds, at that). A 13-inch full HD touchscreen and an Intel Core i7 processor make it like just the Renaissance device we’ve been craving. asus.com
Sony-Xperia-Gear-Patrol Sony Xperia Z1S
The newly announced flagship exclusive for hipster carrier T-Mobile boasts the same 5-inch 1080p triluminos display, Snapdragon 800 processor and 20.7MP camera found on the Z1, while adding IP58 waterproofing certification (oh, and the headphone jack is also usable underwater), a PlayStation app for gamers and a larger Exmor RS camera sensor that Sony claims is on par with their compact camera line. Buy it for $528 off contract starting January 22nd. $528
Pebble-Steel-Gear-Patrol Pebble Steel
Indie success story Pebble has unveiled a new metal iteration of their popular smart watch designed to disguise wrist nerdery like never before. The CNC machined body is available in brushed stainless steel and PVD black matte and ships with a classy leather band in addition to a metal bracelet. A new charger, gorilla glass, an anti-fingerprint coating and an LED indication light are other small tweaks. It’s available January 28th. Your Casio calculator watch is officially jealous. $249
Toyota-FCV-Gear-Patrol Toyota FCV
New details were just revealed on the Fuel Cell concept car first made public late in 2013 at the Tokyo Motor Show, including, most notably, an adaptor that allows the car to power a home. Toyota says a fully fueled FCV could power a house for a week in an emergency situation and plans to start selling the vehicle stateside next year. Talk about a high five for hydrogen. toyota.com
Sony-SmartWear-Gear-Patrol Sony Xperia SmartWear
If something looks like a fitness tracker and blinks like a fitness tracker it’s probably a fitness tracker, right? Well, Sony’s going out on a limb and billing their new SmartWear wristband and accompanying Lifelog app as a “Life Tracker” that can help manage, control and record all aspects of your existence — even when you’re not burning calories. It tracks things like where you went, what you saw (or at least took pictures of) and who you talked to; that being said, it still does all the normal fitness-trackery stuff like measuring activity and sleep. All in all, Sony’s new band looks to take the best of smart watches, fitness trackers and social media and merge them into one device. sony.com
Nikon-D3300 Nikon D3300
Nikon’s latest entry-level camera brings with it a big DX-format (APS-C) 24.2MP sensor, a new EXPEED 4 image-processor and a choice of 3 body colors. The camera also borrows tech from its big brother, the D800e, by removing a filter that sits in front of the camera’s sensor to increase image sharpness. High speed shooting at 5fps, full-HD video and special effects modes round out the impressive little shooter. nikon.com
Belkin-WeMo-Crockpot-Gear-Patrol Belkin WeMo-Enabled Crock-Pot SmartSlow Cooker and Other Family Appliances
Good morning, Crock-Pot. Good morning, Mr. Jones. Turn on, please. With pleasure. What temperature would you like? Let’s go with low. Humidifier, did you have a nice evening? Yes, Mr. Jones. Should I keep humidifying? Certainly. And Air Purifier, how about you? How was your evening? Clean, Mr. Jones. Very clean. Mr. Coffee, on please. I’m ready to start the day. [End Scene.] Pretty cool that Belkin’s WeMo platform has expanded to all these new appliances, though not with speech (yet). Still, they can all be adjusted — on/off, reminders, settings and more — from just about anywhere with the WeMo app. And with the new WeMo Maker, any device with a DC switch can be given internet connectivity and control via my smartphone or tablet. $100+