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Highlights from the Macworld Expo 2007

The 2007 Macworld Expo is still in high gear as of this posting (the show floor closes on Friday 1/12 at 4pm). My predictions for the 2007 Keynote were not exactly right (not even close, actually), but I was just having fun, and I still think that some of my product predictions may be announced over the next 12 months. However, with the new iPhone introduction, I think we will see an iPod/internet communicator combo that uses the iPhone technology, but leaves out the phone functionality.

I also think that future models will have more flash memory (or a hard drive) and will be released within the next 12 months. For a great tour of the new iPhone, visit this link (screen shot below is from the linked web page). Be sure to click on all of the top-right icons (I’ve circled them in white) to see videos of all the features. The “accelerometer” sensor that instantly changes the screen image from horizontal to vertical is very cool.

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Here are a few interesting products and related items that were announced at the show. One was on my prediction list, but it was announced by a third party:

1. The Axiotron ModBookâ„¢

Other World Computing and Axiotron, Inc. debuted the first ever Mac Tablet solution, named The Axiotron ModBook. This product uses an Apple MacBook notebook computer as its core engine, and adds touch-screen pen input, a new 13.3″ wide screen LCD and an optional Global Positioning System in a satin-finish, and a chrome-plated magnesium top shell.

There are three configurations available, and all include an integrated iSight camera and CD/DVD combo drive. I think this is an engineering breakthrough and I’m very curious how well the handwriting recognition works. I’m guessing that a wireless keyboard and mouse can be used with the device, which would give the device very good functionality at home and on the road.

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The Axiotron ModBook (shown above) features Wacom Penabled hardware (which many photographers will recognize), and the pen requires no batteries or magnets. This technology allows the cursor to be controlled while the pen is hovering over the screen, providing for an intuitive, mouse-like interface with zero learning curve. My guess is that this product will work in a way similar to Wacom’s Cintiq line of touch-sensitive monitors.

During Macworld and until January 31st, Other World Computing is offering the ModBook base configuration plus the built-in Axiotron GPS Module at an introductory price of $2,199. For more information, visit www.macsales.com/modbook. This product also received an IDG Macworld Best of Show award. Related link: Mac OSX’s inkwell technology.

2. Joel Meyerowitz Presentation and Gallery

There will be a special presentation by world-renowned photographer Joel Meyerowitz on Thurs., Jan. 11 at 2:45 pm. During his presentation, “Into the Light,” Joel will share his images and experiences from his 40-year career. His gallery will showcase Meyerowitz’ images from Tuscany, Cape Cod and Ground Zero in New York.

All prints were made on HP’s new Designjet Z Photo Printer Series. For more info, visit this page.

3. Mophie Illuminator Product Creation & Launch Event

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Mophie, a Vermont-based company who specializes in designing and producing iPod accessories. At Macworld, the company will tap the minds of 30,000+ Macworld attendees to create a new product. This is a completely novel idea, and as someone who loves gadgets and design, I’ll be watching the Mophie blog closely. For more info about the Illuminator event, visit this page.

4. IDG Macworld Best of Show awards

Each year, the editors of Macworld magazine and Web sites announce their picks for Best of Show. To find out about all of of IDG’s Macworld Best of Show awards, visit this page. And if you’re there, enjoy the show!

Additional Macworld Expo links worth a look:

iLounge’s coverage of Macworld Expo 2007

The Mac Observer’s coverage of Macworld Expo 2007

MacMinute.com’s coverage of Macworld Expo

The Typical Mac User Macworld Expo coverage

The MacCast Macworld Expo coverage

TWiT’s Macworld Expo coverage (Check out Leo Laporte’s video interviews on MacBreak and the iLife Zone coverage by subscribing to their feeds on iTunes).

Digg!

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