MacRumors at Macworld Expo: Trip Report and Highlights

This was my first year attending Macworld as the "MacRumors guy." It was a great experience overall and I was also able to experience the Keynote in all its glory. I think this T-Shirt sums up the week best:

eatsleepmac

After a whirlwind week, we've put together this small report on the trip, and highlighted some other interesting products shown at Macworld. Obviously, the iPhone commanded the most attention from the event. Beyond that, the following products/companies are mentioned in this report, and may be of interest to readers:

- George by Chestnut Hill Sound - iPod speaker with a future
- Hookup Lanyard by Lenntek Coorporation - iPod + Cellphone integration
- Modbook by Axiotron - First tablet Mac
- Glance by Glance Networks - Screen sharing tool, now on Mac
- Toast 8 by Roxio - disc burning, now with Tivo2GoMacRumors at MacWorld San Francisco 2007

crowdlineMacRumors has had live-coverage of Macworld Keynotes for years now, and with the help of some very hard working site members, we've been able to steadily improve our system to withstand the massive traffic generated during a keynote event. This year, we incorporated near real-time photos into the keynote updates. With only minor glitches, we managed to rapidly deliver both text and photo updates to a record number of visitors. A full breakdown of the traffic statistics are available in a separate report.

Despite our sizeable audience, MacRumors.com is not recognized by MacworldExpo or Apple as an official media outlet, and so that meant we had to stand in line for the keynote, just like everybody else. By 5:30am the keynote line had already wrapped around one and a half city blocks and TV crews were there to cover the frenzy. To the regulars, the keynote line seemed much longer than in previous years. Indeed, it had been reported that Macworld pre-event registrations had grown 28% compared to just last year's event.

After the exciting keynote address, a few site updates, an interview, and various MWSF events, we finally managed to make our way to the Macworld Expo floor, and here are some of the highlights:

georgeGeorge from Chestnut Hill Sound

Chestnut Hill Sound introduced George, a new iPod speaker system. Another one? Well... yes, and no. Chestnut Hill Sound's tag line is "Products with a future". While George represents a high end product (at $549) in the iPod speaker market, it appears to distinguish itself and promises an upgradable future.

At first glance, George offers (yet) another iPod-dock speaker system, but also incorporates a detachable front panel which acts as an RF remote for the entire system. This remote (image) incorporates a scroll-wheel interface familiar to iPod users and full backlit graphical display to easily browse your playlist/library.

One interesting aspect is that George offers the possibility for future hardware and software updates. The details of the additional hardware modules were not yet available, but this, associated with a USB-connector (image) promises future upgrades to the entire system.

The system also includes an AM/FM radio, alarm clock, "brilliant sound" and comes in different styles (red image). More information is available at CHillSound.com

Hookup Lanyard angleLenntek Hookup Lanyard

Lenntek Coorporation introduced two new hands-free solutions for the iPod at Macworld San Francisco 2007. The one that caught my eye as well as being noted as an iLounge Best Of product was the Hookup Lanyard.

The Hookup Lanyard provides a lanyard attachment for the iPod Nano which appears to exactly match the new metallic iPod nanos. The bluetooth attachment connects to the bottom of your iPod and offers both headphones and necklace. The device pairs with your bluetooth cell phone in order to provide seemless cell phone answering while you are listening to your iPod.

No additional software or fireware is needed. Overall, the simplicity of the device was the great appeal. The product retails for $69.99. The company's website is at Lenntek

modbookAxiotron Modbook from OWC

The Axiotron Modbook (image) received a lot of hype in the week prior to Macworld, but the official release was a bit overshadowed by Apple's iPhone announcement.

The product was revealed at Macworld with fully functional demos at the Other World Computing booth. The Axiotron Modbook is a modified MacBook with a new 13.3" LCD, WACOM Digitizer, ForceGlass Screen, Digitizer Pen and optional GPS. The Axitron Modbook solution adds an $1100-$1200 premium over stock MacBook prices, but offers the only real tablet solution for the Mac. Complete solutions can be purchased from OWC with prices starting at $2199.

Overall, the product appears to be very well built, and while it does allow use of Mac OS X's Inkwell handwriting recognition, the actual practice of entering text appears somewhat awkward -- though my experience with it was very brief and limited. Readers may recall that Apple's handwriting technology is from Apple's now-discontinued Newton PDA. While the handwriting recognition itself remains good, the integration with Mac OS X (a desktop OS) is what may not be ideal. It seems the target audience for this tablet would be graphic designers or professionals who require standing/walking access to their Mac.

pressuremodbookThe WACOM screen appears to be very accurate, and offers 256 pressure levels, allowing pressure sensitive drawing (see image). The pen technology allows the user to "hover" the pen over the screen as the cursor is controlled, and resting your hand on the screen itself introduces no problems.

The product is available for pre-order now from MacSales and data sheet available at Axiotron.

Glance.net

Glance Networks announced the introduction of a Mac version of their Glance screen sharing tool at Macworld Expo. They offer a software application that now runs on the Mac that allows you to broadcast your computer screen live through their website. Guests simply log in through a Java web-based client on the Glance site. Simplicity appears to be the main appeal, with no special software required for guests. The service appears to be targeted at collaborative business meetings, creative review, product demos, slide presentations, and so on.

I can't honestly say I have much knowledge regarding this market, but as a new entry to the Mac market, it reflects important growth in the Mac community. Glance.net's service is $49/month and they offer a free trial.

tivoroxioRoxio Toast 8

Roxio launched the latest version of Toast at Macworld. Toast 8 introduces a number of new features to their disc burning software, but the one that has garnered the most attention was TivoToGo integration.

Mac users have been patiently waiting for an official method to take videos from their Tivos and transfer them to their DVDs and iPods.

Computerworld offers a first look at the software, which appears to be a simple and effective solution for Mac users with Tivos. Downloaded videos can be burnt to DVD, exported to iTunes and imported into your video iPod.

Toast 8 is available from Roxio for $79.99 after mail in rebate.

Buzz on the Macworld Floor

One of the most entertaining aspects of Macworld was the reactions and discussions from attendees regarding Apple's announcements.

The most interesting things are heard on the Macworld floor, including theories about why there was no word of Leopard during the keynote, and a general belief that iWork '07 and iLife '07 will be tied specifically to Leopard's release. Others believe that Apple was planning another media event "soon".

Unfortunately, none of these amount to much in the way of serious rumors, but they offer some hope for future announcements. Our offical rumor wrap up will be coming soon.

Related Forums: iPhone, MacBook

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Cyber Monday iPhone Deals Available Today

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Cyber Monday is no different. We're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts through the weekend as we head into Cyber Monday. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note:...
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Cyber Monday iPad Deals Available Today

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Cyber Monday deals have been in full swing since Black Friday deals ended, and we're seeing solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Cyber Monday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make ...
airpods pro 2

Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

Friday November 25, 2022 2:58 am PST by
An Apple engineer has addressed the lack of lossless audio support in the second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview. Current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple's audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple has previously hinted that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard that builds on AirPlay and supports higher quality...
mac imac snowflakes

Best Cyber Monday iMac and MacBook Deals Available Today

Thursday November 24, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Our Cyber Monday coverage continues with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. As with all holiday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...
maxresdefault

Nothing Phone 1 Displays AirPods Battery Level After Latest OS Update

Friday November 25, 2022 3:33 am PST by
Nothing Phone 1 users today began receiving the Nothing OS 1.1.7 update, which adds support for displaying the battery percentage of connected AirPods, amongst other improvements and bug fixes. If you own a Nothing Phone 1, you can check for the OTA update by going to Settings -> System -> System updates. Bear in mind that as support for displaying AirPods battery level is still an...
apple watch gold ornaments

Best Cyber Monday Apple Watch Deals Available Today

Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:31 am PST by
We're tracking all of the best Apple product discounts for Cyber Monday, and the Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, so you're guaranteed to find solid discounts right now. In this article, you'll discover the best Cyber Monday sales on Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....