XChange 2014: 6 Of The Coolest Devices And Technologies


Dynamite Devices

With dozens of vendors on the floor in San Antonio this week, companies showed off their finest devices at the Solutions Pavilion exhibition at XChange 2014. Intel, Samsung, LG, Dell and Lenovo products made our list for demonstrating extremely cool technological capabilities solution providers can use.

Intel RealSense Technology With 3-D Camera For Gesture Control

Intel claims its latest technology will change not only how we interact with our devices but with the world around us. With advanced hand- and finger-tracking, Intel said its 3-D RealSense camera allows users to control devices with precision for work, entertainment and beyond through gesture recognition.

Todd Garrigues, Intel's director of North American channels, showed off the camera's capabilities with a portable all-in-one Dell device at the XChange Solutions Pavilion. The device has yet to be released but it was able to demonstrate what the camera can do. Intel developed a game where a user can float his or her hand in front of RealSense and it will recognize where the fingers are and track movements so a user can help virtual men cross a chasm without falling.

"This is just a game," one Intel representative told CRN, "but it has a lot of applications for business, health care and education."

CES 2014 in Las Vegas saw the release of the world's first integrated 3-D depth and 2-D camera module, enabling devices to "see" depth like human eyes, according to Intel's website. Intel said it will put its camera into mainstream Microsoft Windows 8 and 8.1 devices, including Ultrabooks, detachables, notebooks, 2-in-1s and All-in-Ones (AIOs) from Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and NEC later in 2014.

Intel Retail Client Manager

Intel makes our "coolest products" list again with unbelievable technology great for solution providers looking to work with retailers.

In today's ultracompetitive retail landscape, Intel said delivering valuable customer experiences is everything. With digital signage, the technology recognizes exactly when viewers are watching a screen airing a video advertisement in a store, and can even detect their gender to modify what it plays.

"So it's seeing that I'm a man and now playing a video that's tailored to a male audience," said Todd Garrigues, stepping in front of the screen.

From digital posters and interactive kiosks to intelligent vending machines and point-of-sale devices, Intel said the technology enables more targeted and engaging brand experiences, and captures critical sales opportunities when and where they matter most. Solution providers can help offer this to businesses in need of direct marketing.

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga

Lenovo's ThinkPads are known for being tough and durable. In a Lenovo presentation, XChange attendees watched in a video as a large glass of wine was poured onto a computer, and a pitcher of water too, while it still functioned perfectly.

On the pavilion floor, the company touted its 2-in-1 ThinkPad Yoga with a fourth-generation Intel Core processor, Windows 8. and a 12.5-inch display and touch screen that rotates 360 degrees to morph into a tablet.

Named for "yoga" like flexibility, the device can easily move from a laptop to a stand to a tablet or tent. The system automatically switches system setting and locks the keyboard in place so there's no accidental typing. It weighs 3.5 pounds and is 0.75 of an inch thick, making it "ultraportable," according to Lenovo.

Three lucky people at XChange took home a ThinkPad Yoga, thanks to Lenovo.

Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme

A Dell Rugged laptop once saved a man's life, according to a representative in the Dell booth. The Rugged laptops are so sturdy, she said a soldier overseas wrote to Dell to say the laptop stopped a bullet headed straight for him.

The notebook, with 12- and 14-inch options, is great for police officers and military servicemen because of its durability and ability to be dropped from about six feet without damage, according to another Dell representative at the XChange event. It also can be flipped around to function as a tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro

Samsung showed off its 12.2-inch Note Pro at XChange with a crystal-clear HD touch-screen display and more than 4 million pixels packed inside. As one of the most visually stunning screens on the exhibit floor, the Note Pro was even more impressive, weighing just 1.65 pounds with a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor.

Samsung said users can use the tools with Office apps for collaboration and the Note Pro comes with wireless printing capability.


There's a new mobile device in town.

LG Electronics has rolled out the Chromebase, an all-in-one device with a detached keyboard and mouse and a 21.5-inch screen.

The Chromebase business version is being sold exclusively through CDW. More than 800 devices were sold in its first two weeks on the market, exhausting CDW's stock, said Phillip Johnson, national sales manager for LG Electronics USA.

The Chromebase can hold up to 16 GB of data. It has been a big hit in the K-12 market, Johnson said, as some school districts shy away from the bring-your-own-device model.

MICHAEL NOVINSON contributed to this slide show.