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    Vice President, Windows Devices
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    Sunovion Pharmaceuticals

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    Home Depot

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CES: Accessories, security software, aim to boost tablet’s appeal

by David Needle

January 9 2013

Steve Isaac, cofounder of Touchfire shows off new version of the transparent keyboard for the iPad.
Steve Isaac, cofounder of Touchfire shows off new version of the transparent keyboard for the iPad.

Type faster, simplify and speed charging, protect your device and identity. These were some of the products seen at this week’s CES where there were plenty of mobile accessories and new apps on display.

Touchfire showed off version 2.0 of its namesake transparent overlay keyboard for the iPad. Shipping now, the new version looks the same as the original, but now includes an additional stickier coating to better secure it to the iPad and an improved smoother feel, said co-founder Steve Isaac. The Touchfire’s magnets have also been repositioned, again to ensure the keyboard stays in place.

Isaac also gave a sneak peek at its latest product, a version of the Touchfire for the iPad mini expected to be available in March. One trick, the firm cut the width of the middle of the row G and H keys to gain some needed space on the smaller iPad which Isaac said was “the ultimate challenge,” to design for. “We’re reinventing typing."

Magnets to charge your devices

BuQu Tech showed off its “Magnetyze” line of products for speedily charging smartphones and tablets. 


The magnetic Magnetyze accessories, available in several different shapes including a charger and case, work with both Apple and Android devices and also let you transfer data between devices. One version works with a car's phone charger.

BuQu Tech CEO Ophir Marish says his company’s products are based on conductive technology that is more efficient than other magnetic charging products based on inductive technology.

“And we’re the only ones that can do data transfer,” he said. (Photo: Ophir Marish of BuQu Tech holding one of the company's Magnetize chargers connected to a smartphone). 

Protect your WiFi -- even in public hotspots

Another vendor, Private WiFi, showed off its “personal VPN” app aimed at protecting wireless users in public places such as a Starbucks, a hotel or library. “People aren’t aware how vulnerable they are because it’s the ultimate stealthy crime, but your identity and information is vulnerable when you use an unprotected hotspot,” Private WiFi CEO Kent Lawson told TabTimes.

The Private WiFi app encrypts all data going in and out and hides the user from would be data thieves. The service is $9.95 a month with discounts for annual and group purchases.

Monitoring service for tablets and smartphones

Another type of security app was shown by iWatch Life which offers a remote monitoring service for cameras ($5.99 / month). Use cases include being able to monitor your home or rooms in your house from a remote location on your tablet or smartphone.

While these kinds of services aren’t new, iWatch Life says it gives users more options to calibrate the service so that, for example, you don’t get a lot of video of cars driving by (the monitoring is activated by movement). 

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