Many would say Macworld has lost some of its luster since Apple decided to pull out of the annual trade show. Indeed, what once took up two entire exhibition halls at San Francisco's Moscone Center is now reduced to a much smaller show floor. The 2011 exhibitor list also lacked a number of big-name brands that used to be mainstays--Microsoft, Adobe, Canon, and Logitech, just to name a few.
Despite that, however, the show was absolutely buzzing with people this year. When I walked the exhibition hall, I was surprised by the sheer number of attendees--I was definitely bumping elbows as I tried to get from booth to booth. Even more surprising was the fact that the show wasn't all about boring accessories and cases--there were also a few innovative gadgets on display, if you cared enough to pay attention. In fact, I saw at least two gadgets that might be on my gift wishlist. Here are five of the coolest things I saw at the show:
1. McTiVia--This tops my list as the most exciting product I saw at Macworld 2011. It's essentially a wireless router that will let you stream all of the content on your Mac or PC to your big-screen TV via Wi-Fi.
It has a very small footprint and has two antennae like most wireless routers--in fact, it also acts as a home wireless access point. No longer do you need an AppleTV, Google TV box, Boxee box, or even a Roku if you think about it (you can just watch Hulu or Netflix in the browser!). You can also use your iPhone or Android phone as a remote for controlling your computer. The downside? It's $199.99, which is rather expensive. Also, it has a somewhat unfortunate name--it reminds me of a certain probiotic yogurt brand.… Read more