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iMore best of CES 2012

While CES 2012 has come and gone the technology shown off will have a lasting impact throughout the year ahead. As usual, Apple did not have an official presence, but also as usual iPhone and iPad accessory makers we boundless. This year, however, we began to see a real move away from the tradition protective cases, charging cables, and other, terribly boring accessories. When we geeks were the main market, all we wanted was the basics. Now that the mainstream is the main market, the basics are table stakes. They want to see what's next, what's special, what's different. From the fun and frivolous speakers, copters, cabinets, and drones to full on automotive integration, to the oncoming wave of eHealth accessories, the iPhone and iPad are becoming the de facto interface for the future.

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iPad Live 88: The last iPad Live ever!

Georgia, Rene, and Seth talk iMore (that's our new name!) at CES 2012, Apple's education event, supplier responsibility, iPad 3 rumors, and the return of the mute switch debate. Join us for the last iPad Live ever!

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Powermat intros new iPhone 4 case, augmented reality app

Powermat had a decent presence at CES 2012, not only by showing off their first Duracell co-branded iPhone 4 case and wireless charging pad, but also announcing their first app. Powermat has partnered with Madison Square Garden so that when you place your iPhone onto one of the mats built into the counters in the box seats, the app will give you the option to check in via Facebook Places. While that's cool, and sets the stage for a future cross-section of location-based social networks and wireless charging, the real function of the Powermat app is to find charging locations with augmented reality; just point your iPhone's camera in any given direction, and you'll see which spots have a Powermat installed. Favorite places don't have one? You can also use the app to vote on locations you'd like to see sporting some charging mats. Powermat can then use those votes to convince businesses to buy a few. Of course, the app will also issue a notification when you're running low on battery life, and prompt you to launch into a search. One of the more interesting uses for Powermats in businesses is the notion of monetizing charging, so you'd have to pay another buck or two to activate the charging mat. Sure, it seems like a bit of a money grab, especially if Powermat ends up skimming some of that revenue for themselves, but certainly an interesting opportunity for business owners of call kinds. Sure, it's handy having a few mats around the house to charge, but it's when you're out on the town that you're likely to need a charge the most, so I'm really excited for these to become a more common sight. The Duracell partnership is cool firstly because it puts stand-alone wirelessly-charging batteries on the horizon, but also because Duracell is a early member of the Qi Consortium, so Powermat may eventually lead the charge in a global interoperable standard for the technology. Smartphone manufacturers will definitely be much more likely to start building in receivers if Powermat has managed to sell a bunch of compatible mats to the public already. The new iPhone 4 case, charging puck, pad, and app are due out in the Spring. Hit the jump for a video rundown (sorry for the obnoxious lighting).

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Hands on with olloclip, a wide angle, fisheye, and macro lens for iPhone

At CES 2012, we had the opportunity to check out an olloclip, an accessory for the iPhone that converts the lens to either wide angle, fisheye, or macro. It simply slides onto the corner of your iPhone and is small enough to carry around in your pocket.

After the demonstration, I picked one up for myself, and Rene and I used it for filming during the remainder of our time at CES - it made a huge difference.

The olloclip is available now for $69.99.

Buy Olloclip.

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White Diamonds shows off artistic, Swarovski encrusted cases for iPhone and iPad

White Diamonds is continuing their line of artistically printed, Swarovski crystal emblazoned iPhone and iPad cases, and at CES 2012, they showed us just what they have in store this year. They fit both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S now, and range from the simple yet elegant Arrow to the more elaborate pink grid.

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Samsung's Smart Window doesn't run iOS but it's still pretty awesome!

Samsung's Smart Window doesn't run iOS but it's still pretty awesome! Soon, we shall be living in the world of Minority Report, and this "Smart Window" technology Samsung has at CES 2012 is going to help us get there. Ashley Esqueda checks out what's happening over at the Samsung booth and gives a little demo of the window.

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Hands on with the Griffin Helo TC Assault iPhone controlled helicopter

Live from CES 2012, we take a look at the newer, better, missile-shooting Griffin Helo TC Assault iPhone and Android controlled helicopter. Need we say more?

The Griffin Helo TC Assault will be available in the Spring for $59.99.

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CES 2012: A quick look at Powerbag!

Ashley roams the halls of CES 2012 looking for the weirdest, coolest, most fun tech on the show floor. For all of us in the Mobile Nations, the Powerbag is a must-have bag to tote around all your gadgets, since you can charge on the go.

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