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Wearables, portable hard drives dominate early announcements from CES

With the sun yet to rise on the first day of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, companies looking to get a jump on the news cycle have provided early looks at wearable devices from new market entrants like Alcatel along with a number of intriguing portable hard drive updates and a plethora of iOS-connected accessories.


Alcatel's OneTouch Watch (above) is a low-cost, Android Wear-powered smartwatch. The wrist-worn device features a round display and comes in a number of styles, which the company lists as "sporty dark red/volcano black, feminine all-white, classic chrome/dark gray and elegant metal-white."

Included in the device's sensor package are a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, NFC tag, and compass. The watch's software uses these sensors to track sleep cycle, distance covered, steps taken and calories burned.

Additionally, connecting the watch to a smartphone —including Apple's iPhone— will enable notifications and remote control capabilities. Alcatel says the built-in 210 mAh battery will run for 2 to 5 days after a 1-hour charge.

Alcatel's OneTouch Watch will be available in March for $149.

Withings's Activite Pop is the second in Withings's line of Activite smart watches. It appears from the outside to be a normal watch, but packs sensors to track activity and sleep inside a waterproof casing.

A small dial on the face displays the user's progress toward activity goals, such as a specific number of steps. Data is synchronized to Withings's compaion Health Mate app via low-energy Bluetooth.

The Activite Pop is available now in azure, shark grey, and sand colors with matching silicone straps from Best Buy for $149.95.


Seagate's Seven is the thinnest external drive in history, the company says. The seven-millimeter-thick metal case encloses a 500-gigabyte spinning hard drive and a USB 3.0 connection bus.

The case— which also serves as the enclosure for the drive itself - is made of stainless steel using a "deep draw" process. The company says the drive comes with "extreme gyro handling capabilities" that will help it absorb the shocks and bumps that come in the life of a portable hard drive.

The Seagate Seven will be available later this month for $99.99.

Seagate's Wireless is a 500-gigabyte portable drive designed for use with mobile devices. Users can access media stored on the drive via the Seagate Media app, after connecting to the drive's built-in WiFi hotspot.

The app supports streaming to the Apple TV via AirPlay, and users with smart TVs from Samsung or LG or a Roku set-top box can connect the drive directly to those products. Seagate has made the new drive available in a number of colors, including lime green, cool blue, slate grey, fire-engine red and white.

Seagate Wireless will be available in February for $129.99.

LaCie's Rugged RAID is an expansion of the the existing rugged portable drive lineup. Two built-in drives provide up to 4 terabytes of storage in RAID 0 or 2 terabytes of redundant storage in RAID 1 mode.

LaCie says the array is hardware-controlled for increased reliability. Like its ruggedized siblings, the Rugged RAID is shock, dust, and water-resistant and can be powered via a Mac's Thunderbolt bus.

LaCie's Rugged RAID will be available for $449.99 in the first quarter of 2015.


Toshiba's TJM35420LT is an adapter for iOS devices that allows them to send and receive files using Sony's high-speed wireless TransferJet standard. Similar to a high-speed AirDrop, TransferJet can move data at a peak of 375 megabits per second.

Consumers can use Toshiba's iOS app to move data between a TJM35420LT-equipped iPad or iPhone and another TransferJet-enabled device. Selecting a file and then touching the two devices together is enough to initiate the transfer.

Pricing and available information are still unknown, but Toshiba is planning similar adapters for Android devices and Windows PCs.

Just Mobile's BakPak is another charging-focused entry for the firm. The BakPak's design is somewhat unique; the unit itself is meant to "strap on" to the back of an iPhone using flexible bindings, with a built-in flexible Lighting cable to connect to the handset.

The BakPak packs a 3,000 mAh lithium-polymer battery and zips 5 volts through the Lightning cable at 1 amp. A built-in USB cable on the opposite end allows for charging, and an LED indicator light shows users the current charge status.

Just Mobile's BakPak is available now for $59.95.

Urbanears's Plattan ADV headphones are the company's first foray into Bluetooth headphones. Urbanears has equipped the sets with touch-sensitive earcup controls, much like Parrot's Zik, along with a built-in microphone for taking phone calls.

Battery life is said to be some 8 hours, and a unique ZoundPlug feature will let users connect two sets of headphones with a cable to instantly share music. The Plattan ADV's headband is attached to its frame with magnets and is machine washable, making it easier for owners to keep the sets clean.

Plattan ADV will go on sale on June 2, 2015 for $100.