Previewed this summer at the Macworld Conference & Expo in New York, the UFO (formerly dubbed the iRise), is a FireWire and USB hub that sits directly beneath the iMac. It’s designed to unclutter the desktop by routing keyboard and speaker wires under the iMac. It also features an illuminated base that provides a blue aura around the bottom of the iRise — though you can switch off the glow if you wish.
One FireWire and two USB ports are provided in each front quadrant for a total of six powered expansion ports. In keeping with the iMac’s aesthetics, an integrated sliding door system is included to cover unused ports.
The iMac sits in a special recess in the top of the UFO that keeps the iMac centered; it’s designed to support the weight of all iMac systems. You need no tools or drivers to install the UFO. You just lay the speaker and keyboard cables in place, cover, and then put the iMac on top. The base also has room for excess cable storage.
The US$129.95 UFO sports thin rubber feet that are designed to keep it from scratching your computer furniture. The device has a low profile, measuring just over an inch tall.
If you’re wondering why the product’s name was changed from iRise, a note on the XtremeMac Web site says that, “due to a very obscure, and only recently revealed, conflict with a software engineering application for Windows, we have decided to change the name of this product from iRise to U.F.O.”