Tons of products are on display in the expo hall at Macworld/iWorld, and with over 250 exhibitors, finding the products that stand out is a challenge—a challenge the Macworld staff eagerly takes on every year.
Macworld’s editors survey a list of products submitted ahead of time by vendors for consideration, but most of the work involves scouring the show floor to find worthy candidates. The editors then gather back at Macworld headquarters, and after a long, pizza-fueled debate, the winners are determined. Ladies and gentlemen, Macworld presents the recipients of the 2013 Best of Show awards.
Belkin Thunderstorm If you’re dissatisfied with the iPad’s sound quality but don’t want to lug around an external set of speakers, you’ll like the $200 Thunderstorm, which has speakers built into the case. The free Thunder app allows you tweak the sound for an optimal audio experience (booth 642).
Blue Nessie Made for people who don’t want to fuss with audio processing, the $100 Nessie USB mic includes a built-in pop filter and shock mount, and audio filters to help you sound your best on podcasts and other audio recordings (booth 517).
Boinx Software iStopMotion 2 The update to this Best of Show winner from last year adds robust audio tools, including the ability to record through an iPad’s mic, and audio waveforms to help you perform your edits ($10, Appalooza).
Double Robotics DoubleYou attach one iPad to this $1999 telepresence robot, and then use another as a remote control. It connects wirelessly, via Wi-Fi and LTE, so you can control the Double from miles away; for example, you could be at home while the Double roams the hallways of your office (booth 556).
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 This $495 document scanner is blazingly fast, able to scan at 25 pages per minute (and that includes double-sided pages). It also has an iOS app that lets you send scans directly from the iX500 to your iPhone or iPad (booth 610).
Henge Horizontal Dock This horizontally oriented dock makes it easy to plug in your various desktop connectors: The $249 dock has six USB 3 ports, three Mini DisplayPorts, a FireWire 800 port, an ethernet port, two audio-out jacks, and an SD card slot; also included is software that allows you to maintain your MacBook’s configurations between multiple docks (booth 509).
Reallusion CrazyTalk 7 This Mac animation software makes it easy to generate 3D videos of talking heads. Just import images, choose the facial features you want to animate, and either record your voice or enter text. The program’s audio lip-syncing engine animates the character’s mouth via a built-in phoneme library. An extensive content library helps you get started. The $30 software will soon have a companion iOS app for the iPhone and iPad, expected in the first quarter of 2013 (Appalooza).
Seagate Wireless Plus If a 128GB iPad still isn’t enough storage, you can turn to the $200 Wireless Plus, an external hard drive with 1TB of storage designed for use with the iPad and iPhone. The Wireless Plus creates its own Wi-Fi network, over which your iOS device can connect—for movies, music, and files—using the Seagate Media app (booth 616).
Spicebox Mauz Plug the Mauz into your iPhone, and the phone turns into a controller for a computer or a TV set-top box. Mauz provides a virtual touchpad and support for both motion gestures and visual gestures (a Kickstarter project; booth 422).