The International CES trade show, the world's largest gathering of consumer-technology companies, took place last week in Las Vegas. Here are five new products for the outdoors market that caught my eye on the show floor.
GPS 'Bug' -- The Garmin GTU 10 is a locator device that can be attached to objects for security purposes. Another use: Put it in your kid's backpack, or on your dog's collar, to know their location at any time. The tiny, unobtrusive device is essentially a GPS transmitter "bug" that blips out a signal to tell you where it is. When hidden in a backpack or attached to an object, GTU owners can go to a computer to track the signal in near real-time online. $199.99, www.garmin.com
HD Helmet Cam -- The POV.HD video camera from V.I.O. is touted as the "most flexible, rugged and easy-to-use" HD video system on the market. At $599.95, it's also among the most pricey. But the camera package -- which includes a small camera head on a cable (mountable on helmets, ski goggles, etc.); a remote control; and a recording unit with a two-inch†LCD†screen for playback -- can record 1080p H.264 video and can store five hours of footage. It is a rugged unit touted as dust-, water- and shock-proof. www.vio-pov.com
Swiss Storage -- Swiss Army knife manufacturer Victorinox continues to expand its reach into a different genre of multifunction tool. The company's latest USB flash storage drives offer industry firsts and a neat Swiss aesthetic to boot. Examples include the Victorinox Slim, a USB drive with an astounding 128 gigabytes of storage capacity, and a drive with a tiny built-in screen for displaying customized images or text. www.swissarmy.com
'Tough' Shooters -- Freeze-proof. Shock-proof. Waterproof. Those are the traits that make Olympus' Tough series of digital cameras earn the fancy term of "ruggedized." At CES, the company added two outdoors-friendly shooters to its Tough collection. The TG-610 and TG-310 offer 14-megapixel photos, high-definition video, and the "toughness" to go up to 16 feet underwater or be dropped onto solid rock from five feet high. Caveat: By "freeze-proof," the company cites 14 degrees F as the lower temp limit. (That's a WARM winter day where I come from!) The cameras will be available in February for $199.99 (TG-310) and $299.99 (TG-610). They are similar products but vary in lens type and zoom. www.olympusamerica.com
KODAK Moment -- Waterproof up to 10 feet under, and made with a drop-resistant case, the latest KODAK PlaySport camera is a pocket-size video camera built for the outdoors. It records 1080 HD video or 5-megapixel still shots. There's a two-inch LCD screen on back. Kodak includes a "one-button upload" feature to let you e-mail footage or upload shots to social-media websites like Facebook right from the camera with little fuss. $179, www.kodak.com
--Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.