SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Computer Inc. may have introduced a couple of new Intel-powered computers this week, but for many exhibitors taking part in the Macworld Conference & Expo, the focus remains firmly on the iPod.
On display were aisles of new accessories for the world's favorite digital music player, including devices for piping music and videos to home theater systems, and fabrics that let users control the iPod by pressing soft buttons sewn into jacket sleeves and backpack straps.
London-based Eleksen Ltd. showed off its touch-sensitive iPod controls now woven into jackets manufactured by O'Neill, Kenpo and Koyono. The user hooks the iPod up to the jacket and controls the play, pause and volume controls from the sleeve. The Kenpo jacket sells at Macy's for $275.
Similarly equipped backpacks containing Eleksen's technology range from $50 to $200.
ABT Inc., based in Carlsbad, Calif., showed off its $60 iJet, a radio transceiver that can wirelessly control an iPod up to 150 feet away.
The small, handheld unit has controls mimicking those on the iPod, including a display for the song and album titles, making it easier to control from afar iPods docked into home stereos or other speaker setups.
San Carlos, Calif.-based Advanced Technology Office touted its iSee unit, with video inputs to turn iPods into video recorders.
The user's iPod slides into the handheld iSee, and video content stored on the iPod is played back on the $249 iSee's 3.6-inch screen, even for models that don't have video-playback capabilities.