The Gadgets Page

February 10, 2007

CES: Eleksen

Filed under: Clothing — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I talked about the O’Neill iPod Ski Jacket when it was announced in September of 2005:

At the Eleksen booth at CES, I was able to see the O’Neill jacket firsthand, in addition to a lot of other products that Eleksen is a part of. Eleksen manufactures touch sensitive fabric. Back in September, I wondered if the jackets were machine washable. They are. In addition to that, you can crumple the fabric, dry it in the dryer and type on it for hours.

When I tested the products, I expected there to be little buttons under the arrows that felt like a good click when you pressed them. Instead, they are as smooth as any fabric with no indication that you’ve pressed the button except the music stopped playing. It was amazing.

Eleksen has used their fabric in ski jackets, dress jackets, backpacks, and a great laptop sized keyboard that works with your PDA or Pocket PC. The keyboard rolls up to a tiny size and weighs almost nothing. They were having a little trouble getting it to communicate with the Pocket PC at the booth. They didn’t demonstrate it with a Palm-OS unit, but they said it works with Palm. I felt uneasy typing on it because I’m used to a familiar “click” when I’ve finished pressing a button. This keyboard had no tactile response and I had to watch the screen to see if the letter I had pressed showed up. I also couldn’t feel if my fingers were placed properly on the keyboard and I suspect that over long term use, they would tend to drift.

All the products they displayed at the Eleksen booth were interesting and I really enjoyed playing with them all. I was amazed that fabric could be touch sensitive and I feel like this is one of the most innovative products I saw at CES.

Official Eleksen Website

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