Sure, the big companies at Macworld almost always have new products to announce, but there are always smaller companies and cool products hidden in the sheer mass of items in a booth. We took an extra hard look at what was on the show floor, and found a few diamonds in the rough that you may be interested in.
We noticed our first gem as we walked by the ART VPS booth and noted a demo which was showing a nice looking sports car at various angles. As first we thought this was some sort of presentation software, but we learned that the car was in fact totally computer generated, using ray tracing technology. The problem is that ray tracing an image can take hours or days. ART VPS makes boards which drastically reduce the amount of time needed to render an image. We were given an example of a model that took 5 hours to generate without their PURE PCI Card, but with the card, the rendering time was reduced to about 15 minutes. ART VPS has been in the PC market for a while, but it looks like they will have a warm reception from the Mac community.
Our next gem was noted when we saw what can only be described as a small spaceship. Well, it was an Apple AirPort base station on top of a stand, accented with bright white LEDs. A small sign next to the device dubbed it an Elysian Cruiser. The device was actually a concept model of a cable organizer, with the state of the lights being programmable. This helped introduce us to the new company Pressure Drop, which offers "visionary solutions fusing art and technology." Their other products were equally impressive. The TrestleHub is a stylish combination of a device stand and a FireWire/USB hub. Their PaperHub is a stylish combination of a traditional paper tray and a FireWire/USB hub.
Our next stop was at a small fish tank, complete with SpongeBob and Sandy figures at the bottom. We we sad to learn that Patrick was nowhere to be seen, but they did have a Gary as backup. In any event, there was also a small case marked "Lili mini" submerged in the tank. The Lili mini (coming soon), as well as the larger LiliPod, are tough, waterproof cases for your iPod. But with the right headphones, you can even listen to your iPod while underwater. More information is available at the LiliPods site.