CES 2012 Recap

CES 2012 Part 1

Here we are again ushering in the New Year and finding ourselves at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada! CES 2011 seemed like only a few months ago when we unveiled over 20 new, exciting products, including the remarkable smart telescope - SkyProdigy. Fast forward to 2012 - this year, Celestron is unveiling over 50 new and exciting products that will surely turn heads and stir up astronomers, students, teachers, outdoorsmen and gadget enthusiasts alike. Here at CES, our booth (from the outside) retains the same shape as in previous years, but the layout has changed to immerse our guests in a more interactive experience using our products - whether in space or here on Earth. Let's take a brief look of some of the new Celestron products coming soon.

Our SkyProdigy lineup is starting to grow! Two new models will include a 102 mm f6.5 refractor and a 6" f10 SCT. With their larger apertures, both telescopes will be able to reveal even more distant celestial objects while retaining their compactness and portability. Target date for shipping is scheduled for February 2012. Three new AstroMaster telescope models are also making their debut including AstroMaster LT 60AZ, 70AZ and 76AZ models. These telescopes can all be quickly assembled and ready for both astronomical and terrestrial observing in minutes. Expected ship date is also February 2012.

Looking for a new pair of binoculars? There will be plenty of new models to choose from. Our high-end Granite series will be welcoming two larger models: 10x50 and 12x50. As with all our Granite binoculars, these new models will feature ED glass with full broadband multi-coatings that will deliver edge-to-edge sharpness with excellent color correction. Our new UpClose G2 binocular lineup will usher in a higher level of optical quality than ever before and be affordably priced. Look for ten new UpClose G2 models coming soon.

Microscopes! No matter where Celestron exhibits throughout the world, our microscopes always draw in large crowds, especially our digital microscopes. We are excited to debut three new microscopes at CES: The Amoeba Dual Purpose Digital Microscope features a translucent body (in blue or gray) that can be used on its base or as a handheld instrument. Its ease of use will surely make it a favorite among hobbyists, students, teachers, industrial inspectors and more. The exciting new PentaView LCD Digital Microscope will feature a wide-angled touch screen, a 5MP sensor and a top digital magnification of 2400x. For those looking for a traditional optical microscope, we are introducing the Micro360 Dual Purpose Microscope. As its name implies, the microscope head will rotate a complete 360° with ease, thus making it perfect for classroom or laboratory applications.

For anyone interested in weather forecasting, we will offer HomeCast Personal Weather Stations. This new line of digital weather stations will enable you to record and keep up with the latest weather readings taking place inside or outside your home, office or recreational facility. Three models will be introduced including: HomeCast Lite, HomeCast and HomeCast Deluxe models. In addition, we'll be offering WindGuide and WindGuide Plus handheld anemometers (wind gauges) that will allow you to measure wind speed, wind gusts and more.

Look for more new product announcements in Part 2 of CES 2012 recap.

CES 2012 Part 2

How excited we were to hear that our new SkyQ app made it to the Mobile Apps Showdown at this year's CES! SkyQ is an exciting multimedia application which helps you to identify stars, planets and thousands of other celestial objects, similar to our award winning SkyScout Personal Planetarium, which we launched back in 2006. SkyQ though, is used with your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch with a gyroscope. You just need to hold your device up to the sky to see what's up in the sky! Audio, text and Wikipedia links are readily available, so you'll have a full interactive learning experience to help increase your astronomical knowledge. The Mobile Apps showdown consisted of the top ten apps in the industry judged by a panel of technical experts and online voting. Finalists were given only four minutes to convince audience members and judges as to why their company's app was the best of the best. Celestron's Product Development Manager, Jason Fournier, represented Celestron on stage and showed a clever and entertaining video from our Orange Labs video series. The "stars" of the video included our own Firmware Engineer, Derik DeVecchio, as Professor O and Marketing Coordinator, Yasmine Rios, as his trusty Lab Assistant Y. For three fun-filled minutes, our actors played out a skit to explain what the new SkyQ is all about but with a sense of humor. Although SkyQ did not win this year's Mobile Apps Showdown, our app did make the top five, which was a major accomplishment that we are all very proud of.

Speaking of SkyQ, our new SkyQ Link WiFi Adapter will be soon be available for those who seek complete wireless control of their own Celestron computerized telescope with their iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Users will need to download the SkyQ app from the App Store first and plug in the adapter into the telescope's Aux port. They will then have the capability of aligning their telescopes wirelessly and making use of its planetarium interface by tapping a celestial object on the SkyQ's view screen – the telescope will slew right to it! Look for the SkyQ Link WiFi Adapter scheduled for shipping during February 2012.

Lastly, the long awaited EdgeHD .7x Focal Reducer Lens will soon be available. Each reducer lens has been individually and proprietary optimized (matched) for each respective EdgeHD optical tube including: 8", 9.25", 11" and 14" models. What are the benefits? Field of view will increase by 43% and exposure time will be reduced by one-half to capture the same brightness of an object. The reducer lens will also allow for use with full frame sensors and Off-Axis Guiders while providing plenty of back focus. Look for the 14" model to begin shipping during January/February 2012 and the 11" model in February/March 2012. Shipment dates for the 9.25" and 8" models will soon be announced and follow thereafter.

With over 50 new product announcements for this year's CES, 2012 is already off to a flying start. However, that doesn't necessarily mean there will not be any more new product announcements for the rest of the year - by no means! Celestron's staff is always working on all cylinders behind the scenes to generate new and exciting projects for our customers. Only time will tell when there will be more new exciting product announcements. It'll only get better. You'll see.