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Hands on with D-Box and Simcraft racing simulators

January 23rd, 2009

A common theme at CES is consolidating charging solutions. iGo has created the ultimate power solution with its all in-one-chargers. All you need is one main hub, then a small adapter for each of your electronics and you’re ready to charge in your home, in the air and, of course, on the road. This would be a solution for power problems you can tackle today, versus the PowerMat’s uncertain future release date.

They’re more than glorified game consoles with force-feedback steering wheels strapped to a lounge chair. Costing as much as $44,000 apiece, they’re racing simulators, and we got to play with a couple of them at CES.

Simcraft says its $44K model is meant for training real race car drivers, like Indycar driver Sarah Fisher, who stopped by CES on Wednesday to show off the company’s Apex SC830. The U.S. military is also using the high-dollar simulator to train its soldiers to drive in the tricky sands of Iraq. D-Box’s top-of-the-line GP Pro 200 is a much more affordable high-end racing simulator. It’ll only set you back $14,000.

Both are PC-based and both offer much more realism than your Laz-E-Boy being moved around by your little brother. The SC830 is definitely more hardcore, with the seat and displays mounted on a tubular-steel frame. The GP Pro 200 sits lower, is more compact and looks less complicated than the Simcraft. But how do they drive? Click through to the jump to read our impressions and for more photos.

Powermat was one of the most exciting accessories at CES. Imagine never having the need to plug in your mobile devices. Powermat technology has made traditional charging methods obsolete. All you need to do is plug the charging station into an outlet, and then place your mobile device (including iPods, clocks, cellphones) on the mat and your device will charge. Powermat’s technologies have also been developed into work desks, kitchen counters, and even walls. Powermat has an in-vehicle solution in development right now. Just place your phone in your car’s center console and you’ll instantly be charging, no wires needed. I definitely look forward to this being a standard in future cars.

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