Asia Trip – Genius Visit

Patrick Nosker August 15, 2011 1

Earlier this summer I spent a month traveling Asia with some time spent sightseeing and some other time spent meeting with industry contacts.  Unfortunately I was a little bit too late for Computex in Taipei, but thankfully our friends at Gigabyte, MSI, and Genius offered to meet with me after in their own buildings to discuss what they showed at Computex and their future products.

My first visit was with Genius. You more than likely have not heard of them before unless you are from Taiwan. They hope to change that soon.

Genius is one of the top peripheral manufacturers in the East Asian market. Once a large OEM manufacturer known as KYE, they have started to develop their own devices and grow their own brand. Their US presence is minimal right now but is steadily growing with products featured on Amazon. Fortunately, we were able to check out one of their first US products, a wireless mouse, which we reviewed a couple of months back.

The KYE/Genius headquarters is located right outside of Taipei next to a soon-to-open Taipei MRT (Metro) station. Inside was a lobby with a showcase for their products both Genius branded and unbranded with the hopes of selling under other brands. Upstairs they have an entire showcase room with all of their products. That's where I was taken.

Inside this room you could see their plethora of products. From speaker systems (we reviewed a 2.1 set earlier this year) to graphics tablets. From bluetooth mice to robotic vacuums. This company made a whole variety of electronics. Genius' PR and Marketing teams showed me some of their most innovative products. I was extremely impressed with three in particular.

Genius's first innovative product was their thumb controlled ring mouse. It essentially fits over your index finger and has a very tiny touchpad on it with buttons. You glide your thumb across to manipulate the mouse. Unfortunately I was unable to test it out but from what they were saying, it's really impressive. Think of it as the perfect presentation tool. From their demo it was apparent that tracking was very accurate and had a faster response time than other presentation tools such as ones controlled gyroscopically.

The second product was their new line of Graphics Tablets. These are designed to compete with Wacom's consumer line (We reviewed Wacom's Bamboo Pen+Touch a while back). These aren't impressive because they're extremely innovative. They are impressive because no other company has stepped up to the plate and created a product truly competitive with Wacom's system. Our new Digital Media writer, Matt Convente, will have a review up for the tablet in the near future. 

The third and final product that got me very interested was a new 2.0 speaker system they showed me. This speaker system is designed for home audio. Much larger than computer speakers, the 2.0 could be used with LCD TVs, Computers, or just a good and self contained media player system. Containing two active midrange speakers per speaker and a passive radiator along with a tweeter and a bass port, these things rocked! I was extremely impressed with the sound for the price range. Even more impressive was the presence of a digital input (coaxial) along with the standard 1/8" input and RCA jack input.  My review of it will be up in the next couple of weeks.

So there you have it. I predict Genius will become a company you will compare with Logitech in the peripheral business and Creative in the audio realm in the next few years. Their products were quite impressive for a company I have only recently heard of. Keep your eyes out for them since their gear is priced extremely competitively and their quality has shown to be quite good.

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