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October 20, 2014

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Old and new technologies merge at CES

Typically a coming out party for the newest and hottest items in the tech world, the International Consumer Electronic Show is also home to digital twists on gadgets from bygone eras.

Tucked in the shadow of Coby Electronics' large floor display sits the booth for Ion Audio, chocked full of vinyl record and portable cassette players. But the gadgets aren't like any you would have found in the 1980s.

One cassette player featured an iPhone connector, allowing users to convert their music from analog to digital. In other words, those mixtapes that have been sitting in the dark in your closet all these years can get new life.

The record players in the Ion display were examples of classic technology that has come back into vogue. As a company employee pointed out, many modern artists — even Lady Gaga — have put out recordings on vinyl. Most unique among the players was a wall mounted unit that plays records vertically.

Across the exhibition floor, Polaroid is working to revive its famous line of instant print cameras, this time with a 21st century flair.

The instant digital cameras contain all the bells and whistles of modern point-and-shoot models, including an LCD viewfinder, zoom and a 14 megapixel sensor.

But with the click of a button, the camera can print any image it's taken on a 3-by-4 inch piece of film. Each film cartridge carries enough for 10 shots, and a picture prints out in about 40 seconds. In another modern twist, the camera allows users to preview images before printing them out.

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