More Rules, Broken

How do you find Rule Breakers? Go where the rules are being broken. Case in point: this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

We've already covered some big news from the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Yesterday, fellow Fool Alyce Lomax revealed how Motorola's (NYSE: MOT  ) iRadio service, coupled with its ROKR phone, might contend with satellite radio providers XM (Nasdaq: XMSR  ) and Sirius (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) .

That's just one of the hundreds of innovations featured at CES. Here are a few more ways these new technologies are challenging the rules of existing markets:

Music must come from a radio, stereo, or computer. Not if you're Motorola and Oakley (NYSE: OO  ) . The two have teamed to create what they call the O ROKR, a pair of sunglasses that can take voice calls and play music via a connection to a compatible Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.

According to tech site TheRegister.com, the O ROKR is the next-gen version of the Razrwire shades, which allowed for Bluetooth-powered voice calls while looking hip enough to earn "best of 2005" honors from Tech Digest. Could the new O ROKR earn similar popularity? I think so. At the very least, the breakthrough may help explain why Oakley founder James Jannard has been busily buying shares in his own company.

TV is best-watched on a (very) big screen. Over the New Year's holiday, we were at the house of friends who have a built-in theater with a 100-plus-inch big screen. It was an impressive experience -- much like being at the movies.

A start-up called eMagin seeks to bring that experience to the everyman by creating the Eyebud 800, a wearable display to go with Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) video iPod. The Eyebud covers one eye in Borg-like fashion, but mimics the performance of a 105-inch theater display. Star Trek may never look the same. Literally.

The Jetsons will never, ever be a reality show. What? You've never heard of the newly public iRobot (Nasdaq: IRBT  ) ? Its Roomba robot vacuum has been literally sweeping the nation since well before its recent IPO. And now its newest bot, the Scooba, washes vinyl and hardwood floors. CES thinks this trend is so big that it has dedicated an entire "tech zone" to robotics. To understand what that means, consider that other tech zones feature digital cars and voice-over-Internet protocol, which spawned fast-moving Skype. In other words: Robots are here to stay, at least in some form or other.

More rules will surely be broken in the coming days. And just as surely, some of those outlaws may create potential multibagger returns for investors Foolish enough to be paying attention. Make sure you're one of them.

Further rebellious Foolishness:

XM, Taser, and Intuitive Surgical are allMotley Fool Rule Breakerspicks. From high tech to nanotech, David Gardner and his merry band of fools cover it all -- and beat the market in the process. To see which picks have put them 13% ahead of the market as of this writing, sign up today for a 30-day free trial. Or subscribe for a year and get Stocks 2006, our analysts' best investment ideas for the year ahead.

We're down to the wire with our annual Foolanthropy drive. From now through Jan. 6, please open your hearts and wallets to help our five Foolish charities.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers only breaks the rules in his portfolio. Wimp. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what's in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.


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