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CES Video: Ahem -- this really is sew techie

As I walked the aisles in one of the cavernous halls of CES 2008, there were storage devices, printers and PDAs, cellphone cases, gaming accessories and MP3 players-- the expected items. And then something stopped me in my tracks.

Not so much for apparent innovation, but more for its seemingly absurd presence at a consumer electronics expo. I was mesmerized since I'd never considered anything -- not a darn thing -- about these devices to be technology-related. 

A closer look, however, revealed that there is a common thread connecting high fashion and high tech. 

Oh, Brother ... sewing machines? It was the constant tattering of thread to cloth that grabbed my attention over the din of beeps, bleeps and dings echoing through the hall. I wasn't the only one -- I've never seen so many men entranced by a sewing machine in my life -- and, no, they weren't just gawking at fashion models on the monitors.

This model in the video, the Innov-is Duetta 4500D, sews, embroiders and quilts. It stitches in eight different directions, comes with a USB mouse to help with drag-and-drop design placement. You can import photographic images or draw your own design using a free program available on brothersews.com. Plus, if you have your own signature stitch, you can also import that.

The cost: about $8,000


-- Michelle Maltais

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Times editorial writer Jon Healey pens opinion pieces about a variety of business issues, and blogs about technologies that are changing the entertainment industry's business model.

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