Over the course of the past week, Las Vegas has been flooded with technology nerds going crazy over the latest and greatest pieces of electronic gadgetry from both the top technology makers and the freshest start-ups.
Looking at this years CES, it is hard to summarize so much awesome activity. There were a few notable stand-out themes, however. First, the complete absence of 3-D televisions, glasses, and everything else that has to do with this lame gimmick. In the words of tech blog, The Verge: “It’s Official: 3-D is dead”, and thank god for that. I could never get my head around the idea of wearing sunglasses inside every time I wanted to watch television so this is welcome as far as I am concerned. Now if only Hollywood could take the same cue *Cough! The Hobbit! Cough*.
Second, and perhaps more important is the absence of some of the technology industry’s biggest players. Microsoft, Dell, Nokia and Hewlett Packard all decided to skip this year’s technology showcase. Instead we had numerous start-ups and Kickstarter projects like the Pebble watch infusing a new life into the show.
So with those themes in mind, here is a wrap-up of some of the cool gadgets at this year’s show.
4K and OLED Televisions
Samsung is pushing the 4K resolution television while Sony thinks Ultra HD OLED (also in 4K resolution) is the way to go. Both companies showed off some killer televisions. With Samsung, all the attention was on their new easel televisions. Available in monster sizes of 85, 95, and 110 inches, these televisions will run you about $30,000 on release.
Meanwhile, Sony showed off their 56 inch Ultra HD OLED tv. Like Samsung, the Sony television has 4K resolution, but only Sony has been able to achieve this with the ultra bright technology of an OLED screen. Currently there are no details as to when this television will be released, but according to Engadget: “when we’re thinking about what the best thing we saw this year was, there’s no question that this is it.”
I already had a separate post on this one, but I can’t help mention it again as I think this idea is so cool. Anyone who watched Star Trek can’t help but think about the holideck when they see this tech at work. We are a long way off from that, but the idea of total immersion is getting closer and closer when we think about entertainment in our living rooms.
The Tactus Morphing TouchScreen
One of the show stoppers this year at CES was the Tactus Morphing Touch Screen. The screen inflates where necessary creating a touch screen that makes for tactile typing, as well as many other touch sensitive applications. According to Engaget: “the system includes a reservoir stored in the device, a controller to move the fluid into the tixels — yes, tixels, Tactile Pixels — and software to control the entire system. Once activated, the tixels inflate and become squishy that offer tactile keyboard-like feedback.” This seems like a technology that will get people to cross over from keyboards to touch screens in a creative way. It may also help you stop hitting ‘R’ when you mean to hit ‘E’.
Pebble Smart Watch
This really cool looking smart watch started as a Kickstarter project and has grown into a CES phenomenon. This watch looks great and has a simple yet smart amount of functionality to it. According to The Verge: “The Pebble works with the iPhone 3GS and up (and requires iOS 5 or higher) and also with Android devices running version 2.3.3 or higher. It connects to those smartphones via Bluetooth 4.0, which Pebble uses for sending notifications, controlling music, and over-the-air updates”. This is one of many smart watches coming out of CES 2013, but the Pebble certainly has the most hype surrounding it.
Just for fun, to send off CES 2013, please enjoy a video of robots dancing to Gangnam Style courtesy of IGN!