Gadgets and gizmos unveiled at CES
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With 1.68 million square feet of floor space housing over 3,100 exhibitors, a shoulder-bumping average of 150,000 attendees herded to the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 10 – 13, displaying the best of technologies to come.
The talk around the show was not all about the TV’s, but about the farewell to electronic juggernaut Microsoft, who will no longer be attending the show. Microsoft stated the reason for pulling out was due to their release of new products in the fall and the show’s January appearance, which apparently created a struggle from the company every year to bring something new to the show.
Could this hurt Microsoft? Probably not. Apple decided to no longer do trade shows in 2009 and sales have been nothing but stellar (then again, their products speak for themselves). Despite their absence from CES, Apple had the most represented product. Half of a hall was dedicated to exhibitors who solely made iPhone/iPod products. On top of that, other companies throughout the show displayed their iPad and iPhone creations along with their main stuff. A market Microsoft is trying to tap into the market with their Windows phone, but are a long way behind Android creator Google, which had representation but nothing near the extent of Apple.
Glasses-Free 3D Television
A blockbuster on the big screen and a failure at home, 3D technology has failed to hit that niche market with overpriced TV’s requiring overpriced proprietary 3D glasses. Both Sony and Toshiba showcased TVs as a response to a quickly failing “product.” Glasses-free 3D TVs are real and spectacular, but still not perfect. As with the introduction of the first projection and LCD TVs, seating arrangement is key. Being directly in front of the TV at a certain distance gives the best experience, something really hard to do at CES in a huge crowd. The colors and brightness are all there, but like the first 120hz TVs, there was a slight motion judder on the Sony models. Despite some minor flaws, the viewer is left with a “looking through a window” experience.
Samsung Transparent Smart Window
Possibly the greatest window invention since the double pane. While it’s officially a transparent LCD, Samsung introduced a 46” TFT-LCD window type called the Transparent Smart Window. This “window” is a touch screen that is a virtual shutter system for homes of the future. With a quick swipe, you can “open” or “close” the screen, which allows it to go from total darkness to an amazing 5.8 percent transparency. At transparency levels customized to the user, weather reports, stock tickers, and TV shows can be viewed while staring through the outside. With a resolution of 1366×768 and a 72 percent color reproduction, it’s not the best looking screen, but how many of your windows allow you to watch a UNLV basketball game while spying on your neighbors? Still not convinced? It’s also eco-friendly (it’s solar powered). While there is no word when this will hit the market and for how much, Samsung would be wise before its release to test it in Vegas heat.
Sharp Aquos Freestyle
It’s been said that every 30 years styles come back. Unfortunately that means the 80s are due up. Skinny jeans and leggings are here, but what about the holding the boom-box-on-the-shoulder thing? Since boom boxes are no longer relevant due to the iPod revolution, Sharp has taken it one step further by offering a TV you can carry around. The Sharp Aquos Freestyle is a wireless HD TV that has a built-in handle and no power cords with all models under 32 inches (because a 55-inch on your shoulder would look ridiculous). Just like a laptop, they run off a battery that lasts around two hours. A wireless base that streams the content allows the consumer to jive around the neighborhood with their music video of choice … as long as the strut is within 100 feet of the base. Thank you, Sharp. You have heard the demands of many Super Bowl viewers who avoid the restroom in fear of missing the game.
Lately there’s been a huge fascination with the GoPro cameras. It has allowed consumers to strap the same video camera to their car, surfboard or helmet. Even reality shows like Fear Factor use it. Too bad you have to purchase a separate heart monitor to see how scared that Fear Factor contestant is. The Gobandit doesn’t think so. The bully: the Gobandit Live. The victim: GoPro HD Hero 2. Let’s make this simple. The GoBandit Live records the following: Trail and Position with built in GPS; speed; heart rate; altitude; G-Force; and 1080P video with a F2.8 lens for low light recording. It has a 3-Axis gyro sensor used for recording flips more accurately, uses microSD cards for memory, waterproof, and has an HDMI out. The best feature? An iPhone or smartphone can be used as a viewfinder or for playback on the go. So when you are not out chasing desert bears, this camera can also double as a security camera for your house. While price is going to be $329 for race model and $429 for the Live model, a little pricier than the GoPro, the video quality displayed at CES definitely justified spending the extra money.
AR Drone 2.0
Because chasing the dogs around the house with an alien-looking helicopter has never been better
Said to offer more of a touchscreen/interactive user experience for upcoming PCs, CTL-ALT-DEL can now be done without a keyboard.
Finally, an iPhone/iPad product that can save a life. With an adapter and a drop of blood, you can measure and store your glucose levels. Graphs are also generated for monitoring your levels at seven, 14 and 30 day increments.