Electronic Show Offers Glimpse of the Future
Every January, the high tech industry meets at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas to showcase its new products and give the world a glimpse at what technology is in store for the near future.
This year, I trekked to Las Vegas with 150,000 other show-goers, where more than 20,000 new products were launched.
Also this year, I even got to broadcast the Computer America radio show from CES, so there was plenty of fun. As always, there was plenty to see. Here are just a few of the sights and new products of CES 2013.
If you recently purchased a new high-definition television (HDTV), you might be surprised to find that the television industry is bringing out new TVs to entice you to replace your "already outdated" HDTV.
Yes, this year's models have all new features. They will allow you to communicate with your television by voice commands and hand gestures. They will even learn your television viewing habits so they can remind you when your favorites are on. They will even suggest new shows that you might like.
Oh yes, and the display floors at CES were also filled with televisions in a new format. It's called 4K or Ultra HDTV. Currently, there is no 4K content except for a few movies, but these televisions really look spectacular. They offer a display that is about four times the resolution of today's 1080p televisions.
These televisions have extremely large displays, with many of them between 85 and 110 inches. (You may have to add a room on to your house to hold them. Don't worry, though; you can just add the construction cost to the loan that you take out for the television.) Currently, these televisions cost about as much as a new car.
Several manufacturers are also offering ultra thin OLED television screens that work with today's 1080p television transmissions. On some of these, two people can watch two different channels at the same time on the same television with the help of glasses that also contain speakers.
While OLED and 4K are already a reality, the real television of the future was on display at Haier booth. This Chinese company has developed a way for a television to use your eyes as the remote. So you can tell the television to change the channel just by looking at it.
The future of television was also displayed at the Stream TV Network booth, where they gave the first public showing of a display they call Ultra-D. This is the first 3-D television that I was impressed with, showing spectacular realism without those aggravating glasses.
If you aren't interested in a new television, how about some new kitchen appliances? Perhaps an oven (Dacor) that has a built-in Internet-connected LED screen to let you check recipes and watch movies in the kitchen? Or maybe you would be interested in an oven that lets you cook two items at two different temperatures in the same oven at the same time (Samsung)?
Or maybe LG can entice you to buy a new Smart Oven that you can operate with your cellphone? You can combine that new oven with other smart appliances in LG's lineup of interconnected appliances, which already includes a refrigerator that tracks its own contents and a smartphone-controlled vacuum.
Other Internet-connected appliances such as heaters, electric blankets, irons, coffee machines and slow-cookers are in the works for later this year.
While we are talking about food, let me tell you that just about every company at CES wants to help you monitor your health, especially to help you change your eating habits and to help you live healthier.
There are apps that can be used on a large variety of mobile devices to help you to track your exercise. Most amazingly, there is even a "smart fork' that will remind you to eat more slowly and chew your food longer. This smart fork is called the "HAPIfork".
Besides Internet connectivity, other themes at the show included new and easier ways to recharge your mobile equipment, with plenty of wireless and magnetic recharging units. Headphones and speakers for digital music were everywhere.There were tons of cellphone cases, and one man even demonstrated the strength of his cellphone screen cover by hitting it with a hammer.
There were also plenty of cars, motorcycles and even a golf cart with dual television screens. LG demonstrated a virtual model where you could stand in front of a camera and see yourself dressed in different outfits.
With the introduction of Windows 8, there were also a lot of touch screens and touch screen tablets and computers. And while we have gotten used to tablets such as the iPad mini and the 7-inch Amazon Fire being smaller, it looks like manufacturers are also betting on larger tablets.
Both Lenovo and Panasonic introduced very large tablets. The Lenovo tablet is actually more like a game table. This 27-inch tablet is projected to be like a coffee table that acts as game tables as well as performing other tasks. The Lenovo touch screen table-tablet will come with air-hockey knockers, joysticks, and even Wi-Fi enabled dice.
With 20,000 new products on display, I obviously couldn't cover everything, but one thing is for sure - some of these new technologies will change our lives in the near future. While personally, I might not want a better television, an Internet-connected iron or a digital fork, the breakthroughs in gesture controls, eye-tracking and digital game boards are pretty spectacular.
And these are just a few of the many things that 2013 and 2014 will bring us.
Contact Sandy Berger at email@example.com.
More like this story