David Phelan: The 10 things I wish I’d stolen from CES

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

So it’s over for another year, the biggest electronics trade show in the world. It gets a fraction bigger every year, it seems, so the organisers can claim “Biggest show ever” yet again. This time there were 150,000 attendees (I believe it, most of them were right in my way, frankly) and the show spread across 1.92 million square feet. No wonder it’s tiring.

A lot to see then, but even so, there were some innovations that stood head and shoulders above the rest. Here’s my guide to the gadgets to watch out for in 2013 and beyond.

1 Sony OLED 4K TV

Overall, Sony stole the show this year. It needed to, because recent years have seen Sony struggling to make its mark. This year there was the Sony Xperia Z mobile phone and several stand-out TVs. I’ve written about one of them - the X9000A -  here. This was the most remarkable TV on display; it’s a prototype, so don’t expect it in the shops this year.

It stands out because it combines two technologies, OLED and 4K. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is the sharp, vibrant screen tech which aims to supersede LCD screens. Sony was first to market with its 11in model a few years back, and LG has a 55in OLED due to go on sale in the spring for around £8,000. OLED has a super-fast response time so motion blur, that irritating smeary quality that can blight action scenes, is absent. The response time also makes it ideal for 3D.

But this set also has 4K, the Ultra HD format that’s on its way, with four times the pin-sharp resolution of Full HD. Blockbuster movies are shot in 4K, and this screen can show every pixel.

When it eventually does go on sale, expect a premium price.

2 Samsung Multi-View F9500 TV

This is another 55in OLED TV, due out this year for £8,000 or less. It lacks the resolution of the Sony but it still looks glorious and is wafer-thin (actually, a wafer probably looks fat next to it). The clever feature here is you can watch two 3D programmes simultaneously on one TV. You have two different pairs of 3D glasses. One is tuned to pick up a 3D movie, say, the other pair see the other show, thanks to super-fast shutters which are perfectly synchronised to flash open and closed at the right time. It’s only possible thanks to that OLED response rate. Audio is supplied through earphones on the glasses. Of course, it is somewhat anti-social…

3 Parrot Flower Power

Stick this gizmo into the soil of your plant pot. It measures the sunlight, humidity, temperature and more so it knows when you need to water your plants, add fertiliser and so on. It then transmits this information wirelessly to your smartphone. A database of 6,000 plants knows that not all plants are the same, water-wise. Great for those who lack green fingers. Out later this year, with price to be confirmed.

4 Fujifilm X20 camera

Last year’s X10 was a spectacularly good compact, thanks to its brilliant retro design and a sensor that was much bigger than a regular compact camera. This model is improved dramatically, though with the same sweet styling. Out soon, expect it to cost around the same as its predecessor (£400).

5 Sony W273 Walkman

This is one of those MP3 players where the music is built into the wraparound headphones. But what makes this pair special is that they’re waterproof – they’re designed so you can listen to music when you’re swimming. The idea is that you’ll swim faster, or harder, or at least longer if there’s music to distract you, whether it’s Handel’s Water Music or Wet Wet Wet. Out next month, £60.

6 Hapilabs Fork

If you eat too quickly, you probably eat too much. Eat more slowly and your body has more time to digest, so you feel fuller sooner. That’s the theory behind this fork, due out this spring for around £70. It has a motion sensor built in so if you’re shovelling the grub in, it knows and emits a rebuking vibration to tell you to slow down. No use if you’re eating pizza or sushi, but an interesting gimmick at least.

7 Fitbit Flex

Fitbit makes a series of fitness monitors, and this latest one is the coolest yet. It slips into a soft rubber wristband and measures your activity, synchronising your fitness accomplishments with your iPhone. It’s light and water-resistant so you can shower in it, and it won’t mind if your exertions leave you sweaty. Date and price to be announced.

8 NVIDIA Project Shield

The company best known for making graphics cards for PCs announced a cute games console. It’s portable, with a flip-up 5in screen and controls in the base. It plays Android games. But, and here’s the key difference to hundreds of tablets and smartphones, it will also play PC games which can be streamed to the phone through services like Steam. You can even play the games that are streamed to the console through a big-screen TV. Price to be revealed, out in the spring.

9 E-ink watch

CES was full of futuristic watches including some you could talk to and one, the Martian Watch, that used the voice-recognition program Siri to read out your texts. But the thinnest one around was this one which used e-ink, the low-energy technology found in the Amazon Kindle, among others. It was woven into a watch less than a millimetre thick. If the wind catches it, then time flies. It’s hoped it’ll be out this year.

10 Panasonic WT60 LED TV

Panasonic, which also announced its own prototype 4K OLED screen, showed this clever telly. A built-in camera can recognise which family member is watching it and changes its interface accordingly. The camera (which can be pushed down out of sight when you don’t want it peeping at you) can also be used for Skype calls. Out this spring, price to be confirmed.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
people
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Senior .NET Developer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: This exciting c...

    Business Analyst - Horsham - Competitive Salary

    Negotiable: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Business Analyst - Horsham, West Su...

    Graduate Java / C++ Developer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Graduate Java / C++ ...

    Demandware Developer

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My Client is...

    Day In a Page

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

    Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
    Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

    The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

    Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
    Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

    Meet Japan's AKB48

    Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
    In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

    Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

    The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor