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.

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache, MySQL, Moodle)

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior .NET Web Developer - Winform / MVC

    £21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Award-winning pharma softw...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Java Developer

    £30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Java Developer is requ...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all