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
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Latest stories from i100
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

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

    £45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Executive

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...

    Ashdown Group: Junior SQL DBA - London - £39,000

    £37000 - £39000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: SQL Database Administrato...

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

    £26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Expanding creative studio requi...

    Day In a Page

    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
    Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

    Look what's mushrooming now!

    Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
    Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

    Oeuf quake

    Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
    Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

    Terry Venables column

    Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
    Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin