It’s Consumer Electronics Show time again, folks, which means many tech people camp out in Las Vegas to see what the big (and not so big) players in the world of consumer electronics have to offer for the coming year.
Not all of it’s brand new, but CES is a great place to showcase it. There are geekier conventions, of course, but what would it be if Forever Geek didn’t give a decent nod Vegas way and showcase some of this year’s highlights.
The show is still rolling as we speak, so we may not have captured all the best bits yet. Still, let’s take a look at what’s hot at CES.
You don’t have to look far before you find someone talking about 3D TV. It’s set to be one of the next big things and major players are lining up to get a piece of the action.
CyberLink, working in partnership with the Blu-ray Disc Association and major chip manufacturers including NVIDIA, Intel and AMD, has been showing off its 3D Blu-ray for PC solutions. That hopefully means lots of compatibility and less confusion for consumers.
XpanD showed off its latest advanced 3D active-shutter glasses designed to work with 3D-ready LCD, plasma and DLP displays. Any content encoded in 3D and that plays back at 120fps will compatible with the glasses, which are remarkably sleek given the technology hidden inside.
Dell has jumped on the 3D bandwagon with its 23-inch Alienware OptX monitor. As it shares its name with Dell’s inherited line of gaming PCs and notebooks, you can be sure that it’s aimed at gamers. Oh, and the Alienware M15x gaming laptop is also 3D-ready.
Many other manufacturers have decided to put “3D” in their blurb, including Toshiba on its new Qosmio X505 multimedia laptop.
Both Toshiba and Samsung have declared TVs containing processors which are capable of converting standard two-dimensional content into three-dimensions, and no doubt other top TV manufacturers will be doing the same.
And in case you think 3DTV is a long way off, the Consumer Electronics Association — though they may be over-optimistic — reckon that some four million 3DTV-ready sets will be sold this year.
CES always sees a huge range of speakers, headphones and other audio products come into the market and there’s no way we can cover them all, but enough interesting developments caught my eye to mention them here.
Firstly, Bowers & Wilkins has extended its range of good-looking, highly functional products which include the amazing looking 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers. They’re backed by names such as musician-producer Dave Stewart, film composer James Newton Howard and Abbey Road sound engineer Peter Cobbin. You can find out more at Bowers & Wilkins web site.
There are also some far-from-run-of-the-mill iPod docks and speakers including the Zeppelin.
Another Great British audio manufacturer (not that I’m biased or anything) is Naim Audio. They’ve just launched the UnitiQute high-end all-in-one audio player that’ll handle FM, DAB and Internet radio, streaming audio, iPod and USB sources. Find out more here.
Display and Touch
Pushing on with new technology in the world of touchscreens, Pacinian introduces its Surface Actuation system that offers a thin, responsive and power-efficient feedback system for use particularly in mobile devices.
Darice has already reported on a new material being considered for e-book readers. LG Display has created “metal foil” e-paper technology which is not only touch-sensitive and fairly high resolution but is also bendable.
Jayvee looked at Samsung’s transparent AMOLED screens which are sure to find some interesting applications over the coming few years.
Intel has introduced new features and processors including Turbo Boost Technology on its mainstream processors, the first 32nm processors, and Core i5 processors which are supposed to be around twice as fast as existing PCs.
Overall, Intel has introduced some 25 processors, wireless adapters and chipsets.
The Photosimile 5000 is an interesting product that will take a professional photograph of any object within seconds. It includes a 28-inch light box with 6500K daylight bulbs, automated camera positioning system and a turntable together with a Canon DSLR and imaging software.
Not only do you get a range of photos but also 360˚ and hemispherical Flash files. Neat.
Phone Halo Protect is a small Bluetooth-enabled device that can be attached to valuables and then used to locate them from an enabled smartphone.
Sticking to the location theme, Lok8u intros its GPS locator watch: the multi.m8 allows the wearer to be located with a 10-foot accuracy.
For those who just can’t survive without the magic of instant pictures, Polaroid has created a 12MP digital camera with a built in photo printer. It’s Polaroid for the 21st century.
We’re only partway though CES, so when the dust has settled we’ll take a look at some of the other gadgets that made it big here.