Naina KhedekarJan 12, 2013 10:31:03 IST
The CES 2013 finally comes to an end, leaving behind a trail of newer innovations and gadgets to ponder over. Manufacturers this year focussed on television technology and 4K seemed to be the buzz word throughout the show. We saw hoards of television sets and even some OLED 4K TV prototypes; in fact, we also saw the 4K tablet prototype from Panasonic. Well, 4K means four times your full HD resolution, and the price of these TV sets appears to be too high to become the next consumer trend – unless they are well priced and there is enough 4K content to take advange of the ultra high definition. Though Microsoft chose to stay out of the show, we did see a slew of Windows 8 products. The hybrid designs seem to be trending yet again at the CES 2013, be it hybrid Ultrabook or AIO. Another trend we saw was of smart gadgets and enhanced connectivity. Manufacturers gave us a futuristic look of how we could interact with our computers and even home appliances to make smarter homes. If you haven't been able to keep a tab on the CES 2013, we've brought to you 10 products that you shouldn't miss.
At CES 2013, we saw the powerful gaming tablet from Razer dubbed Edge. Designed specially for gamers, it can run all PC games and applications. It isn’t just a concept anymore as Razer plans to send this Project Fiona concept into production and retail distribution this year. Bringing the Windows 8 operating system with Intel architecture, the Razer Edge system will be available in two models, namely, the standard Razer Edge and the Razer Edge Pro. The base model has an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GT640M LE GPU, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 64GB SSD. The Razer Edge Pro comes replete with an upgraded Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GT640M LE GPU, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a 128GB or 256GB SSD. The Razer Edge Pro will additionally be offered in a bundle package with a Gamepad Controller in both the 128GB and 256GB SSD models. Four dedicated configurations will offer versatility for Razer Edge users – Tablet mode, Keyboard Dock mode, Gamepad Controller mode and Docking Station mode. Tablet mode avails the Razer Edge with multi-touch capabilities for full Windows 8 applications, movies and music playback in a traditional tablet form factor.
Intel’s perpetual computing drive appears to be the most influential ones at the CES 2013. It almost gave us a sneak-peek into the future of computing and what we can expect from our devices in the not-so-far away future. With perpetual computing, Intel explains how users can interact with computers with gestures, voice and eyes. So, your input is not limited to the mere keyboard and mouse and goes well beyond all of it with touch, speech, hand gestures and just about anything else that developers can bring to the table. One of the most intuitive tools displayed using perceptual computing was “Personify Chat”, a two-way video chat that lets you share visual cues like facial expressions and body language, offering emotional feedback which usually gets lost in textual chatting. We saw Valve’s Portal 2 being played at the CES using gesture controls and motion-sensing technology from Sixense, making it possible to play by just waving your hands around in front of a computer.
LG Smart Home
Giving instructions to home appliances may sound magical, but LG lets you do it all without knowing any spells. Imagine you are on the way home and instruct your washing machine to wash clothes and vacuum cleaner to clean the house, send a recipe to the oven and it preheats to the perfect temperature—and all this gets done before you reach home.
Making home appliances smarter
LG’s NFC-enabled home appliances and the SmartShare feature allows one-touch NFC tagging to instantaneously transfer media content from one device to another using Wi-Fi or 3G/4G. Users can easily share photos, videos and other content stored on a smartphone or laptop with their LG Smart TV. Consumers can start their laundry, check what’s in the fridge, or have the floor vacuumed – all while they’re away from home. Additionally, it’s possible to control the washer or range oven from the couch with LG’s Smart TV and Magic Remote. With LG’s SmartControl app, household chores no longer have to get in the way of watching a favourite movie or show. The application keeps the user firmly in control, regardless of their physical location. SmartControl also enables the user to remotely monitor LG’s super-efficient Smart Home system and to give simple voice commands to their appliances via smartphone. For instance, LG’s HOM-BOT, an automated vacuum cleaner, can be paired with your smartphone to remotely control it. You can steer your vacuum cleaner using your phone and monitor the home via the cleaner’s built-in cameras; you can also communicate with family members via its speakers, using the smartphone as a microphone.
Flexible displays aren’t something new nor are bendable phone concepts. Despite being around for years now, we haven’t seen any big manufacturer actually take the plunge. But it looks like times are changing. Samsung showed its new flexible display range, branded Youm. This flexible OLED display line was seen at the CES 2013 and was definitely one of the highlights of the show. In fact, Samsung also showed a bendable phone prototype, displaying the future potential of this display. The last time we saw Samsung show off its Galaxy camera concept at the IFA and within no time, it reached markets. Could it be the same with the phone? Well, we don’t think so. The Verge had a quick hands-on with the device and said that it can't be called a phone prototype as a lot of key phone features were missing.
Nevertheless, the Samsung spokesperson demonstrated the device prototype showing audiences how the screen curves beyond the edge of the display. Brian Berkeley, Senior VP, Samsung's San Jose Display Lab, revealed how this new technology actually expanded the canvas available for content and also showed how content flowed along the sides of the device. This way, he said, there could be a whole new ecosystem of devices.
Bendable phone on the way?
4K TVs/4K OLED TV prototypes
Almost all companies put their best foot forward with 4K TV integrated with smarter technologies – be it Samsung, Sony, LG or Panasonic. We saw TVs in varyiing sizes and attached with price tags that most of us possibly can't afford. The 4K OLED screens can make heads turn and this is what happened when Sony and Panasonic showed off their respective prototypes. Both Sony and Panasonic showcased 56-inch 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TV sets at the CES this year. Sony also spoke about its 4K video distribution service, which offers native 4K movies from Sony Pictures and other 4K content creators. The company will also be offering "4K mastered" Blu-ray discs, which will be standard 1080p resolution (not 4K) but better than traditional Blu-rays.
Samsung’s NX300 camera took the centre stage at CES for more than one reason. This flagship mirrorless camera is 3D-capable. It sports a 20.3 Megapixel APS-CMOS sensor, an ISO range of 100 to 25600 and a new Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system. The maximum shutter speed is 1/6000 and a top speed of 8.6fps for JPG bursts is set to ensure quick shooting. Also announced was the NX 45mm F1.8 2D/3D lens, the first one-lens 3D system capable of capturing both still images and full HD movies in perfect 3D quality. Samsung has built the DRIMe IV engine for better colour reproduction and greater noise reduction, which completely supports the full 1080p HD video capture in both 2D and 3D. The next generation cameras seem to be embracing social connectivity and Wi-Fi capability and this camera is no different. Users can share images with iOS and Android devices using the Smart Camera App. The camera’s one-touch Direct Link hot key is supposed to make sharing images on social networks easy. Alternatively, images can be automatically backed up or stored in the cloud through AllShare.
Sony Xperia Z
Although there were no major phone announcements at the CES this year, Sony kept us hooked with its high-end Xperia Z. The Xperia Z follows the next to-be fad among high-end phones of larger displays with its 5-inch 1080p screen featuring a pixel resolution of 443 ppi. It has much more than just a large display, such as a 13 megapixel camera, support for HDR video, 4G LTE, EDGE, Wi-Fi, and NFC. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm processor and comes with the Battery Stamina Mode that claims to improve the standby time of the phone by four times. It does so by shutting down battery draining apps whenever the screen is off and starting them up again when the screen is back on. Moreover, it has a glass back panel and offers resistance to dust and water.
Large screen, high-end rugged phone
At CES, Samsung showed its new Exynos Octa chip with eight cores. It is based on the ARM big.LITTLE/Cortex A-15 architecture and is designed to be a low-powered, high performance mobile processor. This chip is said to deliver twice the performance compared to anything available in the market today when it comes to 3D gaming. It can run on dual quad-core setups on a 28nm process.
Asus Transformer AIO
Those who want to lay their hands on Android and Windows 8 can look forward to the Asus Transformer All In One tablet. It works as a full fledged AIO and one can detach the display to use it as a tablet. Obviously, it won't be completely portable tablet as it is a 18.4-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The IPS display has a 10-point multi-touch. Powering it is a 3rd generation Intel Core processor to handle Windows 8 and an Nvidia Tegra processor for Android. Interestingly, you can switch between both the OSes with the press of a button.
Golden-i 3.8 wearable computer
While we await Google Glass, Kopin and Motorola Solutions bring the generation 3.8 of its Golden-i wearable headset computer. Displayed at the CES, it is sleeker and stylish this time. It can be easily folded for easier transportation and has 16 times more power than the previous version, in a sleeker attire. You will also find the new camera technology that includes image stabilisation. The spec sheet reveals a 14 megapixel camera, optional infra-red camera for night vision, temperature sensor and the ability to see through walls and obstruction. Then there's built-in GPS and a digital compass to ensure workers always know their location. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity has also been provided with two antennas, which ensure good multi-frequency RF performance. Sporting a qHD display, which is equivalent to that of a virtual 15-inch laptop screen, it can be paired with a smartphone.
Which is your favourite product at the CES 2013?
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