CES arguably the greatest gadget show on earth has come to an end again. Traditionally a platform for most of the big brands to launch their new key products for the coming year did not seem to have one dominant theme this year as oppose to 3D TVs in 2011 or tablets in 2010.
However there was plenty of interesting tech sprinkled across the exhibition. We did go to CES and here is what we’ve seen.
Most definitely one of the stand-out technologies at the show this year was OLED TVs. This display technology is self-illuminating, so unlike LCD or LED TVs, OLED sets don’t use a backlight. This means they can produce astonishingly deep black levels, which in turn helps them to deliver hugely impressive contrast performance and on the whole their pictures have a lot more visual impact.
Previous OLED TVs that have reached the market have only been available in very small screen sizes. However, this year both LG and Samsung showed off 55-inch models.
Apart from OLED technology TVs have gone even smarter. Samsung featured a number of TVs with built-in cameras and microphones integrated into their remote controls on their stand.
This lets you control the set using either hand gestures via the camera or by speaking voice commands into the remote’s mic. For example, saying “hi TV” turns on the set, and you can then utter “web browser” to quickly go online.
Social media is going to play a bigger role on this year’s TVs. Sony, Panasonic, LG and Samsung were all showing off improved Facebook and Twitter features. These allow you to view updates and tweets from your friends overlaid on the screen while watching TV shows.
This concept was well showcased by Panasonic that brought Justin Timberlakeonstage to debut its Myspace TV app, which allows users to message each other in real-time as they watch a TV show, or to share links for other online content via their TV, smart phone or laptop. For more info visit cnet uk
Without an Apple presence at CES, it’s a chance for other manufacturers to shout about their tablet devices. But there’s not the mad rush of iPad rivals that you might expect. Poor sales of Android tablets seem to have made the big electronics giants more cautious.
That said, this week we’ve appreciated the Acer Iconia Tab A700, which will come equipped in Android 4.0 that is Ice Cream Sandwich and a huge quad-core processor.
Toshiba has also produced the new Excite 10, a stylish 10.1-inch Android tablet that features a 1.2GHz dual-core TI processor and a 1,280 x 800 pixel display.
However it’s Lenovo that is worth taking a look showing off its new tablet models. There’s the Asus Transformer-alike IdeaPad S2 running Ice Cream Sandwich and the quad-core Tegra 3-powered IdeaPad K2 which pretty much looks like a supercomputer pretending to be a clipboard.
Cars are becoming more connected
This year CES was invaded by six of the top 10 car companies, despite the fact that the Detroit motor show was running during the same week.
Audi, Mercedes and Kia were showing off sci-fi style head-up display systems that overlay graphics and text on a normal windscreen. They can be used to show you the nearest car park or to pop up information about businesses, entertainment and tourist spots nearby.
Driver aids were also a big deal this year. For example, Kia said it will be adding cameras and motion sensing technology to some models. This will allow the cars to monitor the driver and detect their mood. If they’re getting distracted it can reduce the amount of information shown on the car’s virtual dash. If it detects that they might be starting to feel tired they’ll encourage the driver to take a break.
Ford on the other hand showed off an updated version of its SyncDestination system, which is a satnav app for Android and iOS devices that can be controlled via voice. Just tell it the destination you want to travel to and it’ll guide you along the route. It forms part of Ford’s overall Sync system that allows iOS and Android devices to be controlled both by voice and the buttons on the car’s steering wheel.
Sync can also be used for other stuff. For example, it can read out text messages, control music like Pandora Radio by voice, and even call the emergency services automatically if it detects an airbag has been deployed.
Headphones stars endorsements
South Hall was seriously invaded by earphones and headphones manufacturers but specifically two brands decided to launch their new products with an appearance of a star.
First of them is Soul featuring Ludacris and the latter SMS Audio with Street and Sync by 50cent & DJ Pauly D.