On Monday we brought you a list of 7 gadgets from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas worth taking a look at. On Tuesday morning, CES 2013 officially opened its doors to the public (a few companies hold press events for journalists in the days leading up to CES) which gives us an even clearer indication of where technology and culture will intersect in the future. While there's undoubtedly some silly stuff at CES — More comically big phones? A Bluetooth-connected "smart fork," really? — here are the products and gadgets from CES' unofficial day two worth keeping an eye on:
1. Razor-thin OLED TV sets
"OLED" stands for organic light-emitting diode, which in a nutshell allows for much thinner screens with super-sharp image quality. At CES this year, a whole bunch of companies are pulling the curtains off really expensive sets aimed at early adopters and 1-percenters. LG kicked things off with a razor-thin, 55-inch OLED TV set that starts at $12,000. Meanwhile, Samsung revealed its own television that allows two users to watch different programs at the same time using special glasses and imaging principles similar to 3D films. And Sony spotlighted a 4K (read: Ultra HD) TV set with a huge 56-inch screen. The price tag, while not yet available, is presumed to be about the same as it would be for one of your non-vital organs. Sources: IGN, NBC News, Mashable
2. Bone-conduction TV headphones
Panasonic revealed a new set of wireless headphones that don't need speakers, or even your ears, for you to use them. Instead, they transmit sound waves directly through your skull — kind of like a hearing aid. The idea is to noiselessly watch TV or listen to music while the rest of your family sleeps quietly. Source: Associated Press
3. Gesture and eye controls for your PC
That wireless mouse you're touching? Primitive. Intel wants to take controlling your computer into the Star Trek age with something it calls "perceptual computing." The basic idea is to use gesture controls, face recognition, voice recognition, and eye controls to dictate everything on your computer screen. Pretty soon, you'll be able to play games like Portal 2 by waving your hands in front of your machine like a magician. (Or a crazy person, depending on who you ask.) Source: VentureBeat
4. Cameras with one-step uploading
Yesterday we talked about camera bodies getting retro and pretty, but companies are also giving cameras' brains an upgrade, too. Samsung revealed a line of HD Smart Cameras that come with WiFi and built-in photo editing tools, negating the need for messy wires — or, you know, actual computers — to get your photos where they need to be: Online. Expect these features on most modern cameras from this point on. Sources: Geeksugar
5. Cars with built-in co-pilots
Google's self-driving cars tend to steal all the headlines. But now, major carmakers like Lexus are using the same equipment — forward- and side-facing radar, a 360-degree Lidar laser on the roof, and high-definition cameras — to make your regular commute even safer. For instance: Expect more cars to come equipped with collision-avoidance systems that can sense an impending crash and apply the brakes. Or maybe they'll be able to sense when a sleepy driver is veering across the lane and adjust accordingly. Source: New York Times
6. An Android you can take in the shower
Sony's flagship phone for 2013, the Xperia Z, comes with a 5-inch HD display, runs a glitzy version of Android, and is only 7.9mm thick — stuff we've come to expect from most high-end phones. What makes this one special is that its connection ports (Micro USB, micro-SD, and its SIM card) are all hidden under little panels to make the Z water resistant — you can dunk the thing in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes at a time. You're probably not the type to bring your phone into the tub — or are you? Either way, this sort of water-resistant technology will hopefully become common enough that we don't have to worry about our phones on rainy days or on trips to the beach. Source: The Verge
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