Christmas, as usual, comes late for the serious phone addicts, tablet-o-philes and general gizmo junkies among us. Here’s a look at some of our favourites from CES 2013 in Las Vegas.
Qualcomm tri-band wireless modems
Qualcomm’s getting in on the 802.11ac/ad bandwagon by releasing a new series of modems designed to allow devices to connect to routers using the latest technology.
Vuzix Smart Glasses
Similar to the more publicized Google’s Project Glass, Vuzix Smart Glasses are worn on the head and run a version of Android to display text messages, emails, video and navigation apps. A Best of Innovations award winner at CES, Vuzix Smart Glasses are just another glimpse into the future of display.
Torque HD camera ski goggles
Another Best of Innovations winner, the Torque HD camera lets skiers and snowboarders leave the cameras at home, with a built-in camera that records 1080p video up to 30 fps. An associated iOS and Android app lets other users remote control the camera and stream video content live.
Spicebox’s Mauz (rhymes with “how's”) is a dongle that plugs into a touchscreen smartphone’s connector port, downloads a free iOS or Android app, and turns the phone’s display into a Wi-Fi-enabled remote control: it has regular and customizable computer mouse buttons, but also supports visual and motion gestures for 3D controls for gaming, entertainment centers, and TVs.
Ubuntu for smartphones
As advertised, Canonical showed off the new mobile version of Ubuntu at the show. Its main selling points are its robust multi-device support and slick interface, but you’ll have to wait until Canonical finds a hardware partner before you can get a dedicated Ubuntu phone.
Another neat-looking Google TV box, this one will go up for sale later this quarter.
This long-awaited “Steam Box” – a gaming system dedicated to developer/publisher Valve’s Steam game service – isn’t officially out yet, but Valve said at the show that this Xi3-built prototype is one of several that it would show off.
Snowflake interface for Cisco Videoscape Unity platform
The Snowflake interface for Cisco's Videoscape Unity platform is client software that allows subscribers to access a variety of content pushed to them by content providers. Providers design user “experiences,” add them to Videoscape Unity clients for connected devices and set-top boxes, and deploy them across multiple screens and throughout large service footprints.
AMD HD 8000 series
AMD has upped the ante in its eternal struggle with rival Nvidia for graphics card supremacy with the HD 8000 series, featuring a new 28nm architecture, the latest DirectX compatibility and (not least) bags and bags of GPU horsepower.
Sharp IGZO compound semiconductor
Sharp Electronics executives introduced IGZO, a new model of compound semiconductor. On a 32-inch television, Sharp says IGZO achieves four times higher resolution than on the same TV using older semiconductors. On smartphones and tablets, Sharp said IGZO will also be able to improve accuracy in touch recognition.
Netgear NeoTV Prime
One of several new Google TV devices at this year’s show, this Netgear set-top box opens up Google’s fledgling new entertainment ecosystem, delivering content from Netflix, the Play Store, Amazon Instant and HBO, among others.
The Slingbox connects TV lovers’ personal TV content, including regional stations and DVR recordings, to PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets over the internet. Perfect for frequent travellers, the device is compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices and can even stream over 3G and 4G/LTE.
GoPro Hero3 digital camera
GoPro designed the Hero3 digital camera to survive where other cameras can’t. The waterproof Hero3 is 30% smaller than GoPro’s previous models and can be mounted to a motorcycle or a surfboard. And once it’s mounted, it records HD 1080p video that can be shared via built-in Wi-Fi.
Broadcom gigabit DOCSIS cable gateways
Broadcom says these gateways – powered by a SoC that uses a technique called channel bonding to greatly increase connection speeds – will provide gigabit wireless Internet access from anywhere in the home, when paired with the company’s 802.11ac-based wireless routers.
Linksys 802.11ac routers
Cisco’s moving into the 802.11ac space in earnest with a new range of home routers designed to work with the high-speed wireless standard. The devices will go on sale “in the spring,” according to Cisco, though no pricing data was provided.
Toshiba L9300 UHD TVs
The flood is here – a ton of the biggest companies at CES have ultra-HD (1440p) resolution TVs coming out at this year’s show.
Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon
Lenovo’s latest all-in-one desktop is basically a gigantic tablet – touch-sensitive screen and all.
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix
Ultrabooks aren’t dead, they just didn’t take off in 2012 after all the hype at last year’s CES, but several companies – including Lenovo – are pursuing the idea with a “convertible” twist at this year’s CES.
It’s an e-ink reader! It’s a regular smartphone! It’s YotaPhone, for those of you who need two screens on the same gadget.
Panasonic WhisperRecessed ventilation fan
Another twofer, this combination light fixture/vent fan is both highly energy efficient and a potentially handy space-saver. It’s already won a CES Innovations 2013 design and engineering award.
Sony Xperia Z
Ho-hum. Another day, another smartphone with a huge 5-inch display showing content in full HD. Rumour has it this one will have a glass back, like the Nexus 4 or the iPhone.
Fulton Innovation’s two-way wireless power
Using the Qi wireless power standard, Fulton Innovation has managed to create a tablet that not only charges wirelessly, but can, in turn, charge a smartphone in the same way.
Acer Iconia Tab B1-A71
This is a fairly low-end device from a hardware standpoint - 1024x600 display (7-inch), 512MB RAM, 1.2GHz processor – but the low price could help it stand out in the increasingly competitive small tablet market. Acer says the Jelly Bean-powered B1-A71 is designed specifically for new tablet users, or families that need a second tablet for the kids.
Haier Smart TVs
Aiming to get an edge on a quickly growing smart TV market, Haier is teaming up with Roku to offer TVs with seamless compatibility with Roku internet TV streaming devices. The company is also partnering with Qualcomm to stream its interactive media as a standard feature on its TVs, and announced eye-control and facial-recognition technology on its new devices.
Buffalo LinkStation 400 series network storage devices
The new line of network storage drives from Buffalo feature specialist mobile apps for easy interfacing and 80+ Mbps transfer speeds, according to the company. They go on sale in “early 2013”.
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