New Screen Technology
Screen technology could be changing for cars. Texas Instruments is eyeing that big LCD screen in the middle of your car’s dashboard and wants to replace it with one of its DLP projection engines, claiming it will work on curved surfaces and is brighter.
Speaking of curved surfaces, display companies are using newly developed ultra-thin flexible glass to create curved displays for your phones and even TVs. It’s based on new glass fabrication technology that laminates layers so thin that it can be stored on a roll. These products will initially have fixed displays; don’t expect rollup displays for years.
TVs on display exhibited some amazing images, many with 4K resolution, twice that of our current models. The best of the bunch was LG’s 55-inch OLED HDTV ($10,000). OLED provides a wider view angle, and much higher contrast than LCD displays. Also on display were 3-D sets that use simple, lightweight, non-powered glasses that look great, but are still wanting for content.
New Camera Technology
The PMA photo show is now part of CES, so there were many new cameras introduced. Most noticeable was the addition of WiFi to cameras that allow you to shoot and instantly send your photo to Facebook or your online photo library. Canon even has come up with a square-shaped camera, the PowerShot N, focused just on this capability.
Fuji Film introduced its X100S, an update to its popular fixed-lens, large sensor camera that’s been compared to a Leica. Olympus, Panasonic and Nikon introduced new versions of their popular mirrorless cameras.
Health & Technology
Another big trend here was health devices. There are now dozens of companies making wristbands, wristwatches and clip-on devices that monitor various health and activity functions. Companies included Nike, Basic, Fitbit, and Lark.
There were connected scales from Withings and Fitbit that measure your weight and body fat and send those readings to your computer or directly to your Facebook account automatically. So you can now not only read about your friends’ activities, but follow their weight and even compete!
Another gadget is the iBaby HeartSense, an add-on to the iPhone that lets a pregnant mother listen to her baby’s heartbeat instantly through her iPhone or iPad.
So what is the biggest trend at CES? It’s connectivity of objects over wireless. It’s connecting our scales and cameras to the Internet, tracking our luggage, sensors in our potted plants that send us a text message when they need to be watered. It’s in-home alarms and thermostats and apps to turn on our coffee-makers. In this age of information overload, we’re about to be bombarded with a new level of data and messages that, until now, we never thought or cared very much about.
At the end of 2012, Phil Baker laid out his predictions for technology in 2013 find out if CES made any come true.
For more gadget coverage, check out:
- 8 Stupid Travel Gadgets from CES & Better Alternatives
- The Top 12 Travel Apps for 2012
- Ways the iPad Mini Will Help Travel
- The Travel Gadgets Archives
By Phil Baker for PeterGreenberg.com. Phil Baker has more than three decades of experience in consumer and computer technology product development and program management. Check out his blog at www.philipgbaker.com.
Feature Image Credit Wikimedia, user Ben Franske