Year in and year out, we are presented with a compendium of gadgets and technological innovations at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Along with the extensive media coverage this event gets and the drool-worthy product displays, we are also given the rare opportunity to determine what lies ahead in the consumer electronics market via this well-attended geek shindig. Big players get the chance to scale their presence and shine bright even more at this event, while industry experts get to share their vision or sketch the tech roadmap among like-minded individuals. This 2013, however, small players who want to shake things up are also getting their share of the limelight, especially when they showcase genuine innovations never seen before in this ultra-dynamic arena. Let’s take a look at three of the most groundbreaking devices featured in this year’s CES so far.
The most successful Kickstarter project to date will be unveiled at CES 2013. Pebble, the smartphone-friendly watch which was able to raise over $10 million from nearly 69,000 backers will be holding a press conference during the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 specifically on Wednesday, Jan 9th, at the South Hall of LVCC (Room S228). The minimalistic watch, whose creators say is “built for the 21st century,” features a customizable watch faces that uses iPhone and Android apps via Bluetooth to alert the user about incoming calls, emails and messages.
For cyclists and runners, Pebble can act as a computer that will display speed, distance, and pace data by accessing the GPS function of the connected smartphone. For media hogs, it can act as a remote control that will play, pause, and skip tracks stored on a connected mobile phone. Meanwhile, businesspeople that need to stay on top of things can also benefit from this watch through its notifications features that delivers message alerts via vibrations – so they won’t miss any incoming voicemail or internet fax. The user can dismiss a notification simply by shaking his or her wrist.
In a surprise move that’s now touted as the first bomb of CES 2013, big-shot graphics manufacturer Nvidia pulled out a handheld console named Project Shield. While everyone expected the company to release the much awaited Tegra 4 processor featuring an A15 quad-core, 72 GPU cores and 4G LTE capability, it brought out a completely unexpected gadget. Project Shield, a device that runs on Android Jellybean, looks like a full-sized classic gamepad with an attached hinge-style 5-inch, 720p multi-touch screen, which as per Nvidia’s claims, employs “breakthrough” wireless technology and stunning high-definition video and audio.
This unexpected move, however, creates more questions; one of which is the issue of whether launch games will be platform-unique or playable on any other Android device. Another is a question regarding market position. Why is Nvidia going into the already saturated platform gaming race? Is it bowing down to longtime rival AMD in the graphics processing race? It could also be remembered that Nintendo and Xbox consoles all use the AMD graphics core and that there’s always been a love-hate relationship between Apple and Nvidia. But regardless of which, it’s a big move, especially when talking from an industry standpoint; and it will truly stir up the playing field (pun intended) assuming that it gets displayed on shelves with a reasonable price point.
This GSM-powered device from Los Angeles company Globaltrac introduces a “Find My iPhone” -like tool for your luggage. Just like any of the 26 million travelers who misplaced luggage and belongings due to horrible service from air carriers last year, you’d truly feel bummed when you lose yours. The aim of this AA battery-powered gizmo is to minimize the travel-induced headaches brought by missing luggage through GSM or cellular signals in lieu of the GPS signals which the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) doesn’t allow manufacturers to track. You only have to place it inside your suitcase and assign it to your cellphone to get messages stating where your luggage landed.
“If you’re flying to Paris, and your luggage flies to London, you’ll get a message on your phone saying that’s where your bag is. Still a pain, of course, but at least you’ll know,” says one press release. The $49.99 Trackdot, which will be available in March, has reportedly flooded the company with pre-orders. It sure doesn’t cost too much for the loads of peace of mind it can bring millions of airline passengers.
Expect that more groundbreaking, jaw=dropping devices will be featured in the coming days towards the end of this four-day meet.