The tech industry decamped to Las Vegas this week to grant the world’s press a sneak peek at what gadget freaks will be saving up for during the rest of the year. Here’s the 10 best things we saw:
LG’s OLED TV and Cinema 3D technologyForget plasma vs LCD, there’s a new screen in town: OLED (or organic light emitting diodesm if you prefer). The clarity and colours of images produced by both Samsung and LG’s 55” were absolutely breathtaking and put many of the 4k2k (or quad HD) prototypes to shame. However, LG’s new Cinema 3D technology was the real star of the show. Set to be incorporated into around 60% of their 2012 TV sets, it literally had us ducking for cover when it showed footage of a football being kicked directly at the camera, it was the best thing we clapped eyes on all week.
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Samsung Smart TV (Pic: Getty Images)
Samsung Smart TVsNowadays, if your goggle box isn’t an all-singing, all-dancing online media hub then it might as well be a toaster. Panasonic showed off a brilliant app that lets you send pictures and video from your tablet or smartphone to your Wi-Fi connected Vieira screen with a satisfying swipe. But the next generation of Smart TVs will also boast Xbox Kinect-style voice and gesture controls, meaning you can change the channel by waving your arms around. Samsung’s are even equipped with facial recognition software that will automatically log you into apps like Twitter and Facebook.
Sony Experia S (Pic: Reuters)
Sony’s Xperia S and Smart WatchDue to the proliferation of dedicated mobile shows, phones have been phased out of CES. However, Sony did use the occasion to launch their new Xperia S, an impressive dual core Android handset with a 4.3 inch screen 12mp camera capable of recording full 1080p HD video. Oh, and it also has a transparent strip at the bottom of the handset which is nice if you like that kind of thing. We also loved the Smart Watch, a funky Bluetooth accessory for Xperias that can read and send texts, make calls if paired with a headset and display over 255 widgets, including Facebook and Twitter.
Lumix Dual Lens 3DI (Pic: Getty Images)
Panasonic’s 3D compact cameraThe dinky Lumix Dual Lens 3DI boasts not one but TWO lenses, meaning you can not only capture amazing 3D pictures and video, but can also record 2D wide and zoom shots at the same time. Which is some party trick.
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Sony’s Bloggie LiveWe use this handy pocket-sized HD video camera all the time, but it now comes with inbuilt Wi-FI meaning you can upload footage directly to social media or You Tube - or even stream it live via Skype’s QIK service. A handy app also allows you to tether the Bloggie to your smartphone if you’re out filming in the middle of nowhere.
Griffin Twenty Amp (Pic: You Tube)
Griffin TwentyThis ingenious gadget uses Apple’s AirPort Express to stream perfect audio from your iTunes account to any speaker in the house. And because all the heavy lifting is done by the Twenty itself, it doesn’t matter what make - or, indeed, age - they might be.
Gaems Inc s G155 (Pic: You Tube)
Gaems Inc’s G155This not-so-snappily named Xbox 360 and PS3 compatible carry case costs more than the consoles themselves, but it does feature an in-built HD monitor and two audio jacks for genuine gaming on the go. Although don’t get carried away by thoughts of CoD on the bus: that screen doesn’t run on thin air so you will need to be near a plug socket.
Ion Audio’s Docs2GoThere are possibly more iPad accessories at CES than there are actual iPads in the world and almost all of them are useless. This one most certainly isn’t. It may look like an oddly elongated dock, but Ion Audio’s brilliantly simple Docs2Go turns Apple’s tablet into a fully-fledged scanner. Digitising documents or old photos is as simple as feeding them into the slot and letting the device work its magic.
Ion Audio s iPad Guitar Apprentice
Ion Audio Guitar ApprenticeThe guys behind last year’s ace retro iPad accessory the iCade have done it again, transforming Apple’s tablet into a shredding six-string complete with working fretboard. Not quite as usefyl as their Docs2Go effort, then, but frankly, it rocks. The keyboard and drums versions are woth a look too.
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 (Pic: Getty Images)
Parrot AR Drone 2.0The ultimate boys toy, Parrot’s smartphone controlled flying machine is now more maneuverable and comes with onboard HD cameras that can stream footage back to your handheld device. If you’re after a cheaper alternative then check out Griffin’s Helo TC Assault: not just a helicopter that you can fly with your iPhone, but one that also shoots plastic rockets!