An expected 150,000 people are descending on Las Vegas this week for the major annual tech industry gathering known as “International CES.” The show officially opens tomorrow, but media attendees were given an opportunity to preview a number of exhibiting companies last night at several different events. Here are a few early impressions and intriguing leads:
There will be a lot of talk this week about “ultra HD” television. Vizio, Toshiba, and LG Electronics are all making news about this technology at CES this week. The picture has four times the pixels as HD and the image is indeed very impressive. LG demonstrated a set last night that could display both ultra HD and 3D content seamlessly. Very impressive. At over $10,000 per set, it’s also very expensive.
Have you lost your luggage lately? Globaltrac has come up with a solution that may give you a better idea of where your bag is even when the airline can’t find it. It’s a tracking device called Trakdot, about the size of a cigarette pack that is simply placed in your suitcase. It’s fully web and smartphone trackable. Surprisingly, the FAA hasn’t blocked it (so far). The cost is $50 to purchase it plus a mere $13 subscription for one year. The company plans to sell the device through major retailers starting in April.
If you’ve been wowing your friends with any one of many apps that lets your smartphone shoot a 360 degree (panoramic) image, a small San Francisco company called TourWrist has come up with a new product that goes even farther. Their technology can capture and edit a FULL 360 image that includes the ceiling (or sky) above you and the ground you are standing on. You really have to see this to believe it. The free app is very new and the company is just getting their technology to be both iPhone and Android compatible, but it’s yet another prime example of how smartphones are rapidly transplanting plain old cameras (at a fraction of the price).
Urban Hello has introduced the first smart home phone to win an “innovations” award from CES. It’s a plug and play telephone that can transmit 360 degree HD sound and has an automatic switching system from earphone to a “hands free” speaker. Designed by engineers in France, it also has a sleek, elegant look that many consumers should find appealing over the “blocky” phone technology seen in many homes today.
Taking calorie counting to a whole new level, Hapilabs has come up with a new product that captures data on every bite using an electronic fork. The HAPIfork lets you know when you are eating too fast, along with measuring how long it takes to eat your meal, the amount of fork portions per minute, and time between servings. Gulp!