Feature: CES 2013 Reveals Exciting New Technologies

Photo Credit: Graphic Illustration designed by Samantha Parish

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was a 4-day-long playground for all the tech geeks that flocked to Vegas to enjoy it. From January 8-11 many companies unveiled hundreds of prototypes for new technologies, testing out how different products will sell.

The show encompasses all different types of electronics, including TVs, tablets, audio devices, computers, phones, apps and much more. It was here that 3D TVs, XBox’s, DVD players and BlueRay disks were first shown.

CES offers hands on demonstrations and tests of expensive, high tech electronics and is filled with some of the strangest, most futuristic devices one can imagine—making it nearly impossible to review everything. Here’s a brief look at some of the most talked about and awarded technological products shown:

Healthy lifestyle technology seemed to be a trend at this year’s CES, catering new products towards geeks on the go. Many companies unveiled their different exercise-oriented electronics, including the “Basis Band”.

This amazing device looks like a fairly normal large-screen digital watch yet, deceivingly, is actually a pedometer, heart rate monitor and much more.

The Basis Band logs calories burned and steps taken, as well as both the length and projected quality of one’s sleep. Incredibly, the band then combines all this data to illustrate how healthy one is, recommending healthy habits, which can be viewed on its companion Android app or via an online Basis account. At only 199$ this slim personal trainer is great for techie exercise enthusiasts.

Televisions this year continue to improve—with outstanding picture quality and new designs, the exciting possibilities for television in 2013 are plain to see. Among these modern televisions is the Samsung UN85S9 4k/UHD TV. Though not a gargantuan screen, this television’s unique free-standing easel-like frame and tilting ability truly set it apart from competition.

The television also has voice integration, a built in Smart Hub app (which enables music, videos and movies), and the ability to control other Samsung “smart” appliances—such as its washing machine or heating system—using the TV. With the help of a fully LED backlight and incredible image quality, the definition on this television leaves competitors in the dust. Samsung hopes to place this product on market sometime this year

Tablets have enjoyed such a successful year, with improvements to both the Windows surface and the iPad, that it was hard to think how the tablets at CES could present anything new.

Yet by focusing on gaming, tablets at CES offered new opportunities for portable gaming systems such as the Razor’s Edge tablet, which won “Best in Show” at the convention awards. Essentially, the Razor’s Edge is a full Windows 8 computer, with a shorter battery life, and a large focus on gaming, aided by its small size and portability.

However, the Horizon 27 tablet proved that not all tablets at CES are created equal. This 27-inch multi-touch, multi-user desktop is literally the top of a desk about equivalent in size to those used in schools, but completely covered in a touch screen computer. It is semi-portable–with the ability to stand alone, or to be built into a table.

The Horizon 27 be used as either a computer or as a full gaming station with its Bluetooth connectable joysticks. Focused around gaming, it has many built in games, and its large screen and multi-touch technology allow multiple players while maintaining a comfortable gaming experience.

At 999$ this wont be affordable (or practical) for everyone, but it opens a whole world of possibilities as improved, cheaper versions emerge.

Phones were not a huge player at CES this year, as most of the popular phones were released and marketed before the show. Nonetheless the Yota phone was one of the more talked about things to come out of CES, due to its double-faced combination of Android and E-ink technologies. The front is composed of a regular touchscreen Android phone, while the battery-saving back screen, not always active, looks more like a Kindle screen due to its use of E-ink. It also features new gesture navigation and a 12-megapixel camera.

Though not the next iPhone, the Yota phone definitely gave new perspective to what phones can offer, leading it to win the “People’s Choice” phone award for the convention.

There were many other technologies unveiled at CES, both fantastic and fascinating. While many of these things will never even reach the market, they’ll all one day be eclipsed by whatever comes out at next year’s CES.

Personally, I’m hoping for hover boards