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Sunday 21.10.2018 | Name days: Severīns, Urzula

CES 2013: the best and the worst

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The gadgets of the near future laid out every year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – some stand out like revelations, others seem like obvious improvements and some, joyously, are obviously bonkers.

This year, CES’s innovators wanted to connect everything to the internet, so while it worked for TVs, fridges and cameras, in some cases it was less obviously a perfect solution. The fork, for instance. But even the disasters were not perhaps quite as stupid as they might at first seem. The idea of technology improving our eating habits is not exactly new. The iPotty, however, may truly be a step too far, writes The Telegraph.

The hits:

Sony Xperia Z

Coming later this year, the Xperia Z is the first mobile phone from Sony to look like it deserves a chance of success. Water resistant, it can survive submerged for half an hour, it’s dustproof and also comes with a 13mp screen that’s beautiful and a camera that’s class-leading.

Panasonic 56” Oled TV

A prototype rather than a product, this TV won’t be available before 2015 at the earliest. But organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs offer peerless picture quality and power savings and Panasonic claims finally to be on the road to manufacturing them commercially.

Samsung F8000 TV

This is a television that will actually be available this year, and it will feature Samsung’s first serious attempt to redefine how we navigate. That doesn’t so much mean voice or gesture control, although they will both be options. In fact it is much more about how we find what to watch. Five screens will offer personalised suggestions, on demand, apps, social features and user’s own pictures and video. The days of the channel list could soon be over.

LG Laser TV projector

More and more viewers want the huge screen size that can come from a projector, but don’t have the space to put one. LG’s attempt to rebrand ‘short throw’ projectors is called Laser TV, “and means you need to put the projector itself just 22” from the wall to get a screen size of 100”.

Samsung Youm

Some had hoped Samsung’s much-vaunted ‘bendy phone’ might debut at CES. It was always a long-shot, but a prototype, running Windows Phone 8, did emerge. This is a technology that means screens can be wrapped around, say, the edges of a device to show notifications. While it will be held back by the inflexibility of memory and processors, expect massive leaps in the durability of phone screens if plastic takes over from glass.

Spare One Phone

CES isn’t solely about the expensive and the extraordinary: the SpareOnePhone is a basic and potentially life-saving idea. A single AA battery offers power for up to 15 years and 10 hours talk time. There’s a direct dial for the emergency services and up to nine numbers.

Plastic Logic PaperTab

Another prototype, this is the next evolution of the Kindle-style ereader – paper thin, this flexible 10.7” tablet runs from an Intel processor and can also join together with other tablets to create much larger screens.

And the misses:

iPotty

However were children toilet trained without an iPad? This plastic potty goes one stage further than the existing potty-training apps, and features a slot for the iPad itself above the bowl. Luckily, there’s a cover for each, so one may not fall into the other.

HapiFork

It’s not just eating too much but also eating too quickly that makes people fat, claim some experts. The HapiFork, made in France, vibrates if you put it in your mouth too often. Little matter that it looks like a toy, needs connecting with a USB cable and wouldn’t be acceptable in any decent restaurant…

Curved TV

Both Samsung and LG had curved TVs on their stands at CES – and for a while both were claiming they were world firsts. The idea is that by mirroring the curvature of the eye they produce a more immersive experience. Unfortunately, that only works if you’re sitting in the perfect position. Great for lone film-buffs.

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