From iPhone Lego robots to a $3K pocket knife: 10 awesome products at CES
Published Monday, January 7, 2013 12:46PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 7, 2013 1:46PM EST
If you’re one to follow the latest and greatest tech toys, chances are, you consider Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show Christmas-come-late.
The annual CES – now in its 46th year -- isn't quite what it used to be. Apple has no official presence at the tech trade show, and Microsoft recently followed Apple's lead by opting to release products at their own internal, invitation-only product debuts rather than at CES. Even RIM is almost a non-entity this year, likely due to the fact BlackBerry 10 is due out at the end of the month.
But that doesn't mean there isn't still a ton of cool stuff at CES 2013.
From iPhone-controlled Lego robots to giant coffee-table-sized tablets, CES 2013 offers plenty of eye candy for the computer nerd, tech geek or the kid at heart.
Though the doors officially open on Tuesday, CTVNews.ca presents this roundup of 10 of the most interesting products and trends hitting the floor this year.
1. TrackDot: A company called GlobaTrac is unveiling an innovative new device designed to reduce the headaches travellers endure when their luggage goes missing and their airline has no idea where it went. The palm-sized device remains in your luggage and uses cellphone towers to determine its own location, which it will then send to you via mobile text message.
2. SpareOne: This nifty emergency cellphone is powered by a single AA battery, as opposed to a rechargeable lithium battery like most others. It can be used without a SIM card to call emergency services, such as police or fire. Or you can insert the SIM from your everyday phone when its battery dies, and use the SpareOne to make or receive calls from your original phone number. Also, that single battery offers 10 hours of talk time or 24 hours if the phone is used as a flashlight. And the device comes with its own waterproof bag.
3. Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit: The legendary toy company is unveiling a new product that goes well beyond the classic plastic-brick building kits they built their reputation on. Now, Lego fans can use their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to wirelessly control motors powering their Lego robots or other creations. The technology can also be used to create simple programs sent to the robots to control their behaviour. The product will retail for around $350 and is expected to hit shelves in the latter half of 2013.
4. Corel AfterShot Pro: Remember Corel? The Ottawa-based company that created CorelDRAW is back with a new photo-editing program designed to compete with industry leaders Aperture and Lightroom. The software will retail for $99 and will reportedly include file management, workflow processes for RAW files, batch processing and non-destructive editing capabilities, according to reports. It is available now for Linux, Macintosh and Windows platforms.
5. Victorinox Swiss Army knife with a 1TB SSD drive: The Swiss Army knife's reputation for being able to fix just about anything has been taken to a new level, with the company introducing a James Bond-style pocket knife with up to one terabyte of memory in handy USB format. Essentially, the device allows you to carry easily in your pocket what would normally require a bulky external hard drive. But the price isn't exactly pocket-sized. The version with the largest memory costs upward of $3,000.
6. Matrix Audio's Qube speakers: The Canadian company unveiled its new speaker -- which at 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches -- measures about the size of a golf ball. But at $49.99, the speakers pack the punch of a larger and much more expensive product. The Qube connects via auxiliary cord and headphone jack (wireless model slated for March), and comes with an aluminum finish in black, silver or red.
7. Ultra-HD TVs: It seems there has been no end to developments in TV technology in recent years and the latest trend, currently making waves at CES, is the movement to ultra-HD. Samsung, Sony and LG are all showing off their new models, which have four times as many pixels as HD TVs. With few manufacturers, however, and a high price point ranging into the five figures, UHD TVs are expected to account for just 5 per cent of the market in the U.S, according to analysts, and that's not until 2016. Between now and then it's anyone's guess how many of these high end units will end up in consumers' homes.
8. Razer's Project Fiona gaming tablet: One of the products being unveiled at CES is a tablet. There's nothing unique about that. Tablets are everywhere at this year's event. But what makes this one different is the fact it is designed specifically for gaming and even has twin analog joysticks built right in. The tablet -- currently just a proof-of-concept prototype -- is powered by Windows 8 and the goal is to keep it under $1,000.
9. Self-driving, self-parking cars: Interestingly, two of the most anticipated new products at CES aren't your standard tech-show fare. Both Toyota and Audi are showing off cutting-edge vehicle prototypes equipped with sensors and devices that create a 3-D map of the vehicle's surroundings, allowing it to navigate without a driver, find a parking spot and self-park. The cars are even capable of travelling to a pre-set destination using GPS.
10: Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC: Remember the sit-down, tabletop versions of the arcade game Pac-Man or Space Invaders? That's sort of the idea behind Lenovo's new giant-sized "interpersonal" tablet computer, which is the size of a coffee table and can be used by four people at once. The device has a 27-inch screen, the insides of a Windows 8 PC, and can stand on a table or lie flat for playing games like Monopoly or air hockey. The device will go on sale this summer for around $1,700.