Devices for All User Types
Speaking of which, one major current prevailing trend is that of gadgets becoming bigger. Of the gadgets following this trend, 4K (and even 8K) high-def televisions are expected to make the biggest impact at this year’s CES. Measuring at least 60 inches across diagonally, these huge TVs seem to be designed to force users to stay put at home and rethink the concept of “home theater experience.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the other prevalent technological trend: Expanded portability through multifunction. That is, smartphones and tablets are now envisioned to be pseudo-central hubs of multi-gadget interfacing via inter-device connectivity. In other words, your gadget now controls practically everything; perfect for a generation of on-the-go consumers.
Regarding the first trend, Samsung is looking to be the big winner at this year’s show. Not only are they showcasing 85-inch Ultra HD TVs to go along with their more mainstream-sized 55-inch OLED TVs, but they’re also unveiling the F8000 series of TVs (with sizes ranging from 46-75 inches) which features the S-Recommendation System. Acting like a cross between Apple’s Siri and the Xbox Kinect, the S-Recommendation System responds to both voice and motion commands, giving new meaning to the term “smart TV.”
As for the second trend, many smaller companies are expected to display prototype (with some nearly finished) mobile apps that extend the functional reach of portable gadgets. From turning on the TV to unlocking your car to using a robotic ball and augmented reality to play real-time (both temporally and dimensionally)
More on the Floor
Needless to say, CES 2013 would be quite boring if only the usual suspects were on hand. Apart from TVs, smartphones, and computers, we’ll also get to see stuff like Samsung’s T9000 Internet-connected refrigerator, as well as HAPILABS’s diet-assisting HAPIfork. And of course, what CES would be complete without that semi-mainstay, the Parrot AR Drone quadcopter?
The most impressive technology so far, though, would have to be Tobii’s revamped Gaze UI, a program that promises to revolutionize technology by interpreting user eye movements as interface controls. That is, using a keyboard, a mouse/touchpad, and Tobii’s own eye-scanning USB peripheral called the REX, users will be able to control their PCs using their eyes. If development on this tech progresses, imagine what its applications will be; and not just in other gadgets, but in cars, billboards, and whatnot. With the Gaze UI, Spielberg’s vision of the future in Minority Report might just become a reality.
Designing the Future
The largest trade show in America has become almost synonymous with any given year’s crop of technological marvels, and this year’s show certainly upholds that reputation. If anything, it should make us all the more excited to see what it has in store for next year. Till then, these precursory glimpses into the near-future should be enough to sate our appetites.
Hathem Brand (https://plus.google.com/