Gadgets from the Consumer Electronics Show 2013

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is on in Las Vegas today and runs for 3 days. Perhaps it is a sign that the economy is improving, because this year the event is too large to fit in the Las Vegas Convention Centre’s 3.2 million square feet of conference space. Some 3,000 companies will show off 20,000 products to over 150,000 registered attendees, so Vegas will be crazy this week.

This is more than just a consumer show, and typically this is where major companies show off their latest gadgets that they hope will be big in 2013. This year Microsoft did not deliver the key note address, because they have already rolled out Windows 8 and, like Apple, they put on their own show. Canadian Company, Blackberry is also missing this year because their new smart phones are not ready. Instead, the pre-show keynote address was delivered by Qualcomm with entertainment by Adam Levine and Maroon 5. By the way, Miscrosoft’s Steve Ballmer was invited on the stage early in Qualcomm’s presentation in order to show off some existing Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices.

So what can we expect from CES that may benefit radio? Well Ford will be showing off their EV Technology. This technology interfaces with hybrid vehicles’ built in GPS and identifies frequently visited locations and then adjusts how the power is stored in the battery. Ford is also embracing the role software will play in their vehicles and are focusing on the complete in-car entertainment system. They will announce at CES that Detroit-based jacAPPS is being selected to be the mobile app development house for its new Ford Developer Program.  They will provide development and technical support to third party developers wanting to create voice-activated smart phone apps for Ford SYNC AppLink. Paul Jacobs says, “We will now be able to take mobile applications and provide code to allow them to be fully integrated with SYNC AppLink, gain important real estate on the cars’ screen, voice command functionality, and more.  This gives radio stations an important piece of digital real estate in the one area where the lion’s share of listening takes place – the car.”

Here are some of the cool devices that may be soon competing for eyes and ears over the next few months:

Samsung is making its presence felt and has beaten Apple to the punch by releasing a 750inch smart voice controlled TV. It includes Smart Hub which consists of intuitive panels to help consumers manage and navigate different types of content. These are displayed as thumbnail images so it’s even easier to select and watch the content on the big screen. With a flip of your hand, you can discover five totally different experiences in Smart Hub, as if you have five new TV sets.

Sony will show off the new XBR 84 inch 3D TV that will offer four times the resolution of today’s 1080p sets. Of course there is very little content available, but the XBR is equipped to connect directly to Sony’s library of available titles, and to upscale lower resolution media. The television can also link to popular Internet services such as Netflix, Pandora, YouTube and Facebook. This will connect with the Playstation 3 and when using special glasses the viewer will see a full HD split screen making the multi player experience that much better. It is likely to retail above $25,000, by the way.

Look for a new type of super fast Wi-Fi service called WiGig. This should mean fewer wires as many peripheral devices will connect wirelessly once the technology rolls out. Also it will mean much quicker download speeds, up to 10 times faster than your current Wi-Fi connection. But this technology is said to work over a short distance currently and is expected to get better in time.

A company called PerfomTek will show their biometric system that records health and fitness data that ranges from heart rate and speed to the number of calories burned all taken from the headphones you use to listen to music or talk on your cell phone. Captured data can synch to a smartphone app in real time, which should make tracking progress easy. In time, all this data could be automatically shared with your medical professional who can adjust your medication or contact you for an appointment.

Lots more to come from CES 2013 in Las Vegas