As I am writing this newsletter, the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is preparing to get underway in Las Vegas. CES is one of — if not the — largest venues for the makers of all of the must-have tech gadgets to unveil their latest creations and technologies. This year is no different. Already, the Internet is a buzz with news about what is being debuted by manufacturers like Panasonic, Intel, and Samsung. I am so excited to see what new gadgets this year’s CES will bring.
Some companies have already begun product unveilings, like Sharp and their new display technology called IGZO and improvements to their Quattron color technology. Lots of new TV and display technologies are expected this year at CES. There was speculation that a clear, that’s right you can see right through it, display from Samsung would be unveiled. The see-through displays may be science fiction, but Corning Inc. (the makers of much of the glass used in displays from smartphones to TVs) believes it is coming at some point. Will this be the year? I guess we will have to wait and see.
There are lots of other cool things at CES; tablets, phones, wearable Bluetooth fitness monitors, new technologies from auto manufacturers, like Siri integration and Pandora radio for your car. If you thought the see-through display rumor was over the top sci-fi, then the Vuzix Smart Glasses will really put you over the edge. These smart glasses are a hands-free display for your smartphone that you wear on your head. Another technology that will be making its way from the realm of sci-fi is the 3D printer. For several years now, DIY inventors known as Makers have been tinkering with printers that can create 3D objects by printing layers of plastic one on top of the other. 3D printing is great for the inventor in need of a way to get a prototype of a part out of the computer and into the real world, but what might the average household use one for? Well, some of the projects I have seen are for printing designer home accessories like a vase or decorative artwork. I have also heard of individuals getting files to print replacement parts for toys or other common plastic parts that have broken such as gears or buttons. Today the base model 3D printer will run you $1200 — pricy for most, but the price continues to drop as more people adopt these cool little devices.
Manufacturers at CES will certainly be bringing a lot of very cool and useful new gadgets to consumers this year, and I look forward to sharing more information about some of the coolest ones with you in the next issue. I expect to see lots of new gadgets for the home network centered around wireless and audio/video streaming. Hang on technology! 2013 is shaping up to be one wild ride.