New Technology from the 2014 International CES
This past week saw the annual pilgrimage of techies from all over the world to the holy grail of tech conventions, the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. The show covers 2 million square feet and features grand exhibits of technology from well-known tech companies as well as small booths of hopeful startups with odd gadgets. Making my way through CES is a five-day sprint. Gadgets flash, music blasts, and TVs flicker. Amidst this sensory overload, a few gadgets stood out and reminded me why I love to write about tech. It may be tech to make life easier, more fun, or it may be something that reminds me of a futuristic sci-fi movie. From TVs to tablets, smartphones to Sleep Number beds, some innovations were small, others were amusing, and many will pave the way to changes we will see in future devices.
Curved and Ultra High Definition TVs
Ultra High Definition (4K) TVs were introduced throughout 2013. These TVs have four times as many pixels as a full high definition 1080p TV. Some of the UHD TVs are changing shape (sometimes right before your eyes). There are long, narrow TVs that are shaped to fit feature films (21 x 9 aspect ratio), so you don’t see black bars on top and bottom. Samsung showed a 105-inch model that was curved in at the edges. A number of TV models were curved to “give a more immersive experience,” with the TV seeming to curve around you. Of course, a curved TV can’t be mounted on a wall. “Bendable” TVs can curve in or flatten out with the press of a button.
A 360 degree Personal Camera
Personal sports cameras, such as a helmet-mounted GoPro, shoot video to enable viewers to get the same first-person experience (POV—point of view) as the biker, skier or extreme athlete who wears the camera. VOXX Electronics takes it to a new level with the 360 Fly. This ball-shaped camera shoots video in front, behind and to the sides for a 360-degree view of the action. During playback, viewers can scan in any direction and see the whole scene, taking in 240 degrees up and down. VOXX will also offer an iPhone camera adapter called the “360Micro Fly.”
Iris Scan Protection
Go ahead and forget your user names and passwords, VOXX Electronics has another solution to protect others from accessing your computer, devices and online accounts. Like the security doors of a spy movie, Myris unlocks a computer or signs into a website using iris identification technology. Attach the device to your computer or device and look into the Myris to confirm your identity. You will be instantly logged into web accounts or onto your computer.
More Health Tech
In the past few years, tech devices have made it easier to measure and track blood pressure, heart rate and weight. Withings has manufactured each of these health monitors and this year will monitor your sleep. Similar to new technology built into Sleep Number beds, a sensor monitors your body movements, breathing cycles and heart rate. It is accompanied by a bedside device that measures the ambient noise, room temperature and light levels, as well as changes color to help boost Melatonin levels to help you sleep. The data is sent to a mobile app so you can analyze the results and make changes to sleep better.
For those of us who experience back pain, new technology comes to the rescue. Poor posture is often the cause of an aching back. Lumo has the solution with a device that lets you know when you aren’t standing up straight. A clip-on sensor will vibrate when you slouch. Along with Lumo’s lower back sensor, the vibrations train you to have good posture, thus reducing back strain. For those of us who sit for long hours and have back pain regardless of our posture, Neubac makes a device that fits on you lower back and is equipped with electrical pulses (a Tens device) that will interrupt back spasms.
These are only a few highlights of what we will see this year. Come back often to keep up with what is new all year long.
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