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Saturday
Jan122013

CES 2013 Wrap-Up: The Must-See Gadgets, Innovations and Crazy from the Giant Tech Show

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- We came, we saw, we survived. ABC News spent the past week scouring CES 2013, one of the largest consumer electronics shows in the world. With more than 1.9 million net square feet of show floor space and 33,000 exhibitors, it's impossible to see everything at the event, but we did see some pretty incredible, innovative and downright crazy products.

Here are some of the best things we saw this week.

1. Audi's Car Parks Itself

If there's one thing that blew our collective mind this week it was Audi's piloted parking demo. We've seen the autonomous driving demos before, but Audi showed off how to tap a button on your iPhone, have the car start, drive itself out of the garage and pick you up. Then you can get out of the car and tell it to park itself right back where it came from. Pretty futuristic stuff, but while Audi can legally test the autonomous cars in Nevada, the future is about a decade away for everyone else, Audi told us.

2. Ultra HD or 4K TVs

They aren't self-driving cars but Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio and more dazzled with their new 4K or Ultra HD TVs. The TVs all have four times the resolution of current 1080p TVs, which means the picture looks incredibly crisp and vivid. In particular, Samsung's S9 TV, which sits in a frame that looks like an easel, impressed us. The company displayed 85- and 110-inch models, and the content on the screen was jaw-dropping. Samsung's version will be out in the spring, but no word on the pricing.

3. Eye Tracking

Sometimes a mouse or a touchscreen just isn't enough. A company named Tobii showed off how it could use your eye as a mouse. Look at an area on a map and use the scroll wheel, and it will zoom right in on where you want -- not some place far off east or west. Look down, and you can scroll when you are done reading. It's not the first time eye tracking has been shown, but it is one of the first times the demonstrations have worked so well. Tobii will start selling its Rex computer accessory to software developers soon and hopes to bring out a consumer version before the end of the year.

4. Fitness and Health Gadgets

From a fork that vibrates when you are eating too fast to a number of brand-new devices that track your activity, fitness and health-oriented gadgets were one of the biggest things we saw at the show. FitBit's Flex is a stylish wristband that tracks your steps taken, calories burned and hours slept, and then syncs them with your phone, while the $99 HapiFork pairs with your phone to tell you about your eating speed and meals. And yes, it vibrates when you eat too fast.

5. The Oddities

Mind-controlled cat ears. Snooki's Couture headphones with built-in earrings and her bling-bling shoe landline phone. And a potty with a built-in iPad holder. Do we need to say more?

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan082013

CES 2013: Audi Car Parks Itself and Picks You Up with a Tap of an App

Joanna Stern / ABC News(LAS VEGAS) — Forget valet parking. The car of the future can find a spot for you and then pick you up.

And the future has driven to CES 2013. Audi’s Connect car not only drives and parks itself but the iPhone is its key.

“Imagine you are at a shopping center and you want the car to pick you up. That’s exactly what it will do,” Annie Lien, Audi senior engineer, told ABC News.

We witnessed it firsthand. At a demo at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Las Vegas, Audi set up a working demonstration of the technology. Press the Pickup button on the Audi app, and you can set the time at which you want the parked car to come pick you up.  Tap the button again and it will turn on the ignition and come get you. No one in the driver’s seat.

How does it work? Audi has been developing its own self-driving technology, which it prefers to call piloted parking or driving. (It says it wants to stress that humans can take control at any time.) The car uses twelve ultrasound sensors to navigate and avoid obstacles.  It parks itself with a combination of sensors in the car, the garage and roads.

The hope is that parking garages will have computers that communicate with the car, telling it where there is open space. The car is able to make turns on its own and knows how to maneuver around the garage with external laser sensors.

The road to autonomous cars isn’t a short one. Audi announced that it has become the first automaker granted a license to drive or operate autonomous cars in Nevada. Nevada passed a law last year making it legal to test self-driving cars in the state, and other companies, such as Google, have been granted licenses as well. Audi says it expects the technology it’s working to be commercially available in the next decade.

Until then, we’ll continue to look for parking on our own.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio