Entries in CES (15)


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


CES 2013: iPad Hits Potty Training with iPotty

ABC News(LAS VEGAS) — Does it need any explaining? Yes, the iPotty is real and is on display at CES 2013. CTA Digital, maker of iPad and Kindle accessories — or appcessories — is showing off a number of new iPad toys at the show, but the high-tech solution to potty training is surely turning heads.

The iPotty training system has a built-in case for an iPad and the company says it is the perfect way to keep your toddler on the bowl.

“When you are potty training you have to keep them busy. This keeps them engaged and gives them rewards for the right kind of behavior,” said Lois Eiler of CTA Digital. In fact, there are a number of potty training apps already in the app store, including “It’s Potty Time.” The idea is that you fire up the apps, put your child on the potty and…wait.

The iPotty costs $39.99 (iPad not included, obviously) and is compatible with the iPad 2 and the current model.

Oh, and don’t worry, it does come with iPad protection. It has a touch-screen protector to, yes, guard against messy hands and accidents. Perhaps that’s the real innovation here and CTA should think about making one for adults.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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


CES 2013: Tobii’s Rex Turns Your Eyes Into a Mouse

ABC News(LAS VEGAS) -- A company named Tobii has figured out a way to use your eyes as the navigation tool on computers.

At CES 2013 in Las Vegas, the company announced the Rex, a computer accessory about the length of a straw that attaches to any computer display.  It then brings eye-tracking to that computer, allowing you to open a document by just looking at it or scroll down the page just by looking down.

Tobii’s technology is groundbreaking, but not new.  The company has been showing this functionality off for a while.

But this time around, the company has the Rex, the add-on it is selling to software developers so they can start to build software that works with the hardware. 

The Rex will cost $995, but Tobii says it will be available for consumers for a more digestible price before the end of the year.  Then, the goal for the company is to get it built directly into laptops or desktops.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


CES 2013: Sony Goes Big Into 4K TVs, Video Service and Consumer Camcorder

AFP/AFP/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) — Sony took the stage Monday evening at its press conference at CES 2013 to unveil a whole array of electronics, including, yes, a 4K TV. But not just one or two 4K TVs — there’s a host of 4K products and services the company is working on.

Lets start with the TVs, though, since that really is what everyone is talking about at the consumer Electronics Show. Sony came out with an 85-inch 4K, Ultra HD TV last year that is on the market now for $25,000. There will now be smaller sizes — 55- and 65-inch models — which will bring down the price, Sony says. These sets, it promises, will offer the same sound and picture quality as the current model.

“The screen sizes are smaller, which will mean a more reasonable, consumer friendly price tag. However, we will not be talking about price right now,” Sony’s Rob Manfredo told ABC News.

But you know what won’t be cheaper? The OLED 4K set Sony is showing at CES. The 56-inch set is just a demo or a prototype for now, so don’t expect to see it in stores yet. It's basically a sight to be seen — it blends an OLED with four times the resolution of current 1080p HDTVs.  (OLED, short for Organic Light Emitting Diode, is a technology that delivers an especially bright, crisp picture.)

Sony’s also addressing the 4K issue of content. As when HD first rolled out, the best picture made for it, in this case, is native 4K-resolution video. Many TVs can “upscale” lower-resolution video, but it isn’t the same experience. However, Sony will be rolling out a 4K service this summer.

“We will be launching a digital download service in the summer which will bring 4K content to the home,” Manfredo said. The 4K media player will have Sony Pictures Entertainment (no details on what specifically) available for download right through the set. Additionally, it will be showing the first lineup of 4K-mastered Blu-ray discs.

There’s another way to get 4K content: make it yourself. The company is showing off the first 4K consumer camcorder. It's just a prototype at the moment.

Lots of prototypes and promises from Sony, but you can bet on one thing: this 4K thing is, the next Ultra HD.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


CES 2013: Toshiba Kicks Off the Ultra HD TV Flood

Toshiba(LAS VEGAS) --The UltraHD TVs are coming by the droves in Las Vegas at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and the first company to formally announce theirs is Toshiba with its L93000 Series Ultra HD 4K LED TVs.

For those new to this 4K or Ultra HD phenomenon, these new TVs have four times the resolution of the current 1080p TVs. That high resolution makes content look even crisper and brighter than what your eyes are used to now with the current generation of HDTVs on the market.

Toshiba plans to release its 4K TVs in three sizes -- there will be 58-, 65- and 84-inch versions of the L9300.  All of them will have an “ultra-slim” bezel and gun metal trim and stand.  

Powering the ultra-high resolution video is Toshiba’s CEVO 4K quad and dual core processor, which also helps upscale the content.  It also has Toshiba’s ClearScan 240Hz refresh rate for smoother fast motion video.

But with lots more 4K TVs being announced this week, what will set Toshiba’s apart?  Toshiba’s vice president of product marketing and development, Scott Ramirez, says it’s Toshiba’s image quality.

“What Toshiba brings is experience in image processing,” Ramirez said.  “We’re taking a 1080p image, restoring it up to an Ultra HD level as well as upscaling it all the same time using our proprietary CEVO 4K Quad+Dual Core Processor -- a quad core processor with two extra cores.”

Toshiba isn’t commenting on the pricing of the L9300 series, but says it will be on sale this summer.  Its new LED TVs -- the L2300, L7300, L4300 series -- with its Cloud TV services, which includes stream services and other news content, will be available in March.

Toshiba also released a new 14-inch Windows ultrabook, 17.3-inch Qosmio X875 gaming notebook and other mainstream laptops at the show.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


CES: Touch Screens Are So 2011 -- Is Eye Tracking Next?

Photodisc/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- For nearly 30 years, the way to work a computer was nearly unchanged — you sat looking at a screen, with a keyboard and a mouse in front of you.  There were refinements, such as the small touch pads on many laptops, but only lately — with the multi-touch screens on iPads, iPhones and their competitors — have things really moved.

Now, people are pointing and flicking and making swishing motions at their screens. How long until the next big change?

At the Consumer Electronics Show, a Swedish-based company called Tobii Technology has been showing off Gaze, a system that uses a webcam to track a user’s eyes, and move the things at which you look. At CES, they showed the system in an arcade game, a photo arcade and a screen of text (it scrolled up as you reached the bottom).

“Pointing at something by looking at it is intuitive, natural and immediate. Using a mouse to do the same thing is less so, as it involves an intermediate step of moving a mouse-pointer around,” says Henrik Eskilsson, the CEO of Tobii, on the company’s website. “Gaze is as natural and intuitive as touch, as precise as the mouse and more ergonomic and effortless than both.”

The company is working to include its technology in Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

Christina Bonnington of Wired wrote that the system is impressive, but there are natural flaws: “If you accidentally look off to the side, or at somewhere random on the page, you could navigate to somewhere you didn’t intend.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CES: Cool New Stuff, But When Do the Markdowns Start?

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- The companies at the Consumer Electronics Show are showing their wares, hoping their ultrabook or smartphone or camera will win you over. Organizers say there are 3,100 exhibitors (the pre-show estimate was 2,800), all trying to stand out from the crowd.

Some of the emerging themes so far:

  • Thinner, smarter TVs with Internet connections, better controls and crisper pictures.  Many companies are trying to make sales now -- before the much-rumored Apple TV comes, if it ever does.
  • Featherweight laptops.  Apple started this trend too, with the MacBook Air.  Now there’s a range of them, all thin, light and fast, since they have flash memory instead of hard drives, and do downloads instead of DVDs.
  • New tablets.  Sure, Apple’s iPad dominates the field, along with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook, but many companies are betting there will be room for more.

Let's say you see something that really strikes your fancy. When to get the best price? sent along a list of how long to wait for bargains. The theme? Be patient.

A few of their key points:

  • TV sets announced at CES “could be 33 to 50 percent cheaper come October.”
  • Ultrabooks: “Wait until this summer.”  Better yet, wait until Black Friday if you can.  Sure, technology moves quickly, but today’s laptops are already plenty powerful.
  • Tablets: If new models (everyone’s talking about a Windows 8 tablet from Microsoft) don’t catch on quickly, they will be deeply discounted within six months.

In a tough economy, the pressure will be on to keep prices low. If something is announced this week that you’d love but can’t afford, Dealnews says the price will really come down...just in time for next year’s CES.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CES: Sony Xperia Ion Smartphone

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Sony entered the LTE cellphone game at the Consumer Electronics Show with its latest offering, the Xperia Ion smartphone. Along with 4G LTE speed from AT&T, the phone features an HDMI output, 4.6-inch display (compared to a 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 4S), a 12 megapixel camera and a thin body.

Beyond the traditional smartphone specs there are a lot of features that make it uniquely Sony. It runs a mobile version of Sony’s Bravia engine, the same technology that goes into Sony Bravia HDTVs, making for especially vivid colors on the screen. And since it’s a Sony you can download PlayStation and PlayStation portable games to the phone. It also has a compatible dock to view on a larger display.

No price has been set, but expect to see it on store shelves in the second quarter of 2012.

Kevin Pereira from G4 gives us his take on the phone:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CES Live Blog: 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- The 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show is underway in Las Vegas. ABC News technology producer Andrea Smith is there and live-blogging via Twitter the news from various press events. Follow her and all the day's news in the application below.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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