Entries in Consumer Electronics Show (8)


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: Samsung’s OLED TV

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- The biggest buzz so far at the Consumer Electronics Show comes from the new OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) televisions from South Korean manufacturing giant Samsung.

Production costs had previously limited the size of OLED screens, which is why consumers mostly found them in cellular phones, and in the only commercially available OLED television, Sony's XEL-1, an 11-inch model that debuted at the 2007 CES with a price of $2,500.

Samsung’s new televisions feature a 55-inch screen, an absurd 0.6-inch width, and a richness of color never before seen in commercial displays.

There’s a battle going on between the large TV manufacturers to build the thinnest model possible, with LG debuting its own OLED TV this year that’s only 0.3 inches. Of course, without an official release date, or price point, who knows when we’ll see one of these in someone’s living room?

ABC News spoke with Mark Jannot, editor-in-chief of Popular Science magazine, who said, “We’ve seen OLED TVs before, but this one is big.”

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: Toshiba Touts 3-D TV Without the Glasses

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- The talk of three-dimensional entertainment is more muted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year than last, but Toshiba, for one, is showing off a 3-D set you can watch without those expensive, goofy glasses.

3-D had a lot of problems -- hefty price tags, not a lot to watch -- but they were made worse by the equipment: If you weren’t sitting in a narrow “sweet spot” in front of the screen with those glasses on, there wasn’t much to see.

ABC News’ Andrea Smith interviewed Bruce Walker of Toshiba America, who offered a demonstration of the new set.

“The TV will have the ability to track someone who’s watching TV,” he said. “So you don’t have to sit in one spot to get that beautiful 3-D experience. You’ll be able to move around the room and the TV will track where you are, and do it while you’re watching it. The TV will have a webcam built in to it. You’ll pull up a menu and tell the TV to find you; it’ll track your eyes, lock in, and now as you move your head you keep seeing 3-D wherever you are and whatever you do.”

Smith reports the picture was considerably better than those from 3-D sets of last year, and she was impressed that she could move from side to side and still see a three-dimensional image.

How much would such a set cost? Toshiba’s not saying, though European versions, already on the market, cost about $10,000. And what would there be to watch? They’re still working on that.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fujitsu Showcases Waterproof Tablet in Las Vegas

Andrea Smith/ABC News(LAS VEGAS) -- How many times have you “almost” dropped your mobile device into the toilet? Probably more than you’d care to share. At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Fujitsu showed off its waterproof tablet called Arrows available now in Japan. It’s a 10-inch tablet running on the Android operating system and looks similar to the Motorola tablets we’ve seen here in the U.S. And yes, they did completely submerge it in a tank of water to prove their point; it’s waterproof.

Fujitsu also makes waterproof smartphones. No word yet on when they’ll be available here for butter-fingered device users.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Griffin 'Twenty' Makes Any Speakers AirPlay Compatible

Andrea Smith/ABC News(LAS VEGAS) -- AirPlay is a great way to wirelessly stream audio from your iTunes library, but only newer speakers are AirPlay-enabled. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Griffin Technology showcased Twenty, a way to give your existing non-powered speakers an upgrade.

It's an audio amplifier that uses an AirPort Express to capture the AirPlay stream, decode it, and then send sound through your existing speakers.

Twenty comes equipped with a power connection and a mount for AirPort Express. It features a 2.1 channel sound system with 20 watts of output per channel.

No word yet on cost or availability.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Microsoft Says 'See Ya' to CES

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft says this will be its last year at the big Consumer Electronics Show.

The software giant is following in Apple's footsteps, planning to stage its own media events to launch new products.

The event is one of the world's largest trade shows.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio