GPS dogtags and scared kangaroos: hits and misses at CES

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show turned out to be the largest on record, despite a slow economy and what many industry pundits agree is a dearth of genuine scene-stealers

By - January 13, 2012 Share on LinkedIn
Nokia Lumia 900

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show turned out to be the largest on record, despite a slow economy and what many industry pundits agree is a dearth of genuine scene-stealers.

But as with most years, avid – and hardy – attendees can always find a few gems that stand out from the inevitable tidal wave of headphones, Internet-enabled home appliances and gadget casings.

Here are a few high and low moments, compiled by Reuters from the Las Vegas show floor:

Hits:

  • Tagg, a GPS-enabled dog or cat collar so you need never lose your beloved companion again. A minute GPS unit clipped to pet collars will send an alarm text or email to your app-installed smartphone should Snuggles wander outside of a prescribed zone.
  • Hewlett-Packard’s all-glass-encased Spectre was probably the most eye-catching of the so-called ‘Ultrabooks’ and drew throngs of onlookers. Intel is hoping the new generation of ultra-thin, instant-on, lightweight laptops – essentially a riposte to Apple’s MacBook Air – will safeguard its market share as tablets and smartphones encroach on its traditional personal-computing turf.
  • The Tobii, which tracks eye movements to execute commands – what it calls “gaze interaction” – taking gesture-controlled interfaces a step further and upping the sophistication ante. Along with Nuance’s voice controls and Microsoft’s Kinect gesture-recognition technology, it offers an alternative to the fast-getting-old keyboard-mouse input model in an era of touchscreens. Zoom, auto-center, destroy virtual asteroids – moving just your eyes.
  • Samsung Note, the beefed up “phablet” with a 5.3 inch screen that sits somewhere between a phone and a tablet. It may seem unwieldy held up to one’s ear, and the screen – at half the iPad’s size – might seem wanting as well, but its sleek lines, pin-sharp Android apps and unique shape drew in the crowds.
  • Nokia’s Lumia 900 phone, running Windows, marked the once-mighty Finnish handset maker’s return to the U.S. market – and Microsoft’s biggest phone gambit yet. People clamored for a feel, but demos were limited and there is no release date yet.
  • Massive, 55-inch “OLED” TVs from Samsung and LG, which are both cautiously hopeful the costlier, but crisper screens will re-energize a faltering global TV market after flat sales in 2011. Bonus: look at them sideways and they almost disappear.
Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Misses:

  • Microsoft Corp signed off after 14 show-opening keynotes with a bizarre, news-free presentation featuring a “Twitter choir” and a Q&A anchored by Ryan Seacrest. The company is reportedly revamping its marketing organization.
  • Panasonic Corp’s combo digital photo frame and Skype terminal. “The idea of some engineer who has been locked in a room for 10 years,” one observer quipped.
  • Dish Network Corp’s stunt with a fidgety live kangaroo onstage, to launch its new “Hopper” package. For a video, click on http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2012/01/09/dishs-kangaroo-pitchman-doesnt-cooperate/
  • A Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s fridge that streams Pandora and Twitter. It’s OK to take a break from the Internet every now and then.
  • And last but not least: Sony Corp’s strange “Wedding Invitation” promo for its Internet-enabled TVs. Verbatim from the invite: “Internet plopped down on one knee. After nervously fidgeting around, he blurted, “I can haz marriage?” and presented TV with a giant ring. She, of course, said yes. And the rest is history.”
Panasonic digital photo frame and Skype terminal

Panasonic digital photo frame and Skype terminal

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

Have you ever sent a naked selfie over WhatsApp or Snapchat?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

The secure messaging app that is better than WhatsApp

Whatsapp on phone

If you’re worried about WhatsApp sharing your information with Facebook, here’s where you can turn.

Amazon and Pandora close to launching Apple Music rivals

Apple audio streaming

Amazon and Pandora are nearly ready to launch rivals to Apple and Google’s music streaming services.

Fitbit launches Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 – pricing, details

FitBit Charge 2 Header

Fitbit has launched its Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2, two new fitness wristbands which will track all your health and fitness statistics.

Eskom wants review of green energy project

Green energy

While Eskom said it remains committed to sign the remaining renewable energy independent power producer contracts under the current bid window, it reportedly backtracked on this pledge last week.

Free MyBroadband Newsletter
×