by Mark Ollig
Technology and gadgets were featured during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which took place recently in Las Vegas.
CES has come a long way since its first show in 1967.
Called “a week-long exhibit of home-entertainment equipment,” the first CES took place in New York City from June 25 through 29.
Exhibits from the 1967 CES featured pocket radios using “solid-state” electronics, high-fidelity phonograph stereos with built-in cassette players, console televisions, eight-track “cartridge-tape machines,” citizens band (CB) radios, and other electronic devices.
Since 1967, CES has grown to be one of the world’s most anticipated yearly technology showcase events.
In 1967, approximately 200 exhibitors displayed electronic products to nearly 17,500 people who attended the event.
This year, over 150,000 people from 150 countries attended CES and viewed the technology booths and events presented by some 3,250 exhibitors spread over 1.9 million square feet.
CES said over 20,000 new products would be launched.
Social media played a large part at CES, as Twitter hashtags #2013CES and #CES were used to convey information from those attending CES, and others commenting on CES.
YouTube was being repeatedly uploaded with videos from CES during the week.
LG, a South Korean technology company, showed off their 55-inch organic light-emitting diode high-definition (OLED HD) TV at CES.
This TV weighs 22 pounds and is just 4 millimeters (.16-inches) thick.
The OLED display contains an organic, carbon-based substance, and has a unique light-emitting diode structure using an electroluminescent layer.
Each OLED emits its own light when excited by an electric current. A thin-film transistor (TFT) display backplane switches particular pixels on and off.
Exceptional picture quality and clarity is why the world’s first big-screen OLED HD TV is priced at about $12,000 according to James Fishler, LG’s US marketing chief, who spoke at CES.
LG’s 55-inch OLED HD TV model LG 55EM9700 will begin shipping in March.
During the presentation by Sharp Electronics, my attention was focused on the company’s description of IGZO, which is an Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide compound used in combination with display screens.
Sharp said IGZO display screens are paper-thin, use much less power, and will have four times the resolution of today’s HD LCD screens. This will dramatically improve the clarity and detail of medical images, for example.
Corning Incorporated is providing the glass used with the IGZO.
Panasonic demonstrated an interesting way of listening to music or television without disturbing others by using its new wireless “bone conduction headphone.”
A person wearing this device over their head will hear audio from a TV or music source via amplified sound-wave vibrations through their skull, specifically from the cheekbone, instead of from their ear.
An illustration of a user wearing a bone conduction headphone, revealed the path the sound would take through the skull, ossicles, cochlea, and auditory nerve.
One advantage of using bone conduction headphones is that it allows a person to hear surrounding ambient sounds using their ears, versus not being able to hear them when using earbuds, or over-the-ear headphones.
Panasonic’s bone conduction headphone model, RP-BTGS10, will be available this fall. No price was disclosed.
Intel presented “Haswell,” which is the code-name for its next generation of core processors, which will succeed its current Ivy Bridge processor.
New computing devices using the Haswell processor will experience longer battery run-time: a reported 13 hours.
Look for Haswell processors inside Intel’s new Ultrabooks, and in other laptops, later this year.
A company called GlobaTrac has an innovative gadget that will tell you where your lost luggage is.
It’s called the Trakdot Luggage Tracker.
This small, battery-powered (two AA batteries) device rests inside your checked-in luggage suitcase.
It has a built-in Global System Mobile (GSM) chip, and sends real-time messages (saying where it is located) to your mobile device, iPhone, Android, or any Short Messaging Service (SMS) device capable of receiving GSM signaling.
Electronic devices like Trakdot are not allowed to use satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) signaling per Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) rules.
The FAA does, however, approve the Trakdot for airline travel.
Trakdot constantly monitors the cellular network to determine which city it is located in.
So, say you arrived at John Wayne airport in Orange County, CA, and your luggage didn’t. Now, you will know where it ended up, perhaps at LAX (as mine did), by the alert message you see on your cellphone sent from the Trakdot device inside the suitcase.
Trakdot is not only for finding lost luggage.
You can also use it when you arrive at your destination and are standing at the luggage carrousel waiting for your suitcase (containing a Trakdot) to drop down.
Bluetooth technology inside Trakdot will begin alerting your cellphone as it gets closer to it.
A traveler can also securely log into Trakdot’s website at www.Trakdot.com to locate where an individual suitcase is located.
The thoughtful folks at GlobaTrac even provide an old-fashioned, brightly-colored, yellow luggage tag with every Trakdot.
Is there a demand for a gadget like Trakdot? Well, according to GlobaTrac, they certainly think so. GlobaTrac said based on statistics from the FAA, each year over 26 million bags of airline luggage go missing around the world.
The Trakdot Luggage Tracker will become available in March, and is priced at $49.99. The messaging alert service costs $13 per year.
The CES website is at http://www.cesweb.org.