Tuesday, January 08, 2013

CES 2013

The Consumer Electronics Show is happening this week in Las Vegas, and here are a few items that you might find interesting. The links are from Engadget, which always has terrific CES coverage.

The showstopper is probably Sony's 56-inch, Ultra HDTV OLED panel. This is unfortunately an example of "this year vaporware", because it's extremely unlikely that this product will be available in any quantity this year (and only in very small quantities in 2014, in a best-case scenario). Why? To the best of my knowledge, Sony has no facility that can actually produce this display. It sure looks pretty, though.

OLED, in general, is really, really struggling. Yields are ass, prices are insane, production capacities are incredibly low, and there are open questions as to the actual lifetimes of these displays. There will be displays available this year (from LG, if not anyone else), but the birthing pains have been tremendous.

Ultra HD (double standard HD resolution, generally), on the other hand, looks like it is making much more headway with much less pain (because it's not an entirely new technology). Almost everyone announced at least one Ultra HD display, and if someone tells you that "the human eye can't even resolve that much resolution at X feet", just start laughing.

Moving on to Ninendo, Satoru Iwata described Wii U sales as "not bad" to Reuters. I think that's all you need to know.

The most baffling announcement at E3 was made by NVIDIA, who unveiled Project Shield, an Andoid gaming device with the Tegra 4 processor. With a big Xbox-type controller attached. The one tantalizing feature is that it will enable you to stream your Steam libracy through to your handheld over a network.

That's a cool feature, but I'm still baffled. However, given how quickly the market has shifted, I think most of us are somewhat baffled in general. Something has to capture the imagination of consumers besides their phones, surely, so maybe this is more enticing than it first seems. My guess, though, is 100% DOA.

Xi3 is releasing a modular computer that's optimized for running Steam's "Big Picture" mode. It's called Piston (Valve--Steam--Piston--get it?). I totally love the idea of a modular computer, so I'm keeping my eye on this, depending on the price.

This is, for me, the single most mind-blowing product at CES: a one terabyte flash drive .Yes, it's going to be expensive as hell, at first, but ten years from now, are we going to all be carrying thes around in our pockets?

Here's the new Oculus Rift prototype.

Dell announced Project Ophelia, which is basically an Android based computer you can put into your pocket (it's "slightly larger" than a USB flash drive), and you can turn most USB-enabled displays into a monitor. It There is also cloud storage available. Dell certainly isn't the first to do this, but I think they're the first big player.

MakerBot is showing off it's Replicator 2X 3D printer, which will enable you to print out objects up to 11x6x6 (that's in inches). Plus, 3D systems is demonstrating CubeX 3D printer, and it can print something as large as a basketball, incredibly.

Lego is showing off the Mindstorms EV3 kit, and it looks appropriately awesome.

Corning is showing it's newest iteration of Gorilla Glass, and here's a video of its impressive strength.

The hockey lockout is over! While that's not happening at CES, it's still a BIG DAMN DEAL.

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