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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Consumer Electronics Show is over, but the buzz remains



The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show has concluded in Las Vegas last week. Here's a look at some of the highlights.

curved_oled_0.jpgSuper high def TVs

Samsung showed off three huge-screen 4K – a.k.a. ultra-HD – televisions, an 84-inch, 95-inch and 110-inch models. The 84-inch 4K TV has gone up for pre-order in Korea for 40 million won, equivalent to about $37,900. Other offerings included a gesture-controlled TV so you can swipe through menus without using a remote control. This new interface will be available on future Samsung smart TVs, and is available to some previous models as an add-on kit. Another TV had a curved OLED surface.

Sony's 56-inch OLED ultra-high definitionTV and LG's 55-inch OLED TV offer sizes that are likely more attractive to regular consumers. Prices haven't been announced yet, but they're surely less – under $10,000 – compared to those of the ginormous one. These TVs are expected to be available later this year. 


Big names of Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation, both of which are expected to release new versions of their consoles later this year, were absent at this year's CES. Does this indicate a change in gaming trends or waning demand? 

razeredge.jpgBut there still were plenty for gamers to get pumped about.

For instance, Razer Edge Pro is a tablet made for gaming in mind. It has the power of a gaming PC that's shrunk down into a Windows 8 tablet. It's versatile. You can use its mobile console joysticks that flank the screen, or go without and use the touchscreen.  The gaming tablet will be $1,299.


If Samsung's Galaxy Note isn't big enough for you, here's Huawei's Ascend Mate smartphone with a 6.1-inch HD screen. It's Magic Touch screen operates even with gloves on. Despite its size, you can still operate the phone with one hand. 


Samsung's Youm bendable screen uses a thin layer of OLEDs over thin plastic instead of glass, thus making it bendable. Some speculate the this screen technology will be used on the next Samsung Galaxy S4. 

Combine a high-def TV and a tablet, and you get something like the 3M Touch Systems' 84-inch touch table with a resolution of 3840x2160. It's still in the prototype stage, but it sure sounds promising.


Power outlets are changing with the times. For instance, the Power 2U AC/USB outlet by Other World Computing adds USB charging ports so you can plug straight into the wall. Brilliant.

For the home

forks_aligned.jpgHAPIfork is an electronic fork made by HapiLabs of France that monitors your eating habits. It has a built-in motion sensor that recognizes your movements, and alerts you with a vibration when it you're eating too fast.

Koubachi WiFi plant sensor can tell you what your plant needs – water, fertilizer or better light – by sending out alerts to your phone. The sensor collects data and compares it to ideal growing conditions for a particular plant. The indoor sensor costs $99; a rainproof outdoor one, $129.


There are plenty of other gadgets packed into the CES show. Here are the Best of CES awards. 
While all these look very cool, and we're tempted to go out and put an order in right now, shopping experts at says  it's best to wait at least a month before you take a plunge. 


[Last modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 6:23pm]


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