My 5 Favorite CES 2013 Stories: Day 2/4

DAY 2 of 4Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
DAY 2 of 4
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Welcome one, welcome all. Day 2 of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas has come to an end, which means that it’s time for some new briefs about the products/stories introduced today at the show. So, here are my top 5 favorite stories from day two of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show.  

1) Blackberry Rises From the Ashes with Blackberry 10

The new BlackBerry 10, two weeks from its official release, visually looks like a cross between Android and iOS, and with this as RIM’s make-or-break operating system, it looks really nice. The BB10 seems to also be fast, contain clever user interface details, a centralized hub for all user activities, plus a pretty nice web browser.  Whether of not BB10 can hang with iOS and Android, or go the way of Palm’s WebOS remains to be seen, but this update definitely appears to help make Blackberry phones more thoughtful, functional, and fast in ways they haven’t been in years (trust me, I’m a former Blackberry owner).

2) Get a Projected Virtual Keyboard with the Magic Cube

Smartphone and tablet users who want a full-sized keyboard without carrying one around may want to keep an eye on the Magic Cube, since the device is very compact, making it easier to carry around than a physical keyboard and mouse.  Demoed at CES by Celluon, the Magic Cube displays a full keyboard AND a multi-touch mouse on almost any flat surface. The virtual keyboard and mouse show as red, illuminated projections onto the surface, and an optical sensor detects the position of your fingers to determine which keys on the virtual keyboard you’re pressing and how you’re moving the virtual mouse. It can be detected via Bluetooth or USB with iOS 4 or higher, Android 2.2 or higher, Mac OS 10 or higher, and all versions of Windows from XP to 7.

3) Meet Black & Decker’s Motion-Controller Screwdriver

Think of the Black & Decker Gyro as the Microsoft Kinect of power tools.  The Gyro resembles a sci-fi ray gun and is billed as the world’s first motion-activated screwdriver with variable speed and direction.  This is how it works: you hold it like a gun, push a strip with the base of your thumb to activate the motor and the LED guide light, and the more you rotate your wrist to the right, the faster it will turn clockwise (likewise, rotate it to the left, and it turns counterclockwise, and rotate more for faster speed).  It comes with two magnetic screwdriver bits and a lithium-ion battery that can hold a charge for up to 18 months (takes between 6 to 8 hours to charge and can handle roughly 30 – 120 screws per charge, depending on the material being used), and is currently available for purchase at $39.99.

4) Replace Hands-On Work with Voice and Head Tracking with the Motorola Solutions HC1

the Motorola Solutions HC1 is a head-mounted computer that allows field workers control their machines via voice commands and head-movement, with the idea being this: technicians, soldiers and other professional who get their hands dirty can finally go all hands-free — rather than hands-on –to do their jobs safely.  The HC1 includes: a rugged, comfortable, and modular design that withstands four-foot drops, removable speaker module, a user-programmable button, voice commands, an adjustable LCD eyepiece with heads-up display (HUD). Hmm, this sounds like a combo of these things I wrote about before…

 

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

5) Samsung’s Youm is SOOOOOO Flexible!

Samsung showcased some demo units around 5-inches in size, including a phone-like device with a screen that wraps around the side edges (so it can display info and alerts without having to view the entire screen), a similar design with wraparounds at the bottom, and another concept that rolls outward like a scroll.  Samsung is using OLED to give the screens deeper blacks, higher overall contrast ratio, better power efficiency.  Samsung has been showing these displays for the last couple of CES events (starting in 2011), so it could be a while before we. the public, get to try these out for ourselves.

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