Well the circus has left town for another year – and by all accounts, there were more than enough collective mouth watering product introductions to keep technology watchers busy for many months to come!
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported that the 2012 International CES was the largest in the event’s 44 year history: 153,000 attendees (industry only) and over 20,000 new products launched. With the emerging trend of smart devices being integrated into cars, the 2013 CES has already received commitments by Mazda, BMW, Ford, Kia, Audi and Hyundai. Additionally, over 95,000 square feet of exhibition space in the 2013 CES iLounge Pavilion has already been sold – and the show is 51 weeks away!
From the unreal (but loads of fun) world of Las Vegas, a few of the more “out there” products launched at CES:
Behringer, a leading developer and manufacturer of musical instruments and professional and consumer audio products, launched the iAxe Guitar last week. iAxe Guitar is a revolutionary, tablet-based guitar that will change your perceptions about making music. The iPad sits snugly inside the body of the guitar, and is designed to bridge the gap between games such as Guitar Hero and a real guitar. iAxe ships with a range of free apps, allowing you to start playing right out of the box – learn to play the guitar; with “Air Guitar” mode you can play classic songs with skill; and “On Stage” mode can trigger other instruments and lets you play your own composition. iAxe also comes with a second dock on the headstock area that lets you read music or lyrics from an iPhone or iPod.
TOSY Robotics JSC, a leading robotics and high-tech toy manufacturer based in Vietnam, launched a state-of-the-art portable speaker that doubles as a dancing robot. That’s right – don’t adjust your screen settings – a dancing robot! And to make sure they really made an impact – none other than Justin Bieber was on stage last Wednesday for the announcement.
mBobo has 2GB of internal memory, is battery powered, can hold approximately 500 songs loaded via a USB port, and comes with a remote so you can select the tracks you want to hear- through its 40Hz bass speaker. Here’s the really wonderfully geeky bit – mRobo can listen to its own music, music from other devices, or music streamed via Bluetooth, and will instantly transform, growing a head, legs and arms, and will groove through a series of pre-programmed dance moves to virtually any genre of music!
It transforms back into a speaker – making it truly portable and the ideal party pal. Weighing approx 1.5kg, it grows to just under 18” when it transforms into a robot. (Otherwise it is 4.3” (W) x 6.3” (L) x 7.9” (H)). Expected to sell for $US199, it’s due to dance its way into American households in Fall (our Spring). (This is definitely going on my MUST HAVE list…..)_
Ford teams with iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio Apps
Ford has teamed with two internet radio apps: iHeartRadio and TuneIn and announced it was the first automobile company to give drivers easy in-car access to the popular iHeartRadio and TuneIn apps using voice control through Ford SYNC® AppLink®.
iHeartRadio delivers users over 800 of the US’s most popular live broadcasts and digital-only stations, as well as your own custom stations (US only at this time). My personal favourite digital radio App, TuneIn, also announced a version of TuneIn Radio for SYNC. TuneIn offers over 50,000 AM, FM, HD and Internet radio stations. Both iHeartRadio and TuneIn will utilise Voice Control to select a station or chose the most popular in a given location.
Over the past year, there has been a 5% increase in drivers streaming radio from their smart phones to the car. Overall, time spent listening to online radio has also increased 49% in the past three years. (Arbitron & Edison study “Infinite Dial 2011: Navigating Digital Platforms).
Bodymetrics – it has come down to this!
Flashback (or should that be flashforward) to the Jetsons – shopping for clothes on their in-house screen – virtually trying an item on, and then buying it. Returning to 2012, Bodymetrics, a pioneer in 3D body-mapping, heralded in a new era of personalised retail and in-home shopping experiences. Bodymetrics digitally maps your body, allowing you to find perfectly fitting clothes before you try them on. Soon our Smart TV’s will have the capability to body-map us at home, enabling us to order perfect-fitting clothes from the lounge room!
How does it work? Bodymetrics uses PrimeSense 3D sensor solutions, to calculate and map every contour and curve of your body. Once your account is created, you can virtually try on garments from partner retailers to see not only if the clothing fits, but whether or not it is flattering as well. (Thankfully I have kept my gym membership current!)
The beauty of the 3D sensors by PrimeSense means that body-mapping technology can be installed in any clothing store, no matter what size, at a very reasonable price. My prediction – watch this space – this is the future of clothing shopping!
Thanks for reading – I will be bringing you more product reviews from CES over the coming weeks.