Posts Tagged ‘CES 2012’
Gallery: NRG DeLorean hands-on
Dante Cesa contributed to this report.
Update: And now we've got a video of the DeLorean leaving the show floor. Check it out after the break. Thanks, Angel.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Remember those wicked holographic augmented reality glasses that DARPA was so hot to build? They’re almost here. Hiding out at Vuzix’s CES booth we found a functional prototype for its Smart Glasses industrial class monocular display — a special lens attached to a proprietary display driver that produces a bright, 1.4mm holographic picture for one of your peepers. Vuzix told us the lenses were the fruit of a DARPA project, and could allow soldiers involved in air-to-surface operations to track jets, check their ordinance and mark targets for destruction. The military / industrial monocle will go on sale in Q3 of 2012 for somewhere between $2500-3000.
Want to look a little more, well, normal while you’re augmenting your reality? You’re covered — or at least you will be in 2013. Not only will Vuzix’s consumer facing smart glasses offer you the same holographic heads-up technology that’ll power its military bound brother, it’ll cost you a bundle less, too: between $350-600. The unit we saw wasn’t final, but were told the final unit will be able to accept connections over HDMI, and may even be capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D content — you know, in case the real world wasn’t real enough. Hopefully, we’ll be able to tell you those fit next year. Ready to see how you’ll be gussying up reality in the future? Hit the break for our hands-on video coverage.
Vuzix augmented reality Smart Glasses prototype hands-on (video) | Tablet PC Comparison.
Joseph Volpe contributed to this report.
The Polaroid version's called the SC1630 Android HD Smart Camera, and it's packed with 850/1900/2100MHz WCDMA and 850/900/1800/1900 GSM radios, along with WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and an FM antenna thrown in for good measure. The SC1630 sports an 800 x 400 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, while underneath there's 512MB of built-in storage and 512MB of RAM, along with proximity and G-sensors, micro SIM slot, Micro USB and a 2.5mm headphone jack. As we said above, the camera is a 16 megapixel unit, with aperture of F3.1 - F5.6, 3X optical zoom and 5X digital zoom, a max shutter speed of 1/1400 and ISO tops out at 3200. It's got geotagging and anti-shake support as well, and can shoot videos in 720p. Scheduled to arrive in April for $299, the device still has a few kinks to be worked out and there may be some changes to that hardware before it makes it to market. Here at CES 2012, we got a chance to lay hands on the phone and speak with Emanuel Verona, Polaroid's Executive VP and COO about the company's first Android offering, so read on past the break for our impressions and his thoughts.
Permalink | | Email this | Comments
You’re going to see a whole lot of stories from us in the next four days, so fasten your seatbelts: This week is going to be one big flume ride through the consumer electronics industry.
The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show is where the U.S. tech industry gathers its forces to push into a new year. It’s a flood of new products, and it all started tonight with the first pre-show event, CES Unveiled, where the VentureBeat crew has just landed.
Although the tradeshow itself won’t start until Tuesday, members of the media were stuffing themselves into this ballroom to get a peek at some of the show’s highlights: Multi-touch screens, flying iPhone-controlled toy helicopters, Wi-Fi-enabled baby scales, updated Android tablets and lots of skinny, svelte Ultrabooks. (And once inside, many of them were stuffing themselves with shrimp and weird blue cocktails.)
It’s not just about goofy gadgets. Read up on the CES trends that will shape tech in 2012, and then read our interview with Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro, who says CES “is doing phenomenally well.”
VentureBeat is sending its biggest ever team of reporters to the show this year. Dean Takahashi, Devindra Hardawar, Sean Ludwig, Christopher Peri and myself are on the scene, shooting video, taking pictures and filing stories.
Follow our CES news feed for the latest gadget news.
Got a hot tip about CES? Let us know.
Hold on tight, and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle!
Filed under: mobile, video
Lenovo has come out swinging at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
Along with its first TV, the Taiwanese company today has also announced a revamped tablet, the IdeaPad S2, which weighs only 1.1 pounds and is one-third of an inch thick. Even better, it has a keyboard dock accessory that has a battery of its own — when connected to the dock the tablet can achieve up to 20 hours of battery life, Lenovo says.
The IdeaPad S2 comes on the heels of Asus’ popular Transformer tablets, which also sports a keyboard dock. In a sense, the IdeaPad is the Decepticon to Asus’ Transformer Prime, though it can’t compete when it comes to horsepower since it doesn’t feature a quad-core CPU.
The 10-inch tablet instead runs a dual-core SnapDragon CPU, and it will also come equipped with Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich.” The IdeaPad S2 is slightly lighter than both the iPad 2 and Asus Transformer Prime, so it may appeal for those looking for a 10-inch tablet that’s particularly portable.
Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat
3D printing service Sculpteo today announced a new iPhone app that you can use to design 3D objects, upload your designs to the cloud, and receive a ceramic object in the mail a few days later.
The designs are based on photographs you take of yourself or a friend. Sculpteo’s app turns your face’s profile into a 3D object, such as the vase shown here. You can also transform it into a number of other objects, such as a bowl, plate, or mug. Once you’ve completed the design, you upload it and Sculpteo sends it to a local 3D printing facility which manufactures the object using a ceramic printing process.
Pricing depends on the size and complexity of the object: Large objects such as the vase (pictured right) cost about $300, while a small cup costs just $70. The app itself is free.
Sculpteo is also partnering with designers such as Jen-Louis Frechin to find other ways of transforming “human data,” such as facial profiles, into designs that you can personalize. In effect, the designer is creating a set of parameters instead of a finished design, and the customer is applying the final touches to instantiate the design in a particular object.
It’s an interesting application of “mass customization,” which allows each customer to have their own, personalized product while still giving manufacturers some of the advantages of mass production. Thanks to the rapidly decreasing cost of 3D printing, other companies have also been pursuing mass customization: Bespoke Innovations makes custom prosthetic fairings that give prosthetic limbs a more personal look; computer companies such as Dell have experimented with giving customers the option to personalize their laptop designs; and MilkorSugar provides a catalog of mass-customized products, from personalized underwear to rowboats.
But this app also shows just how far 3D printing has come. Just for fun, here’s an amazing 3D skull created by artist Joshua Harker and printed in plastic using Sculpteo.
Photos: Dylan Tweney/VentureBeat.com.
Filed under: mobile
If you’ve ever wanted a Kindle that you never have to plug in, SolarFocus has the accessory for you with its solar-powered Kindle case.
Green tech has dominated the conversation around cars, but now it seems these trends are edging into mobile at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, where SolarFocus is debuting its Kindle case. Taiwan-based SolarFocus has other solar-panel products that have USB ports, but its Kindle case might be its most interesting, specific device.
The solar-powered Kindle case fits only the fourth-generation Kindle, but it should be available for the Kindle Touch in the sprint. The front part of the case features one long solar panel, which is bit inelegant. On the inside, there is a light that can help you read at night or in low-lighting.
SolarFocus says its Kindle case will make the Kindle battery last three times the normal duration, which amounts to three months. But because you can charge solely off the solar charger, you could essentially never need to plug it into a wall or computer USB port in the future.
The SolarFocus solar-powered Kindle case is a 2012 International CES Innovations Design & Engineering Awards Honoree. The device will be available online on Jan. 15 for $80.
A few other photos of the innovative solar-powered case can be viewed below:
Filed under: green, mobile, VentureBeat
Being first has its advantages.
Taiwanese computer maker Acer was the first major company to hold a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show today, where it briefly showed off a powerful new Iconia Tab slate with a quad-core processor and high-res 1080p display.
Acer VP of mobile computing Campbell Kan teased the 10.1-inch Android tablet to the CES crowd today in Las Vegas, saying simply, “Isn’t it cool?”
The new Iconia Tab will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip, but other than that we don’t have any other details about the device.
While the specs initially sound interesting, I can’t help but see this as the CES equivalent of an obnoxious Internet commenter shouting “First!” in a comment thread. We expect many quad-core tablets to be unveiled at CES 2012 (Asus has already released its quad-core Transformer Prime), and many of them will likely be more tempting than Acer’s, especially since the company has failed to impress with any of its Android tablets so far.
Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat
Just as we expected, Nokia will unveil its Lumia 900 Windows Phone — which will be tasked with reinvigorating the mobile platform as its new flagship device — on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The Lumia 900 will be initially available on AT&T and is described as “sleek” and “metallic,” sources tell the New York Times. It’s a particularly exciting device for Nokia and Microsoft because it will likely be the first “must have” Windows Phone for many consumers.
The Lumia 900 may end up being call the Nokia Ace when it hits the US, according to previous rumors, which also pointed to it being the first LTE 4G device available for Windows Phone. It’s said to sport a larger 4.3-inch display than the Lumia 800 (which only has a 3.7-inch display), and a front-facing camera, according to leaked images. Under the hood, it’ll run the same 1.4-gigahertz processor as the 800.
While it may seem confusing for Nokia to launch yet another high-end Windows Phone only a few months after it debuted the Lumia 800 (and its inexpensive sibling the Lumia 710), I don’t think anyone will complain about the Lumia 900′s specs, as it seems to fix all of the issues I had with the Lumia 800 (in particular, the small screen and lack of a front camera).
Image via PocketNow
Filed under: mobile, VentureBeat
Toys and electronics are mixing more than ever these days. That’s why toy robot maker WowWee has created a new line of collectible toys, dubbed App Gear, that interact with free downloaded apps for smartphones and tablets.
At the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, WowWee is showing off more of its recently introduced App Gear line, extending the idea of connecting apps with traditional toys to create something called “amplified reality.” You can expect to see a lot more of this blending of real-world toys and digital apps in the years ahead.
Rather than take a backseat to the digital experience of video games, toys can help enhance it, according to WowWee, which produces the Robosapien robot toys and Paper Jamz electronic toy guitars.
App Gear toys will give retailers a piece of the app pie, with toys selling for $9.99 to $19.99. The goal is to get beyond the gimmick and make the toys true parts of the games. App Gear products work with all of the iOS and Android mobile devices.
Rivals include toys such as Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure from Activision Blizzard and the Appmates mobile app toys from Disney. AppToyz also recently launched an AppBlaster toy gun that uses plastic extensions to tap the screen of an iPhone when you fire. The game inserts creatures to shoot at into the environment as you move around a room.
One of the newest App Gear toys is Akodomon, where kids starts out with a collectible kid monster, a terrarium and an environment marker piece. The users can see the animated creature come to life on screen. You can raise your creature, teach it to play, shape its personality and evolve it into a unique interactive character. You can play against other players and purchase upgrades for the app via micro transactions. You can go online and share your unique creation in the online part of the app.
Every App Gear toy will connect or interact with the free downloaded app. Collectible figures, interactive play sets and customizable toys will be included with each pack.
Filed under: games, mobile, VentureBeat
The first generation of Gorilla Glass is already featured on popular devices like the iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire and Android phones from Motorola and HTC, so a new form of this scratch-resistant and hard-to-break glass could be a big win for smartphones, tablets, TVs and more.
The company hasn’t yet announced how much stronger Gorilla Glass 2 is than its predecessor, but Corning will reveal more details next week on the CES floor. The company has said it will take its product a step further with new implementations, including large HDTVs. At CES, Corning will show off Gorilla Glass on an 82-inch advanced multitouch LCD display, automobile interiors, home appliances and a massive video wall.
“Handset and tablet device manufacturers are clearly driving toward higher functionality from thinner designs,” said Corning senior VP James Steiner in a statement. ”Corning’s latest innovation in Gorilla Glass technology is very well positioned to meet these challenges and enable broader touch technology penetration.”
Corning has been around in some form since 1851 and focuses on specialty glass and ceramics. It manufactures Gorilla Glass in the U.S. and Japan.
Filed under: mobile
If you couldn’t tell by the avalanche of product news hitting VentureBeat over the past few weeks, the next Consumer Electronics Show is almost upon us. The annual trade show, which has been held in Las Vegas for more than a decade, is where many of the world’s biggest electronics companies debut their new products, announce major news, and desperately try to remind us that they exist.
A flood of news is par for the course at CES (VentureBeat will be covering the event extensively, as we’re sending more writers than ever before), but every year a few major themes emerge that will resonate for the rest of the year. While the value of CES has arguably declined over the past decade — with companies like Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft announcing plenty of products at their own press events throughout the year — the show still provides us an interesting glimpse of what lies ahead.
This year’s trade show is poised to be one of the biggest in years, as the Consumer Electronics Association believes it will draw 149,000 attendees to more than 2,700 exhibitors occupying more than 1.8 million square feet of exhibit space.
Granted, some of the most significant consumer electronics and computing products won’t have a presence at the show at all. Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system, due later in 2012, will likely be the consumer tech product that affects more people than any other. And Apple’s iPad 3 (and rumored iTV) are among the most-anticipated and most-hyped upcoming products. None of these will have any presence at CES 2012. But that still leaves a huge electronics industry full of products, technologies and trends.
Here are our predictions for the CES trends that will make a profound impact on the technology world, both for businesses and consumers, in 2012.
4G networks, round 2
Verizon Wireless’s LTE 4G network was all the rage at last year’s CES, having launched just a month prior, and it marked the arrival of cellular networks that could finally achieve speeds comparable to home broadband connections. While Verizon has had its run of the LTE field for the past year, this year it’ll finally have some competition from AT&T and Sprint.
At CES, AT&T will be showing off its first run of LTE 4G phones, following the launch of its network back in September. Leading the pack for AT&T will be the Nokia Ace, AKA the Lumia 900, which we think could turn the tide for Windows Phone. AT&T certainly has a lot of catching up to do, and we suspect that the carrier will be making some major announcements regarding aggressive expansion of its network.
Sprint, meanwhile, has said that it will have a major roll out of its LTE network in the middle of 2012, which will be followed by the arrival of LTE phones later in the year. The company was the first to launch a 4G network years ago, but it ran the slower WiMax standard. Now that LTE has proven to be faster and easier to deploy, Sprint has to jump ship from WiMax. We expect Sprint to divulge many more details about its LTE plans at CES.
That leaves T-Mobile, which for the past year has been embroiled in a potential takeover by AT&T. Now that that’s not happening, the carrier will likely move forward with plans to expand its HSPA+ 4G network, which at this point has already reached 42 megabit speeds in nearly 100 cities.
Ultrabooks, the new face of laptops
Last summer’s MacBook Air update proved that super thin ultraportables could finally go toe-to-toe with bulkier laptops. And not surprisingly, PC makers have since tried to replicate the Air’s success with ultrabooks, a term for the ultraportable machines coined by Intel. We’ve already seen some ultrabooks announced by Asus, Acer, HP and Toshiba, but at CES there will be between 30 and 50 new models announced.
Eventually, all laptops will resemble what we’re calling ultrabooks. The laptop industry has long aspired to fit as much power as possible in a tiny package. Ultrabooks are the realization of that dream. It used to be that ultraportable laptops came at a premium, then low-cost (but underpowered) netbooks eventually proved machines didn’t need to be expensive to be very portable. With ultrabooks, you get extreme portability and a decent amount of power at a price not much more expensive than mainstream laptops. Intel researchers say Ultrabooks enable “flow,” or the idea of being able to work in an uniterrupted manner.
Ultrabooks are also the best way for computer manufacturers to combat the rise of tablets. While slates like the Kindle Fire are getting increasingly cheaper, it’s still not as easy to be productive on a tablet (yes, even the iPad), as you can on a full-fledged laptop. At only a few pounds heavier than 10-inch tablets, ultrabooks could be seen as a companion to cheap tablets, and for some consumers they may even erase the need for a tablet altogether.
Mobile chipsets achieve desktop power
Silently powering the smartphone and tablet revolution are mobile chipsets that are powerful, while still being heavily optimized to not eat up too much battery life. Last year saw the rise of dual-core chipsets, including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, Nvidia’s Tegra 2, and Apple’s A5 chip.
This year, the race is on for quad-core chipsets that will bring to mobile computing power on par with some desktops. We’re expecting to see plenty of devices featuring quad-core chipsets from many of the above companies at CES. Qualcomm has the new Snapdragon S4, and Nvidia has Tegra 3, both of which will be able to run complex 3D games and high-definition video without a sweat. Qualcomm has one of the keynote speech slots, while Intel and Nvidia have press conferences on Monday.
Intel is finally stepping into the game with its new Atom-based mobile chipset, codenamed Medfield. It may not be initially as powerful as the competing Tegra and Snapdragon platforms, but after sitting out the mobile chipset wars until now, Intel has to start somewhere. The company will reportedly show off its first Medfield-based Android phone, built by LG, at CES.
The consumer cloud takes off
“Cloud” has been a code-word for enterprise for a while, but this year might be a big one for the consumer cloud. When iCloud and iTunes Match were introduced in mid-2011, we had a feeling that consumer-focused cloud technologies were about to start getting hot. Many other tech companies notably follow Apple’s lead, so it’s not hard to imagine other companies cashing in with their own cloud-based media services this year.
At CES, look out for companies showing off ways to connect your home and mobile devices with all sorts of media options. We expect cloud-based music and gaming to really get hammered into consumers heads, especially with connected TVs and mobile apps. Companies such as Verizon, Gaikai, Joyent , and Slacker will all be on CES panels discussing how to move forward with media in the cloud.
One company we expect to leave an impression at CES is Shodogg, which uses the web and cloud power to seamlessly move video content between screens, from TV to phone to computer. Another company that could shine is former DEMO winner WeVideo, which makes video editing in the cloud a reality.
Car tech revs up
As more car manufacturers develop electric engines and green solutions to help with gas mileage, they are also looking at ways to add more communication and media technology to vehicles. This year at CES, companies like Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz and Audi will be showing off mobile apps that interact directly with cars and dashboards that function more like full-fledged computers. CES will also play host to a panel about cars that use short-range vehicle-to-X (V2X) technology that will allow cars to interact with other cars, traffic lights and pedestrians.
Ford specifically will be a big player in this space at CES with the introduction of a cloud-connected concept car that can beam data between cars and sync your schedule and music from home. The company will also show a beta version of its MyFord mobile app, which can find electrical charge points for electric engines and plan efficient routes using MapQuest.
With the ever-increasing demand that technology should help make driving safer, we can also expect that sort of tech getting a spotlight this year. CES will have a number of companies detailing technologies to help with “auto collision avoidance, land drift assistance, parking, speed monitoring, hands-free, text-to-voice, driver drowsiness detection and more.”
The start of a great year
While CES is bastion of consumer technology, there are still plenty of trends that will dominate the year that won’t have much of a showing at the trade show. One of the biggest is Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest operating system that will boldly attempt to unify a tablet and desktop interfaces. From what we’re hearing, Microsoft won’t be announcing much significant Windows 8 news at CES, though you can be sure plenty of other companies will have Windows 8-related news in tow.
Looking beyond CES, there’s plenty to look forward to this year: Tablets that won’t suck; the eventual release of Apple’s completely revamped iPhone (which we’re hoping will prove those iPhone 5 rumors true); and mostly for me, the many surprises that 2012 will bring.
Filed under: green, media, mobile, VentureBeat
Qualcomm said today that it will launch its Snapdragon GameCommand app on the Android Market on Jan. 10 at the beginning of the Consumer Electronics Show.
The app is an organizer for Android games on tablets and smartphones, and its purpose is to highlight the titles that run best on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in a mobile device. In that respect, it’s a counter to Nvidia’s Tegra Zone app launched last year to highlight games that run on Nvidia chips.
The app shows that chip makers have to fuel an ecosystem not only around their chips but around the devices that use the chips. That theoretically creates market demand for more Snapdragon chips, which serve as the brains of a mobile device.
The Snapdragon GameCommand gives mobile users a way to quickly discover, organize and access the latest mobile games. And it gives developers a chance to have their games featured in the spotlight.
The phones include more gaming news and easy access to more than 100 Snapdragon GamePack featured games. The pack includes several titles running for a short time on an exclusive basis, including Fight Game Heroes from Khaeon Gamestudio; Bunny Maze 3D from Eyelead Software and Desert Winds from Southend Interactive. Qualcomm worked with those companies to make sure their games take advantage of the graphics capabilities of the Snapdragon chips.
The app allows users to access their favorite games in one spot with one group icon, accessible via a finger swipe on a smartphone or tablet. Snapdragon GameCommand also provides gamers with a source for the latest game news.
More than 60 percent of smartphone users regularly play games on their mobile devices.
Filed under: games, mobile
Broadcom‘s line-up of products for the Consumer Electronics Show next week drives forward a vision for connected TVs and viewing content on multiple devices. The chip maker unveiled new products today that will be showcased at CES.
Among the announcements is a partnership with Myriad Group, whose Myriad Alien Vue gives connected TVs an easy-to-navigate user interface for scrolling through web, video and other content on a TV that is connected to a Broadcom-based set-top box. One of the interesting things about the announcements is that they don’t emphasize the speed of Broadcom’s chips but rather the fact that they enable machines that better connect people to technology and their content. In other words, Broadcom is working on technology that makes our lives easier — a common theme for tech companies these days.
Zurich, Switzerland-based Myriad uses the Android operating system and Broadcom chips to deliver popular Android apps to connected TVs. That opens the door for consumers to access thousands of new and inexpensive apps from the living room couch. It simplifies the delivery of Android content to TVs, as set-tops with the Broadcom chips and Myriad user interface have the horsepower and easy navigation to make the experience snappy for consumers. The boxes support the ability to connect other devices to the TV using the DLNA standard and extend the screen view to other TVs around the home.
Myriad also lets you use your smartphone and tablet as viewing and remote control devices. And it lets you leverage your existing TV and set-top box to access Android apps. The Myriad technology is embedded in every Android device.
Irvine, Calif.-based Broadcom also announced a portfolio of “system-on-a-chip” solutions that integrate Multimedia over Cable 2.0 (MoCA 2.0). That can double the available bandwidth for cable lines that carry the broadband internet from one part of the house to another. It also enhances video quality and broadens the distribution of internet content within the home in a more energy efficient and secure way.
Supporting operators for the MoCA 2.0 standard include Charter, Cogeco, Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Rogers Communications, and Verizon’s FiOS services. Broadcom’s chips will be used in six new MoCA 2.0-capable set-top box and internet gateway products. By putting MoCA 2.0 directly into a set-top box, Broadcom makes it easier to set up faster and more efficient and secure home networks. Those networks are more and more important as users watch video content or play games on multiple screens around the home.
Broadcom also introduced its Over-the-Top Media Player that converts existing TVs into “smart TVs” capable of connecting to the internet and running apps such as simple games. These chips enable set-top boxes that can be attached to any TV and can handle advanced processing tasks such as dual high-definition decoding and transcoding tasks — allowing for better video options on a TV. The chips can run the Android operating system and Adobe Air, enabling new products such as the Netgear NeoTV Streaming Player (NTV200). These devices can help turn 2 billion TVs around the world into smart TVs.
And lastly, Broadcom said that EchoStar’s Sling Media division will integrate the Sling Media software developers kit (SDK) into Broadcom’s latest system-on-a-chip platforms for video. The collaboration means it will be easy to integrate a Sling Box function, which allows users to watch their favorite TV shows on any internet-connected device, even away from home. Broadcom-powered set-top boxes with the Sling Media software will be available by the third quarter of this year. The Sling Media “placeshifting” technology has been out for a number of years, but this is the first time it can be so easily integrated into a set-top box, eliminating the need for a separate box in the living room.
Video consumption is growing rapidly with the proliferation of broadband-connnected smartphones and tablets. In a survey sponsored by Broadcom and conducted by JZ Analytics, about 62 percent of U.S. consumers said they would likely watch live TV on laptops, tablets and smartphones if their TV service provider offered the service for no extra charge.
Filed under: media, mobile