Sunday, January 15, 2012

CES 2012 - The world just got cooler...

The 45th Annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) has just wound down after a hectic three days, in which hundreds of electronic manufacturers descended on Las Vegas and did their level best to hawk their upcoming wares - giving us the latest in everything from tablet PCs to Smart Fridges, from 3D televisions to therapeutic robot seals (honestly).

But, in amidst this cornucopia of electronic gizmos, this sea of gadgets, what really stood out this year?

1. Makerbot Replicator
Image courtesy of Makerbot Industries
An open source, 3D printer with two colour printing that's small enough to sit on your desktop and cheap enough (starting from $1749) that it brings 3D printing into the budget of the reasonably wealthy (as opposed to the startlingly wealthy), this had me pretty excited. For more of what the Makerbot Replicator can do, check out the video below:

2. OnLive Desktop

OnLive made waves a couple of years back when it announced a cloud-based gaming system that was intended to go head-to-head with the powers that be in the gaming industry and, while they build their market in games, they've announced a (somewhat surprising) plan to also bring cloud-based services to the workplace - OnLive Desktop. OnLive Desktop streams Microsoft Office Suite to your iPad and, with the all the processing work done on the cloud, you don't have to worry about the processing getting too intensive. Check out their (rather cheesy) advert below:

3. LG 55 inch OLED 3D TV
Image courtesy LG

No CES would be complete without some monstrous TV promising absurd resolutions, and LG made sure people weren't disappointed with their 55 inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) 3D TV that offers not only a big screen, a near infinite contrast claim (a billion to 1), built-in wifi and passive 3D but also comes in at a super svelte 4mm thickness. That's right - about the same as 3 credit cards back to back. Big TVs don't come much cooler than this. Well, until CES 2013, that is...

4. Samsung Smart Window
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Who among us, at some time or another, can say they have not hankered to be Tom Cruise? I am, of course, referring to his use of some uber-cool smartscreen technology in the (somewhat mediocre) Minority Report. Well, rejoice Tom Cruise wannabes - for your time, thanks to Samsung, is well and truly at hand. The Samsung Smart Window is exactly what it sounds like  - a one way transparent display that allows you to use your window like a touch-screen.  Check out Mobile Nations video review below:

5. Benchtop Ion Proton Sequencer
Image courtesy PR Newswire
Maybe it's just that this appeals to the Mad Scientist in me, but how cool is a benchtop Ion Proton Sequencer, capable of decoding the sequence of a human genome in under a day for only $1000? Pretty damn cool, if you ask me. And at an asking price of only $149,000 it brings the mapping of human genomes into the reach of ordinary doctors. Up until now, such devices retailed upwards of $500,000, took weeks to deliver a result and and cost $10,000 per sequence. 2012, the year DNA sequencing went mainstream...

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