CES 2013: Monday Roundup
I reckon that we can’t start up a geek blog without doing a little bit of CES coverage. Obviously, we’re still a little small to be in Las Vegas for the show but that doesn’t mean we can’t sum up some of the bigger and more interesting news from the 2013 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show.
Samsung OLED TV – Coming soon to store shelves
We’ve been hearing about OLED (organic light-emitting diode) over the years but haven’t seen them outside of trade shows like CES yet. However, Samsung is planning to change that this year. They’re planning to release their F9500 series of OLED TVs this year. This will be an HDTV with 3D capabilities. It will also have a quad-core CPU to power Samsung’s smart hub and gesture controls (finally a practical use for Kinect-like technology).
The most interesting thing from the announcement was the inclusion of multi-view with the TV. This uses Samsung’s 3D glasses with built-in headphones which allow two people to watch two different programs on the same TV. The 55″ Samsung OLED TV will be the biggest application of this sort of technology. Land Rovers have used this sort of technology on dashboard touchscreens since the 2010 model year which allowed both the driver and passenger to see two different things on the same screen.
NVIDIA Project Shield – A proper Android gaming console
We’ve heard a lot about Android based video game consoles over the last little bit thanks to the bargain Ouya and GameStick consoles launched through KickStarter. Now, NVIDIA is getting into the game with their Project Shield console. But unlike the Ouya and GS, NVIDIA’s device is a portable console and is offering top of the line technology. In other words, it’s aiming closer to the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita rather than Android phones.
The specs of the Project Shield console are rather impressive. The controller looks a bit like a cross between an Xbox and Sega Dreamcast controller but the big size is so that it can house NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 mobile chip, lithium-ion batteries for what NVIDIA promises is 38 hours of gameplay between charges, speakers, wi-fi and HDMI and USB ports. The unit also comes with a 5″ 720p display but that HDMI port is supposed to be able to output at 4K resolution (2160 vertical pixels).
Obviously, the Shield will be able to play Android games and use the Google Play market to buy games and apps. More interestingly is that you can wirelessly connect to your PC to stream games, if it has a Kepler-based NVIDIA GPU. This allows you to stream Steam games from your computer to your Shield through Steam’s Big Picture functionality. The access to a massive library will probably be the biggest advantage that the Shield has over the Vita.
The console is currently slated for a Q2 2013 launch but no price has yet been announced. If NVIDIA wants this to sell, they can’t fall into the PlayStation trap of pricing it high to reflect its perceived power and quality. It has to be priced competitively with the 3Ds if they want to make a splash in the market. A high price could make it a Vita-esque flop.
Kingston’s 1 Terabyte Flash Drive – Why yes, that’s my computer in my pocket
The laptop I’m typing this blog post on has a 500 GB hard drive. Kingston, one of the bigger names in USB sticks, announced a new USB stick that’s twice the size of my laptop. The upcoming Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator will have one terabyte of memory and be USB 3.0 compatible, promising read and write speeds of 240 MB per second and 160 MB per second, respectively. No price has announced yet but Kingston’s 512 GB stick runs $1,750. I’m willing to guess that you could buy a new laptop with a 1 TB hard drive for the price of this.
TrakDot – Luggage tracking device
We’ve all lost our luggage at one point or another, myself included. Rather than leave it up to the airlines to track down your lost suitcase, you can find out where it is using the new TrakDot tracking device. The TrakDot device is described as small so it may be small enough to use on things other than luggage. Anyway, it has a GSM chip (a mobile phone style chip) used to track it rather than a GPS device. You can then track it online, via text message or through an app.
The TrakDot device has an MSRP of $49.95 with an $8.99 activation fee. On top of that, there’s an annual fee of $12.99 to continue tracking your TrakDot device. As of writing, the TrakDot website was not yet online.