Philip Ellis
News & Views
What the latest gadgets can tell us about new tech trends

We’re almost a whole month into the New Year now, which seems like the perfect time to take stock of what’s new in the tech world. Below is a quick round-up of some of the super-fly gizmos that made their debut at CES 2013.

Pebble brings smartphone features to your wristwatch

Originating as a Kickstarter project (and you know how much we love those), the Pebble is a watch that can interface with your iPhone or Android, bringing your text, email and appointment alerts to your wrist. Third party developers will even be able to create native apps for the Pebble app store.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper trend unless a punchy portmanteau was coined. In this case, people are calling it the “smartwatch”. In fact, “smartwear” in general is becoming increasingly popular, with small, wearable pieces of technology attracting considerable attention. Fitness accessories are gaining particular traction, most likely due to the steady growth of the mobile health app market.

Another variant of the smartwatch is the Martian Passport, which actually enables users to actually carry out conversations via the watch, by connecting to your smartphone using that old faithful, Bluteooth. With such suave, 007-style features, it looks like the Martian Passport might be enough to finally make Bluetooth cool again.

Hisense teases exciting new screens

Hisense, one of a growing number of Chinese brands making waves on the international stage, showcased their transparent displays which incorporated touch screen functionality and 3D technology. Samsung is also making inroads in this area, suggesting a considerable shift in digital signage methods once commercial use begins to really take off.

And while we’re on the subject of screens; Panasonic used CES to show off their new 4K and OLED television prototypes (4K refers to resolution, while OLED boosts colour, brightness and contrast). 4K resolution really was the talk of the town at CES 2013, although exorbitant pricing expectations might mean HDTV has a stay of execution.

DecaTxt reduces QWERTY keyboard to a 10 button handset

Of course, not every device and start-up that exhibits at a show like CES is going to change the world. Here are a few final items which range from the useful to downright bizarre:

  1. TrakDot enables you to locate any missing possession, provided you tag it first. Car-keys? Missing luggage? Super-secret diary? Check.
  2. DecaText, a hand-held mobile text-entry device which reduces the QWERTY keyboard to 10 buttons, designed for single-hand use.
  3. Nano Nails, which turn long fingernails into a personal smartphone stylus.
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