Last week saw 3,100 companies descend on Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012, one of the world’s most venerated expos for new tech, gadgets and other assorted electrical wizardry that set tech press tongues wagging and filled a million Christmas lists 12 months in advance.
In total, over 20,000 products were showcased. We’ve been following the announcements closely, and have put together a quick roundup of what we think are the five coolest pieces of kit announced this year.
Razer ‘Project Fiona’ Gaming Tablet
This 10.1 inch Windows tablet is currently a prototype, however reports from CES seem to suggest that it’s not too far from completion. Essentially, Project Fiona is a tablet built to play games. The analogue controllers stuck to the edges solve a lot of the problems of tablet gaming, and while the specs are a closely guarded secret, it’s clearly capable of playing graphic rich games with ease.
Question marks over battery life and upgrades aside, we’re very excited about Project Fiona’s fabulous tech and practical common sense. One to watch in 2012.
Parrot AR Drone 2.0
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 makes this list with the title ‘least useful, most cool’. Fly the drone around using an app on your smartphone, and the camera in the drone’s nose will film in real time. In HD.
We want one, but we don’t know why. $300 is a difficult sum of money to justify spending on a toy, even one as cool as this. Perhaps this is a present for the spy who has everything.
LG 55 inch 3D OLED HD TV (55EM9600)
The catchily named 55EM9600 is by far our favourite piece of kit announced at CES 2012. The OLED technology behind this television provides a much better picture, better contrast and better responsiveness than LED or LCD, so what we have here is the best picture you’ve ever seen on a TV that - at just 4mm thick – is thin enough to slide under a closed door. Samsung also showcased similar technology at CES, and we’re not expressing a preference between the two, we’re just in awe of the speed at which TV tech is advancing.
(Image: The Verge)
Carrying on the rich tradition of tech names with missing vowels (Razr, Flickr, Jangl) the Swivl is a neat idea, and one that we’re surprised hasn’t been done before. Drop your smartphone into the bracket on the Swivl, set it to record and the Swivl will tilt and pan to wherever the remote (which you will be holding, obviously) goes. This means vloggers and Facetimers will have a much easier job of mixing up their shots and steering away from the traditional ‘sat in chair, trying to look at webcam and screen at same time’ shot to which we have all become accustomed.
The Swivl will be available soon, and can be preordered for $159.
Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer
While this is the only entry to our top five that probably won’t make it into many homes, the Replicator 3D Printer is so amazing that we couldn’t in all good conscience leave it off our list.
With the Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer, you can print objects. This isn’t a joke. Design a 3D object on your computer, hit ‘print’ and within minutes the very object you designed will appear before your eyes. While not a completely new concept, this model is the first that allows users to print two colours at once. Costing around $1700, you most likely won’t be seeing many of these around, but we defy anyone to tell us that the thinking behind this isn’t awesome.