It’s not yet December, but already we’re hearing news on how big 2012 will be for technology, gadgets, and all manner of electronic goodness.
How do we know this? Because the Consumer Electronics Association has announced the honourees in its “CES Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Awards”.
There are some real crackers among them too, some of which are so simple, we’re kicking ourselves we didn’t think of them first.
First up is the Basis Band (above), a health gadget with the ability to track your health in a way few have been able to before. With all of the clever technology bits located inside the digital wrist-watch, the Basis Band records temperature through your skin and the air; monitors perspiration and heart rate, and features a 3D accelerometer for measuring movement while awake and asleep.
All of this data would be useless if there were no way of exporting it from the watch, so there’s a built-in Bluetooth chip for sending information to and from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer. With the complementary software installed, these devices compile the tracked data to provide a report on your health status.
Over in the kitchen, Belkin’s cooking up a simple tablet mount that can be mounted to just about any cabinet (above). No tools or hardware are required to set this thing up – its adjustable clamp allows it to hold any tablet sized between 7 and 10 inches with ease.
Next up is the Nest Learning Thermostat, a product upon which some former Apple people have collaborated.
This product is designed to make your air conditioner intelligent through using a WiFi connection and a combination of motion and light sensors to create a personalised schedule that constantly adapts room temperatures to how you live. That wireless connection also will allow you to control your setup via your smartphone.
The sensors in the Nest are smart enough to discern when you’re not at home, meaning it will help you to save on your power bills. It will even tell you how much energy you’ve been saving, a feature which, in the new carbon tax era, everyone will love.
Once you’ve saved all of that energy, you can expend it doing something you like. How about some gaming?
Gaming-accessory manufacturer Razer thinks it has a laptop to satisfy even the most hard-core gamers. Its Blade is an aluminium-crafted desktop-replacement laptop featuring a huge 17.3 inch Full HD screen, Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, 2GB Nvidia graphics card, 320GB hard drive, USB 3.0, WiFi, and Gigabit Ethernet.
What’s more, the Razer Blade also features a custom keyboard and mouse design with an LCD panel-based touchpad sitting to the right of the keyboard – a configuration most PC gamers will be familiar with.
While the LCD under the mouse can display different parts of the game – such as overhead maps or information – the ten programmable macro keys above this will make even the most seasoned gamer cry. In fact, it’s not just gamers who will appreciate this feature, because the custom keys can be applied to with other tasks, such as Photoshop, web shortcuts, and more.
The Blade also sets itself apart from other gaming laptops by virtue of its thinness. At 2.24cm high when closed and weighing 3.16 kilos, it’s still heavier than that MacBook Air your were thinking of lugging around, but much lighter than the 5.3 kilo Alienware M17x it will compete with.
Maybe you’re more interested in photography? Lytro has a concept that’s sure to get some attention.
Called the Lytro Light Field Camera, this rectangular aluminium box is unlike any camera you’ve ever seen. Lacking a shutter mechanism, the Lytro uses a new type of sensor to capture every depth point in the image, enabling you to later – on your computer – decide what you want to be in focus.
Examples are available on the Lytro website, and we’re pretty impressed with what we’ve seen. While the image quality isn’t strong at the moment, the concept is very cool, and has the potential to change cameras forever.
Finally, Sonomax’s Sculpted Eers are a concept that promises to bring custom-moulded earphones to market for well under $500 mark. Using a specially-designed fitting system, Sculpted Eers claims to be able to provide a custom fit pair of earphones in roughly four minutes.
Given the high cost normally associated with custom earphones, we’re dead keen to see how the systems works, and, importantly, how much the Eers will cost when they land locally.
There are even more products that made it to the list of honourees, including Sony’s S1 Tablet and a new model HTC handset – the Amaze – with a whopping 42Mbps 3G downlink and dual 1.5GHz CPUs.
We’ll see even more gee-whiz tech when CES rolls around in January, but for now we want to know what you’re looking forward to. You don’t even have to know if it exists – we’ll find out and tell you.
Tell us what 2012 holds for you technology-wise in our comments section below.