Fans of technology know that the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the place to be when you need to see all the new gear that’s coming out, but how do you follow up the awesome year that was 2012?
The Consumer Electronics Association has announced its pick for the best gadgets in the “CES Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Awards,” highlighting some pieces of brilliant technology that will be shown in January at the show, and hopefully make their way to store shelves in the new year.
Proving that the future is really is here, a company called Vuzix is introducing a new line of eyewear designed to bring your digital world to your eyes. Literally.
The Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses are an attempt to make eye-based screen monitors smaller and sexier, by showing a small 384×240 display in front of one eye that shows information directly to one eye as you walk.
This could include messages, phone calls, and GPS information, as there’s certainly enough tech inside the glasses to assist with this.
At the moment Vuzix is saying the headset runs on Google’s Android operating system, and includes Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, a head tracker, and a 720p digital camera for taking pictures on the go.
We’re not quite sure how many people will use a pair yet, but until Google finishes off its “Glasses” project, it’s nice to know someone else is thinking of bringing the digital world to our eyelids.
Eyes aren’t the only part of our body getting an upgrade at CES, with Moneual’s Smart Care system for the hearing impaired making an appearance in the list.
This is a unique gadget, taking the look of a watch and showing people hard of hearing what sounds are heard – phones and cars, for instance – with a display on their wrist.
Another gadget selected for the best of list could save your life, with an emergency only phone, the XPal SpareOne.
The SpareOne is a mobile phone that can be powered by a single AA battery, and will deliver up to 15 years – not hours, but years – of battery life when left alone, or if needed for us, works for 10 hours.
It’s not a phone you’ll really carry with you, mind you, and lacks the smarts that make today’s equipment truly amazing, but given that it’s an emergency phone, could just help you call up the right people if you’re ever lost in the wilderness.
Even before we make our way to CES, the Innovations Awards are telling us that entertainment is big on the list this year, with news that LG’s massive 84 inch Ultra High Definition 3D TV has taken out the “Best of Innovations” award for the Video Displays category.
We’ve played with it, and can tell you that it is definitely one pretty display, with lots of size, clarity, and lovely pixels in that awesome 4K resolution.
But it’s not the only worthwhile entertainment device that’s being talked up at the CES 2013 Innovation Awards.
Harman Kardon has also managed to get a foot in the door, with a new Blu-ray player that lets you throw away your other components and go with one.
The BDS 577 is a home theatre amp that integrates five amps rated at 65 watts per channel, making a 5.1 sound system with support for three HDMI IN, one component, two auxiliary, and support for wired network, WiFi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and support for 3D, YouTube, and other smarts.
Oh, and there’s a Blu-ray player there too, cutting down on one device in your house.
We’re intrigued by this one, although the £1000 price tag might put some people off.
Picking up attention is a camera that certainly has ours, Sony’s RX1, the first compact camera to feature a full-frame 35mm sensor, a type of technology normally seen only on high-priced digital SLRs, certainly not portable cameras.
There’s no zoom, and the lens isn’t replaceable, echoing the rangefinder style of camera, but Sony is packing the small size with the same 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor as what can be found in Sony’s A99 DSLR, and offering low-light ISO support up to 102400.
Another type of recording device got in there with a win, though this one is more about sound, and listening to your baby when you need to.
Belkin’s WeMo Baby is a baby monitor that connects to your home WiFi and captures the sounds your baby is making, streaming the sounds over the web to the Belkin WeMo app available on iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
We’ve heard that Belkin’s WeMo Baby has also been designed to pick up on the sounds of crying, and can apparently send a text message to your device when it’s happening, effectively telling you to get your butt up to Junior’s room pronto.
Of course, these aren’t the only gadgets being touted as the best innovations for 2013, but are a small sampling. There’s still a $15 print-your-own 3D iPhone case, LED light, snow goggles with Full HD capture and built-in WiFi, premium Sennheiser IE800 earphones, crazy touch-enabled S.T.R.I.K.E.7 gaming keyboard, and even Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay A9 loudspeaker.
Beyond this, there are a whole heap of devices and technology to be unveiled at CES, really, we’re just getting started.
We’re looking forward to seeing what companies will release, and if 2012 was great for technology, 2013 should be better than ever.