Software is becoming a bigger part of CES, which is a bit ironic since Microsoft has begun to pull back its presence. CES 2012 saw the rise of familiar software names powering your living room TV, augmented-reality apps that created a new way to interact with the world around you, a stone-cold assassination attempt on the QWERTY keyboard, and a deft program that ports Android apps into Windows 8.
LAS VEGAS--Texas Instruments is offering one of the most revealing demos of Windows 8 on ARM yet at CES.
That's not saying a lot, though, as demos of Microsoft's next operating system on ARM processors have been extremely restrictive, if nonexistent to date in public (Nvidia's untouchable, relatively static CES demo is behind closed glass). But TI pushed the boundaries a bit in a demo for CNET at CES.
The demo tapped TI's freshly minted OMAP4470 ARM processor, according to Bill Crean, an OMAP product marketing manager.
Needless to say, I was not permitted to take … Read more
LAS VEGAS--At Chrysler's UConnect booth for CES, a leather clad woman wearing aviators turned up the Dodge Charger's volume and the sounds of Just Dance by Lady Gaga came blasting out of the speakers.
But as she increased the volume, the indicator on the LCD reaching toward its limit, the sound never became painful. Partly because I liked the song, but mostly due to the Beats by Dre audio system in the car, which pumped out extremely tight, controlled sound. As the volume rose, I detected no distortion, and even the Charger's door panels seemed unaffected by … Read more
LAS VEGAS--This was an odd CES for cameras.
We usually only get point-and-shoots, and some generally uninteresting ones at that. This year we were greeted with three models targeted at enthusiasts and pros, though: the Fujifilm X-Pro1, the Nikon D4, and the Canon PowerShot G1 X. Consequently, they were each nominated for a CNET Best of CES award in the digital imaging category.
The overall number of point-and-shoot announcements was down (no thanks to Fujifilm's deluge of 19 models), but it looks like that's just a CES phenomenon; we expect a lot of the entry-level and mainstream models not announced here to pop up at CP+ in Japan in early February.
Is it a sign of the U.S. market's decreasing relevance to the camera companies? With Kodak having flushed itself, every major camera company is based in Asia. We still buy a lot of cameras in the U.S., but we're not growing as fast as other regions, and are a mature, price-conscious market, which can be unappealing to companies looking for high volume and high margins.
It's also possible that the timing of CP+, in PMA's old spot, simply matches camera makers' habitual announcement cycle.
Despite all that, we still got plenty of point-and-shoot camera announcements, and with them, a closer look at what you can expect this year as manufacturers build out their 2012 lineups.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--Those who scoured the health and wellness zones at CES both this year and last may be wondering why they came at all in 2012. Many of the gadgets and services were either already in the works last year or being held behind the curtain for future reveals.
Within the designated Fitness TechZone in the North Hall, a few sub- or satellite genres were nearly empty or devoid of cutting-edge tech. Being six months pregnant, I had a personal interest in Mommy Tech this year. Yet when I approached BabyPlus(one of the only booths in the tiny Mommy … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Humans have had it good for the last few thousand years, ruling the spinning ball we call Earth with an iron fist. But we face new competition--from robots.
Oh yes, these metallic marvels would like nothing more than to overthrow our puny human race, and their iron fists aren't metaphorical. But is there anything a robot can do that a human can't?
We journeyed to the CES trade show to pit the world's most advanced robots against one sleep-deprived tech reporter. Hit play on the video above to see the results of our cruel investigation.
LAS VEGAS--A woman is pedaling leisurely on a stationary bike, her thick, dark braid draped delicately over one shoulder as she barely breaks a sweat. Someone whispers that she's Brazilian, and thus a real, live example of what you get with one of Velocomp's new workouts, Brazilian Butt. (Using a real, live Brazilian who presumably has said butt sans effort rather defeats the point, but I digress.)
For $269, the handlebar-mounted cycling computer that includes a water- and shock-resistant case and syncs with the iPhone and iPod Touch is all about tailored workouts that remind you when you're slacking off.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--There are pedometers all over this year's CES (a few of them being tested simultaneously on my own hip), and while there's nothing particularly special about the $25 GeoPalz pedometer for kids in terms of the pedometer itself, its reward system has a few tricks up its, er, shoe clip.
The family-owned business, out of Boulder, Colo., has been working on the motivate-kids-to-move gag since 2008, and features a step counter that converts into online points for prizes such as books, CDs, and sports equipment.
This week, GeoPalz is taking the motivation game a step further by … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Looks like Siri was just the beginning.
Okay, even Siri wasn't the beginning. The ability to do voice-command isn't particularly new, but the marquee feature for Apple's iPhone 4S has gotten the masses to recognize and appreciate its benefits. For the first time, voice-command was a feature people talked about and coveted.
At CES, there were better implementations and voice-commands popping up on different devices. Big-name companies got into the mix. Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes Benz, said voice would play a major role in its cars, calling them a driver's "digital companion." … Read more
LAS VEGAS--ViewSonic is mostly known here in the states for its monitors and tablets, but did you know that trio of finches the company uses for a logo marks cell phones as well?
Chances are it's one that's still going to swim below most people's radar. Like so many of the phones we've seen here at CES, the ViewPhone 3 runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The company has added its own skin on it, which includes a rotating carousel of panels for you to easily switch among. One nice touch--each panel (for weather or the clock, … Read more