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CNET Update: E-ink smartphone on display at CES 2013

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CNET Update: E-ink smartphone on display at CES 2013

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Gadgets at CES 2013 give us a peek into the future: e-ink on smartphones, device-to-device wireless charging, and controlling a tablet with your eyes.

You may be able to control your next tablet with your eyes. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. It's Day Two of the 2013 International Consumer Electronic Show and this is where we get a peek of what the future may hold for our gadgets. There's tons to talk about, but here's a quick breakdown of the tech that has our attention. One of the most interesting smartphones ever before seen here has been the YotaPhone- not Yoda from Star Wars. This is spelled Y-O-T-A. It looks like a normal Android phone from the front but the back has an e-ink touch screen display. The whole point of having e-ink on the back is to help save your battery life since it takes up so little juice. When power is running low, just switch whatever you're doing to the back screen or customize the back to show a photo or an app, and even though Gorilla Glass 3 was just announced days before CES, this YotaPhone prototype already has it. Plus, it's curved on the e-ink side to help improve readability. Talk about a phone that can shake things up, the company still is refining the design and plans to first release it in Russia this year before taking it to other countries, and they are shopping it around to U.S. carriers. And speaking of battery savers, imagine charging your cellphone by using the power from your tablet and you don't need a cord to do it. We've seen wireless charging before, but Fulton Innovation is showing off this new concept of transferring power from device to device wirelessly. Your phone can be both a power receiver and transmitter. Let's hope device makers get on this for future gear. A startup called TheEyeTribe has shown how future devices can be controlled with your eyes. The team hacked a Windows 8 tablet and installed infrared sensors and a camera and designed software that follows your eye movements, letting you scroll through a page just by how you look at the screen. You can even use your eyes to play games. When I tried it out, I was able to play Fruit Ninja and sliced up the fruit just by looking at it. It makes you feel like you have superpowers. But aside from gaming possibilities, TheEyeTribe says this could bring eye-controlled technology to people with disabilities and it would cost manufacturers only a dollar more for the parts in a tablet or phone, and using your hands is also a thing of the past with remote control helicopters. NeuroSky showed off the Puzzlebox Orbit, which could be flown with your mind simply by concentrating. And of course, CES is a place to find a solution to your problems, like having Windows 8 installed on a non-touch screen computer. The Touch8 Smart Pen is a stylus that works on non-touch screens. The $80 pen connects to a USB port, learns the corners of the screen and awakens the power of Touch. Our editors did have a little trouble getting it to work right, but it does show that something may be available soon to bring Touch to normal monitors. There's lots more coming up during the week, so stay tuned to our live streaming coverage at cnet.com/live and catch up on all the news at ces.cnet.com. From CES 2013 in Las Vegas, I'm Bridget Carey.
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