CES 2013: Five things you missed (Day 1)
Companies from around the world took advantage of Press Day at the International CES convention in Las Vegas Monday, showing off their latest innovations and gadgets. Here are five CES debuts you might have missed:
1. FM Connect
It is now possible for drivers to interact with radio stations and their sponsors through a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone and an in-car touchscreen dashboard thanks to FM Connect, a technology developed by Detroit-based Livio. Safety should always be paramount when driving, and Livio wants to keep this the case while augmenting the riding and listening experience.
Livio CEO Jake Sigel gave the example of a radio call-in contest, which would normally be a bad thing to try to win while driving. Now, you can win with a press of a radio button via Livio's technology. All you need is Livio Connect and a Bluetooth-enabled device.
FM Connect is only one of the tools that Livio announced on Monday. Livio’s app partner Parkopedia is using Livio’s API to connect the Parkopedia app to in-car stereo systems, allowing drivers to find information about available parking without having to dangerously fumble with a phone while driving. AccuWeather is another useful information provider that Livio features, and their stable of app partners also includes traditional content providers like NPR, Rdio and GrooveShark.
Manage your family’s phone usage remotely with the MMGuardian Parental Control application.
MMGuardian Premium ($2.99/month after a 14-day free trial) allows parents to forbid texting while driving. It also has an anti-cyber bullying feature that allows parents to set a list of watch words. If one of the flagged words comes in a text, a copy of the message is automatically forwarded to the parent's phone.
A remote control feature allows parents to control, lock or locate their child's phone from their own, while the monitoring feature allows for viewing of app activity, removal of apps and reading of a kid's texts. The amount of time kids can use the phone can be limited using the app, and parents can set timeframes, like school hours, for disallowing phone use.
- 3. Samsung F8000Samsung introduced its sexy new top-of-the-line LED TV, the F8000. It features a bezel under a quarter inch and screen sizes up to 75 inches. It is the first TV with a quad core processor, which is 3x faster than 2012 models.
The TV uses S-Recommendation technology, which allows searching for shows, movies or actors via a natural speaking voice, and its SmartHub organizes content into easily searchable categories.
Samsung also followed-up on its 2012 promise by releasing a 2013 Evolution Kit so compatible 2012 TVs can upgrade to many of the 2013 features. Samsung is also the first vendor to offer the new HEVC video compression codec, so it can deliver twice the video quality over the same bandwidth. Get a peek at the F8000 in action below.
Samsung also introduced a super-high definition ultra-HD 4K TV, which will run in sizes up to 110 inches. The knock on 4K TVs is that - like 3D TVs a couple of years ago - while the technology is cool, the lack of programming combined with a high price point makes 4K not-yet -- if ever -- desirable.
Speaking of 3D, Boulder, Colorado-based Limitless Computing showed off its new Vyzar augmented reality and 3D mobile visualization engine. Vyzar uses Limitless Computing's SiteSpace technology to allow viewing of imagined objects and structures over existing spaces. Suppose you wanted to envision how your dream house would look on a certain plot. SiteSpace and Vyzar would allow you to "see" the house constructed on the land of your choice. Educational virtual tours are another pragmatic use of the technology. See more below.