Technology Highlights from 2013 International CES

The 2013 International CES came to Las Vegas once again, and January’s consumer technology trade show had plenty of innovative gadgets, from 27-inch ‘table PCs’ to ‘smart forks’ that slow down speedy eaters. Here are just a few devices that caught our attention at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Tobii Technology
Tobii REX

altUsers of the Tobii Technology REX, a USB-connected peripheral, may want to be careful about rolling their eyes. REX, a device that can be placed on the base of a computer screen, relies on eye positioning for navigation, page management, and access to other screen content. The mouse can still be used while the eye-tracker handles movements.

Scanadu SCOUT

altOne company featured at CES wants you to check your health as often as you check your email. After being placed on a user’s temple, the palm-size SCOUT device from Scanadu reveals the person’s vital signs. Data can be uploaded to a smartphone app to determine pulse transit time, heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature, heart rate variability, and blood oxygenation. SCOUT alerts can be tailored to a family’s specific needs.

Parrot Flower Power

altFlower Power, a groovy wireless sensor at CES 2013, measures the needs of a plant, including sunlight, soil moisture, and temperature. The data is then relayed to the gardener, along with specific guidance: add fertilizer, move the plant to the shade, or provide more water, for example. Flower Power uses a database of thousands of plants to determine requirements and health checks.

Wahoo Fitness
Wahoo KICKR PowerTrainer

altThe KICKR PowerTrainer, a hit with the cyclists at CES 2013, provides a desired resistance via an iPhone cycling app. The indoor training product connects to the mobile device using Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+technology. Its flywheel is engineered to replicate a rider’s inertia on the road. The Wahoo Fitness tool works with popular training software such as Kinomap and TrainerRoad, and the device accurately measures power and speed.

Toyota Motor Corp./Audi AG
Lexus LS/Audi TT Pikes Peak

altToyota and Audi both showed off their latest iterations of self-driving car technology at this year’s event. To guide itself through unknown surroundings, Toyota’s Lexus LS sedan uses multiple sensors, 360-degree LIDAR, three high-definition color cameras, wheel sensors, and a GPS. In a CES demonstration, Audi used a smartphone app to call and park its self-piloting car. The Audi prototype features a small LIDAR and rotating laser that can be built into the front of the vehicle.

Moneual Smart Care System

The Moneual Smart Care System for the hearing impaired detects a wide range of noises and transmits the information through text alerts (“Ring Ring” or “Honk Honk,” for example). The watch applies UI/UX audio detection technology to determine the range of sounds, sending the data to the hearing- impaired through vibrations and a bright LED display.

Vuzix Smart Glasses M100

High-powered glasses may just be the new (augmented) reality. Vuzix Smart Glasses M100 shown at this year’s conference offer hands-free communication while linking users to the cloud. The product, worn like ordinary glasses, is a mini-computer running the Android operating system. The augmented- reality technology, featuring a built-in electronic display, allow users to check email, watch movies, record video in real time, and load apps that communicate with smartphones or tablets.