This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas saw more than 20,000 new products introduced to a market which is already crammed with gagets and novelties of all sorts. Mobiles, tablets, LCDs, LEDs, PCs, earphones, speakers, apps, maps and all things smart were launched, shown off and played with at the show.
One of this year’s highlights was the “paper” tablet, the world’s first flexible computer, according to the British developers Plastic Logic, which worked with partners Intel and Queen’s University Human Media Lab in Canada to develop the PaperTab.
The director of the lab, Roel Vertegaal, explained: “What we have is the world’s first paper computer. It is made out of an electrophoretic screen that’s about 10.7 inches big, which is made by Plastic Logic. And at the Human Media Lab we took the screen and integrated it with bend sensors, with tracking sensors that know where the screen is located, in order to make essentially a paper computer that mimics what you already do with paper on your desk, except now it’s electronic.”
It’s easy to make a bigger screen by putting two paper tabs together. Because the displays are thin, it’s very easy for users to draw or drag graphics across multiple tabs as you would with paper.
Hi-tech giant Samsung unveiled a prototype flexible smartphone, which could change the way we interact with technology. Imagine if you could bend your smartphone or unfold it to the size of a tablet.
Brian Berkeley, the Senior Vice President of Samsung San Jose Display Lab, said: “Our team was able to make a high-resolution display on extremely thin plastic instead of glass. So it won’t break even if it’s dropped and we can actually bend the screen.”
And if you’ve ever wanted your very own drone, then start saving for this one which was launched at the CES. It has a high-definition camera installed and can be controlled by a smartphone.
Julien Galou, the Product Manager at Parrot, said:
“The AR Drone 2.0 is a helicopter that you control with your smart phone or tablet, so iOS or Android. And basically, what you do is it’s sending a wifi signal, you download the free application and you simply control it by tilting your tablet and one direction or the other.”
Once the drone has returned, you can upload the videos to the web directly from the drone. It has a range of around 50 metres depending on the wifi available.
And while you’re busy with your drone, a Flower Power stick could be keeping an eye on your plants and updating you on how well they’re doing. Or how badly, of course.
Peter George, VP Sales and Marketing for Americas, Parrot, said: “So we’ve got our new Flower Power plant sensor. It basically is a Bluetooth smart low-energy sensor. It senses light, sunlight, temperature, moisture and soil as well as fertiliser in the soil. You can use it either indoors or outdoors. It will basically read each of those four sensors on a 15 minute interval basis.”
The app for iPad or tablet has a database of over 600 plants. And if you’re not sure what your plant is, you can search according to its colour and flowers. The Flower Stick will then update you with information about the health of your plant, and the environment it lives in.