2012 CES & ICCE
Click on photos to enlarge - scroll down to see it all

CES is back to its "full size" of attendees, perhaps a signal that the economy is coming back.  CE sales are expected to be flat in most major markets, but growth is expected in the BRIC and other markets for an expected net growth in 2012.  Time will tell.

A common question is "See anything New?" followed by "What were this year's themes and trends?"
To answer the first question, see below.  While some people complain that there wasn't any really big news this year, we actually found more innovation this year than years past.  Take a look.  (If you want a peak into the future, see the ICCE section at the end)

Click on the photo to see it enlarged.  Links are in dark red

 An answer to the second question is in the works.


Also - See photos and comments from other CES & ICCE, CinemaCon(Showest ), CTIA, SCTE

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CES Pre-Show & Press Events
CES 2012 Ice Sculpture
This is perhaps the most unusual product seen at CES.  It is a $100 semiconductor chip called the ION 314 (other versions exist) that sequences DNA in about 1.5 hours!  OK, a few details were omitted - this chip is used once, and it plugs into a $50K machine about the size of a microwave oven and it doesn't sequence the complete DNA chain, but a healthy part of it (a complete sequence takes 8 hours).  But, it is relatively simple to use, versus existing optical-based systems.  Not your everyday consumer electronics, from
Life Technologies.  
Life Technologies
BodyMediaFit There is a trend towards mobile health monitors.  Here you were this  on your wrist and it transmits your vital signs to the Cloud via Sprint's mobile phone network.  It will be priced between $159 and $179, depending upon configuration.  No word on Sprint's cost.  Body Media Fit will be introducing this special wearable monitor in 2013. Zomm Zomm has another example of mobile health monitoring.  The small device ($199) on the left reads a variety of health monitoring devices via Bluetooth.  It then sends information to a smart phone for transmission to a "consierge" service ($15/month).  The phone's GPS and monitor info is used by the service to determine best course of action.  Sort of an "OnStar" for your body.
Nest (nest.com) is taking the thermostat to a new level.  It learns the best settings for your heater and air conditioner by the settings you specify manually, the room's thermal characteristics and sensors that detect if people are in the room.  The device's setting is controlled by a dial on its edge.  You can get efficiency charts, too.  So popular that they are sold out after introducing it just a few months ago at $249.
Nest .Cute iPhone accessory from GoPano - it lets you take 360 degree photos AND videos.  You view them live or afterwards.  Swipe your finger left and right to turn your view.  This was introduced a couple of months ago.  The "Micro" for the iPhone costs $79.  They have a larger version for SLR cameras and video cameras that costs between $700 and $900, depending upon version. GoPano
Autonomy Aurasma
HP bought a company called Autonomy (with a little controversy) last year.  Buried in this company was a technology they call Aurasma.  You use your phone (or iPad) and point it at something.  If the app recognizes it, the image is replaced with related video.  Here the magazine cover is replaced with a video of the car seen on that cover.  You can mate all kinds of images to all kinds of videos.  Sort of spooky to see it in action.  Currently, this is a free app, but it may not be forever. Sculpteo Speaking of spooky - here is an unusual application of 3D printing from Sculpteo.  The vase that you see was made by using the profile of the person's face, shown below.  It takes 1 hour to print 1 cm (high) of the final product.  You can order a vase like the one you see for about $300 (takes about 3 weeks).  Smaller items are $70. 
Social Networking has invaded Radar Detectors with this
Escort Live product.  The radar detector communicates with your smart phone to send the lcoation of radar speed traps when they are detected.  The phone's app reads the same database and tells you if you are approaching a speed trap that others have found.  $139 for the device and the service is currently free during 2012. 
Escort Live Another use for your iPhone or iTouch - here we have the Woogie from Griffin Technologies.  Simple app lets you play with Woogie's face and expressions.  $30.  It has been said that babies know how to use an iPad, but after playing with one they try to use the same finger jestures on magazines and photos, too.   Griffin Technologies Woogie 
Interactive Toy Concepts  A couple of more spy-on-you toys here - these are from
Interactive Toy Concepts.  The car is $99 and the helicopter is $120.  Both use Wi-Fi direct to your iPhone or Android to let you see videos of what they are spying on.  Available September 2012.
Power2U  We started the day with DNA sequencing, and end it with a USB charger built into your wall, so you don't need to worry about that little power adapter.  This comes from
Other World Computing and they call this UL approved product Power2U.  $27. Life's little pleasures.
For the past many years mfrs have shown early OLED TVs.  OLED offers many advantages, but it has suffered from various problems concerning life and reliability.  It is now getting robust enough to show in sizes large enough for your living room.  This one from LG is 55 inches and has a 4mm bezel and weighs half the weight of LCD TVs.  More on this later.  LG OLED TV  Expect a lot of Smart Phones this year, as this is still one of the growth segments in Consumer Electronics.  The unit on the right is LG's Spectrum, which works with Verizon's service.  A unique feature is the ability to work in two modes - business and personal, so that your business phone can be used for personal stuff without getting your VP of IT mad at you.  It also is marching along with a 720x1280 HD IPS LCD display.  LG Spectrum Phone 
Sharp 80 inch LCD TV  Sharp wanted to show just how big their 80 inch LCD/LED TV is by mounting it above a car.  Actually, I have to share that this display actually made the TV seem smaller.  Nice try.  The TV itself is nice, with matrix LED backlighting and their four-color LCD filter (Quattron) and their "Smart Central" Internet functionality.  But wait, they will soon be showing an 85 inch TV with 8K resolution (this is 16x the number of pixels of an HDTV).  Sharp 20 portable TV  Years ago my dad was watching TV in the car while my mom was shopping.  It was a 4 inch battery powered TV.  Reception was poor, so he started to drive the car back and forth to get a better picture.  Now, with Sharp's new 20 inch LCD TV you can move your SUV back and forth.  This TV has a built in battery and even has a handle.  They showed larger TVs, but these were powered by an off-board battery (and probably an inverter) hidden in a pouch that the person wore.
Are you the CEO of a big company?  Put a Sharp Aquos Board in the boardroom where you used to have a screen and projector.  It uses a special electronic pen to let you poke at buttons and draw circles & arrows, etc.  Might also be easier to clean if someone picks up a permanent magic marker and writes on the screen. It is interesting to speculate how long it will take to get prices low enough that more than fancy board rooms can afford this -
five years? 
Sharp Aquos Board  Do you need to transfer a file from one person to another across the Internet, but worry about security? Put one of these iTwin USB devices in one PC and the other iTwin in the second PC.  The file is encrypted useing AES256 and is sent across where it is decrypted.  $99 for a pair.

Samsung 55" OLED TV  Of course, not to be outdone by LG, Samsung rolled out their own OLED TV - this one is also 55 inches.  It is their top of the line, so this one has all the features, including gesture control, voice control, facial recognition (so it goes to your own home page), 3D, all kinds of applications, and the ability to upgrade both the hardware and the software in the future. If you look closely, you may notice the real news is not OLED, but something more subtle -  that Samsung has taken the TV to a new level - it is now more of a platform than a TV.  This platform happens to include a TV, but it opens up a wide new way of thinking in applications, content and services. Samsung Angry Birds  As TVs morph into a big iPad and game machine type platform, complete with jesture and voice controls, Samsung is making sure that their apps, content and services story will be robust.  This includes Angry Birds games and annimated cartoons (free), but it includes a much wider set of offerings, with more to come.  It used to be that you only got shows for the home from the TV networks - now everyone, including Samsung, is racing to create what amounts to their own "network".  Sounds exciting perhaps, but we are now entering a multi-ring circus that will take a little time to take shape.  Some have called this "Over the Top" TV, but to do so misses the point.
Panasonic's executive is holding a Skype appliance that makes it easier to make video calls.  Not too much was said about this product.  Panasonic Skype appliance  Panasonic continues to emphasize 3D.  As you may know, the only way to get Avatar 3D is via Panasonic.  Now they are teaming with NBC to shoot the London Olympics in 3D, with over 200 hours of coverage planned.  Seen on stage are various NBC and Panasonic execs.  Panasonic NBC and Olympics 
Panasonic and MySpace TV 
Myspace TV
Panasonic drew the most attention with the announcement by Myspace's Justin Timberlake and Tim Vanderhook about Myspace TV, to be found on Panasonic TVs.  The idea is to integrate the social network experience into the TV viewing experience.  One can share clips, see trends, chat, etc.   Panasonic 20 inch 4K LCD  Panasonic talked about, but did not show, a new 4K display in a 20 inch format.  So far everyone else has been showing off 4K displays in typically large sizes.  By coming out with this display Panasonic hopes to open up commercial and medical applications that need extreme resolution in more of a workstation format. 
Qualcomm is moving into eReaders with their Mirasol tablet.  They offer it with a service called Kyobo in Korea, and are moving into China with a company called Shanda.  The reader is a reflective color display with LED side-lighting that adjusts to ambient lighting conditions.  Batteries las for about 3 weeks of typical use.  Qualcomm Mirasol  A company called Basis sells a product called the band (mybasis.com) that monitors your heart rate, steps taken, skin resistance and body & ambient temperature.  From this, they can tell you all kinds of things about your body, including how long you've been sleeping last night.  $199.  Basis Band 
Peel  A company called Peel sells this little device that helps to take commands from your iPhone or Android and control your TV, etc.  Thing is, the path is via Wi-Fi to ZigBee to IR, making it a bit convoluted. They say it makes their system more flexible.  $99.  Striiv  This is a small device about the size of a business card that has an accelerometer and altimeter in it so that it can track your walking. $99.  Fancy graphics caught my eye, but I'm not sure if all of the value is there. 
Fujitsu sells this Arrows tablet in Japan.  Note that it is operating under water.  Several phones in Japan can do the same thing, solving a problem for some butterfingers.  Fujitsu Arrows  Load up the Fisher Price Kid Tough DVR with cartoons and let your 3 year old watch them on long trips.  It is meant to be easy to use and rugged enough to withstand kid abuse.  $150 in June 2012.  Fisher Price Kid Tough DVR 
Tosy Sket Robo  Tosy makes this little "robot" that sits there and draws all kind of pictures with a pen.  Sort of reminds me of the old HP plotters that moved the pen around the paper (instead of moving the paper under the pen). They call it Sket Robo and it will be about $50 in September.  Tosy Disco Robo  Winning the prize for cuteness, the same company Tosy will also offer the Disco Robo.  It hears the music and dances to it.  If I get the time, I'll post a video.  Available June for about $40. 
Native Union sells this little "Play" device that lets you record up to 3 minutes of video.  You slap it on your refridgerator and a light blinks to tell others you've recorded a message on it.  Press the play button and you see the video message.  $60.  Native Union Play  Stick a micro-SD card itno one of these characters and you have a USB drive.  I have Yoda.  $13 from Mimoco  Mimoco 
Digital Storm  OK over-clockers - now you can have a water and thermal-electric cooled PC.  Water cools the graphics cards while the thermal electric cools the CPU so you can run your PC at greater then 5 GHz clock rates.  Digital Storm sells versions that cost between $3K and $10K, depending upon how fast you can twitch.  Sensics Smart Goggles  This helmet from Sensics is called the Smart Goggle.  It provides two 1280x1024 displays for 3D vision & stereo sound, coupled with a 6-axis sensor and 11 video cameras so that it can read your hand jesters and position. It has GPS, 3G/4G, HDMI, Wi-Fi, BT, USB, SD. It is meant to be the ultimate in virtual reality head gear.  No price yet, but they hope to get it out by the end of this year. 
Everyone was wondering why Canon hasn't yet come out with a G13 camera to replace the G12.  Well, Canon intends to keep the G12 around a while creating a new platform called the G1X.  This has a 1.5" 14 megapixel sensor.  It offers perhaps 5 F stops better low light performance.  Many things are similar to the G12, but optical zoom is only 4X.  Available in February for $800  Canon G1X  This little toy ball rolls around the floor based on the commands and jesters you send with your phone.  Orbotix offers this as their Sphero (gosphero.com) for $129.  Orbotix 
iRobot AVA  iRobot showed off their AVA robot.  It is not a real product yet, though a version of this is being made for a medical application (telepresence for the doctor).  It uses 3D imaging, laser and sonar to navigate and avoid bumping into objects and people.  People can interact with it with voice, gestures and touch.  The height adjusts up and down as needed. It doesn't do windows.  FitBit Aria  Now that the holiday season is over, it is time for all of the diet plans to come out.  To help you along we have FitBit's Aria. This is a Wi-Fi scale that sends your weight off to be tracked and charted.  No more sneaking off to weigh yourself in private.  You can buy this in April for $129. 
CES - Day 1
Sony will be introducing  their Tablet P this Spring.  Its unique design folds 5 inch displays in two.  You unfortunately see the seam between the two halves, but it generally is OK for web pages.  Movies, when viewed, are seen on just the top display. It is also a bit thick when folded.  It will work with AT&T's "4G" network, and so final pricing will be set by them.  Sony tablet P

Sony tablet P 
This Sony camcorder projects video that it has captured through a mico projector built into its viewer.  This year's model can project a 100" image from 10 feet away (in a dark room).  The photo on top was taken in a bright area, so it doesn't look as impressive.  $1299.  Sony HDR-PJ 710V 
Sony Crystal LED  Unfortunately, trying to show image quality on a webpage is not easy to do, so trust me when I say that there is a noticeable difference between these two displays.  Sony is showing a prototype LED display that is brighter and faster.  Unlike the so-called LED TV's at the store that are really LCD TV with LED backlighting, this display is a direct view LED design.  Each pixel consists of three LEDs (RGB).  No avaiablility.  Sony 3D Bino  This is a binoculars device that records 3D HD from the images you are looking at.  It comes in 10x and 20x zoom.  Images are stabilized and autofocus because you are really looking at a pair of small LCD displays.  This fact becomes evident in low light when the viewer switches to a low light mode.  This was introduced last August and costs $1500 - $2000.  Popular with coaches that capture plays for analysis after the game, and with bird watchers with lots of money. 
Sony Style in action here with a set of Wi-Fi speakers.  The "NS" line costs $200 to $400.The newest models come out in July.  Sony NS500  Sony previewed a prototype version of this Personal 3D viewer last year.  They have since put it on the market and you can buy one for $799.  Sony 3D viewer 
Sony Google Remote

Sony Google Remote 
The photos to the left are the front and back views the remote control designed for Google TV.  A couple of features that you can't see are a microphone for voice recognition and commands, plus gyros for gaming.  Sony Google TV  Here is a screenshot from Google TV showing some of the apps.  Google TV is supposed to be easier and more useful this year, but unless you have the inclination to deal with all of its features, you'll probably still not find it worth your time and money.  If you think you do, however, you can get it via a dedicated box or built into one of Sony's Blu-ray players. 
Panasonic spent a little time promoting their interest in 3D yesterday.  Here are some 3D cameras to match.  The new DMC-3D1 on the left might be the best choice for people that want to try out the idea - it goes for $499.  Panasonic 3D cameras  This is a close-up of the Skype appliance that was shown yesterday by Panasonic.  The reason that not much was said about it is that it is still a prototype.  Panasonic Skype 
Panasonic Chrysler  You might not know it, but Panasonic has an automotive division, and here they are showing the control panel that they designed for Chrysler (another one exists for GM).  Unlike the Microsoft Sync found in Fords, this panel is an understated and more traditional control for your radio, navigation (Garmen) and HVAC, etc.  Panasonic Myspace

Panasonic Myspace 
More on Panasonic's Myspace TV.  The top picture shows a screenshot of Myspace TV while the viewer votes for various shows.  These votes are collected and everyone gets to see the results.
The second photo shows how their application can listen to the audio from the TV and recognize what show it is.  It then pulls up appropriate content from the web that matches what is on TV. 
Here is another shot of Samsung's 55 inch OLED TVs  Samsung OLED  The product on the right is the Samsung Galaxy Note.  It has a 5.3 inch AMOLED display.  I put my iPhone next to it for size comparison.  The note has the usual features stuffed into it.  It uses Android Gingerbread, but will be upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich. It has a small stylus that you use for writing (like a pen).  This stylus has a button that lets you invoke certain features.  Samsung Galaxy Note 
Sharp 8k  While everyone else is proud of their 4K TVs (even though you can't take real advantage of all that resolution yet), Sharp showed off their 8K display.  Have to admit that it looked really good.  Makes scenes more life-like.  This is just a prototype, so don't throw away your old 60" TV yet.  Mircosoft at CES

Intel at CES
Last century I remember when Comdex was still king, but both Microsoft and Intel decided to start showing at CES, too.  Their first booths were mere edited versions of their Comdex booths.  They evolved to be more CES oriented (and Comdex died).  Now, with Microsoft announcing that they won't be at CES next year pundits are saying CES will go away, too.  Not so fast.  While I think that Intel will finally figure out that they are wasting their money at CES, the industry on the whole continues to evolve and CEA seems to be trying to evolve with it.  There is some risk that CES will be too diffused, as it is certainly too big for many, but don't expect it to go away. 
My son sometimes packs up his game console and goes over to his friends house to play games.  With the Gaems G155 you have everything you need in one carrying case.  There is even room for batteries.  Microsoft is going to sell a bundle build around this.  Under $300.  Gaems G155  This "clock" from Gear4, called the Renew Sleep Clock, claims to be able to wake you up at the best time during your sleep cycle.  Thus, you have a more restful full sleep.  Some kind of sensor that was explained to be a type of radar measures your breathing patterns and movements in bed without you having to wear any sensors.  It tracks your sleep and reports a number of parameters to you.  If you are in a deep sleep it will wait a bit before trying to wake you up.  The iPhone/Touch is used to show sleep reports and play your music. Available February for $199.  Gear4 Renew Sleep Clock 
Feedair  This little device from Feedair scrolls messages of your choice (stocks, weather, text msgs, etc) on the tiny display. A gift for the person that has everything. Available in March for $50.    Kogeto Dot  360 degree video from your phone must be hot because here is another product that lets you capture it on your iPhone now ($79) and Android later (2nd half of 2012).  This product is a bit more compact then the first one, but does present a challenge in holding the phone the right way. 
Kogeto calls this the Dot
Smart Cards have never taken off in the U.S. like they have elsewhere.  Nagra is hoping this ID Security card has better traction.  Among other things, for online purchases you can use a code that appears on the small display in the upper right corner to buy things instead of sending your credit card info over the Internet.  Each time you use it a different code appears.  Typing a challenge code into the card is part of the process.  About 20 banks around the world, but not yet in the U.S. are using it so far.  Nagra ID security  How would you like to pour a little water into a device and get power to charge your phone in return? The Power Trekk from
Signa Chemistry does just that.  In the top photo you will see small round cartridges that extract hydrogen from water and then another converter uses the hydrogen to generate power.  One cartridge cost $4 and is the equivalent of 6 AA batteries (5 W Hrs.).  Expect to see this at REI in May.
If you need more, their DPS300 can use the same fuel cell techniqaue to generate 800 W Hrs.  The cartridge is a bit larger, but it outputs 110V, 48V, 12V and power for USB devices. 
Signa Chemistry Power Trekk 

CES - Day 2
Taking a quick pass through the "South Hall" of the Las Vegas Convention Center where one can expect to find the unexpected (Big brands like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and LG are in the "Central Hall").   
The South Hall is two levels, each larger than an aircraft carrier, but with more people.
nvidia   This little toy for the person that has the money ($30,000) was seen in the NVIDIA booth.  It has it all - screens are in 3D, big sound, seat rumbles and moves.  It is said that customers include race car drivers and CEOs - wonder what the common trait is...     YC Cable Riimote YC Cable has this $79 remote control for your TV, iPhone or iPad, etc.  It links to an iPhone via Bluetooth, for example. The TV remote learns from your existing remote.  It is about the size of a regular remote. 
Seal Shield sells this Flexboard SSF106 keyboard for $29.99.  Unlike some similar keyboards, key contacts use four points to increase reliability and tactile feel.  Rolls up to a relatively small size and unrolls into a full sized keyboard.  Seal Shield Flexboard  This little tool puts 3D printing within grasp of a hobbyist.  At $1799 ($1999 for two color)
 Maker Bot Industries will sell their Replicator.  It takes standard STL files and makes a 3D print within hours.  It uses ABS or PLA plastic, so it can be fairly durable.  The plastic comes in spools (15 colors) that cost about $20.  an object roughly 9 x 6 x 8 inches can be made on their newest model just introduced.  To to thingiverse.com to see what people have made, or download free files and make it yourself. 
Maker Bot Industries Replicator 
VuPoint Solutions EZ-Secure  Plug the small USB device into your PC and carry the little dongle with you.  If you walk away from your PC the screen is locked and unusable, even if you unplug the USB device.  VuPoint Solutions sells this EZ-Secure for $30.  Victorinox  Last century, one of my engineers asked me for my approval to buy a 25 Megabyte disc - it was the size of a dishwaher, but cost more.  Now we have Victorinox and their Swiss Army Knife with One Terabyte of encrypted storage on a USB stick.  Prices are still more than a dishwasher - $3,000. 
Genius has put a presentation mouse and laser pointer into a ring.  Now you can make sweeping arm jesters on stage and drop the clicker/laser.  Adjustable mouse resolution between 250 and 1200 dpi.  Available in April for $70.  Genius Ring Presenter  Blue Microphone will be selling this Tiki microphone for $59 this Spring.  It has DSP circuitry so that it cancels out background noise (including clicks from your keyboard) as you talk.  There is a an extender cable if you want to put the mike somewhere else.  Blue Microphone Tiki 
Gild Design Factory Solid Bumper  Forget those plastic and rubber bumpers for your iPhone or Android.  You need a solid metal bumper from
Gild Design Factory.  It is hogged out of a single piece of metal and is worth the $100 they charge, if you are so inclined. 
MWE Lab Emperor 1510  Now that Day Trading is back in style, you'll need this Emperor 1510 from MWE Lab.  The arm with three displays raises by motor so you can get in and out of the countour chair.  Any day trader should be able to afford  this at $6200. 
3DEE Central is building a library of 3D content for iPhones and notebooks.  They have 150 titles so far.  Since your device may not support 3D, they sell lens kits for various devices, including the iPhone 4S, seen here.  The lens fits into a pocket when not used, or on the screen if used.  $30.  But, remember the Fisher Price ViewMaster?  Turns out they are going to put their library of 3D photos into a library that you will be able to view on your iPhone using this 3DEE Central lens!  3DEE Central  Decades ago I was on a micromouse team that made an automous "mouse" that successfully navigated a big maze, winning a regional 1st place. Funny thing, it used no electronics, only a few microswitches (true story).
Well, now XYBotyx is about to sell their little platform that you plug your iPhone into.  This device then uses proximity sensors to autonomosly run around the floor, etc.  If you have a second iPhone, you can use it to control the device, and even see what the first iPhone's camera sees.  $111.11 in February. 
CES - Day 3 
Snapkeys Here we have a rather unique keyboard - the top photo shows how the letters are grouped by their graphic characteristics - see if you can figure it out.  Below you see the keyboard on a tablet in its normal mode, which lets you see more of the page you are looking at.  By tapping the four symbols you can type out words because it sort of works like T9 does.  Snapkeys is trying to license this, and Philips has put it on their TV remotes. Valor Mybat Everyone has cell phone covers, and many look similar.  Valor's Mybat brand of cell phone covers are truly unique and very artful.  Here are just a couple of designs from dozens that they have.  The ones in the photo go for around $25-30, but they have some that go for $10 to above $100, depending upon materials and design. 
Here is another unique design for holding your stuff.  Up close it looks like a spiker from a Sci-Fi movie.  The legs articulate and can grab hold of things with tiny claws.  A clip or camera mount lets it hold things like tablets, phones and cameras.  Comes in two versions - the Life Phorm ($69) and Life Phorm Pro ($149, fancier materials).  Available in April from Lethal Protection. Lethal Protection This might appeal to tailgaters and seniors in their motor homes - Dish Network now has the Tailgater antenna for $350.  It weighs just 10 poinds, so you whip it out and place on a flat surface.  5 to 10 minutes later you are watching all of your Dish TV channels.  The antenna points to the satelite automatically, so you don't have to align it yourself.  It gets its power from the Dish receiver, so you need one of these, too. Dish Tailgater
JVC GY-HMQ10 With all the big TV mfrs showing off their 4K TVs, you'll need to upgrade your camcorder.   JVC has a pro-sumer 4K camera called the GY-HMQ10, and you can get one for about $5K.  If the price is shocker, remember that it wasn't that long ago when HD camcorders were this price. Nikon Heading to the "PMA" (Photo Marketing Assoc) side tomorrow.  In the meantime, here are a few booth-babes, courtesy of Nikon.

(post event note - all of the major camera mfrs. were only at the main convention center and not at PMA.  Nonetheless, there was some interesting items at PMA - see below)
This vinyl player is actually hanging on the wall.  A small cap holds the record in place.  Runs on batteries and has a built in speakers.  ION Audio sells this fun product for under $50. ION Audio Vertical Vinyl I thought the previous 3D printer was unique - now I find another one from Cubify.  They have several sizes, but this one can make an object 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches out of ABS.  $1299 in May. $50 for a reel of ABS. Other printers can handle  other materials, such as nylon, and make bigger parts. They also have a 5 color (Black, White & primary colors) printer based on HP inkjet technology that prints full color objects.  Cubify

The glasses to the left let you view 720p stereo video through transparent lenses.  That is, if you wear these glasses you can still see around you.  The image is sent to the display area using a holographic light pipe technique.  You can see the image area in the lower photo - it is the small frosty area. Images are full color and 500 nits, so it is viewable in daylight. A military version will be made 3rd quarter that costs several thousand dollars, but a consumer version is planned for 2013 for under $700 by Vuzix Lumus Ltd Just around the corner was Lumus Ltd. with their version of a 720p glasses system.  It uses a different approach based on reflective optics, but it works, too.  They don't sell the glasses, but plan to sell the optics for about $100/eye in 2013.
What you can't see in this photo is that the dog's nose sticks out of the frame a few inches.  Talk about "glasses-free 3D".  You send your ordinary 2D photo to Casio and they return a 3D rendition of it.  Casio uses a full color 3D printer of their own.  They call it "Digital Painting" and it will be available first in Japan this Spring.  It costs between $100 and $500, depending upon complexity and depth.  Casio Digital Painting Simple little gift idea for the car buff - USB Car Mice sells these for just $4. USB Car Mice
Tosy Yup, that's Justin Bieber holding Tosy's new mRobo Ultra Bass robot.  You load up its memory with up to 500 songs and let it loose to dance around and play your music. Available this Fall for under $200.

If you want to see a video of this event, it might be available if you click here
Trikke 36V Lite This is the 36V Lite from Trikke.  Look closely and you will see she is standing on two separate areas.  This is battery powered and it can go up to 17 MPH and has a range of 20 miles.  The two legs fold up so that you can carry it onto the train or bus.  It weighs 40 poinds.  It was introduced a couple of years ago.  You can get one for $1300.
Moshi makes stylish accessories.  Here we have a Mac Book cooler (works on Air 13,  Pro 13, 15, 17) that folds up into a compact size. A small magnet pulls out the USB cord for you.  Keeps your Mac Book 12 degrees C cooler.  It is called the Zefyr 2, and sells for $79. Moshi Zefyr 2 Qualcomm announced a new X-Prize that would be nice to see someone win - make something inspired by the Star Trek Tricorder that can diagnose 15 diseases, as well as read several common vital life readings. Further, it must be a portable device that a consumer can operate themselves without the help of a medical professional.  There is a $10 million prize. 
Details are at - click here
Qualcomm X-prize
CES - Day 4 

This year PMA (Photo Marketing Assoc) was at the same time as CES

CamOneTec Pelicam Want to own your own drone?  CamOne Tec has their Pelicam that you can get for $1500.  It uses a 5.8GHz wireless link to control the electic glider and send you HD videos.  The onboard cam pans to match your head's movement, so it is like being in the plane if you are wearing a head-mounted viewer. It has GPS, so you know its position, speed and altitude.  Portrait Weavers Portrait Weavers can take your digital photo file and return a full color rug.  It uses 6 color threads (B,W,R,G,B,Y) and can make a rug as large as 5.5 by 10 feet.  The one shown here is smaller (perhaps 3 x 4') and would cost under $160 (rod and delivery included).  You can't buy the machine - it is two stories high and weighs 22 tons.
This machine you can buy for just over $6K from
Brooke International.  It makes jigsaw puzzles from your photographs. Puzzles can be as large as 12 x 18 inches.  brookcutters.com
Brooke International Jigsaw Puzzle Maker You can buy this machine, too, for $50K from CNCA Laser Co.  It is the 3D Photo Crystal maker.  It takes your picture and then makes the 3D laser cut images that you see in various plastic blocks seen in the top photo.  A small one takes 20 seconds to make, while a larger one perhaps 4 minutes. CNCA Laser 3D Photo Crystal
Custom SLR Split Strap and C-Loop HD

Custome SLR
If you are a camera enthusiast or professional, you may notice how standard camera straps just don't seem to cut it.  They can be uncomfortable to wear and the camera is held in a less-than-optimal way.  Custom SLR has a couple of solutions.  First, their camera strap, called the Camera Split Strap is designed to fit better on the shoulder. They make them for Notebooks bags, too (an I can attest to its comfort). $27.95.
Then they make the C-Loop HD which lets you attach the strap to the camera's tripot mount.  If you have a large lens you can use the more balanced center point.  It make it easier to "run and gun", if you know what I mean - $34.95.
GigaPan Epic 100 If you do a lot of panorama shots by stitching multiple shots together, you should get the Epic 100 (or other models for larger cameras) from GigaPan.  You set the upper left and lower right corners of your shot, or set it to 360 degrees.  Set the camera to full zoom and start the shot.  It servos to each shot and presses the shutter.  They have stitching software, but you can use your own.  $499 ($899 for cameras up to 10 pounds).
Lensbaby has a number of interesting special effects lenses for your camera.  They have just about every lens mount supported, but more are coming out in April.  The Composer, seen in lower-middle lets you put just a portion of the photo in focus.  Other lenses include fisheye, flair, etc.  The Composer is $250 to $300, and other lenses are $40 to $180. Lensbaby Composer The German company Minox might be remembered for the spy camera.  Now you can buy a 5.1 Megapixel digital version (DSC for $230).  Or, if you want a classic, get their gold plated DCC modle for $350.  See the penny for size comparison. Minox DCC 5.1 and DSC
ScrapWalls ScrapWalls lets you sent in a bunch of pictures and in a few days they will return a mosaic in the shape you wish (they have 52 shapes, with more coming).  A 20 x 30 inch version costs just $30, while smaller ones like 11 x 14" are $15.  Tabelz Tabelz sells a tripod attachment that can hold your notebook or tablet while you out in the field,etc.  Prices range from $90 to $130, depending upon size.  The camera mount that you see is their newest product, and a price has not been set.
Photographers may recognize the Lenspen on the left, used to clean your lenses with a carbon filter element ($9.95).  Now there is the Sidekick for your
Smart Phone ($14.95) that is good for 150 cleanings (replacement cartridges $5). I tried it and it works pretty good. 
Lenspen This speaker is about an inch and a half on a side and sounds bigger.  It is called the Z-Cube and is from Zimri for $49.99.  It will be available soon at major retail stores.  It has a battery and runs 4hrs on a charge, so it won't drain your iPod.  If power comes from the USB, it runs forever. Zimri Z-Cube
Hua Xing String Instruments - Sound Post This is also a speaker.  It actually sounds quite nice.  A subwoofer is hidden the post and tweeters in the violen.  It will be available at the end of 2012 from Hua Xing String Instruments and is called the Sound Post.  They have other versions, too. Springactive Exoskeleton I am told that there are more injuries that solders get from carrying heavy backpacks than other forms of injury.  So, enter the Exoskeleton from Springactive.  It makes carrying a 90 poind backpack feel like less than 30 pounds.  If it is a 50 pound backpack, you don't feel anything.  Works for walking, not running or climbing.  This is 3 to 5 years out.
We are now moving into the "serious audio" section.  This industry values uncompromised performance, wrapped in tradition.

Here we have the WM60 BAL AVR from Torus Power.  Look at the before and after scope shots (1 volt per vertical division, 20 kHz horizontal) to see how it cleans up the AC going into your equipment.  It handles a 60 Amp load and filters out everything from 2 kHz to 1 MHz.  It has very very low impedence, so it can take an instance peak load better than traditional power conditioners.  $8200.
Torus Power WM60 BAL AVR With all that power you need a power cord.  Forget Monster Cable (no offense) - here is the Gutwire SP-CE AC Cable.  One cable puts you back $1979. Cutwire SP-CE AC Cable
Audio Power Labs 833TNT True audiophiles adhere to the warm quality that tubes produce.  At the extreme you dedicate one "Mono Block" amplifier to each channel.  Audio Power Labs makes this 200 Watt Mono Block called the 833 TNT.  You need a 20 Amp dedicated circuit per channel.  The tubes come from China and are normally used for power transmitters.  A set of two is sold for $175,000. Music Hall MMF 7.1 Of course, you don't want to play CDs on all this, but vinyl. 
Music Hall just introduced this nice turntable called the MMF 7.1.  This is not one of those radical platters that has a 4 inch high solid metal platter, but is a more stylish product. It uses a carbon fiber arm and isolates all of the motors. $1495.
ICCE (International Conference on Consumer Electronics)
If you are not familiar with ICCE, think of it as the R&D counterpart to the Marketing done at CES.
Why would you care? Because the R&D folks are inventing the stuff that you will see in future CES events,
only they are talking about it now.
ICCE is run by the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society
Dr. Hiro Kawamoto is a Life Fellow of the IEEE.  He was the original ICCE Chairman 30 years ago.  He has worked for Panaonic, RCA David Sarnoff Research, Sony, Sharp and Silicon Image.  He has followed display (LCD) technology, and he gave a short talk on the state of displays.  You might find a couple of his slides surprising.  One of his points is that even though LCDs were nominally invented in the U.S. (there is some dispute here), it quickly centered in Japan, then went to Korea & Taiwan, and now is in China - but, China may only be the center for LCDs for 5 more years before it moves onto another lower cost country.

This multitouch technology was shown at CES next to the Sony booth, but I did not think it was anything new until they showed it at ICCE.  It uses an array of IR cameras behind the LCD display to pick up placement of muliple finger touches.  Most multitouch displays use a capacitance-based sensing system.  MultiTouch Ltd says their system is has faster response and demonstrated it by showing a simple game (top photo) that required quick action (it is sort of a hockey game)   Multitouch Multi Taction

Imagine watching a sports event on your TV and you decide to look around a bit - that is, as if you were sitting in the stadium and you turned your head.  This paper hints at some of what is needed to make this possible - click here Have you noticed those ads that show people that are watching 3D TV?  The ad sometimes shows these people trying to grab something in mid-air that is not there.  Samsung is working on a way to let you "touch" things that are "floating" above the screen.  You point to a button, for example, and the screen interprets your intention as wanting to press a 3D button.  They describe some of their work click here
Current touch panels do not detect how hard you are pressing, unless you are using an active pen.  Further, if you are using a stylus to do handwriting, your palm might cause errors because the display detects your palm as another point.  A group in Taiwan showed a display that uses a capacitive-based sensor that can detect how hard you are pressing and avoid errors from your palm.  To demonstrate it, they showed someone "playing" a "piano" where pressing the piano keys harder made a difference.  Another demo showed a finger painting a thick and thin line, depending upon the finger's pressure.
click here 
Converting a 2D picture to a 3D image without any manual help seems like magic - and, it doesn't always work well.  The wave of TVs with 2D-to-3D features is an example early techniques with dubious results.  While TVs can take advantage of inter-frame information to help determine depth, how does one do 2D-to-3D for a 2D photograpgh?  This paper shows how a number of techniques can be combined to produce fairly good results for many types of images -
 click here

Dr. Martin Kienzle of IBM Research talked about the approach they are taking for Cloud-based Consumer electronics and services.  They see their role in the Cloud infrastructure where systems are quickly taxed once such systems become common and data volumes and demand for quick response times increase.  In typical fashion, IBM manages to describe the challenges in a way that makes them look very complex, and of course IBM is there to help companies sort it all out and tackle them.

There is a very good chance that you have used the technology that these three men (center) helped to invent.  (left - right) Gary Sullivan, Gisle Bjontegaard, and Thomas Wiegand are this year's winner of the IEEE Masaru Ibuka award, given to people with outstanding contributions to Consumer Electronics.  They invented what you might know as H.264, aka MPEG4/A - a video compression technique that is roughly twice as efficient as MPEG2 (used in standard DVDs).  Why do you care? It means less bits used to send good video, so your smart phone bill is smaller and you get more stuff in your Blu-ray disc. H.264 is now in over 1 billion devices.  The two slide show the history of this standard, and the relative performance of various video compression standards.  The industry is now working on the next generation, H.265 aka HEVC.
The Medical Tricorder (see X-Prize earlier) will need quick ways to measure things like allergies.  One group has a new method that uses a smaller blood sample and a portable low cost electronic tool to measure a marker that indicates allergies.  A sensor converts the presense of the marker into a frequency shift, which is then easily measured.  In the top chart, this new method is the right column, while the first column is the currently most popular measurement approact.  The cost of this new system is $100.
click here

Imagine you are on a treadmill or standing in fromt of Customs at the airport.  You may not know it, but a video camera is measuring your heart rate.  This is not yet deployed, but it is being worked on.  This system measures the RGB components of three different areas of your face (your face can be moving around) and determines your heart rate after about 30 seconds (they are working to get it faster).
click here
Red-Green color blindness is a common problem in males. A method has been developed that modifies the image on a TV such that important red and green objects can be more easily distinguished, yet it is low cost enough to entertain putting into consumer products.  The images to the left give you a hint on how well it works.
click here
Cars are getting smarter at helping you to avoid bumping into objects.  Radar is often used to determine the distance of close objects.  Cameras can do some of this, too, but they present a different set of challenges.  This paper describes a way to deal with pedestrians that may be in your car's path.
click here