Consumer Electronics Show 2013

Photo courtesy of Kingston

It’s that time of year again – the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013. This year’s running theme seemed to be about the smarter and bigger TV, sprinkled with a little bit of tablets, laptops/ultra-books, smartphones, and a plethora of accessories and cool little gadgets. You’ll be reading about these here in coming weeks, but below are the few worth noting (in no particular order).

* Bigger, Better TVs: For starters, you may recall LG’s 55-inch OLED TV that I wrote about from last year’s CES. Well, after all this time, LG finally announced it will retail for approximately $12,000 and will be available for purchase in March. On top of that, last year’s TV rage was all about 3-D. For this year, all the big manufacturers made announcements for Ultra HD (UHD) TVs to OLED to IGZO. The top OLED TVs (none of which will be available for mass production anytime soon) seemed to be LG’s EA9800 55-incher (similar to last year’s debut model), Samsung’s 55-inch, Panasonic’s 56-inch prototype and Sony’s 56-inch model. None of these has any projected pricing or release date.

* Trakdot Luggage: In recent months I cannot even begin to tell you how many lost/stolen luggage stories I’ve heard from friends and colleagues. I’ve also been a victim of missing baggage, and I always wished I had a way to track it.

Trakdot Luggage, a product of Globa Trac, aspires to take the pain out of losing your luggage. Trakdot is a small, Global System for Mobile Communications (commonly known as GSM), battery-powered device that sits in your luggage and sends messages to your cell phone (or as many cell phones you assign it to).

When Trakdot is released in April, it will have corresponding Android and iOS apps.

Unfortunately, there’s no option to download the app ahead of time to test it out. You can program your Trakdot to send you text messages and emails, and of course view your luggage location on the website (or on the app interface) via Google Maps location pins. If you have bad luck with your luggage, this is probably worth it. The Trakdot itself will cost $49.99, with a one-time activation fee of $8.99 and an annual service fee of $12.99.

* Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 USB Flash Drive: Just think, you could back up your entire computer, possibly with some movies and music, on a tiny thumb-drive that is ONE TERABYTE! At the moment, Kingston released the 512GB capacity for $1,750, and the 1TB version will be released sometime during the first quarter of 2013. This will be officially the largest USB drive available on the market. No price has been announced for the 1TB variant yet. The Predator 3.0 allows data transfers with speeds up to 240MB/s (read)/160MB/s (write), and has achieved SuperSpeed USB 3.0 certification. This is quite a pricey solution, but I’m still amazed that we can now fit 1TB into such a small space.

* Samsung’s Youm Flexible Display: As a part of Samsung’s keynote speech at CES, senior vice president of display Brian Berkeley debuted the Youm flexible display technology. The screens promise to change what kind of form factors are possible for companies that make smartphones and tablets. These small, thin, plastic screens bend and can wrap around the side of a device. The possibilities are broad with this innovation.

Stay tuned for more from CES, as it’s still going on as I write this …