CES 2013 Preview: It gets bigger, faster, better

It’s that time of year again. No not for endless ridiculous articles about New Year’s resolutions for the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where all the gadget manufacturers large and small gather together and conspire to make you feel bad about all the brand new electronics you *just* got for Christmas. We thought we’d kickstart the resent with a tiny glimpse of a few of the things we’d been keeping an eye out for. However there are thousands of things going down at CES so we (well a lucky few of us) will be flying over to have a hands-on look. Check back here daily for updates.


Samsung Evolution Kit
Of course I may have been a little cynical above but I’ve been burned oh so many times. One of the worst cases was buying a fancy new Samsung Smart TV only for a new version to drop a couple of months later. I wasn’t too fussed until I tried to install a 3D channel app and to be rudely informed that my TV was too old to be supported. That’s not a sustainable “smart” app platform and Samsung (finally) agree wit their Evolution Kit, which enables Samsung’s 7000, 8000 and 9000 2012 Smart TV models to evolve into Samsung’s new 2013 Smart TVs. By simply attaching the Evolution Kit device into the back of a Samsung Smart TV you can enjoy the latest and greatest without junking your entire set.

The Evolution Kit bumps CPU, memory and GPU up to the level of so you can enjoy faster speeds for browsing and multitasking (although I’m still waiting on “killer apps” for smart TV outside of streaming).


Smartphones need juice and there are always a number of new and fun ways to get you going when you’re on the go. The light-weight 3-inch Powerocks Magic Cube and Stone3 power banks are portable back-up power supplies and have a long cycle life so they can be used more than 500 times (others brands normally provide only 50-300 cycles). Powerocks products provide a high up to 12000 mAh (Milliamps Hour) capacity in a small package that can be charged in under 5 hours (half the time of competitors). What makes them even more appealing is that they can even charge two devices at the same time and have included cables.


NYNE Smart Media Centre
NYNE have taken an “all your base are belong to us” approach to the living room with their Smart Media Centre. The SMC-1000 is one of the most flexible media centres on the market including Apple Lightning dock, Apple Airplay, Bluetooth, HDMI ports, USB ports, digital inputs, NFC and more. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had SCSI inputs and SCART ports it’s that inclusive.

The console delivers a high performance audio experience with a 2.1 stereo system, all while neatly storing your external devices and wires. Looks pretty neat.

Fitbug Orb
If you want to discreetly keep track of your activity there’s the Fitbug Orb activity monitor. Like all activity monitors the Orb tracks calories burned, distance covered and walking pace, but also tracks sleep so you can monitor the quality and quantity of the Zzzs you are catching.It can be worn discreetly under clothing using the underwear clip, on the wrist or simply carried in a pocket or purse. A neck pendant, belt hook, sleep pouch and key fob attachments are also available.

And obviously there will be robots including the RP-VITA – the first remote presence solution for patient care that combines the latest in telemedicine technology from InTouch Health with the latest in autonomous navigation and mobility developed for the iRobot Ava mobile robotics platform.

Top Fitness Gadgets for 2013

I live alongside a canal, which is a prime running route and these past few days I’ve seen an exponential increase in people giving jogging a go, determined to “finally fit into those jeans”, or some other long-held dream. The numbers gradually dwindle over the month and by early March I can once again walk next to swans, unencumbered by fitness fanatics. That’s obviously because “getting in shape” is a hard, hard task. Fortunately there are some gadgets on hand to help out.


Arctic Cooling Gym Mat
The Arctic Cooling Gym Mat is an all-in-one gaming system offering a wide range of games and exercises to entertain you and hopefully tighten you up a bit in all the right places. 30 sensor fields detect your position on the mat precisely and display your movements on the TV screen so you can interact with the games. There is a two player mode on some games, so you and a training buddy can shape up – or just get involved in a dance-off.

The Arctic Cooling Gym Mat is £45.35 from www.waeplus.co.uk


Fitbug Air
The Fitbug Air is a wireless activity tracker, which a little dongles that measure every physical thing you get up to (there’s an untapped million dollar industry for whoever makes the first wireless mental activity tracker). The Fitbug Air tracks calories burned, steps taken and aerobic steps (over 100 per minute) so you can see the benefits of your run or walk in real terms. The Bluetooth sync with your phone means that you can also see the benefits in real time so you can track your pace. Fitbug can even send encouraging texts or emails are you a progressing – a handy substitute for friends.

The Fitbug Air can be purchased for £49.99 with a full year’s subscription or £24.99 with £2.99 monthly subscription from www.fitbug.com.


GARMIN Forerunner 10 Watch
The Forerunner 10 watch by Garmin is ideal for anyone who wants to keep track of their speed, rhythm, distance covered and calories burned when running. With a Virtual Partner mode it is compatible with Garmin Connect, where you can share and analyse your details and progress online with other users. The watch is also waterproof to 50 metres and has a customisable screen. Plus it tells the time.

GARMIN Forerunner 10 Watch is available in black, pink or lime green for £98.52 from www.waeplus.co.uk


iT7s wireless in-ear headphones
I can’t exercise in silence. The last thing I want when exercising is to be alone with my thoughts. Fortunately iT7 make some pretty great wireless headphones, designed specifically for active use. The iT7s headphones feature Bluetooth technology, making it possible for users to listen to music and take calls during workouts, without being tethered to a mobile or music device by an unwanted wire.

The iT7s headphones are available for £99.99 from the Tesco Phone Shop.


E-Lites E80 Regular (G9) Electronic Cigarette Starter Kit
Perfect for anyone hoping to quit smoking or planning to make love to a robot the E80 E-Cigarette Starter Kit is the ideal introduction to electronic smoking. The Starter kit includes the equivalent of 80 tobacco cigarettes, a rechargeable G9 battery and a practical USB charger. Available in Reds (Regular) Golds (Lights) or Greens (Menthol).

E-Lites E80 Regular (G9) Electronic Cigarette Starter Kit – £23.96 from www.waeplus.co.uk