A couple of days ago we reported on new wireless technologies from the Alliance For Wireless Power (A4WP). Wireless charging isn’t anything new, but one thing we can all agree on is that it hasn’t been widely adopted. Actually there is second thing we can agree on and that’s that we really want it. The problem is there really hasn’t been a standard and current pads are too clunky.
The Alliance For Wireless Power consists of key members from the tech community including Qualcomm, Samsung, Powermat, Texas Instruments, and others. Their goal is to bring a format along with marketing that will hopefully push wireless charging to the next level and then some. I had a chance to sit down with key members from the alliance as well as some of the top writers in the tech community to get a demo utilizing a newer technology that utilizes Bluetooth 4.0 LE. They chose it because Bluetooth is already widely adopted so it’s a natural fit.
Last year I had a chance to see what Qualcomm Vuforia was doing with augmented reality, and I was so impressed that I had to see where things are 12 months later. To refresh your memory, Vuforia was created by Qualcomm for developers that want to utilize augmented reality in their apps. Things are going pretty well as there are over 2,500 apps available (Android and iOS) from developers in 130 countries, and there are over 40,000 registered developers. Last year we saw an app from Sesame Street, and this year they are back with a really cool educational app that I know my son is going to love. They also showed off what can be done for med students and retail catalogs. Check out the video after the break
I had a chance to meet with Qualcomm Smart Labs to take a look at the Gimbal platform. It’s a context aware platform for Android and iOS that enables developers to deliver content in a more personalized way and more importantly, timely. It allows apps to be more of a personal assistant or a “sixth sense”. An example might be that when you show up at the mall, you could be offered deals or tips. That’s nothing new, but since it’s more of a personal assistant, it knows about you. So if you’re a male, you will get deals for stores pertaining to men, but it will also learn your likes so it will be further fine tuned. It’s kind of like Google Now, and we should see a lot more of these types of apps in the future. Qualcomm’s Gimbal can be utilized by any developer for any app, which makes the possibilities endless. Just check out the hands on video after the break.
PowerA released the MOGA gaming controller for Android phones late last year, which is the perfect on the go controller to turn your Android phone into a mini gaming system. Now at CES they are stepping it up a notch with the MOGA Pro gaming controller. PowerA built this controller around their Fusion controller for consoles, which is one of the finest gaming controllers available today. The MOGA Pro will cater to serious gamers and it includes higher quality sticks as well as a a second pair of triggers. It also has a rechargeable battery as opposed to the MOGA that runs on 2 AA batteries. Thankfully it charges using any microUSB cable, which will make things easier on the go. Just like the MOGA, the MOGA Pro will fit Android phones of various sizes including the Galaxy Note II. Now I know a lot of you like to play your games on a tablet, and MOGA put together a really nice foldable kickstand for your tablet. It will come with the MOGA Pro and it will prop up your tablet for easy gaming.
You will probably be able to buy the MOGA Pro within the next couple of months. No word on pricing yet, but hit the break to check out the hands on video. I think you will agree that this just might be the finest controller for Android.
In case you didn’t notice, the tablet space is becoming very crowded. Yet another entry into the market is EFun, who announced their new 7-inch tablet last week in the days leading up to CES 2013. EFun was on hand showing off both 7-inch and 8-inch versions of their tablets going by the model name “Nextbook.” In our interview with them, EFun indicated they are working on a 10.1-inch model as well. The 7- and 8-inch versions come with 1.5 dual-core processors, 8GB of storage, and run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. EFun expects the devices to be available starting in March 2013 with pricing set for $129 for the 7-inch model and $169 for the 8-inch model. Check out our hands on video after the break.
We are a few days into 2013 already, but it is still not too late for anyone hoping to add “lose weight” to their list of resolutions to invest in a little technology to help them reach their goal. One of the items on display at CES 2013 that may help with that comes from BodyMedia. They had both their BodyMedia Fit Link device and their forthcoming Core 2 monitor available for visitors to check out. The Fit Link is already on the market and is intended to be worn on the upper arm 23 hours a day. The device collects reams of data measuring vital statistics, calorie intake (via manual entry), calorie burn, and even quality of sleep. This is then fed into an app that will run on your smartphone so you can monitor your progress. BodyMedia has a new device, the Core 2, coming out in August that is much sleeker and will offer more opportunities for personalization so it does not look so much like you are hauling around a medical device. Preliminary pricing is $149 for the new device.
Check out our hands on video after the break to see how the system works.
Arguably, the biggest news to come out of CES 2013 was NVIDIA’s Project Shield, the beginning of a new wave of portable Android gaming devices. We dropped by NVIDIA’s booth and were able to get a look at the revolutionary product. Unfortunately, NVIDIA had the Shield shielded behind glass and weren’t allowing hands on time at this point. We’ll try to head back sometime soon to see if we can get our grubby paws on it for you guys. In the meantime, check out our eyes-on with the new Project Shield.
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Although ZTE is not a well recognized name in the U.S. market, they still took the opportunity to show up at CES 2013 to reveal their new high end smartphone, the ZTE Grand S. The device sports a 5-inch 1080p display, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro cpu, 2GB of RAM, and 13MP camera. Squeezing all of this into a 6.9mm thin device makes this the world’s thinnest 5-inch smartphone for now. ZTE indicates the device will be available in China in the first quarter of 2013. Unfortunately, no word on whether the device will surface in other markets, including the U.S. Hit the break to check out our hands on video with the ZTE Grand S.
Just yesterday we reported on the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses that will try to go toe-to-toe with Google Glass. The smart eye wear runs on Android, and will be released later this year for under $500. The video below is actually more like an interview, and it’s actually quite fascinating. As goofy as the beta versions of the M100′s look, the future of wearable computers is quite compelling. Make sure to stick through to the end of the video to see some really nice looking “smart” sunglasses.
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In case you thought LG’s push to infiltrate your house was limited to the kitchen and laundry room with their Smart House appliances, they also showed up at CES 2013 with some hardware for your favorite television viewing area. The new LG television uses version 3 of Google TV to provide access to both “live” tv channels as well as a host of online video services. LG has updated the remote control for the TV with some new button locations and a full QWERTY keyboard on the back of the remote. The remote can also be used for voice entry purposes.
Check out our hands on video after the break to see how the new LG TV works.