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After spending four days as one of the 150,000 tech heads hoofing it around the 1.92 million net square feet of the 2013 International CES earlier this month, one thing became abundantly clear: Gamblers and tech journalists have a lot in common. We are both drawn to the bright lights and bustling hum of Las Vegas; both get giddy when presented with dinging, blinking machines with buttons to push or levers to pull; and both return to Sin City year after year to gamble on what might be the next big thing – be it a Bluetooth fork or an ace on the river.

With roughly 20,000 new products unveiled at this year’s show, identifying the coolest gear and technologies that are going to lay the groundwork for the coming months and years is not always easy. But that never stops us from trying. Without further ado, here’s our roll of the dice at just a few of the things we saw at CES 2013 that we think could be big this year and beyond.

Bending, Morphing Displays

We’ve long been hearing about all manner of futuristic screens – from holographic to see-through to wearable – but at CES 2013 we saw, with our own eyes, some potentially game-changing new technologies. The big buzz came from Samsung’s flexible LED technology called Youm, which the company says will allow it to develop bendable, rollable and foldable devices. Think of a smartphone with screen space along its side (image, right; source: The Verge) displaying scrolling text messages or emails while it sits flat on your desk.

Then there’s Tactus, a company that has developed the world’s first tactile touchscreen. You read that right. Unveiling an Android tablet prototype, Tactus’s screen actually raises buttons 1mm from the surface, giving you physical buttons (for QWERTY keyboards and even gaming applications) that go away as easily as they appear. Expect to see hardware manufacturers integrating this tech into tablets and smartphones by the end of the year.

3D Printers & Replicators

From the spandexed dude dancing out front of the CNET booth wearing a Cubify 3D printer to MakerBot’s revolutionary Replicator 2X wowing the throngs of visitors to their booth, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of excitement around this emerging technology. Forget about dpi, the future is in “microns per layer,” the measurement used for the quality of a 3D-printed object. Using different kinds of plastics as, for all intents and purposes, ink, objects such as chess pieces, sculptures and bracelets, as well as parts to assemble bigger objects or models, are printed before your eyes (albeit, not super fast). The applications are endless and as the technology advances and the prices drop (the Replicator 2X currently goes for US$2,800), it’s likely that within a few years, 3D printers are going to start landing on desktops everywhere.

4K or Ultra High-Def TV

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the future of TVs, wouldn’t we? Seeing as every major manufacturer’s CES booth – from Samsung to Panasonic to LG – featured wall upon wall of TVs that would rival Tokyo’s Shibuya crossing, they’re impossible to miss. The big unveilings this year came from Samsung and LG, with the former rolling out the world’s largest 4K ultra high-def TV, an 85-inch megalith with four-times the resolution of 1080p displays. Did we mention its quad-core processor or that it will communicate with your Samsung smartphone, washing machine and fridge? Or that it’s almost $38,000? Well, there’s that, too. LG’s 84-inch 4K monster is equally impressive with a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution and 3D Cinema tech baked in. What’s more impressive however, is that even with the lack of content available to be viewed on these TVs (except in Germany), LG has reportedly already sold 300 of the $22,000 behemoths in Korea.

Charging Technology

Technology has won. There’s a smartphone in every pocket, a tablet in every shoulder bag and a laptop in every backpack. But guess what? These devices are nothing without power. Luckily, walk 10 ft. into the iLounge pavilion at CES and that problem gets solved by any number of companies offering portable power. There’s nothing new about that – but what is new are the ways companies are finding to provide that portable power. Take wireless power gurus Fulton Innovation, whose eCoupled tech allows you to charge one device from the power of another, wirelessly. Smartphone dead? No problem, just lie it on the back of a tablet and presto-chargo.

Then there’s the MIT-developed Nectar, a portable charging solution that uses recyclable power fuel cells called “nectar pods” that you load into a pocket-sized base station. Plug in your device via USB for 55,000mW-hours of energy, good for up to 10 smartphone recharges. Never search for a wall plug again.


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4 thoughts on “Top Tech Trends and Predictions for 2013

toms s, on said:

This article Top Tech Trends and Predictions for 2013 – Connected Rogers wrote it very well, thank you!

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dianne vane, on said:

when we got rogers tv. we never go tv guide pkgs. we want to look into getting more but don’t know how to order them without seeing what come with the pkg. wood like to have it or get it on live so that we can print it of and then decide. could you help me with this. thank you

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    @RogersNicolas, on said:

    Hi dianne,

    You can definitely contact us over Facebook, Twitter (@RogersHelps) or pay us a visit in store. We’d be happy to help!

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