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CES 2013: what to expect

| November 9, 2012 | 0 Comments

CES 2013: what to expect

The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is one of the largest showcases of new technology in the world. Hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association in Las Vegas, CES 2013 will open to press and exhibitors from every facet of the electronics industry, and TechRadar will be there. We’ll descend upon the gambling capital of the world for four days of basking in the glow of the latest computers, televisions, cameras, phones and more.

  • Read more: 10 best gadgets and tech at CES 2012

With plenty of winners and losers, last year’s CES 2012 was big news for many reasons. Firstly, the show floor opened on January 9th, a week later than usual. LG and Sony unveiled 55-inch Ultra High-Definition TVs, then the largest in the world. Intel gave us a glimpse of the touch enabled Ultrabooks we’ve been seeing everywhere lately. Lastly, and most notably, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave the company’s last CES keynote, introducing the world to Windows 8′s Metro interface, and announcing Xbox 360 apps for Fox, IGN and more.

To follow that, CES 2013 will be a mix of keynote razzle dazzle, sneak peeks at the latest tech, and introductions to products that will go from patently unaffordable to a given in every living room, a lot faster than you’d believe.

Before TechRadar hits the CES 2013 show floor from January 8-11, we thought we’d put together a preview of the gadget glory you can expect from our on the ground coverage.

Samsung rebrands itself

Despite having the best selling smartphone in the world and running an operating system on clip to eclipse all others, Samsung is reportedly preparing quite the rebranding at CES 2013.

CES 2013

While we don’t necessarily anticipate a "radical" image reimagining, we do expect Samsung will take advantage of the stage (and a keynote speech) to introduce a new facet to its business identity – a refresh, as it were.

One of CES’s exhibit categories is "Digital Health and Fitness," so Samsung will likely tack onto that theme with the introduction of products (or the retooling of current devices) that fit into the health and wellness category.

Samsung has reportedly hired a design team that’s worked with Nike on some of that company’s branding initiatives, so we’ll likely see some dynamic stuff from South Korea in Vegas.

As Samsung continues to grow from an Asian powerhouse to a global one, how it sells itself to a broad international audience will be key to its future.

We expect Stephen Woo, president of Samsung Electronics’ device solutions division, to set the tone of the company’s refreshed self during his keynote address Jan. 9.

The debut of Ultra High-Definition television

It took a while but CRT televisions have finally become the stuff of garage sales and trips to grandma’s house, and 3D screens have just started to crack the home market. Now everyone’s lovely flatscreen is about to become a little bit obsolete, thanks Ultra High-Definition.

  • What you need to know: Ultra High-Definition television

After a brief flirtation with 4K high-definition, the CEA settled on the name Ultra HD. However, Sony, always one to buck a naming trend (remember Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD?) has said it will stick with numbered moniker, calling its pixel-dense displays 4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD).

CES 2013

Still, everyone seems to be in agreement over the spec requirements set by the CEA, defining what it takes to be called Ultra HD. According to the group, Ultra means at least 8 million pixels, with a minimum resolution of 3840 x 2160, and an aspect ratio of at least 16 X 9.

Now the question is how big will the screens at CES 2013 be? There’s debate between engineers as to whether anyone can even tell the difference between UHD and regular HD on a display that’s less than 100-inches. And when will these TVs become affordable? Right now they’re around $20,000 (UK£12,515, AUD $19,210), keeping them firmly in Donald Trump and Richard Branson territory.

Intel introduces a new mobile processor, stakes its claim

Intel is probably one of the most recognizable names coming to CES 2013, though it’s not the only chipmaker making a stand on the Vegas exhibit floor.

We expect Intel to show up big at the event, schooling the competition on how it’s done, and very likely announcing a new mobile processor or two as well as some destined for PCs.

CES 2013

Intel is in an interesting position in terms of its mobile future: although it claims to have 20 Windows 8 tablets sporting its new Z2760 processor coming to market soon, the firm’s chips are currently only found in six smartphones.

ARM and its licensees (Nvidia and Qualcomm) are making a killing in the mobile space and all are heading down to Nevada for the show, creating a perfect storm for one-up-man ship on the Strip.

ARM-based chips, while found in major money makers like the iPad and various Android tablets, aren’t terribly up to snuff when it comes to processing prowess.

Yet Intel hasn’t even breached the realm of relevancy smartphone space, making CES the time where it needs to stake that claim.

There’s been talk that Apple may chuck Intel as its CPU provider in the coming years. Cupertino recently developed a poppy processor for its iPad 4 – the A6X – a chip that’s reportedly twice as fast as those found in older iPads.

For that reason alone, Intel has got to show why it’s relevant in mobile and why it deserves to be considered the top chipmaker in the world now and for years to come.

We’d love to see Intel not only announce a new mobile processor, but unveil a new partnership. It’s got to prove it can work well with others (and capture consumer imagination) if it hopes to move deeper into smartphones and tablets.

Nvidia trumps out Tegra 4

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 has done quite for itself this year, jumping into phones like HTC’s One X+ and tablets such as Google’s Nexus 7 and Microsoft’s Surface.

That doesn’t mean Nvidia doesn’t have its eyes to the horizon, and we believe the company will introduce its Tegra 4 processor come CES.

CES 2013

Word of the T40 (the new Tegra’s model number) got going in April, with a report pointing to early 2013 as the time the Tegra 3′s successor would ascend the throne.

At the time, it sounded like the Tegra 4 would fit four new Cortex A15 ARM chips, taking it way past the A9 Cortex chip summit.

Speeds of 1.8GHz are probably going to be average for the new processor, while by the middle/end of the year, 2.0 should be its cruising GHz.

If we’re lucky, we might even see an Android or Windows 8 tablet poke about with the Tegra 4 inside.

Microsoft’s show no more

The Consumer Electronics Show has long been Microsoft’s chance to shine. The software giant has always given flashy presentations, usually involving celebrities. Shaq, Conan O’Brien, Ryan Seacrest, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and more have all appeared to help co-founder Bill Gates and current CEO Steve Ballmer show of the company’s latest tech.

  • Read more: Microsoft’s last keynote at CES 2012

Sadly, CES 2013 will be the first year where Microsoft won’t be giving one of its signature keynote presentations. It gave the world plenty of notice, saying in December 2011 that CES 2012 would be its last. Steve Ballmer’s last presentation at the Las Vegas trade show focused on Metro, the new Live Tile-based interface for Windows 8.

CES 2013

Companies have moved quickly to fill the space left by Microsoft’s exodus. Qualcomm has nabbed the open keynote slot. The telecommunications mogul will be giving its Born Mobile keynote on Monday, January 7th. Meanwhile, satellite provider Dish and appliance manufacturer Hisense snapped up Microsoft’s booth space in under an hour.

However, Venturebeat has quoted CEA president Gary Shapiro as saying, "Microsoft will have something" at CES 2013. While it’s unknown what that something will be, there are plenty of possibilities. More Windows Phone 8 devices? A Microsoft Surface Pro running Windows 8? Its all in the realm of possibility.

Via Venturebeat

LG unveils Smart TV platform underpinned by HP’s webOS

While we expect LG to march out a bevvy of phones and TVs, including some we haven’t seen before, what’s really piquing our interest heading into January is word that it may launch a Smart TV service based on webOS.

CES 2013

webOS, the open source system developed by HP, could take the reigns from LG’s antiquated NetCast Smart TV interface during the show, a move that wouldn’t leave our jaws dropped.

HP delivered on its promise to walk out webOS to the public by September, a vow it made in January, and now it needs a big product and solid partner to get its face out there.

The marriage between the two should be equal – reports have HP providing the OS while LG will plug in its dual-core L9-powered motherboards.

If our expectations pan out, we’ll likely see the death of LG’s small screen partnership with the struggling Google TV service, a relationship LG championed at CES 2012 yet has since cooled.

Automotive electronics

The CEA estimates that factory-installed automotive technology will generate $8.7 billion dollars in 2013, so it’s no wonder seven major car companies will be on the show floor.

Audi, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru will be joined more than 100 auto tech companies displaying the latest in-car tech. This is a record setting presence for the automotive industry at CES.

Displays and presentations will include electric drive technology. GoElectricDrive TechZone will demonstrate electric vehicles paired with their respective charging stations, ones that can be used at homes and in public facilities. The Safe Driver presentation will show more than the typical hands-free devices, highlighting technologies that can help drivers park, watch their speed and avoid collisions.

However, not everything between automakers and car tech designers is completely sunny. With so much hardware being put into cars before they even leave the factory, will the aftermarket industry be facing an all-time low? A presentation titled "Are Automakers Running the Aftermarket Off the Road?" will address the issue.

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