Highlights from the Consumer Electronics Show

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was last week and, as usual, there were some pretty crazy things on display. Everything is becoming electronic and connected. One thing’s for certain, we are living in the future.

One of the most amazing things shown was the Smart Window by Samsung. It’s a transparent display that works both as a window and as a touchscreen monitor. Anyone who’s used an interactive whiteboard can see the possibilities open up. It would be amazing for both visual and hands-on learning and is also just really darn cool!

Lumus dk-32 wearable display

Lumus dk-32 wearable display

Are windows too far out of reach for you? How about simply wearing a display in your glasses. That’s what Lumus was showing on the floor. A pair of glasses, that you could actually see through that also worked as a display for a computer or cellphone. While the getup might look heavy, the displays only weigh 27 grams on top of a normal pair of glasses. These are a little farther out, though, as Lumus is still looking for a partner to make the actual product.

So in the meantime, instead of a display you wear on your eyes, how about a display you control with your eyes. Tobii ‘s Gaze UI allows you to navigate around Windows 8 simply by looking at your screen. No fancy headgear is required, all that’s needed is a strip near your keyboard that watches your eye movements. You still have to click buttons using your fingers and there are a few bugs to work out, but next year you might be scrolling through web pages and changing tabs at a glance.

LG and Samsung showed off some home appliances that can be controlled from your Android Phone, slowly connecting every aspect of your house. An oven that you can start preheating on your way home. A washer and dryer that ring your smartphone when they’re done or warn you if a load makes them off balance. No robot to actually fold the finished laundry, but plans were announced for a robot vacuum cleaner to start up while you’re away.

Should one of your robot servants accidentally let your dog out, you’ll be able to find them in no time if you have a Tagg Pet Tracker on your pet. The collar contains a GPS and if your pet leaves your house, the collar will email or text you. You can then pinpoint their location and go pick them up. This has got to be a lifesaver for owners of rascally pets.

With everything going digital and futuristic, I’d like to take a moment and post here that all of Key’s software products can now be downloaded and previewed without a CD. A downloadable version of Fathom was recently released that joins our already downloadable TinkerPlots and Sketchpad. That means you can run any of our products on your MacBook Air, your Windows 8 tablet, or your good ol’ desktop computer.

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About Ian Rosenfield

A software developer at KCP Technologies with six years of previous experience, I work with the team to track bugs, solve programming puzzles, and help determine upcoming developments. I have a passion for technology and always look out for the next big thing, and I’m very excited about what the future holds for Sketchpad and Fathom.
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