CES 2013: Trends Flying Somewhat Under the Radar

In addition to the highly anticipated array of UHD TVs, new smartphones, Android devices, cloud developments and Internet-connected everything, next week’s CES promises interesting new products and services related to a number of sectors not yet drawing the same amount of press attention. Watch for news involving small flexible displays, green technology, home automation, home projections systems, 3D printing and more.

Emerging Technology
We’ll see small flexible displays almost ready for the marketplace from Samsung and hints at that video/information wall from “Fahrenheit 451” as addressable surfaces begin to bring instant perspective change to our futures.

Green Tech
Bridging green and legendary emerging technology, Lilliputian Systems will finally show a fuel cell “for us all” aimed at smartphone users looking for lightweight extra capacity from their phones. Slightly bigger than a phone itself, it can recharge an iPhone 14 times on a single butane cartridge. Expect to also see some advances from solar cells at less than full sun.

Home Automation
The most interesting news in Home Automation is that the messaging is changing to Security. It seems the business model based on control is harder to attract the necessary momentum to change the state of the modern home. This might be a disconnect with our need to manage power for more than just control as Green is often associated with increased and effortless management of resources.

One of the most interesting new projectors expected is LG’s latest “Hecto” Laser TV capable of creating a 100-inch screen from just 22 inches away. If the projected 25,000-hour lifespan is accurate it might change the path of projection at home. If it also really rivals the dynamic range of plasma it could become the center of a reasonably priced home entertainment room. More as we find out the details.

3D Printing
We will see new entrants into the 3D printing model with in-home printers and linked software systems along with remote printing for larger objects with consumer level software. Sculpteo will highlight custom designed smartphone cases — custom designed directly from your smartphone itself and popped into the mail for delivery.

Gestural Interfaces
Is this a product or a feature? Perhaps we’ll see that question begin to be answered as gestural ideas imbed themselves into many products. While the idea of flaying arms to tune channels is calming down, gestural input at many scales is making its way into more devices. Let’s see how many times we see the word used during this CES.