Engadget At CES 2013: Some Of What We're Looking Forward To Most


First Posted: 01/07/13 12:39 PM ET Updated: 01/07/13 10:19 PM ET

Posted by Joe Pollicino

Every January, most of the big players in electronics gather at the Las Vegas Convention Center to show off their latest wares at the annual Consumer Electronics Show -- this year it's no different. Some of the biggest buzzes that made their debut at the last few events included the likes of netbooks, tablets and 3D TVs. While this year's show is just starting to get under way, and although we don't expect to see any truly revolutionary announcements, there are a few things we're especially excited for.

Transparent audio:
Audio has been making a major shift towards wireless the past few years, but this year, even the speakers themselves might be disappearing. Essentially, the tinny sounding speakers currently in our devices might soon be a thing of the past. Although not actually see-thru like the moniker suggests, this would allow devices to have a membrane for sound, and not tiny speakers -- imagine the casing of your phone also serving as your speakerphone. Naturally, the loss of traditional sound drivers would also allow for even thinner phones, laptops and the like. All that said, it's been tried a few times in the past to little fanfare, but some of our sources are fairly certain this might be the year the tech finally takes off. (More at Engadget)

Ultra HD TV and beyond:
It's hard believe just a few years ago 1080p HD Televisions were all the rage. Within the last year or so, 4K Ultra HD (four times the resolution of HD) has been emerging as the next big thing. 2013, however, looks primed to be first time it'll be readily available for purchase in stores. Naturally, this kind of picture quality looks incredibly life-like and, with display technology like OLED, you can expect other goodies like better color reproduction and thinner displays. Some companies like Sony are even working on 8K Ultra HD, which is just what it sounds like: whopping double increase over 4K. Furthermore, it won't be unlikely that we see more TVs ready to network over the web, with more of them featuring webcams for conferencing and Kinect-like voice and gesture controls. (More at Engadget)

Tablets as a second-screen:
Speaking of display resolution, we'd be remiss not to point to the displays on some tablets and phones that have even higher specs than HDTVs currently on the market. While that's impressive on its own, we expect to see more bandwidth for tablets opening up for the likes of second-screen viewing beyond that. Microsoft's Xbox 360-enabled SmartGlass gave us an early example of how these mobile devices might enrich our viewing experiences, offering extra details about what's being watched beyond the content on the actual TV screen. (More at Engadget)

Of course, these are just a few examples of what we're hoping to see at CES this year -- you can also expect to see more in the way of WiFi-connected cameras, smaller startups in the gaming world and some minor (but notable) phone announcements to start off the year. As the Official Online News Source of the show, we've got a full team of editors on the ground right now, hunkered down in our double-wide trailer and on the floor of the LVCC searching for the latest greatest that the show has to offer. The biggest announcements are still yet to come, so be sure to check out our full CES preview here in the meantime for our detailed predictions and hopes about this year.