Tech Talk #16: Some CES Highlights

This Issue: Well it’s CES in Las Vegas and a few bits have caught my eye already…

Netgear NeoTV: Google TV Prime Streaming Player with SO much more!

Netgear’s new player offers everything that its predecessors had, with the addition of being able to run apps from Google Play. The player allows access a large range of infotainment including movies, TV shows, etc from major streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Flixter, as well as others. Google Play also delivers HD content, music, and apps designed for use on the TV. The new NeoTV Prime supports playback from connected USB storage devices and home media servers and also features a full-feature Google Chrome browser, Flash and HTML5 supported, to offer full access to the Web. It has a search function that enables users to look across multiple sources simultaneously for digital content. Finally with the picture-in-picture feature, you can surf the Web while watching live TV, all at the same time. There is also connectivity to Android-based smartphones and tablets for sharing contents from mobile devices to the TV via NeoTV Prime, as well as supporting live TV streaming via a Slingbox player. The NeoTV Prime comes with a two-sided remote control, featuring a touch pad and directional pad on one side and a full-featured QWERTY keyboard on the other. The NeoTV Prime comes with one HDMI in, one HDMI out, an Ethernet port and a USB port.

Samsung’s Newest Beast of a Big Screen TV (85-inches!) 

Samsung showed off an 85-inch television set that looks uncannily like a blackboard (depending on when you went to school). The S9 UHD TV comes with a “proprietary up-scaling engine” that “can up-convert HD or Full-HD to UHD-level picture quality by restoring detail information to create greater precision and real-life picture quality.” It also features a “Siri-like” voice interaction feature that’s able to execute commands and answer questions about programming, which Samsung states “makes the television almost human.” Rumour has it that Samsung plans to release a 110-inch version of the television set later this year.

Marvell Announces Advanced Remote Control Platform with User-friendly Voice Search and Gesture Recognition for Smart TVs and Smart Homes

Marvell announced a new advanced remote control platform with user-friendly voice search and gesture recognition for Smart TVs and Smart Homes. The remote control platform is designed to serve as a multi-purpose, central command point for next-generation digital media experiences and home furnishings control in the new-era Smart home. Marvell’s advanced remote control platform is a highly flexible, cost-effective and easy-to-use solution that includes voice and gesture recognition, Internet-based multimedia search and discovery capabilities, support for the latest in cloud gaming and more.

The platform offers four advanced functions in addition to standard remote control capabilities:

  • Voice control: Users can speak into the integrated built-in microphone and command the Smart TV to check weather, find directions, display movie show times and more
  • Nine-axis motion and gesture: Provides joystick-like functionality for gaming control
  • Air Mouse: For use as a wireless mouse to operate a Smart TV for activities such as Web surfing, gaming, etc.
  • Touch and keypad: Supports an optional full-size keyboard on the back of the device for easy text input

Razer Launches World’s First “Public-Sourced” Gaming Tablet

Razer™, a world leader in high-performance gaming hardware, software and systems, announced that the ‘Razer Edge’ would be productionised this year. It’s basically a tablet, a PC & a console all melded into one: a fully functioning PC with the most powerful tablet in the world.

This gaming tablet was also designed by PC gamers, as a massive ‘crowd sourcing’ effort put into place by Razer targeted millions of gamers to determine final specifications for the Edge, including the end-game chipset, weight/thickness, features and even the price for the Edge, via its social media pages www.facebook.com/razer and www.twitter.com/cultofrazer.

They ended up helping to design the most powerful tablet in the world today, the only gaming tablet system using a powerful 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor and NVIDIA GeForce graphics — a first for tablet gaming and an early Christmas for the 300 million-plus PC gamers around the globe.

The tablet will use the full Windows 8 operating system (not the one currently on MS’ Surface), thus the broadest array of today’s most popular PC games will run easily on the Razer Edge without the need to be ported, optimized or developed from new. And supports multi-touch capabilities for full Windows 8 applications, movies and music playback, in a traditional tablet form factor.

It will be available in two types: a standard Razer Edge and the Razer Edge Pro model. The base model is equipped with an Intel® Core™ i5 processor, NVIDIA GT640M LE GPU, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 64 GB SSD. The Razer Edge Pro comes complete with an upgraded Intel® Core™ i7 processor, NVIDIA GT640M LE GPU, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 128 GB or 256 GB SSD. Both models will be available in Q1, with the Razer Edge starting at $999.

The Razer Edge Pro will bundled with a Gamepad Controller in both the 128 GB and 256GB SSD model, and each model includes a USB 3.0 port and supports Bluetooth 4.0. It has four dedicated configurations, to offer maximum versatility: Tablet mode, Keyboard Dock mode, Gamepad Controller mode and Docking Station mode.

  • The Keyboard Dock will give the Razer Edge the laptop experience with a traditional keyboard and mouse, supporting a removable 40 Wh battery, so gamers can play their favorite keyboard and mouse reliant PC games.
  • The Gamepad Controller turns the Razer Edge into a mobile console: a fully programmable dual controller interface with precise analog sticks, featuring the ability to play any PC game “out of the box,” along with immersive vibration-feedback, so players can “feel” every in-game response.
  • Docking Station as part of home console mode, which serves as a full desktop and charging resource with three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, mic-in and stereo-out. Connect the Razer Edge to a TV, and use multiple gamepad controllers and Razer gear and tag team PC games for a complete home console experience.

Audi Unveils In-Car 4G LTE Wireless Broadband

Audi AG unveiled the 2013 Audi A3 with 4G LTE wireless connectivity powered by the second generation Gobi multi-mode 3G/4G LTE chipset, the MDM9215, by Qualcomm Technologies. With peak data rates approaching 100 megabits per second, the enhanced “Audi connect” services in the A3 are expected to transform the user experience and provide enhanced features such as an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, Internet radio, Web services and an augmented navigation system that presents street level visual imagery streamed to the vehicle.

The Gobi MDM9215 chipset will be implemented by Audi in the automotive module. The solution will power Audi connect with 4G LTE speeds and is designed to enable enhancements to real-time navigation, weather and travel information while providing ultra-fast Wi-Fi hotspot access for up to eight devices in the car. Qualcomm has been embedding its Gobi technology with leading automakers for more than a decade and is currently the largest supplier of 3G and 4G technologies and chipsets for passenger-car telematics and connected-car services, with tens of millions of connected vehicles in operation worldwide.

Microsoft Reveals Xbox IllumiRoom Concept Video

Microsoft has shown off a proof-of-concept Xbox system called IllumiRoom. The system uses Kinect and a projector to augment the area surrounding the television screen with projected visualizations. According to Microsoft, IllumiRoom can “change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.” The demo video below shows effects such as falling snow and explosions being projected into the living room. The video was captured live and is not the result of any special effects added in post production, Microsoft says. The ground breaking display technology was first revealed via a Microsoft patent in September last year. According to the patent, the system will utilise a 3D depth camera to calculate the player’s position by emitting infrared light patterns. The Microsoft patent also stated that the tech will tie into the rumoured Kinect Glasses technology mentioned in a leaked Xbox 720 planning document.

Sources: Netgear, Samsung, Marvell, Razer, PR NewsWire, Microsoft
Reporter: SilverFox

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