January 8th, 2013 | Jena Tesse Fox

New products unveiled at International CES in Las Vegas

8 Jan, 2013 By: Jena Tesse Fox

The International Consumer Electronics Show kicked off this week in Las Vegas, with an estimated 150,000 attendees checking out the latest developments in technology. The Wall Street Journal has a running tab of new products that are being unveiled at the event, including some that hoteliers may want to keep an eye on:

Panasonic plans to release 32 TVs this year, including 16 plasma and 16 LED models. Among the highlights of Panasonic 6752.TO -2.80 percent’s presentation was a demonstration of what the company called My Home Screen, a smart TV capability that allows people to  create their own screens on the TV where they can organize their favorite programs.

Samsung unveiled the “Smart Evolution” kit, a rectangular cartridge that plugs into the back of its top-of-the-line 2012 TV to update the set with the latest software and hardware. The company isn’t releasing prices, but one official says it could cost $200 to $400.

LG said about 70 percent of the new TV models it plans to introduce this year will be “smart TVs,” with seven sets that will feature Google GOOG -0.33 percent TV. Web-connected TVs will be a major theme at the show this year, as manufacturers race to get ahead of the heavily rumored TV set that Apple is expected to launch this year or next. (Apple itself does not participate in CES—more on that in a minute).

Lenovo, the world’s top PC maker by some measures, announced a new 27-inch tablet computer to be released this summer called the “IdeaCentre Horizon Tablet PC,” or Horizon for short.

And hotels catering to the health-conscious (or at least with spa menus) may want to invest in the HAPIfork, available this spring, which uses sensors to monitor its movement from plate to mouth. It tracks the number of forkfuls per meal and per minute, and it times the interval between each.

But, according to Gen Y website Quartz, the CES may not be as major an event as it used to be. CES cornerstone exhibitor Microsoft will not even have a booth at this year’s show. Apple, which never bothered with CES, will not be present either, nor Google or Amazon. Stalwarts like Nokia, Hewlett-Packard and Dell will also have significantly scaled-back presences.

Citing market research company NPD, 68 percent of consumers are happy with the technology they have now, and 10 percent said they couldn’t leave the house without their internet connected device (like a smartphone). And smartphones and tablets seem to have become the ubiquitous gadgets for all needs, from cameras and GPS devices to PCs and home theater systems. Will hotels need to bother with high-end TVs and an in-room movie system if guests can watch what they want on an iPad for free?



External Source : Wall Street Journal, Quartz

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