Computer Electronics Show 2013

CES2013 kicked off in Las Vegas today. Before the event even got underway it had generated lots of speculation and excitement.  The big and bold the of digital technology world have gathered in Las Vegas to kick off the 4 day event and there have already been a number of exciting announcements and insight into what is going to be big in 2013.

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Some of our favourite highlights from day one include:

Paper Tablet

  • Will our paper be going digital? Or should I say will our tablets soon be as thin as paper? A joint venture between Queen’s University Canada and the British firm Plastic Logic. Has developed a tablet as thin and as flexible as a piece of paper. Will we be saying bye bye iPad, hello PaperTab?

Phablet

  • Or will it be goodbye tablet all together and hello phablet? A surprising success of 2012 the phablet is here to stay, with Galaxy Sony HTC, ZTE and Huawei all offering larger screened mobile phones. Now we are using phones for more than just phone calls, screen size is a key deciding factor for some consumers.  

Sony

  • Tech giant Sony has launched its most up to date smart phone since parting company with Erricson parted company over a year ago. The new phone is both water and dust resistant with a 5in screen. 2013 could be the year for Sony, some have described it as their make or break year. Here’s hoping they are on to a winner, well placed to incorporate what Sony does best – HDvidoe and top of the range cameras into a smart phone. They have already over taken HTC to become the third most popular mobile phone brand in the UK.

Smart Cars

  • Will your next car be a smart car? Toyota is hoping so, having merged their existing safety features with the ability to monitor the environment around your car, including analysing potential hazards in greater detail. With a host of devises going smart in 2012 cars might just be the next smart craze.

Smart fork

  • If a car isn’t for you how about a smart fork. That’s right, even our cutlery is going smart. The device will track how fast you are eating, as well as upload data to your smart phone to help you keep track of how your eating habits have changed. Just one of the many heath devices on display and at the event definably one of the more bizarre.

HD TV

  • Most of the big names are at CES2013 including Sharp, LG and Samsung and were all are unveiling new, bigger and better TV technology. Samsung revealed its largest ultra-high definition TV, at 106”, as well as the new F8000 flagship set, which utilises swipe technology similar to your phone of tablet. It remains to be seen when smart TV will really take off (having had a few false starts) but with consumers habits continuing to change smart TVs will increasingly be common place in living rooms across the country.

It’s certainly shaping up to be an exciting 2013 and we can’t wait to see what other digital developments the year ahead has in store for us. Who knows what will be the big consumer electronic success of 2013? There are definitely a few good contenders to pick from.

The end of the coveted Mulberry purse?

The commute started with a bang today. Got to the tube station nice and early to then realise I was sans Oyster card. I could either pay for a new one for the sake of two journeys, or trudge back to the flat to find it. I chose the latter. Eventually on the tube, I got thinking: surely I can’t be the only commuter this happens to on a regular basis? I’m fortunate enough to have the option of going back home to pick up my card, but what about those who live miles away and have enough spare Oyster cards in their wallets to rival TFL HQ? Surely there should be an easier way to get through this when ‘morning brain’ strikes.

With the recent rise of ‘contactless purchasing’, it was no surprise or coincidence that I later came across an article based on the idea of leaving your wallet at home – and the role increasingly omnipotent smart phones could have in easing this daily annoyance. With their sights set on world domination, eventually we can only assume that smart phones will be able to give everything you could possibly need. A modern Swiss Army knife, if you will…

 

They do a pretty good job of it already – I have my entire music collection on there, along with my daily fix of gossip, what the weather might decide to do today and, of course, the mighty Facebook. I feel more lost without my phone than I do without my Oyster card and purse, so wouldn’t it make more sense to ‘have an app for that’, since there seems to be an app for absolutely everything else you would ever need in your day-to-day life?

Barclays blazed the trail with its contactless card, making it possible to pay for purchases in-store by simply swiping a chip across the machine, taking precious seconds off transaction time. I can book a train back to Scotland on my phone and pick the tickets up at the station without having to speak to anyone, or even take my bank card out of my purse.  Surely the next inevitable step must be to combine the two together and simply swipe your smart phone at tube barriers?

It would be a phenomenon for the frequent high street shopper; instead of carrying around a purse bulging with loyalty cards and discount vouchers, simply hand over your phone to reap rewards and get rid of all the plastic. Voucher Cloud already does this for the voucher bunnies out there and others should follow suit. Not only would this help the consumer, but also allow companies to take advantage of marketing promotions and provide a channel for real-time interaction with their consumers – key to building even better, longer lasting relationships with them.

With no more printed vouchers to leave behind, no more loyalty cards to lose and no more Oyster cards left in another coat pocket, it’s win-win for both customers and brands. A digital wallet is the way forward.

Katie Wozniak