New gadgets shown off at electronics show


Each new year brings the introduction of new products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And several MHAT-19 members attended this year’s show to see the latest in high-tech gadgets. What really stood out at the CES 2012 show was the amazing high-tech advances making television sets smarter and more Internet friendly electronic devices.
So-called “smart TVs” are becoming the next great gadget in the consumer market. These sets are designed to easily provide users with streaming video through the Internet as well as social media and other Web options such as playing Internet-based video games on your TV set.
The opportunities for more cross-over applications made for smart TVs will generate a new market for creative minds. For example, a London-based company called Bodymetrics has created an application for these advanced devices that will let you “try on” virtual clothes on your set, saving you time and energy going to the mall or an outlets shopping center. You’ll see an image of yourself on the TV that will move in synchronization with how you move in front of the screen. It will let you select different attire from a store’s database and see how a dress or a shirt looks on you.
Smart TVs are the whiz-bang devices at the forefront of the blending of computers and appliances that has been going on since the introduction of smart phones. Powerful microprocessors and full operating systems are helping to bridge the chasm between TVs and the computing world.
But the real key is the input devices. Your old remote control will look primitive compared to the new remote control devices coming out. Technology shown at CES 2012 that will be included in new sets will allow you to control your set by talking to it using voice recognition, a motion-sense controller, waving your hands or using a wireless keyboard, much as if it were an actual computer.
One of the drivers of smart TV devices is Google TV, which was introduced a year ago. The first generation of Google TV didn’t hit it off with the consumer market because of its complexity, but the second generation is much more intuitive to use. Television manufacturers see a major market of consumers who want to gain multiple content from streaming video, apps and broadcast TV in a seamlessly integrated system. The consumer market is not quite receptive yet, but once people are educated on the benefits of smart TVs and realize they are much like oversized versions of Apple’s iPad product, there’ll be a rush for these new gadgets.
Another new innovation is OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TV sets. These use an advanced LED that has a super thin film of organic compounds that emit light when activated by an electric current. These screens can be used in TVs that are a mere 4 millimeters thick. One manufacturer at CES showed off a 55-inch OLED TV that will soon hit the market. The first releases of TVs using OLED technology won’t be cheap, but expect these sets to create a big buzz. They’ll let TV sets be placed in locations that are more convenient for home entertainment enjoyment.
On another note, MHAT-19 crew members will be at the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce’s annual Salute Awards Jan. 28, recording the festivities for later broadcast on cable channel 19. Jim Carrillo will emcee the event.
Honorees of the Salute Awards include Live Oak High School student Eunice Kim as the 2012 Student of the Year, Gavilan Community College President Steve Kinsella as the 2012 Educator of the Year, construction business D.R. Domenichini as the 2012 Business of the Year, Morgan Hill resident Jan Dean as Volunteer of the Year, Mario Banuelos as Morgan Hill’s Man of the Year, and Loritta Bonfante Johnson as Morgan Hill’s Woman of the Year.

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