CES 2014: Ten weird and wonderful highlights from Las Vegas’ technology extravaganza

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Much of the early CES noise may have been drowned out by Hollywood director Michael Bay’s very public meltdown at Samsung’s pre-show press conference, but the showfloor was once again awash with amazing products.

From cutting edge top end audio and vision products to bluetooth-enabled toothbrushes, if it had a microchip in it then it was on show in Las Vegas. Here’s just a selection of the weird and wonderful things I saw during my visit.

1) Samsung and LG’s curved TVs
Several manufactures unveiled 4K TVs with curved screens – designed to increase immersion and produce a natural pseudo 3D effect – but Samsung’s concept set that transformed from flat to bendy at the push of a button and LG’s effort that could be manually moved with the remote went that little bit further.

2) Sony’s Life Space UX
Still very much at the conceptual stage, Sony’s Life Space UX suite included a laser projector that turned your kitchen table into a Minority Report-style computer screen and another that turned your living room wall into a 147” 4K display. Mind-blowing stuff.

3) The Pebble Steel watch
It was impossible to move more than about five feet at CES without encountering a new piece of wearable tech.
Smartwatch innovators Pebble were among the few to produce something you’d actually want to wear even if it wasn’t connected to the internet.
4) Naim Statement
You’d have to be a serious – and seriously wealthy – music lover to splash out £125,000 on British firm Naim’s new bespoke amp but having been mesmerised by its incredibly sound quality, it’s tempting to say the Statement is worth every penny. Speakers are extra, mind.

5) Oculus Rift
2014 could be the year that virtual reality finally goes mainstream.
Oculus are leading the charge and their incredible gaming headset that offers full 360 degree, stomach churningly realistic 3D for PC games should finally get a commercial release later this year.
CES Impressive: Parrot’s new palm-sized, app controlled AR drone was another highlight this year
6) Parrot MiniDrone and Jumping Sumo

Parrot’s new palm-sized, app controlled AR drone lacks its celebrated bigger brother’s camera but is still lot of fun to fly and, crucially, much more affordable. Its new two wheeled sibling the Jumping Sumo is similarly a blast.
7) Samsung’s 12” inch Galaxy Note Pro
With its massive screen, the new Note Pro is not so much a large tablet as a small table.
It’s perfect for showing off Samsung’s amazing new UI, though, that allows you to design magazine style homescreens and have up to four apps open on the same screen.

8) Hi Res Audio
Sony are championing this new audio format that aims to redress the loss of sound quality suffered by MP3s. Boasting between three to seven times the amount of information than music stored on compact discs, it’s a real treat for the ears.
9) Kolibree’s connected toothbrush
This year’s answer to the Happi Fork, French firm Kolibree have added accelerometers, gyroscopes and Bluetooth to the humble toothbrush so that it can discern how well you brush your teeth. The results are then displayed on a companion app. Mon dieu…

10) Heapsylon’s connected fitness wear
Designed to help runners monitor their running technique and biometric details in real time, the new Sensoria fitness range is undoubtedly useful.
However, surely adding Bluetooth capabilities to socks and sports bras (yes, really) is a step too far.
Only at CES…..

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