Jan 072013

Ultra HD TVs, Smart forks, phablets and the computer that doubles as a coffee table – Manufacturers reveal the gadgets they hope we will buy in 2013

The gadgets we are set to want (and some we aren’t) are being unveiled at the electronics worlds biggest exhibition.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas sees almost every manufacturer (apart from Apple) unveiling their 2013 gadgets.

It opens officially tomorrow – but has already produced a smart fork that can monitor what you eat, a computer you can use as a table, and the ‘phablet’ – a combined phone and tablet experts say could become this year’s must have

However, computer maker Lenovo has something it believes will get families back together – a PC the size of a coffee table that works like a gigantic tablet and lets four people use it at once.

The ‘table PC’, a 17.8-pound, 27-inch Windows 8 Pro machine.

Called the IdeaCenter Horizon Table PC, should be available ‘beginning in early summer’ at a starting price of $1,699, Lenovo, the company behind it said.

‘Horizon makes personal computing interpersonal computing with shared, collaborative experiences among several people,’ said Peter Hortensius, president of Lenovo’s product group, in a company press release.

‘Now many people can enjoy different photos, music and video on the same screen, and they can play games with our special accessories that blend physical and digital interaction’ he said.

The Horizon Table PC takes advantage of Windows 8’s touch-based features to support multiplayer gaming among other activities.

The Table PC will include plastic ‘strikers’ for ‘Air Hockey,’ and joysticks that attach to the screen with suction cups for other games, including multiplayer shooter ‘Raiding Company’.

It even comes with a virtual electronic dice so that board games can still be played.

It runs NVIDIA GeForce graphics as well as ‘heart-pounding’ Dolby Home Theater v4 audio, Hortensius said.

The computer can transform into a 27-inch desktop for those who want to use it for solitary purposes.

There is one trade-off for all of those features.

The Horizon Table PC contains only two hours of battery life when not connected to a wall-socket.

Lenvo is also getting ready to market a Horizon Multimode Table that will let users change the angle and height of the PC from lying down flat to facing the user like a normal monitor.

Hortensius said Lenovo is also getting ready to launch new editions of more traditional computers, including new IdeaPad and ThinkPad touchscreen Windows 8 notebooks.

Microsoft Corp. pioneered the idea of a table PC with the Surface, a PC with a 30-inch (762-millimeter) touch-sensitive screen released in 2008.

It was designed for store displays and other commercial applications.

The concept is now called PixelSense, as Microsoft started using the ‘Surface’ name for an unrelated tablet computer last year.

More recently, Sony Corp. released the Tap 20, an all-in-one PC that can also be laid flat.

But it is smaller than the Lenovo model, at 20 inches (508 millimeters) diagonally, and doesn’t have as much table-oriented software as the Table PC.
Smart cutlery that can monitor exactly how much you eat was also revealed.

The HAPIfork uses electronic sensors to monitor how much , and how fast a user is eating.

If they eat too quickly, the fork vibrates, and bright lights flash on its handle.

The fork also wirelessly connects to a user’s phone to send their eating habits to a special app.

The HAPIfork’s makers claim that people only naturally feel full after about 20 minutes of eating, and so by diminishing the amount eaten in that period users will eat less and consequently lose weight.

‘Most people eat faster than they should and do not realise that eating too fast ins’t a healthy behaviour, negatively affecting things like digestion and weight control,’ said HAPIlabs’ US President Andrew Carton.

The fork will track the duration of a meal, the number of fork servings and the duration of each interval between servings.



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