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Must-Have Tech from 2013 CES

I left CES in Las Vegas a week ago. So I’ve had some time to get over the geeky thrill of all that new gear and geek chatter. It was like being surrounded by people talking tech-nonsense on Star Trek and I loved it. Some of the gear was probably in use on the Enterprise  But now I’m back in my own life and I’ve been thinking about what – of the 20,000 new products announced  – I still feel a hankering for. I’ve been mulling over the stuff I haven’t forgotten, the technology that has me thinking about possibilities, and the gear I now either can’t live without (damn you addictive review units!) or am hankering to get my hands on and take for a spin. So here is my calm, after-the-thrill list of the gear that won’t let me alone.

Roku + Netflix = Instant Movies on your TV

The Samsung Four-Door Fridge


Until I saw the Samsung T9000 Four-Door Refrigerator (available
 in Spring, $3,999), I was a little in love with my own refrigerator. It helped restore my faith in refrigerators after I got out of really bad relationship with one. And it’s been a good friend in the kitchen. Then I saw all that space and that I could convert half of the freezer to a fridge when needed. Now I’m looking at my own fridge with less love. I’m so fickle. Which is why I probably wouldn’t commit to a fridge with an embedded tablet, which the T9000 also has. Evernote right on the fridge door might be handy. But a fridge that costs this much is a 10 year commitment. Will I hate the built-in tablet by then? I guess I’m conflicted.

Android Cameras

I saw these at both the Nikon (a Coolpix camera) and Samsung (the Galaxy Cameras) booths. At first, I didn’t see why my camera needed to run on an Android operating system. And then, as I was posting my not-so-great-phone-taken photos to Twitter, I got it: Shoot and post. I’m in. Then I thought about a trip I’m taking later this month and realized it would be a blast to live-photo blog that – with the right camera. I’m always in a meeting and can’t stop to mess around with uploading and I hate posting crap photos. So this is now in the category of, “I seriously need to try this.”

Robot Cars

I watched an Audi pull up in front of a hotel to drop of its driver and then go park itself in the parking garage around the corner. I saw Toyota’s self-piloting vehicle (pictured) on display. (Want to read the full story on that? It’s here.) Okay, I know this technology isn’t ready to happen yet because I talked to some brilliant car engineers for my Family Circle story The Future Car (in the current issue). But I also know that a car that can help prevent me – or my teens — from hitting other cars or trees by accident is coming very, very soon. I want that. I’m a good driver. But I’m human. An alert and observant car that warns me if there is someone in my blind spot or adjusts my speed in heady traffic is definitely on my “I’m getting that ASAP list.”

Bags and Cases

The men were all grumbling about how many phone, tablet, and laptop cases there were on display. I was in heaven. I love bags. The first thing I do when I get a new tech toy is dress it in something sexy. But it is often very difficult to find anything that fits both my style and my gadget. But given how many cases and bags I saw at CES this year, I’m hoping 2013 will be the year of the awesome tech bags. I’m planning a tablet case roundup so stay tuned for pictures and sources soon.

A Smarter House

A front door that will tell me if someone is trying to break in, will let me open the door for a teenager who lost his key, will let me know if the kids got home okay? I want that. I saw a demo of the Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt front door lock that does all of that (and runs under the Nexia Home Intelligence system). I’ll be trying it out very soon. Can it can keep my dog from destroying the keypad trying to hack his way in? They tell me the alarm will probably scare him off. If it can do that, it will pass a test no other door has yet. I’ll let you know how that goes.




Awesome Wearable Health Sensors

BodyMedia was showing a jewelry-like sensor (pictured) you wear on your arm to collect all sorts of calorie-burn, sleep, and activity data. It will be out later in the year. It looks awesome. I want! And Fitbit announced a new wearable wrist band: The Flex. And there were so many more body sensors on the floor that it’s clear this is an area that’s taking off fast. I love these little doodads. So I’ll try some out and do a roundup as soon as the new ones become available.

It’s going to be a fun year for tech. And I’ll do my best to give some of it away to my readers. Maybe you should sign up for my weekly email newsletter or feed so you don’t miss anything?

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