The Most Wonderfully Unrealistic Gear From CES 2013

At CES every year, we cover hundreds of products. They're usually only barely differentiated from previous models. But sometimes, companies trot out devices and technology that could bring something new and wonderful to the market — it's just too bad the odds of this vapourware ever being for sale are slim to nil. Here's the best fantasy tech that wowed the gadget-lusting masses in 2013.

LG's Curved 3D OLED TV

There's no denying the technology makes for some beautiful TVs, but OLED-based displays are still incredibly expensive. So maybe instead of adding a graceful curve — and making them even harder and more expensive to produce — LG could funnel a few R&D dollars into making the existing technology affordable for consumers.

Flexible E-Ink Tablets

E-ink displays have always come with a promise: One day, it goes, this technology will appear as a flexible display you can roll up to stow. Every year at CES, we see new prototypes. They never materialise. If the idea of a paper-thin tablet wasn't so tantalising, this annual broken dream wouldn't be so painful.

Haier's Transparent Washing Machine

Last year, Haier showed us a see-through TV, which no one wanted. So the company's designers went back to the drawing board. This year, Haier brought us a transparent washing machine with a blinding neon glow. Will this one be a hit? Maybe. We already know what's inside a washing machine — dirty clothes.

The Lexus Intelligent Co-Pilot

Self-driving cars were one of the minor trends this year. But this technology — kind of like a flying car — has to be absolutely perfect when it rolls out. And beyond safety concerns, no one's going to want to drive around with a massive spinning LIDAR camera on the roof. This hardware needs a heck of a lot of refinement before it ever hits the road.

Panasonic's Giant 4K Tablet

4K TV technology has only just started to appear in some very expensive TVs. Already, Panasonic wants to cram this insane amount of pixels into an equally insane 20-inch tablet. So much resolution, and such a huge tablet — you practically need a trolley to carry it around. We're still happy with retina displays, Panasonic.

Harman's Augmented Reality Windshield Display

Lawmakers across the country are working to make the roads safer by banning the use of smartphones while driving. Harman's solution: Fill the windshield with widgets and info — basically, other distractions. You can watch YouTube videos when you should be watching the road. How can that be any safer?



    What... no Project Shield?

    Saying that, the Shield is probably something that i would buy, it would complement my new GTX 680 quite nicely as long as its somewhat reasonably priced.

    I want that f*****g washing machine!

    I saw a proposal for a AR windscreen a few years ago. It had not just speed and fuel and all the rest of it on the screen but also, using cameras and IR/UV lights on the front would highlight things like the lines on the road, the posts on the side of the road, other cars, including distance and relative speed and could even keep an eye out for pedestrians and animals like kangaroos and catel on the side of the road. The computer power required to operate the system at the time was huge, From memory, they had to add a generator to the engine to power the equipment and the computers and such added 200 or so KG to the weight of the car.

    Of course this was 5-6 years ago so perhaps it may now be feasable. From memory to be able to drive the car required a course in how to use and read all the info while also concentrating on driving.

    Some of this stuff may not be practical today but I suspect the point here is the companies are promoting their R&D abilities to push the boundaries. Giz could review this aricle in a few years and might find that some of this technology has made its way to our homes.

    Self driving cars! Who on earth would ever buy one? It's like buying a jigsaw puzzle that solves itself. Walk to the station and take a train if you don't want to drive, and leave the roads safer for us normal people who have even a tiny amount of a pulse.

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