Yes, it’s that time of year again when anybody who is anybody in tech journalism sets up base camp in some seedy Sin City hotel as the world’s biggest gadget-fest, the Consumer Electronics Show, hits Las Vegas for its annual orgy of electrickery.
Sadly, however, as I wasn’t invited by any of the countless tech company PRs that used to be so pally with me right up to the point that I went freelance, married to the depressing fact that I haven’t the funds to get there by my own volition, I’m not privy to what’s going on more than any other gawpingly gadget-obsessed Internet user. But that doesn’t mean I can’t draw upon my decade-plus experience in the tech sector to bring you my predictions of what we can expect to see unveiled at this year’s expo, bringing you the cream of the consumer tech crop ahead of those who prefer to rely on stuff like ‘fact’…
Exploiting the new trend in antisocial media, for those who simply cannot be arsed to drum their fat, KFC and Silk Cut stained fingers across a crumb covered keyboard to inform others of how they feel/what they think about nothing in particular, the Titfer Twatter simply sits atop the head, like any other hat, and reads your synaptic impulses before translating them into status update and/or Tweet format and automatically posting them online for you. A 2-way info-flow also returns the favour by automatically bombarding your brain with the ‘thoughts’ of Facebook friends and Tweets* of those you’re following to save you the time and effort of having to roll your lazy, flabby, yellowed eyeballs over words.
Price: around US $4499
*May also transmit adverts/political propaganda/other third-party instructions.
A wrist-located Internet portal to a live stream of a large digital, Ap-tomic clock face, set into which is a tiny window through which you can access other time-based apps and therefore always know what the time* is wherever you go; for as long as the battery lasts and provided you’ve paid out the extra £100 for the 3G version and are not just relying on happening across a handy Starbucks.
The inset window also allows you to squint at the Internet and/or videos and, if you haven’t the strength to raise your wrist to look directly into the iTime vortex yourself, you can simply ask Siri who will instantly reply with the precise time down to the nanosecond; as long as you live in San Francisco. Obviously. Price: around US $499 for 4GB iTime
*Currently iWatch time only works with iTime-compatible apps.
Baby Titfer-Twatter Bonnet
Junior version of the new mind-violating headgear looked at earlier. Ever wished you knew what your baby was thinking? Is he hungry? Does he need a nappy change? Does he already resent you for forcing him into your squalid, sub-standard world merely because you had nothing else to do one evening, you selfish bastard? Find out the answers to all these questions as baby’s thoughts are instantly scanned, translated from Googlish to English and posted on baby’s own Bebo account, all through the magic of the Baby Titfer-Twatter Bonnet. And then struggle to live with the awful, heartbreaking, often home-wrecking consequences of that knowledge, along with having to account for and explain away all the anonymous mailings to Social Services about your failings as not only a parent but also a human being.
Price: around US $5549
Price: from US $199
The latest in advanced domestic appliance technology, not only does this slick American-style side-by-side refrigerator come with a whopping 583-litre capacity, an ice and water dispenser, a vegetable crisper and Internet connection, it’s also the first fridge-freezer in the world to be able to cryogenically flash-freeze a corpse in just five minutes, going on to keep your cadaver-popsicle at the ideal sub-zero temperature until the time comes when either a cure is discovered, or you just need to store more beer.
Ideal for those with larger families who need access to online recipes, grocery ordering and to quickly freeze either themselves or someone else following a violent domestic, the Manussi Disney 2000 Cryo-Fridge comes in brushed stainless steel, gloss black or coffin-effect mahogany. Price: US $10,999
Sony Vita L-signs
The very latest development in gaming technology, we’ve had force feedback, we’ve had 3D, we’ve had online arenas, but only the new Vita L-signs actively controls your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and respiratory rate as you play, altering each accordingly to the gaming situation you find yourself in, whether battling through the confusion of all-out Armageddon, running for your life from a terrifying hell hound, or being water-boarded in a secure compound somewhere near Cuba, the Vita L-signs will make the experience so painstakingly painfully realistic that there is an excellent chance you might actually die playing.
Coming bundled with headphones, charger and emergency defibrillator, UK release is expected around May following a final round of testing on lab chimps and an expendable cross-section of the American public. Price: TBC
Thorn Three-Storey TV
Feeding the public’s demand for bigger and better, this gogglebox behemoth will bring the largest possible pictures and living discomfort to any and all middleclass households across the world. High definition, high contrast, high, the sit-in, car-shaped remote control is said to “invoke the feeling of being at the drive-in”, while built-in Freeview, DVD-player and kitchen provides everything you need for the perfect night in. Out.
Seen here propped up against the average English house prior to installation, it’ll be impossible to miss a programme again.
Price: around JPN ¥118,657,374.15
The leaders in portable PC technology are set to stagger once more with the unveiling of the world’s lightest, thinnest notebook computer, the BiaFran. Thinner than a folded sheet of standard paper, the A5-sized notebook weighs in at less than the smallest scalar quantity you can imagine, yet still harnesses the power of quantum computing thanks to the Intel HardCore processor, includes a Many-World’s theory hard drive for infinite capacity, and backs up automatically onto an actual cloud you can see in the sky.
Bluetooth/Beard enabled, Wi-Fi b, g, n and z compatible, the NVIDIA graphics card makes gaming more realistic than reality itself, whilst OwnOdor technology and a Smart History feature self-deletes all references to pornographic sites the moment it senses someone else noseying around.
Eco-friendly too, once the BiaFran reaches the end of its useful life, it immediately breaks down into its component parts and self-mulches into your lawn.
Price: from around US $6000.99
That’s all for now, but join me again as CES progresses and I tick off my predictions one by one. Either that or I run updates I’ve pinched from CNET. One or the other.