Jedi mind tricks on your TV
We already took a look earlier this week about controlling Windows 8 navigation with your eyes, now how about controlling a TV with your mind? We’ve all wished it at one point or another – sometimes those remote controllers seem to just grow legs and hide. To initiate mind control, Haier has developed their Brain Wave headset that puts a little metal pad on your forehead and a clip on your earlobe to translate your thought power into control. Unfortunately Haier didn’t have a traditional TV interface for doing regular TV things like volume control and changing channels. Instead, they had a little game where you use the controller to guide a bird through a maze. But so far it doesn’t look like it may be very easy to use. In Engadget’s hands-on video, you can see that there was a little bit of trouble doing much more than making the bird float and move up and down. I’m sure there’s more improvements to come with this technology, but it still doesn’t remedy one problem versus a standard remote control – if you’re not wearing it, you can still misplace it. So I guess you can put the lightsabers away for now.
CES always sets the tone for the kind of consumer tech we’ll see over the year. There’s still a number of trade shows yet to come in 2011 and a lot of stuff we haven’t seen yet – we still have the Mobile World Conference in February, E3 later this year, and of course Apple’s WWDC always has some interesting stuff. Nevertheless, there are still some themes set at CES, specifically two main ones in my eyes.
Not surprisingly, the first clear theme is mobile. There were an overwhelming number of products that are aimed at being useful on the go. Ultrabooks got more exposure than both tablets and traditional laptops over the four days of the show. Manufacturers really focused on showing off notebooks with super-thin form factors that don’t force users to have to trade portability for power the way current-gen netbooks do. For me personally that tradeoff is a big problem, and I imagine I’m not the only one. There’s one very prominent problem that prevents me from buying a tablet or a slim netbook right now – they just don’t do everything my laptop does. There’s no sense in me spending that kind of money (and even more on peripherals) when I’m not getting everything I want. HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Samsung and Vizio have tried to remedy that problem by putting out some really sleek units that use the strength of newer construction materials to lower unit weight – carbon fiber, glass, gorilla glass and magnesium alloy. And if there’s one thing I like more than power, it’s power that weighs in at 3 pounds.