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CES 2008 News: Trick Technologies

My CES 2008 news update comes in the following sections: Laptops & UMPCs, Home Entertainment, Media Players, Cellphones, Gaming and Trick Technologies. To read all the CES 2008 articles, click here. Details of dates, pricing and specifications described below are given from the best information available at the time of writing and may change at any time at each manufacturer’s discretion.

Trick Technologies

Solid State Drives

Sandisk, Samsung and Toshiba were all showing off their Solid State Drive technology. Sandisk had several laptops on its stand fitted with SSDs including a MacBook, although this was a working concept rather than a production unit. Samsung were running a video showing the relative merits of SSD versus traditional hard disks, which highlighted SSD benefits in file access timing, battery performance and vibration tests. The company, which has been fitting 32GB SSDs into production Q1s for a while, announced that a 64 GB SSD version will be available in the new Q1 Ultra Premium range. Toshiba had an open SSD on display and as expected the drive simply looks like a large memory board with an array of storage chips in place of a traditional spinning platter. I would expect SSDs to become an ever increasing part of portable commputing and to fall in price as production volumes increase.

Killer SSD fact: SSDs are governed by Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles about every two years. We could therefore assume that at a given price point the capacity of an SSD should double every two years. Or, the cost of a given SSD capacity should roughly halve every two years. This means that at some future point I expect SSDs to become cheaper than traditional hard drives and therefore more widely implemented given the relative benefits of SSDs.

Toshiba Hand Gesture Recognition

Giving us hope that Minority Report style hand waving technology may be possible one day, Toshiba demonstrated a prototype Qosmio laptop which responded to hand gestures. By making certain gestures in front of the laptop’s webcam, the demonstrator was able to play, pause and search through a movie. Another gesture turned the hand into a vitual pointer, controlling on-screen mouse movement. This was made possible by development of Toshiba’s SpursEngine, a co-processor which takes processing of certain highly data intensive functions away from the CPU and graphics card. This allows the latter two to concentrate on what they are doing and gives the overall system more horsepower for rendering HDTV and certain other multimedia tasks. The software is already compatible with Windows Media Center. The best news about this technology is that we could see Qosmios rolling into stores with it onboard as soon as this year.

Wireless Rechargeable External Drives

External drives are great…until you want to access them on the move at which point you wish you’d bought a laptop with a bigger hard drive. Not for much longer.

Seagate demonstrated a prototype 1.8 inch external hard drive called the DAVE equipped with WiFi and a battery (rechargeable via USB). So this drive could stay in a bag whilst you access it from a laptop on a coffee table nearby. Seagate is aiming to give it cellphone-like battery life. It is unlikely that Seagate will sell the drive themselves just yet, at present the company is working with third parties to build software and market the product.

Organic Light Emmitting Diode Screens (OLED Screens)

This technology, once emerging, has now definitely emerged and is retail stores. OLED screens were some of the stars of the show, with dazzling screens on display from Samsung and Sony. See the home entertainment section for more details.

See photos and read CES news about: Laptops & UMPCs, Home Entertainment, Media Players, Cellphones, Gaming and Trick Technologies.

To read all the CES 2008 articles, click here.

Neil Berman


Jan 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment


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