This year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was bigger than ever, attracting more than 150,000 attendees to see the latest in gadgetry from 3,200 exhibitors across more than two million square feet of space in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Of the thousands of products showcased, we spotlight eight that can help architects enliven multimedia presentations, store data, and document projects.
Clio, ClearView Audio
What it does: Uses piezoelectric actuators to stimulate a small, translucent acrylic glass stereo transducer that moves sound outward in multiple directions, unlike traditional box speakers that move sound in just one direction.
Why it's innovative: If “less is more” in design, then it’s hard to beat a speaker that you can’t see.
January 2014 | $349 | clearviewaudio.com
What it does: Enables a high-speed, high-resolution connection from SlimPort-enabled Android mobile devices to external displays such as HD televisions, desktop monitors, and projectors.
Why it's innovative: SlimPort provides 1080-pixel HD video with 3D graphics and audio, yet it draws next-to-nothing in power from a mobile device’s battery.
November 2012 (for LG Google Nexus); January 2014 for ZTE Nubia Z5S with 4k display | $29 to $45 for HDMI or video graphics adapters (or a combination) | slimportconnect.com
Flir One, Flir
What it does: Turns your smartphone into an infrared sensor and camera.
Why it's innovative: Makes heretofore-expensive, sophisticated thermal imaging capabilities affordable and user friendly.
Spring 2014 for iPhone; late 2014 for Android | $349 | flir.com
Dry Erase Whiteboards with Corning Gorilla Glass, MooreCo
What it does: Compared to traditional porcelain boards, glass dry-erase boards are easier to write on but are hampered by their weight. Incorporating Corning’s Gorilla-brand glass allows for the creation of new models that are thinner and weigh less than their predecessors.
Why it's innovative: Made from the same material as the screens of mobile electronic devices, the boards’ surfaces are scratch resistant.
April 2014 | Price not disclosed | moorecoinc.com
Replicator Z18 3D Printer, MakerBot Industries
What it does: Larger than its predecessors and with the ability to produce objects up to 12-by-12-by-18-inches in size, this MakerBot model can print two items simultaneously. Users can send files to the printer using a mobile device or USB port. MakerBot is releasing an accompanying mobile app this spring.
Why it's innovative: Reasonably priced, the printer allows users to make larger industrial prototypes, architectural models, and other products.
Spring 2014 | $6,499 | makerbot.com
Curved Ultra HD TV, LG Electronics
What it does: With four times the picture resolution of the current 1080-pixel HD standard and a curved screen delivering a cinematic experience with reduced glare, the model can immerse viewers in its vivid display. And at 105 inches, LG claims it is the largest curved television ever made.
Why it's innovative: The screen’s 11 million pixels provide optimal picture quality while LG’s thin-film-transistor circuit technology resolves the uneven backlighting that can plague existing curved displays.
January 2014 | $69,999 | lg.com
PadFone X, Asus
What it does: This Android smartphone slides into the docking shell on the back of a 9-inch-wide Asus tablet.
Why it's innovative: Enlarges display presentations and simplifies user transfers among devices.
January 2014 | Price not disclosed | asus.com
What it does: This app compresses JPEG image files to one-third of their original size, retaining the resolution, display and print dimensions, and quality of the parent file in their shrunken form. Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, ThinPic was a finalist for CES’s Mobile Apps Showdown.
Why it's innovative: The smaller files save storage space, allowing firms to fit more content and project documents onto external drives and networks, and to transfer files in less than half the time they could previously.
2012 (iOS version released October 2013) | Free ($1.99 for unlimited photo reductions) | thinpic.com