CES offers tech thrills in Vegas

If it’s a stag weekend, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. When it’s CES, the biggest technology showcase in the world, what happens in Vegas will usually be in your local Maplin gadget store within the year.

CES might not be the place where the serious players like Apple or Google choose to launch their latest innovations (although Samsung had a substantial presence), but plenty of other tech companies were in attendance with fun applications and digital toys competing for attention.

The idea of a 3D printer is still baffling to many and Scott Turner of 3D Systems brought an appropriate level of Vegas showmanship to demonstrating what this seemingly magical piece of equipment can achieve. It might be a year or two before everyone has one hooked up to their iPads, but they will be the covetable gizmo for the next few Christmases to come.

One of the buzzwords being bandied around was the ugly neologism "phablet", meaning a phone with all the capabilities of the tablet. Samsung have stolen a march on competitors with their Galaxy Note devices and rivals are desperate to grab a slice of the market.

On the subject of grabbing a slice, would-be dieters with weak willpower could soon be offered a technological back up. HAPilabs have developed the HAPifork, a smart-connected piece of tableware that registers how fast you are eating and slows down to improve digestion and reduce weight. We wonder whether a hack into the software could make the fork jab into the thigh every time you try to scoop up a chocolate éclair.

The wacky innovations are what makes CES so entertaining. The Inquirer even spotted a child’s potty with an iPad attachment. At least we hope it was a child’s potty. Perhaps it was targeted at the geek who just can’t find time to take a comfort break when embroiled in a marathon session of World of Warcraft.

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