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Technology's Latest & Greatest on Display

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News,Science and Technology

Technology companies from around the world are showing off their newest developments at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (Jan. 7)

SHOTLIST:

ASSOCIATED PRESS / AP CLIENTS ONLY

Las Vegas / January 6, 2013

1. Close, CES Ice sculpture

2. SOUNDBITE: Gary Shapiro - President, Consumer Electronics Association "This is the biggest CES ever.

3. M shows off its table top touch system

4. SOUNDBITE: Gary Shapiro - President, Consumer Electronics Association

"The video screen is rapidly changing. We have Ultra-HD, which is four times the resolution of high definition. Plus we have connected smart TVs, as well as new types of TV technology like LKAS. So many things are happening here in a big way. Audio is great, safety technologies and of course, health care. 25 percent increase in health care at the show because health care is not always something you have to go to your doctor because of technology."

5. Mid. Ion's "Party Rocker" portable light show

6. Wide. CES Unveiled entrance

7. SOUNDBITE: Henrik Eskilsson - CEO, Tobii

"At CES this year we're showing off our latest eye-tracking sensor. It's a product called Tobii REX that we're announcing now.

8. Mid. Eskilsson's on computer

9. Close. Eskilsson's eyes

10. Close. Tobii REX device

11. SOUNDBITE: Henrik Eskilsson - CEO, Tobii

this is an eye-tracking sensor that allows a computer to know exactly where on the screen you're looking. We integrate that concept of eye control together with keyboard, mouse or touchpad to create a revolutionary new user interface for the computer."

12. SOUNDBITE: MATT BUSIGIN - CANOPY SPOKESMAN

"We've developed Sensus, the World's first capacity of touch iPhone case. What we're doing is actually introducing the capacity of touch to the back and to the shoulder of an iPhone case.

13. Close. Busigin moving finger on back of Sensus device.

14. Front of Iphone as Busigin draws on back

15. SOUNDBITE: SOUNDBITE: MATT BUSIGIN - CANOPY SPOKESMAN

'i'm actually controlling through the back. Here's another cool part as I let up it pauses and I'm actually going to switch weapons, as you can see. At the top there. Pretty cool.

16. SOUNDBITE: FABRICE BOUTAIN - FOUNDER, HAPISPOON

"This is the first smart fork called the HAPIfork. It's a device that's going to be helping you lose weight by tracking important data. One of them is the time you eat and the time you finish eating, the second one is going to be the number of fork servings that you have during your meal and the third data is the duration between each fork serving. So if you eat too fast, we're going to help you slow down via a gentle vibration. So the HAPIfork here is going to be vibrating and telling you to slow down."

17. Close. Hand holding smart fork.

18. Mid, pan down to smart forks on table.

STORYLINE:

Gadget show gears up in Vegas

Peter Svensson | Associated Press

Think your high-definition TV is hot stuff - as sharp as it gets? At the biggest trade show in the Americas, which kicks off this week in Las Vegas, TV makers will be doing their best to convince you that HDTVs are old hat and should make room for "Ultra HDTV."

It's the latest gambit from an industry struggling with a shift in consumer spending from TVs, PCs and single-purpose devices such as camcorders to small, portable do-it-all gadgets: smartphones and tablets. The Consumer Electronics Association estimates that device shipments to U.S. buyers fell 5 percent in dollar terms last year excluding smartphones and tablets, but rose 6 percent to $207 billion if you include those categories.

The trends suggest that the International CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show) is losing its stature as a start-of-the-year showcase for the gadgets that consumers will buy over the next 12 months. It started out as a venue for the TV and stereo industries. Later, PCs joined the party.

But over the last few years, TVs and PCs have declined in importance as portable gadgets have risen and CES hasn't kept pace. It's not a major venue for phone and tablet launches, though some new models will likely see the light of day there when the show floor opens on Tuesday. The biggest trendsetter in mobile gadgets industry, Apple Inc., stays away, as it shuns all events it doesn't organize itself.

Gary Shapiro, the CEO of the organizing Consumer Electronics Association, expects attendance close to the 156,000 people who turned out last year. That's pretty much at capacity for Las Vegas, which has about 150,000 hotel rooms.

These are some of the themes that will be in evidence this week:

• Sharper TVs. Ultra HDTVs have four times the resolution of HDTVs. While this sounds extreme and unnecessary, you've probably already been exposed to projections at this resolution, because it's used in digital movie theaters. Sony, LG, Westinghouse and others will be at the show with huge flat-panel TVs that bring that experience home, if you have a spare $20,000 or so.

While the sets are eye-catching, they will likely be niche products for years to come, if they ever catch on. They have to be really big - more than 60 inches, measured diagonally - to make the extra resolution really count. Also, there's no easy way to get movies in UHDTV resolution.

• Bigger Phones. Unlike TVs, new phones are launched throughout the year, so CES isn't much of a bellwether for phone trends. But this year, reports point to several super-sized smartphones, with screens bigger than five inches diagonally, making their debut at the show. These phones are so big they can be awkward to hold to the ear, but Samsung's Galaxy Note series has shown that there's a market for them. Wags call them "phablets" because they're almost tablet-sized.

• Acrobatic PCs. Microsoft launched Windows 8 in October, in an attempt to make the PC work more like a tablet. PC makers obliged, with a slew of machines that blend the boundaries. They have touch screens that twist, fold back or detach from the keyboard. None of these seems to be a standout hit so far, but we can expect more experiments to be revealed at the show.

• Attentive Computing. CES has been a showcase in recent years for technologies that free users from keyboards, mice and buttons. Instead, they rely on cameras and other sophisticated sensors to track the user and interpret gestures and eye movements.

Tobii Technology, a Swedish company, will be at the show to demonstrate "the world's first gaze interaction computer peripheral" - basically a camera that tracks where the user is looking on the screen, potentially replacing the mouse.

PointGrab, an Israeli startup, will be showing off software that lets a regular laptop webcam interpret hand movements in the air in front of it.

Assaf Gad, head of marketing at PointGrab, said that CES is usually full of hopeful companies with speculative interaction technologies, "but this year, you can actually see real devices."

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