More of My Favorite Tech from CES!

liquipel on an iphone from CES
Liquipel in action

I shared a lot of my favorites from CES on the Today Show, but here are few I love but we just didn’t have time to get to on TV:

Apple Accessory: 30 Pin or Lightning Port Flash Drive
This flash drive can be used with any Apple device, since it has the old 30 Pin connector AND the new Lightning port. That means you’ll be able to keep using it with any new Apple products that come out too. In addition to just storing and transferring files, you can also use it to stream movies or music to your iPhone or iPad. If you’ve got AirPlay set up you can then watch it on a TV. Play content from a flash drive to a TV? Pretty cool! Watch how it works here.

Unsung Hero: Liquipel
Liquipel is actually a coating for your phone that helps it repel water. They stick your phone in a box and spray it down with the coating so that it completely covers the phone, but somehow it still manages to be basically invisible. Not gonna help if you have a habit of dropping your device, but it’s great protection from everyday water damage. Sending away an iPhone 5 for the Liquipel treatment starts at $59 + shipping, but you can check out their site for all the options.

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CES: Hands-On With New Flexible and Color E-Ink Displays

eReaders like the Amazon Kindle utilize current e-Ink tech

One of the technologies I’m most excited about here at CES it e-Ink. Why? Because the problem with wanting to everything with our phones is that it drains the battery life. E-Ink is cool, because it uses way less power, which means you get more usage between charges. Two of the latest (and most exciting) developments in e-Ink are the flexible display, which is almost impossible to break, and color. In the video above, I go hands-on with both to give you a sneak peek of this upcoming tech!

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#MarioAtCES: What Is 4K Technology, Anyway?

what is 4k technologyIf you’ve been following CES coverage at all, you’ve probably heard about “4K TVs.” But that doesn’t mean they cost four thousand dollars! Let’s break it down for the non-videophiles.

4K refers to display quality. Native resolution in 4K is 4096×2160 pixels (give or take – the unsurprising, the industry hasn’t set a defined standard). Your current HD TV screen (if you have one) is 1080p, or 1,920×1,080. For those of you that don’t speak pixel, that’s a LOT more pixels than we currently have now in our HD screens; more pixels means images can be shown in more detail, so they look more realistic.

You often hear people say that 4K is 4 times more detailed than our current HD. But wait, you say, my math skills say that doesn’t quite make sense: sure, 4096 is about 4 times more than 1080, but last time I checked 2,160 isn’t 4 times more than 1,080. And right you are! It’s more like 4 regular HD screens put up next to each other: 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom.

Think about it this way: normally if you take a picture or movie and try to blow it up way bigger than itself, it becomes less clear. That’s because it doesn’t have enough pixels to fill up that space, aka the resolution is too low. 4K says, oh yeah, I have enough pixels to fill up four times as much space as a regular HD screen.

Unsurprisingly, lots of movies are shot in 4K, after all they are going to be shown on giant theater screens. Until recently though, 4K displays were not available as consumer products, and that’s why their appearance at CES is getting so much hype: it’s like MEGA High Definition.

You know what it’s not though? Ultra-HD. ALl over CES right now people (including major manufacturers) are referring to 4K as “Ultra-HD,” but they’re actually different specs. Ultra HD is technically supposed to be a resolution of 3840x2160p. Yes, it’s very close to 4K’s 4096×2160, but that slight difference actually results in a different aspect ratio.

Does it matter? Right now, not that much. Right now a 60″4K TV is going to set you back between $20,00 and $25,000. Sure, there will probably be 4K TVs under $10,000 in the next year, but for most of us that still means it’ll be awhile. And that’s good news: it’ll give the industry a chance to make peripherals and content that can actually take advantage of the crazy new high resolution, instead of trying to upscale normal HD.

Want to see it in action? I introduced the first 4K OLED TV here at CES a couple days ago. Watch the video here!

Want some  more 4K reading material? Check out this great article on AVForums – they have some great info about what 4K is and what 4K content is already out there.

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