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As we've explored so far, the annual CES tech show held in Vegas isn't always about the latest state-of-the-art laptops or huge TVs that'll make your eyes water, sometimes it's the smaller, more niche products that really wow the crowds.

This year technology, quirky devices and accessories aimed primarily at children have played a bigger part in the show then ever and we've collected together just 12 of our favourites from the floor.

Gone are the days of the boring, old wristwatch, which was only ever able to tell the time and possibly look a little bit stylish at the same time.

Now a range of new "watches" are in town that are super connected and probably more intelligent than your average teenager and there are LOTS of rumours flying round that Apple's been working on its own smart watch for some time.

Although we've seen a lot of innovative watches emerge over the past few years, it looks like CES 2013 has been an advanced watch EXTRAVAGANZA as there have been some impressive - and at the same time pretty pointless - wrist accessories, so here are our five favourite from the show floor so far.

Many tech lovers get all hot and bothered about the big announcements that'll be coming from the CES 2013 this week, whether it's a cool new smart phone or twisty, bendy laptop thing. However, we've noticed that sometimes it's actually the much smaller and less hyped products that impress us the most and iPhone cases and accessories are no exception this year.

So far we've come across cases that are bullet proof, special coatings that are waterproof, accessories with double screens and dongles that allow you to control your laptop with gestures over your phone. We expect there'll be more weird and wonderful iPhone-related tech from the show floor throughout the week, but for now here's our pick of the top 10 iPhone cases and accessories that have got us talking at Shiny Shiny HQ.

We knew health and fitness gadgets were going to take up a big part of our CES 2013 coverage this year, but we've really been surprised - and oh so geekily excited - by the sheer volume of cool tech coming from Las Vegas that's set to really have a huge impact on the quantified self movement over the next 12 months.

Here's our pick of the top 10 gadgets from the show so far, but expect even more quirky, useful and even potentially life-saving pieces of tech to make an appearance as the week goes on.

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Tech giant Lenovo has made its first big announcement at CES 2013 by revealing the Horizon, a 27-inch touchscreen PC/tablet hybrid that's as much a coffee table surface as it is a computer.

The huge Windows 8 slate has a built-in stand, which you can fold away to lay the device flat, acting like a giant tabletop tablet. This also allows the Horizon to be a bit more portable, though at 7.7kg in weight we don't recommend throwing it in your handbag - not that you could squeeze it in.

Inside the Horizon you'll find an Intel Core i7 processor, a dedicated Nvidia graphics chip in the shape of a 620M and 1TB of storage.

As well as the now-standard Windows touch tile interface, Lenovo has also popped its own Aura Dual Moon UI onto the Horizon. It'll be a hub for media and games, with EA's desktop boardgame titles, like Monopoly pre-installed, as well as shipping with joysticks and "e-dice".

According to reports today it'll be launching in early summer and cost $1,699.

[Via Tech Digest]

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One of our favourite up and coming tech brands, Fitbit, has launched a wristband tracking gadget at CES 2013 this week called Flex, which is set to add to its already impressive portfolio of fitness devices and compete with the likes of Nike's Fuelband and Jawbone's Up bracelet in the battle for your arm.

The Flex is similar to its competitors in that it collects data about how many steps you've taken, your quality of sleep, the calories you've burned and a range of other metrics, which are all then fed to a dedicated app instead of being displayed on a screen like the company's other gadgets. However, the Flex is unique in that it's able to sync data wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.0 - Nike's Fuelband uses Bluetooth 2.1 and Jawbone doesn't have Bluetooth capability at all. It's also set to be much cheaper than its other rivals as well, retailing for under $100 in the US.

The step towards a wristband-style gadget certainly makes sense for a company that's already proving to be a key player in the health and fitness tracking arena and may have been overshadowed by similar offerings in the past.

[Via Connected Health Via Venture Beat]

nvidia-grid-gaming.jpgNvidia is staking a strong claim on the cloud-based gaming arena at CES 2013 this week by unveiling the Grid.

The Grid is just like Netflix but for die-hard gamers instead of movie buffs and - after a demo from the team - appears to be a seamless way for users to play a range of different games across multiple devices. Whatever game you play on one device and whichever stage you reach, you can then pick everything up from the exact same spot using another, which is what has led many to draw comparisons with Netflix's functionality.

There'll clearly be some issues with streaming games for those in areas that don't have the best data connections, but there's no doubt the Grid could prove to be a key competitor to the likes of OnLive and Gaikai that are already in the "game", so to speak.


haip-fork.jpgEvery time we write about gadgets to monitor our eating over on our sister site Connected Health we joke that you'll still need a healthy dose of motivation whatever you start using, because no matter how clever a device is it can't knock that HUGE tub of Ben & Jerrys out of your hand. Well, that's not necessarily the case anymore, as the HAPIfork alerts you when you've eaten too much.

Using a variety of sensors the HAPIfork is able to monitor how fast you're eating and then vibrates if you're gobbling your meals down too quickly. It's then really clever as it increases the length of time between each mouthful, so you effectively eat less. Or just eat loads and ignore the vibrations - we're not too sure?!

Andrew Carton, HAPIlabs' US President, said:

"Most people eat faster than they should and do not realise that eating too fast ins't a healthy behaviour, negatively affecting things like digestion and weight control."

[Via Connected Health Via Telegraph]

international-ces-logo-new.jpgIt's not long now until the top brands and minds of the tech world descend on Las Vegas to take part in CES 2013, the annual Consumer Electronics Show where products are showcased, press conferences are held and lots of fun takes place in Sin City.

Usually there are hundreds of rumours flying around about the gadgets that are set to be unveiled and leaked photos of what to expect, but we can't help but feel this year is set to be a little bit quieter, especially considering some of the biggest names in tech won't even be there.

However, that doesn't mean we still won't see some innovative new ideas, unexpected announcements and most importantly game-changing technology, so here's our pick of 10 things that'll have everyone talking next week.

1. Smarter wearable technology

Over the past year we've seen an abundance of wearable technology hitting the global markets, particularly in the health and fitness arenas, and we don't doubt there'll be plenty more this time round. However, much of what we've seen this year has been a bit bulky and might be packing great tech inside, but often looks and feels a bit cumbersome to wear day in and day out. At CES this year we're expecting advanced tech with wearable hardware, which will combine to create products to really shake up the health and fitness industries. Remember the Shine gadget from earlier in the year? We want to see more products like that.

2. Health and fitness gadgets, apps and services boom

We were on the floor at CES last year and were blown away by the stands - and most of an entire hall - dedicated to health and fitness tech. Given the huge explosion in mobile health apps, gadgets, accessories and integrated services as well as the impressive adoption rate of them all across the globe, we expect there'll be plenty of exciting news this year too. We'd like to see some great gadgets to compete with the likes of Basis, Fitbit and Nike+, but we're also expecting some interesting new concepts too, like the Lumoback.

3. Flexibility

Samsung has really dominated the pre-CES chatter this year and we already know about the flexible display it'll be showcasing and looking to include on future devices. However, we also expect flexibility to be a key trend or at least a conversation topic for future advances not only in smartphones, but in wearable tech, mobile health and even home appliances.

4. Bye bye Microsoft

Two of the biggest players of previous years, Microsoft and HP, won't be attending CES this time round, which has lead many to suggest it'll be a much quieter affair, others to suggest it'll leave room for smaller start-ups and the rest to suggest it's just a silly move.

5. Connected home technology

For years tech events have showcased products and apps and quirky services that are designed to have your home running more efficiently, maybe you can tweet for your bath to fill up or send stats to your scales. However, up until now everything's been a bit gimmicky, but with the recent popularity of mobile health tech advances, new lines of NFC appliances and super smart wi-fi lightbulbs, we expect everything to be much more usable and useful than ever before.

6. Gesture computing

We already know Tobii will be showing off its latest eye controlled technology, but we expect to see advanced gesture technology too from both specialist companies and integrated into the products of some of the biggest names.

7. Cool automotive electronics

It looks like at CES this year we'll see more automative brands showing off their latest products and features than ever, with the likes of Audi, Ford, Kia and Subaru all heading over to Vegas. We'll obviously see a lot of interesting and advanced tech, but can expect our other gadgets and tech services to integrate into the way our cars work too, whether it be the applications we use across lots of devices or our mobile phones.

8. A better kind of HD

Just when you thought our screens couldn't get sharper and brighter with even more definition, we bet we'll see TVs, laptops and mobile phones with an even more eye popping definition of um... high definition.

9. Phone/tablet hybrids

It seems the line between phone and tablet is becoming increasingly blurred and the popularity of huge phones, like Samsung's Galaxy Note, mean it's certainly not the flash in the pan trend many were expecting, so we're betting on seeing a few more devices this year that straddle the line.

10. Video on demand services

There are rumours that Samsung's planning on launching an entertainment experience - in fact there are rumours that Samsung's launching pretty much EVERYTHING this year - but even if they don't ring true next week, the popularity of on demand and streaming services means it's bound to play an important role in this year's show.

tobii-windows-8.jpgBack in December 2011 the Shiny Shiny and Tech Digest teams went along to a special preview of the world's first eye-controlled arcade game, called Eye Asteroids developed by Tobii.

Over the past few years the specialists at Tobii have been developing all kinds of new ways to integrate their eye tracking technology into our everyday lives and according to news this week it's set to be taken from arcade game concepts to our own computers at CES 2013 next week.

Mashable reports that Tobii is set to show off its latest eye tracking product called REX, which is simply a device that attaches to a monitor, plugs into your computer or laptop via USB and then works alongside software called Tobii Gaze to track your eyes and allow you to drag things around the screen or play games with only your eyes.

It seems that only a select number of Tobii Rex devices will be made and there's no official word about how much the whole package will cost. However, you can sign up via Tobii's website now to receive a special VIP invite 48 hours before its official release later in the year.

Related: VIDEO: Tobii creates first eye controlled arcade game Eye Asteroids

[Via Mashable]

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