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Your CES 2013 questions answered: 3D TV, pico projectors and fitness forks

Categories: Community, Science & Technology

 CES is a press and industry only conference, but we're giving you a chance to learn exactly what you want to know from the heart of the action this week. (Reuters) Peter Nowak is at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week to give you a sneak peak into the future of home entertainment, communication technology, and gadgets designed to change the world as we know it.

Only industry professionals and accredited media are admitted into the trade show itself, but we're giving CBC community members a chance to go beyond the mainstream coverage and ask a few questions of their own.

What's going to be on your Christmas list next year? Read Peter's answers to questions asked by members of the CBC Community below to find out

Q: "What is the future of 3D TV? Will active or passive 3D win out in the marketplace, or is the entire technology only a passing fad? At present there is a dearth of 3D programming. Will that change and, judging by CES, would it be practical to look ahead and buy an HDTV that is 3D?"

- Robert Belyk

A: Hi Robert - it doesn't loook like 3D is slowing down at all, with all of the new Ultra HD TVs supporting it. One of the niftier features on these TVs that might actually make the glasses a little more useful, and therefore palatable, is the ability to show two individual viewers two completely different images.

This sort of thing works best with video games, where one player is playing on the screen without any glasses while a second player sees a different screen through their glasses. This could theoretically be expanded to regular video too, so one person could watch a program on the screen while another person watches a second program or movie through their glasses.

Of course, the sound would also have to be split, with one person likely having to wear earphones.

Otherwise, 3D is pretty much a standard feature on most new TVs. Passive glasses should have the advantage since they're lighter and cheaper, but some swear that active versions have better picture quality.

Of course, logic doesn't always win out in these sorts of standard wars, so it might be best to wait until the dust settles. Glasses-free 3D has been shown off at CES for the past few years, but it still faces limitations such as viewing angle. It's still a ways off.

Q: "I'm interested in developments in "Pico" or portable projectors. Also sound bars - specifically Yamaha inspired sound bars that "project" a surround sound experience. Enjoy your trip!"

- Robert Hamilton

A: Hi Robert - yes indeed, there are quite a few new developments in pico projectors this year.

Two of the more notable exhibitors are Texas Instruments and China's QP Optoelectronics, which is launching its CloudView pico projector. Here's a YouTube video of it in action:



As for soundbars, every one of the big electronics companies - from Sony to Panasonic to Samsung - regularly launch new versions of these as part of their yearly product refreshes.

I'd suggest poking around their individual websites over the next few days for the latest announcements.

Q: What is new in terms of monitoring physical activity re health benefits, and also medical monitoring without having to go to a doctor's office or lab?

- Cathy Macdonald

Hi Cathy - it's not an understatement to say that there will be tons of this sort of stuff here at the show.

We've already seen bathroom scales that can monitor your weight, body mass index, heart rate and even air quality, to forks that measure how fast you eat.

All of these things are connecting to smartphone apps, with many giving you the option of sharing with friends, family or your doctor.

I'll definitely be looking out for more of this stuff over the week, so be sure to check back. This is a fast-growing area, to say the least.

 The HapiFork, from Hong Kong-based HapiLabs, has a capacitive sensor that tells you when you're eating too fast (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)


pete nowak_small-140.jpg
Peter Nowak will be answering your questions all week via text, photo and video from the floor of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Send your questions to yournews@cbc.ca with "CES 2013 questions" in the subject line, or ask them right here in the comments section and we'll be sure he gets them.

Or you can tweet at us by using the hashtag #CESCBC.


Tags: Community, Technology

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