CES: E-readers, 3-D TVs, and the cool screens of the future

The annual gadget bacchanalia known as the Consumer Electronics Show continues through this weekend, but two types of technology have totally dominated this year’s showings: E-readers and 3-D TVs. But the weird, cool items that caught my attention? Transparent screens.

The big e-book readers that emerged this week are Skiff and Alex. (Oy, gadget names.) Skiff (pictured) is super light and geared toward periodicals, while Alex has an Android-based two-screen system, a la the Nook. Both Skiff and Alex use E Ink, which makes for easy reading — but lousy response time.

3-D TVs predictably took center stage this week, with Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic all unveiling their attempts at the latest technology — though nothing is quite ready to be on shelves yet.

The cool thing about CES, though, are the kinda out-there gadgets or options that probably won’t dominate the market any time soon, which is why I’m strangely drawn to the transparent screens that showed up on a few gadgets this year. The transparent OLED laptop isn’t anywhere close to production, but the IceTouch mp3 player — which has a 2-inch translucent screen — should be available in a few months.

Gaze into your gadget crystal balls, PopWatchers: What do you hope takes the tech world by storm this year?

Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • AcaseofGeo

    Say goodbye to magazines. Say goodbye to the jobs of people who print them, say goodbye to the jobs of people who ship them, say goodbye to the jobs of people who sell them. Funny how our population is expanding but the jobs available are decreasing and all this “WONDERFUL” technology is the reason.

  • Kate

    Say hello to jobs for people to make these things. Say hello to jobs for the people who ship them, for the people who sell them. It might not be the niche you like, but it isn’t that jobs are drying up–they are shifting.

    • AcaseofGeo

      Kate, they’re all made in foreign countries, which is of NO help to our economy. They’re shipped ONCE, versus magazines that are shipped weekly or monthly. I’ll give you the sales part, but only barely cuz retail jobs are low pay. The job market IS shifting yes, but its also shrinking rapidly.

  • Jenn

    3d tvs are going to kill the movies, its all the movies have that can compete with home theaters

    • Everton Carter

      3D TVs can’t kill the movies as whatever sport or tv shows you have people will still want ot by Avatar, Spider-man 3D, Toy Story etc to watch at home in 3D. It will still be movies that people want and they ae big screen.

      Also nothing beats the communal experience of a trip to the cinema. Even non cnematic flms (films that could just as easily been TV movies) like Sex & the City, are completely different experiences in a cinema with friends or with hubdreds of other people who share your hopes for an entertaining experience. Watching a comedy and hearing everyone else laugh is another great feeling you can’t truly replicate at home. Oh and Cinemas have the potential to show much better “HD” images than can be managed at home, they just need to realise that it is what is needed. Avatar could have looked twice as good, at least, if the correct improvements were made in exhibition.

  • bb

    Who needs a transparent screen, I already hate people reading over my shoulder, imagine someone across from knows exactly what you are doing.

  • FAH Q

    wow, some really stupid comments in here. new gadgets will kill paper press and cinema? we’re witnessing breakthrough technology here, but you’re concerned with silly things like people in publishing business losing jobs and not being able to see movies in a cinema. get real.

    • Sen

      Couldn’t agree with you more FAH Q, these comments only inspire hatred for the wonderful marvels of the 21st century. People need to realize that technology is responsible for the way we live our lives today. And if Americans talked like this during the idustrial revolution, we would have none of the conveniences we enjoy today. Innovation helps us grow as a society, and there is nothing wrong with a career change to go with the times.

    • AcaseofGeo

      The job I’ve had for 25 years is about to be usurped by a computer….IN ITS ENTIRETY! Its NOT creating MORE jobs, mine will be totally eliminated. I LOVE technology; I don’t love it when it costs people jobs. There is no “slide over to a new position” for me. My above comments are NOT stupid but informed from experience.

  • wg

    Darn that horseless carriage!


    I think the transparent screen looks very cool, though yes, how does one work privately on a document with that?

    And I welcome the day that I never have to go to a theater again to see a movie – just let the studio directly download it to my TV and charge my standing account with them. No more than five years away I hope!

  • Emilee

    I think the transparent screen looks really cool, but does anyone know the practical use for it?

  • Bev L

    For me the biggest CES news was… no news. Microsoft broke my heart when their rumored Courier announcement was simply an announcement for the HP Slate. *yawn* I should have known better than to allow my inner geek to get so excited about rumorware.

  • josh

    Can anyone explain to me whya regular TV would not be capable of diplaying a 3-D movie? Even at the movies its projected on a flat screen at the theaters. If you take your glasses off in the theater the screen looks blurry. Why couldn’t a HD TV display that and you put the silly glasses on with the same effect? Or am I just missing something?

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