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Bendy phones, smart fridges and curved TVs – the best of CES2013


For over a hundred years now the Giles family have built a bit of reputation of being able to predict the next big thing in terms of electrical appliances.

Gerald Giles set up the business in Norwich in 1948 thinking that fluorescent lighting would bring light to thousands of homes and businesses in the gloomy post war years. He wasn’t wrong.

Then in the 50s with the arrival of a decent TV signal from Tacolneston, Gerald set up a TV rental, service and repair centre. As the number of people renting TVs in Norwich grew, so did the business. This continued until a few years later when we branched out into kitchen appliances and specifically the dishwasher, which Gerald predicted would become a household essential. He wasn’t wrong there either.

So we have a bit of a record of predicting the next “big thing”. But today that’s becoming harder and harder. Simply because of the sheer number of technical advances we experience virtually every day.

One indicator of things to come is the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

This January CES2013 was held in Las Vegas with all the major manufacturers present to show case their latest innovations and prototypes.

So what was the stand out technology at CES2013 that we think could become big. Or at least have a big influence.

Samsung are one of the smartest manufacturers around.  Even Apple are starting to feel a little threatened by them. So they are good company to have a look at.

At CES2013 Samsung  unveiled a phone that instead of using a glass screen uses a screen made of incredibly thin plastic. So what?  Here’s what. It means that the phone is BENDABLE. You can literally fold it in half. And being bendy means it’s virtually unbreakable. This is only a prototype at the moment but could have a massive impact on phones, tablets, laptops and TV’s. Imagine sitting on the train and taking your tablet out of you back pocket and unfolding it onto the table like a newspaper!

The other bit of stand out tech that will definitely “happen” soon (by soon we’re talking late 2013) is again screen related. Both LG and Samsung unveiled TVs with CURVED iMAX style screens!

The Samsung TV was a 55 inch OLED ultra HD model. OLED is “organic” LED. See our earlier blog about the differences between LED, LCD and Plasma.

Samsung say that the curved TV screen improves contrast and colours. They also say that the curved screen means that you get a wider viewing angle. So you don’t have to sit slap bang in front of it to get a great picture.

Finally from Samsung – a fridge. But not just any old fridge. This is their huge T9000 model which has four doors and different cooling zones to keep food fresher longer.

But the really amazing thing about this fridge is that it is “smart”. Smart in that it includes a 10” LCD screen built in and packed with apps to help you stay organised in the kitchen and waste less food. We all waste a lot of food so this is really clever stuff.

The fridge can suggest recipes based on what’s inside it and tell you when you need to eat something before it goes off. The LCD also features the Evernote app which means you can create a shopping list on it, transfer it over to your phone and take it with you to the supermarket.

While you’re at the supermarket, if your partner  wants to add or change something on the list they can do it at home and you’ll be notified while you’re pushing the trolley round Tesco’s. Not totally sure how well that would go down with the shopper. It might be a incredibly smart way of annoying them while they are trying to get the chores down.

So that’s three innovations that Samsung showed us at CES2013 as they continue to develop their reputation as one of the most forward thinking companies in the World.

Now you’re asking “what about CES2014”. Well you’ll just have to keep following our blogs.