The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for geeks. It sees several gigantic aircraft hangers packed full of the biggest releases from some of the world’s top tech firms.
This year saw 3D printers move further towards the mainstream, while manufacturers of high-end TVs once again pulled out all the stops to bring us ever sharper, brighter and more outlandish designs.
Apple – as ever conspicuous by its absence – still cast a long shadow over the event, with many firms showing off the products designed to work with its phones and tablets. Also promising was the emergence of new companies creating beautiful, functional products that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the more established names in the business.
Here is our pick of the releases from the first two days of the show.
3D printer firm MakerBot unveiled a oversized device that can print detailed three-dimensional creations up to 12 x 12 x 18 inches – six times bigger than normal.
Samsung bendable TV
Samsung’s new ultra HD 105-inch behemoth of a television isn’t just amazing to look at – it is also bendable. Through the remote you can change the curvature of the screen, which is supposed to draw the viewer in and provide better peripheral vision for gamers.
Bang & Olufsen Essence
The new device from high-end audio firm Bang & Olufsen claims to make listening to your music as easy as putting on a morning coffee. The touch interface controls a separate “hidden” unit that can sync music from sources including your Spotify account, smartphone and tablet. It looks and – of course – sounds great.
Alienware Steam Machine
This is the year the “Steam Machine” (a console that runs catalogues of mainly online games) will probably come into the public consciousness. This one from Alienware is an ultra-powerful unit but it will probably set you back a pretty penny. £TBA, alienware.com
Unmonday Model 4.3 wireless speaker
It may be yet another wireless AirPlay speaker, but it’s a very nice one. The ceramic body looks great and rolling it onto its different sides changes the sound mode. It even has a built-in battery so you don’t need to plug it in.
iSense 3D scanner
The iSense 3D scanner is one of those gadgets that should be filed under “bafflingly futuristic”. It allows you to scan an object in real-time, in three dimensions. You can then use the data you’ve captured to print a new version on a 3D printer. The one announced yesterday clips onto your iPad. $499, 3dsystems.com
Mophie Space Pack for iPhone
The Mophie Space Pack is not only a battery case for the iPhone 5 and 5S (allowing you to double the charge of your device), it also adds 16GB or 32GB of storage. It wraps around your phone like a case and is perfect for holidays and festivals when you’re likely to take lots of pictures and be away from a mains connection.
£139 (16GB) and £169 (32GB), mophie.com (available spring)
Samsung Note Pro 12.2
This new addition to the successful Galaxy Note range is a gigantic, powerful device aimed at design professionals and users who need a vast amount of screen real-estate. With 3GB of RAM, a stonking screen and the latest version of Android, it looks like a winner. £TBA, samsung.com/uk