CES Concept Tech: 16 Gizmos Worth Waiting For

CES concept gadgets range from robotic balls you control with your phone, home theaters for your head, and bendable displays.

Prototypes From CES 2011

One of the funnest parts of the Consumer Electronics Show are the cool, the crazy, and just-around-the-corner products. Some gadgets are pretty close facsimiles to what a company will debut in the year ahead. Then again, some kooky concepts are far from being ready for prime time. We found that mix of cutting edge and bleeding edge at this year's show. What follows is collection of CES concept gear on display this year. Some, we are pretty sure, we may never see again after CES.

Check out our complete coverage of CES 2011.

Razer Switchblade Gaming Laptop

With it's adaptive tactile keyboard that intellegently changes its keys depending on the game you're playing, the Switchblade offers a truely unique gaming experience. However the device doesn't have a mouse, which seems like a major part of the gaming interface, but you can use an external mouse with it.

Samsung Flexible AMOLED Display Concept

Samsung is showing its prototype AMOLED screens (Active matrix (AM) OLED). These are the next generation of display technology, allowing you to fold the screen and have them made super thin. This can be a huge advantage over the fragile displays we use today that have to be displayed on a flat surface. Just imagine a bracelet that displays your Twitter feed or a tablet PC you can rollup like a magazine and put in your back pocket.

Sphero Smartphone Controlled Ball

A company called Orbotix is showing off its prototype Sphero ball that you control with your smartphone. Available late 2011, according to the company, the little rolling ball can be instructed go where you want it to or act differently based on live feeds of data you can stream to the ball. I can imagine these balls would be a great way to entertain your pets, or small children. But not so useful for tracking the stock market - as the company suggests it could be configured to do.

Here is a link to a promotional video of the ball.

Casio's Bluetooth Watch

This prototype Casio Bluetooth watch pairs with your smartphone and acts as a micro-display of sorts. The watch, which has a monochrome LCD display, shows caller-ID information for incoming calls to your cellphone as well as displaying notifications or TXT messages and e-mails. The watch can also ring your phone in those instances when you misplaced it. Lastly, this Casio watch can dial emergency services via your cellphone at the push of a button. No word if this watch will become commercially available.

Driven to Distraction

You can't buy this $50k Tesla Model S electric vehicle quite yet, but you can drool over it and at the same time ogle over what is being touted will be the largest infotainment, navigation, and instrument-cluster system in a car. NVIDIA and Tesla Motors are at CES giving people a sneak peek at the interior of the luxury sedan and the 17-inch high resolution touchscreen display. Powering the display is NVIDIA's Tegra low energy processors.

No word if this gorgeous instrument panel can withstand piping hot spilled Starbucks' Venti dark-roast coffee.

Windows Tablet: Fujitsu Oak Trail

Tablets feel like they are falling from the sky here in Las Vegas. Add Fujitsu's Oak Trail-powered Windows 7 tablet to the mix. This prototype 10.1-inch tablet sports an Atom Z760 Oak Trail CPU and is rumored to be available later this year.

Uno III Transforming Bike

This amazing little bike built by BPG Motors can act as both a unicycle that balances itself and a motorcycle for riding on the roads. It's certainly done the trade show circuit in the past - allowing people to oooh and aww. Now it's CES attendees turn to see it up close.

The Uno III, the concept bike's name, is completely electric and silent and can even transform from unicycle to motorcycle while you're riding on it. The Uno III isn't expected to come out till next year with a $4k to $7k price tag.

Sony Live View

If you can't stand to pull out your phone for every alert than maybe you need a Live View by Sony. They connect via Bluetooth and work with most Android phones. When you get an alert or message on your phone you can read it from watch-sized screen, as well as execute commands to your phone like playing music.

Sifteo Cubes

Built for playing on a tabletop, Sifteo cubes can sense each others proximity and interact with one other for intersting game play.The 1.5-inch blocks come with full color displays and can be programmed by your computer to play a number of interactive puzzle games. You have to have a small USB dongle attached to your computer and near the cubes for them to work, but they do look like a lot of fun.

Toshiba's Glasses Free 3D Laptop

Toshiba is showing a concept notebook that we hope definitely becomes a reality. Here at CES the laptop kingpin is teasing a laptop that can display 3D without the glasses. However it does seem to lack the quality that you get from a 3D Blue-ray experience.

MSI Butterfly Concept

In an effort to combat the difficulties of using a vertical touchscreen with a desktop, MSI shows off it's butterfly concept which allows you to tilt the screen to a more easel-like position. This makes it a lot easier to use your hands without your arms getting tired. This way you can just prop it up or down depending on whether you want to use a keyboard and mouse or your hands.

Motorola Xoom Tablet

Motorola's Xoom tablet was announced Wednesday and packs a punch with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, offering double the processor speed of the iPad or Galaxy. It will also offer 1GB of RAM and run Androids newest operating system Honeycomb, which is designed to run on tablets. iPad watch out, this looks like a viable competitor.

Sonys 3D Headset

Sony announced it is developing a 3D headse complete with a futuristic look. Here at CES it has a prototype model able to produce 3D visuals at the same time delivering high sound quality via headphones. Sony hasn't set a release date or price yet.

MicroVision’s PicoP Mini-Tablet

With this Android based device, any flat surface can suddenly become your new movie screen. Still a concept, MicroVision's PicoP mini-tablet doesn't require a lens thanks to it's PicoP display engine.

Samsung Slider Tablet: An Air-like Ultraportable

Samsung showing prototype tablet that looks an awful lot like a notebook. What's cool about this tablet and notebook hybrid is the screen slides down over the keyboard and locks into place. The Series 7 tablet has a 10.1-inch touchscreen and is expected to be offered in March with 32gb and 64gb models.

Pioneer Smart Cradle for iPhone

Pioneer's Smart Cradle for your car's dashboard just might give your smartphone an inferiority complex.

This prototype Smart Cradle iPhone dock for your car contains built-in GPS - no more relying on a data connection for your iPhone GPS app to draw the map on your display. The car-dock also includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope. The Smart Cradle also has Bluetooth for hands-free calling and has an automatic sound leveler, which raises or lowers the phone's speaker volume in accordance to noise levels within the car.

This early prototype look pretty finished if you ask me. But Pioneer says pricing and availability are still unknowns.

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