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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stars Shine Along with Latest Tech Gear at CES

The International Consumer Electronics Show is in full swing in Las Vegas. While this year's CES marks the last for Microsoft's booths and speeches from CEO Steve Ballmer, there's still plenty of technology on parade. Samsung and rivals are touting splashy TVs to hit stores soon. Intel has revealed more than 75 ultrabooks, and these MacBook Air clones are coming in 2012. There's also a generous showing of celebrities at the annual confab. Here's a peek at CES:

Samsung Bets Big on Smarter TVs

Is it possible smart TVs could become smarter? Samsung thinks so.

The electronics giant showed its vision of the future for smart TVs, which includes what it calls "future proof" technology to head off obsolescence.

Samsung's 2012 line of smart TVs will include a built-in HD camera and dual microphones to support voice, motion and face recognition. A video demo showed off how it performs a voice search powered by Bing.

Samsung will also introduce its Media Hub to Smart TVs for on-demand movies and television shows, as well as bring the hit mobile game Angry Birds to its TV sets.

But perhaps the most fascinating is what Samsung calls Smart Evolution. Instead of upgrading to a new TV when your current set is outdated, Samsung Smart TVs will add a slot on the back for "Evolution Kits." These kits allow owners to make quick TV upgrades.

Intel Unleashes Ultrabooks at CES

Prepare for an invasion of the ultrabooks.

Intel revealed that more than 75 ultrabook designs are in the works for 2012. Companies such as Acer, HP, Samsung and Toshiba have already jumped into the ultrabook business. The devices sport a super-thin body less than an inch thick.

But the most intriguing feature is the addition of touch and voice controls to future ultrabooks.

For that, Intel announced a partnership with Nuance to bring voice-based controls...

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