The Consumer Electronics Show 2013 wasn't about the big boys. Sony and Samsung released new TV's and smartphones that worked very much like their old ones. Yawn. No, this year was about the little guys. So little, that some of them were just recently funded through crowd-sourcing methods like IndieGoGo.
The Ring Presenter by Genius resembles a secret decoder ring. This oversized ring is a computer mouse/laser pointer that fits on your finger. It allows the wearer to control a computer with gestures instead of a mouse. With the growing acceptance of touch-screens, the mouse is increasingly being left behind as controls move to more naturalistic methods.
Ways to nerdify your ride are always available at the show. This year saw QNX's platform 2.0 in-car video conferencing system that features 1080p goodness and the ability for drivers and passengers to take part in a conference call while the vehicle is in park. Of course, this opens up all sorts of ways for the wife to create hone-do lists even when you are not home! While there may not be a huge demand for conference calling from cars, the trajectory of the technology does tell us about what's to come: The smart connected car. Not in gas mileage alone, but as a really big extension to your smartphone.
The Pebble "smart watch" was on hand (you're welcome) for the estimated 150,000 exhibitioners as this popular Kickstarter project made the long journey from pipe dream to reality. This Bluetooth device offers an e-paper 144x168 pixel screen that allows many different ways to view your watch face. The current ability to pipe in text messaging straight to your watch is one of the most useful features. While this is certainly a product to consider, most analysts are predicting "wearable computers" as the next big thing. One is even rumored to be in development at Apple.
As always there were even smarter phones, tricked out tablets, and thinner TV's with astronomical resolution numbers above 4K. But this year, folks weren't looking for what has been improved over last year - they were looking for the next big thing in tech. And it increasingly looks like the next revolution isn't going to come from Google, Microsoft, or Sony. It's going to come from a college quad or a Kickstarter campaign.