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CES Debuts New Technology



LAS VEGAS, NV (WBEN/AP) - The annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES is set to take place this week in Las Vegas, between January 7-10.

It's where the newest and most high-tech devices are unveiled, and CNET Senior Editor Larry Magid says that all the new tech means that some things get left by the wayside.

"There's certain things that are one the way out because new technology is replacing them" Magid said. "Alarm clocks or car navigation systems, people are using their cell phones in both cases. There are also some relatively new technologies that have been introduced at previous Consumer Electronic Shows that didn't take off, for example 3DTVs."

The CES has been the stage where technology like the VCR, CD Player, and HDTV were introduced. So what cool new gadgets will make their debuts this week?

"I think the big excitement going in to this show and going in to 2014 is going to be around wearable technology." Magid expects wearable technology to take the next step from disappointing products such as Samsung's smart watch and products still in testing like Google Glass, to more useful and wallet-friendly devices.

Along with wearable technology, home theaters are set to get an upgrade with new 4K TVs, that offer four times the resolution of current 1080p HDTVs. Magid is skeptical of the technology though. "The problem with them is two-fold. Number one, there isn't yet any content for them. You're not going to be able to watch TV in the format, you're not going to be able to buy a disc or blu-ray that supports that. The other issue, and this is just me speaking, maybe others would disagree, when I look at a super high-def TV next to a 1080p TV, much of the time I don't see a huge difference. I see a difference, but you're going from really, really good, to really, really, really, really good."

Home theater and wearable tech aren't the only things that will be at CES.

Ford plans to unveil at this month's International CES gadget show a solar-powered concept car that offers the same performance as a plug-in hybrid but without the need for a plug.

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car uses a gasoline engine combined with a gizmo that acts like a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's rays on the vehicle's roof-mounted solar panels. The automaker says the vehicle's estimated combined city-highway mileage is 100 mpg.

Ford says that by using solar power instead of an electric plug, a typical owner will reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tons.

The company says it sold about 85,000 hybrid or electric vehicles in 2013, including 6,300 units of its C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.

The sun-ray concentrator was developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and uses what is known as a Fresnel lens, which concentrates light but can be made thinner than a conventional lens. A full day of sunshine is equivalent to a four-hour battery charge, or 8 kilowatts, Ford says.

On a full charge, it should have a range of 620 miles, including 21 electric-only miles, the same as the C-MAX Energi. The concept car also comes with a plug-in port for standard electric charging.

Ford says that 75 percent of all trips made by an average driver could be powered by the sun.

After showing off the concept car at the convention in Las Vegas Jan. 7-10, Ford Motor Co. says that it will test the vehicle with institute researchers to determine if it's feasible for mass production


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