Gadget innovations - tech to watch out for

Caroline Cassidy

Gadgets play an increasingly important role in the modern world, and the big names continue to make extraordinary advancements in the world of technology.

Gadget innovations of the future
Gadget innovations of the future

Pic: AP

The very best, and some of the most bizarre, of those amazing ideas have been on show at the CES 2013 conference in Las Vegas. Here's our pick of the tech that could hit the market in the years to come.

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Ultra HD TV
First there was HD, then there was 3D, now there's the unbelievable 4K Ultra High Definition TV from Samsung. The tech giants unveiled this 85-inch monster early this year and it really is TV as you've never seen it before. The LED screen boasts an incredible 8 million pixels, four times that of a standard HD display, and Samsung's enhanced dimming technology innovation provides a high contrast ratio that means you get true black and clean white.

Panasonic also showcased their 4K OLED TV which, at 56-inches across and only half an inch thick, was an impressive alternative.

Fitness tech
Health and fitness gadgets are set to take the tech world by storm this year, and as always, FitBit is leading the charge. The new FitBit Flex, a flexible coloured wristband, does what many other activity trackers do - monitors how many steps you've taken, how far you've travelled and the number of calories burned, and even monitors your quality of sleep. Plus, you can Bluetooth the data wirelessly to your computer without removing it, and can share that data with fitness apps like MyFitnessPal. Fully able to cope with a swimming session, the indicator lights let you know how close you are to your daily goal too.

Phone of the future
With smartphones possibly the biggest and fastest-moving technology of modern times, it's no surprise to see a few of the big names testing out ever more amazing innovations. One such is the Samsung's Youm. Company president Stephen Woo showed off this prototype phone, which features a bendable, "virtually unbreakable" plastic OLED screen. It's probably a few years before you'll see these in the shops, but flexible screens look very much like being the next big thing.

E-reader evolution
Another prototype to feature a flexible display was the Plastic Logic PaperTab. So-called because it is paper thin, this high-res tablet has a fully interactive, 10.7 inch display and boasts a second-generation Intel Core i5 processor. It'll also join together with other tablets to create larger screens. The downside? It's not designed for running multiple apps at the same time.
Next generation gaming
Probably the gadget creating the biggest buzz at CES was the Nvidia Shield - the next big thing in gaming. This Android-based console appears at first glance to be your average handheld device. But it's much more than that. The Shield allows users to stream games direct from their PC to their TV wirelessly, finally allowing PC gamers to get the full big screen experience.

What gadget are you most looking forward to seeing in the future? Leave your comments below...