Driverless cars, life organizing watches on display at CES

by Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Jan 10 2013 04:07 PM | Updated as of Jan 11 2013 12:07 AM

LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Despite Toyota Motor Corp.'s controversial recall due to sticky accelerator pedals in January 2010, Toyota and Lexus are giving drivers a ride into the future with their latest innovation -- hands free driving.

Toyota and Lexus are completing a conceptualized system that enables a car to drive on its own.

"The question we asked ourselves was 'can we build a driverless vehicle?' And the answer is yes," Bill Camp of Lexus USA said.

The advanced active safety research vehicle, or the LS-60h highlights avant garde GPS functions, accelerometers, high definition cameras, censors, and front and side radar gyroscopes. These are just a few of the features of Toyota's futuristic vehicle.

"It may not be one big huge leap that we see in production but it will actually be little tweaks here and there that will make ultimately make a safe vehicle," Camp said.

The Nevada state legislature passed a law on rules for operation on state highways of autonomous cars that uses artificial intelligence, censors, and GPS to coordinate themselves without active intervention by human operators.

Toyota's rival, German auto maker Audi took this opportunity to test the Nevada road with its "self driving car" on a state permit.

"Autonomous driving and that's something we see progressing rapidly by the end of the decade where we will have some applications that include this. We call this an Audi piloted driving because as much as an airplane we continue to believe that the key controller always remain with the driver and it's not going to change," Audi USA's Filip Brabac said.

Audi also features "Audi piloted parking", where your car can park itself with a push on a button on your smartphone.

If pulling a phone from your purse or pocket may be cumbersome to a few, then the "I'm Watch" may be the solution to that problem with it's line of smartwatches.

"It's a customized version of Android. We have software engineers that customized the whole Android to fit all the functionalities on the I'm Watch," I'm Watch's Carlo Bianchi said."It connects via blutooth to your smartphone so you'll be able to get all the functionalities directly on your wrist."

The I'm Watch has a list of applications the same as your smartphone. You can now answer phone calls without handling your actual phone, and read emails and status updates on social networking sites. The watch is compatible with any of the IOS and Android phones and is now selling for 799 euros.

Because of the popularity of handsfree devices, Vuzix came out with the Vuzix smart glasses - the m-100 - with a powerful processing engine powered by IOS and Android via bluetooth.

The Vuzix smart glasses display has an augmented reality camera. It will not only let you answer the phone with a visual address book but also allow applications from reading text messages, emails, and visual navigation.

It could also record video, and can be used for gaming.

CES officials say that 20,000 products have been revealed this week.

Whether the exhibitors are big or small, CES is indeed the trade show to showcase innovations in the world of technology.