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CES Technology Trade Show Opens In Vegas
Around 350,000 technology fans are expected to attend the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show this week.
The event in Las Vegas is the industry's biggest trade show and companies will be attempting to wow punters and press alike with their latest innovations.
As always, the items on display range from the minuscule to the massive, across four huge conference halls crammed to bursting point with companies attempting to persuade the world that their product is the next big thing.
Yet perhaps above all else CES is about televisions, with Samsung launching its latest contribution to the world of Smart TV.
Its range-leading 85-inch UN85S9 UltraHD model combines stunning visuals with a much-improved smart interface, as companies continue to maintain that the consumer wants a television to do far more than simply show them the channel they have chosen.
"We've developed TVs that respond to people's needs and lifestyles," said Samsung Electronics president Boon Ku Yoo.
"TVs that have the power to know what people want to watch. TVs that have the power to create the ultimate lean-back experience."
Yet CES is still as much about the innovators as the established tech giants.
Having received a significant investment from Intel after CES 2012, Tobii Technologies have announced the Tobii Rex - an accessory that allows you to control your PC with the movement of your eyes.
Reports suggest the device is still very much at the development stage, but given how quickly touchscreen technology moved from being the stuff of dreams to an everyday essential, few would bet against this becoming similarly ubiquitous.
Nvidia pulled off one of the few surprises of this year's conference when it unveiled the Shield - its contribution to the portable gaming market.
The Android-based device features a new quad-core processor, the Tegra 4, that the American-based global tech company says is the most powerful mobile processor ever.
By common consent, the gadget of the show thus far (or at least the most interesting) would appear to be the HAPIfork - an electronic fork that monitors your eating habits.
With lights that flash when eating too fast and sensors which measure how long it takes to eat a meal, how long between bites, and how many bites per minute, all of which is uploaded to an online profile via Bluetooth or USB, it comes complete with an app to help change your eating habits.
The giants of the industry tend to stay away, preferring to do their own thing, so no sign of Apple, Google, Facebook or Amazon.
But in a startling turn of events, this will be the first CES since 1995 at which Microsoft will not exhibit - leading many to question, if they hadn't already, what next for the company which for so long ruled the market?
This remains one of the most important weeks of the year for an industry for whom growth has recently proved sluggish.
Experts estimate growth of three to four per cent in 2013, much better performance than the 1% drop in 2012 - but miles from double digit rises the industry experienced a few years ago.
And it should also be remembered that CES does get it wrong when it comes to predicting the next big thing.
Last year, ultrabooks were very much in favour - the consumer disagreed, preferring to stick with the chunkier, clunkier laptop.
3DTV was also heralded as a breakthrough tech, but again, consumer uptake has been sluggish.
Everyone here has something to sell. Few will be wildly successful.