Not just for geeks! Gadgets invade gym, kitchen, cars

NEED TO KNOW
  • At CES, gadgets for home, health and car are booming
  • Award-winning fork calculates if you're eating too much
  • 'Eyes Free' driving?? Sounds crazy, but it's already here
The HAPIfork offers insight into your eating patterns by tracking how quickly you eat.
Editor's note: Digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong is covering CES from Las Vegas for HLNtv.com and HLN.
 
Emerging from the thousands of fascinating items on which to feast your eyes and mind at the Consumer Electronics Show are a handful of dominant trends. What's big for 2013 and beyond? By the looks of the showroom floor, expect gadgets and new technology to redefine your home, your health and your ride.
 
3 Big Trends From CES to watch out for
 
1. Smart Home
 
"Smart Home tech" is all about networking the appliances and electronics in our homes to maximize their efficiency, convenience and even entertainment value. Lots of manufacturers, from LG to Philips, envision a not-so-distant future where we'll control our homes, from the heating to the lights, with just a quick swipe on a mobile phone. 
 
LG Smart Refrigerator: Imagine a refrigerator that knows what's inside it, so you never have to wonder whether you have milk again. Then when you're out of something, simply purchase it from your LG Smart Refrigerator app, or the built-in LCD panel in the fridge itself. 
 
GreenWave Lightbulbs: These Wi-Fi LED bulbs can be controlled remotely with your Android or iPhone, so you can easily control them even when you're not at home.
 
2. Health & Fitness
 
Wellness apps and devices are a huge category to watch in 2013, as established players and new ones are launching all kinds of tools to help people learn about their own health and fitness. 
 
FitBit Flex: This is a new design from FitBit, a leading activity tracker. The flex is a wristband that automatically tracks all your movements, including your sleep, to determine how many calories you've burned, activity patterns and how well you're sleeping.
 
HAPIfork: This was a CES Innovation Award winner, and it's definitely not anything I've seen before! This fork is supposed to give you insight into your eating patterns by tracking how quickly you eat. It vibrates if you seem to be eating too fast for your own good. 
 
3. Connected Cars
 
Audi and Lexus may be showing off cars that drive (and park) themselves, and while they'll probably hit the market eventually, we'll still be driving ourselves for awhile. In the meantime, we can look forward to better integration between our phones and our cars. 
 
Ford Sync: This onboard Ford computing platform that talks to your smartphone has been around for awhile, but it's part of several new apps that have been announced at CES 2013, like Rhapsody, Glympse (a GPS tracking app), and the Wall Street Journal.
 
Hyundai + Siri: Hyundai drivers will be able to use their new "Eyes Free" mode to control the car's maps and entertainment system without having to take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. The voice recognition program will be powered by Siri, Apple's voice assistant, that is incorporated in all their latest devices.

 

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