11/01/2014 Click


11/01/2014

Technology news, issues, gadgets and apps. Click reports from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and brings you the latest trends in technology for the year ahead.


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Transcript


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Yeah! Huh! Yeah!

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Welcome to Click. I'm Spencer Kelly.

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And welcome to 2014.

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OK, I'm a little bit late but, for us geeks,

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the new year only really starts when the doors are thrown open

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on the world's most famous consumer electronics show.

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It's a big, brash, colourful, noisy affair.

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Guess that's why they hold it here. Welcome to Las Vegas.

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Coming up, we'll bring you the biggest,

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best and brightest from CES 2014,

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where the tech has been bent, worn and even swallowed.

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We'll sweat over fitness gadgets

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and chill with the very best of the web in Webscape.

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So this is where CES takes place,

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at the massive Las Vegas Convention Centre.

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More than 3,000 exhibitors cram into the three enormous halls

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and the surrounding hotels,

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hoping to shout to 150,000 visitors

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about their brand-new TVs, tablets, gadgets and gizmos.

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Personally, this is how I like to get around the show.

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The One Wheel is a skateboard come unicycle, come segway,

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which self-balances once you've got the knack

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and is steered by leaning in the direction you want to go.

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Eventually, I'll be able to run for about six miles at 12mph,

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although for now, I'm keeping the tricks simple.

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There's a tonne of innovation here,

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and who's to say what will take off?

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Could it be the digital accordion

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or the TREWGrip, a rear-facing keyboard for your tablet

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which makes data entry oh, so backward?

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Maybe the Opticwash will change things for specs wearers worldwide.

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Yes, it's a carwash for your glasses.

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Everyone here wants to make their mark.

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And while I leave mine, here's another Marc, Cieslak,

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who's discovered that the writing is on the wall for old-style security.

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When it comes to financial transactions,

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signatures can, of course, be forged.

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And PIN codes and passwords can be cracked.

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But I'm about to authorise a credit card payment

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using one of the most secure methods around.

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It's a system called PulseWallet.

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It has an infrared camera in there

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which scans the vein pattern in my hand.

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That pattern is as unique as a fingerprint

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and far more difficult to copy.

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The technology, developed by Fujitsu,

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is already in use in cash machines in Japan and Brazil

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and it could soon find its way into shops

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in the not-too-distant future.

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And Marc will be back later.

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Yep, CES is an overwhelming assault on the senses.

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Featuring every type of tech under the sun.

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Although one in particular always seems to take a starring role.

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Some of the most impressive stands at CES

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have always been from the TV manufacturers, for obvious reasons.

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They're always showing off something bigger,

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thinner and flatter than ever before.

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That said, this year, flat isn't all that.

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In amongst those ultra-high def screens

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and living rooms made of pure light,

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something a bit more curvy is wending its way into view.

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And it certainly caught the eye of Dan Simmons.

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It may be slow, but this screen

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is actually bending at the touch of a button.

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The Korean outfit, LG, decided that because OLED screens can be made

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so thin they're flexible, why not?

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This is a prototype.

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But what you will be able to buy is this 105-inch monster.

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Also curved, its wider 21x9 HK screen

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has just over four times the resolution

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of our now commonplace high-def tellies.

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These super-tellies look absolutely amazing

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and the ultra-high definition content being played on them

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is needed to maintain resolution, especially for the larger screens.

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The curvature, I'm not so sure about, really.

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On the 65 inch, it doesn't make that much of a difference.

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It does, though, on the larger screen.

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The 105 inch does look different from a flat-screen telly.

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But why do we need curved television sets anyway?

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I'm not so sure they need a curved television set.

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I think they will want a curved television set though.

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It's like being in a movie theatre.

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You go into a movie theatre,

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some of the very large ones,

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whether it's 3D or 2D,

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you're sitting in the middle,

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the screen just kind of envelops you.

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Although they perhaps generated the most hype this week,

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there is a school of thought which wonders

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how well curved screens will sell

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while we continue to have non-curved houses.

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Igloo owners, take note. Thanks, Dan.

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Something else that's really caught the imagination here

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is the promise of tech so small it can fit into anything.

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That's why we are seeing things like pills

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that report back your temperature as they pass through your body.

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Smart socks with built-in sensors that monitor running technique.

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Activity tracker for your dog. What's not to like?

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Farfetched as they may sound, small is the future.

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And chip-maker Intel is very keen

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on taking the idea to the next level,

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with tech you can wear and which is self-contained.

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Free from the shackles of the current generation.

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Namely, a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone

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which does most of the thinking for us.

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Intel famously missed the boat with smartphones and tablets.

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Its chips featuring hardly any modern, portable devices.

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And perhaps quite sensibly, it's looking to a future

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where your wearable device won't need a companion smartphone.

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It is a self-contained, fully-operational computer.

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And so it's introducing a processor called Edison,

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something that is so small

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that it can be fitted into anything, even a baby's onesie.

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Edison is an entire processor the size of an SD card.

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And when it's released this summer,

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it may lead to a whole host of truly portable thinking devices.

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Health monitors, like the one in the baby's clothing,

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will assess its vital signs on its own

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and then communicate directly with other smart devices,

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like your coffee mug, which will tell you if the little one's asleep

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and this bottle warmer, which will learn its feeding habits

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and switch on automatically.

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OK. Next up, a round-up of some of the other big things

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that have caught our eye at CES. Here's LJ Rich.

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Sony announced PlayStation Now,

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a service allowing gamers to play classic games from the PS3

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through the internet, without needing to own a console.

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The Japanese giant says it will launch

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a restricted test in the US first,

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before for a wider launch later this year.

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There's an increasing number of Chinese companies showing at CES.

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Electronics giant Huawei introduced its take on biometrics

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with the remote control that allows users to log into their smart TVs

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using their fingerprint.

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That could be us useful when paying for shopping online

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or placing parental locks on certain channels.

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Or having the TV switch itself to the settings each member of the family

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might like the best when they sit down.

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And there have been plenty of smartphone add-ons at the show.

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We've seen lots of cases which add extra battery life to your phone,

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but this also turns your iPhone 5 into a 650,000-volt Taser.

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Illegal in many countries but not in most parts of the US,

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this crowd-funded device has two safety catches

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to stop an accidental discharge in your pocket. Hopefully.

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But for those who prefer a warmer view of the world,

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this tiny camera might just help.

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When connected to a smartphone, it detects infrared energy,

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converts it to an electronic signal

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and then produces a thermal image on your phone screen.

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Handy if you want to see like the Predator.

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And, let's face it, who doesn't?

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You can see anything and everything here at CES.

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Over there, there's a live concert going on.

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Over here, a spot of tennis.

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Helps a chap unwind after a hard day trawling the halls.

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This, of course, is a smart tennis racket.

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It's got a sensor built into the handle

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which is analysing the impact on the strings

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and then talking wirelessly to an app

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which is analysing my speed, my spin and my swing

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and helping me to become a better tennis player,

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which, quite frankly, isn't difficult.

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Anyway, that's enough exercise, time for a spot of food.

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Vegas is a place of extremes.

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So it's no surprise that eating out here can be just that.

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The Heart Attack Grill

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prides itself on its unhealthy menu,

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which includes monstrosities that just go on and on...and on.

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And on. Oh, my good grief!

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The whole place looks like the most frightening hospital in the world.

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The waitresses dress as nurses.

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The customers are made to wear hospital gowns,

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the wine comes in IV bags

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and the whole thing is run by a guy called Dr John

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who will let you eat here for nothing, if you're heavy enough.

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Looks like I'm paying, then.

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I'm actually quite glad about that.

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What better place to test out some tech that helps you to stay healthy?

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The Spree is a headband containing a sensor

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that measures your vitals through the skin on your forehead.

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While you work out, it keeps track of your pulse,

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temperature and movement,

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sending the data to your smartphone through Bluetooth.

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Apparently, a head-mounted sensor has certain advantages

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over the more familiar wrist-worn ones.

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For a start, it can monitor movement while you're cycling,

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even when your hands aren't moving.

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And if you don't have much time or space to do those reps,

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the WellShell is a device to help you squeeze in exercise anywhere.

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And I mean squeeze because that is what you do.

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The accompanying app encourages you

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to hold the thing in different positions

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and then apply different pressures for different lengths of time.

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I know it doesn't look impressive sitting here squeezing a black plastic box,

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but it is really difficult to squeeze it hard enough

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for some parts of this test.

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It's also difficult to maintain whatever pressure it's asking for

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for the appropriate time. So it is doing something.

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That said, this isn't designed to burn lots of calories,

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but more to tone your muscles, rather like yoga or Pilates.

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And bear in mind that calories in

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are just as important as calories out.

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If you want to know what your food is really made of,

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well, you need a portable laser spectrometer.

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The TellSpec is a crowd-funded project

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that's raised three times its target.

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And the rather rough-looking prototype I'm holding

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will, I'm told, eventually look a lot more like this.

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So shine the laser onto your food

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and the spectrometer measures the wavelength

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of the light that's reflected back.

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This data is sent via Bluetooth to your phone

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and then on into the Cloud,

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where it's crunched and used to tell with atomic precision

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which ingredients are actually in your meal.

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The app will also give you more information

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about any related health concerns

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and the number of calories per hundred grams.

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More than handy for diabetics

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or, since everything you scan is logged,

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anyone who wants to keep a track of their intake.

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I've always found the list of ingredients on the side of a packet pretty uninformative.

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It's difficult to know what those things are and what they might do to you.

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I guess this is especially useful for anyone who's watching what they eat while they eat out,

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when there is no list of ingredients.

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So just one more thing left to do,

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and that's to scan the Octuple Bypass Burger.

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20,000 calories of... Well, let's find out.

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RAPID BEEPING

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FLATLINE

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Now, back to CES and, as I said earlier,

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you can't avoid the TV screens here.

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Ultra-high def 4K is the order of the day.

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And there's finally hope for anyone who might actually want to watch something on them.

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Netflix has announced it will offer a 4K movie-streaming service soon.

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And if you have a 4K projector,

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Dan has managed to jump the queue on another way to put it to use.

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Welcome to Sony's Life Space UX,

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their living room of the future.

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Basically, it looks pretty normal with the lights on.

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Blank wall behind me, mirror on the wall.

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Over here, their kitchen area,

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where you might enjoy breakfast at the start of the day.

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But this whole area is about to change.

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They want to show you what they think the future will look like.

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Turn the lights out and the room comes alive.

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That wall mirror is a touch-screen panel.

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It can also be synced with the wall

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because the wall becomes a giant screen,

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thanks to the world's first ultra-high definition laser

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home cinema projector.

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The overhead lights project the overhead part of the film, obviously.

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And suddenly, wherever you look,

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it feels like you're on the streets of Paris.

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In the kitchen, the hanging light projects your diary for the day,

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all controlled with a swipe or tap.

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But apart from the 4K projector, which hits UK stores this summer,

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it's all conceptual, meaning for now, Sony's vision is still just that.

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While TV makers go crazy about 4K,

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it's worth remembering that higher resolution

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isn't the only way to get better pictures.

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Richard Taylor has spotted something that certainly brightened his day.

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Dolby is a name you'd normally associate with sound

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but now it's moving into enhancing the visuals too.

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It's developed Dolby Vision,

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a new technology which, if it takes off,

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will dramatically enhance the pictures on our TV sets.

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Dolby says the problem is that content we watch through TVs now

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loses a lot of picture information.

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It's only a tiny fraction as bright or colourful

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as our eyes or even video cameras can capture.

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That's something it wants to change.

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Seeing, as they say, is believing.

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And you can't fully appreciate what I'm seeing here

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because you're looking at this through today's TV standards.

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But this monitor, which is also using the standard,

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looks dull and lifeless compared to the new system here on the right.

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The whites are 40 times brighter than they are on this.

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It's a lot more detailed, rich, vivid and colourful an image.

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The only caveat being

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that on pictures which move very quickly, there is a bit more judder.

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To make it work, you'd need a compatible TV

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with a specially-configured array of LEDs powering the backlit display.

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Major broadcasters like the BBC have shown interest in the technology

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and Dolby has announced partnerships with big TV makers

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like Sharp and Chinese giant TCL,

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who are showing off prototypes at CES.

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Content providers like Netflix are also on board

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but significant challenges remain to get it adopted more widely.

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The first one is to get creatives interested in this kind of content.

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It provides them with a much bigger colour palette,

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so they're already pretty much convinced.

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The second thing is getting the TV manufacturers wanting to produce that

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and provide that information and that quality to consumers.

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Again, we have a lot of uptake on that.

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The third one is the transmission system.

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That's an area that depends in the broadcast world on standards

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but is much easier for things like internet video,

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where fewer standards exist.

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Thanks, Rich. But it's not all about movies and TV programmes.

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As well as Sony's announcement of PlayStation Now,

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there's been another big video games launch at CES

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and Marc got his hands on it.

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Valve is an outfit famous for producing blockbuster video games

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and for launching the wildly-successful Steam digital store.

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It's now making its first foray into producing hardware,

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with the Steambox.

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The Steambox is basically a PC designed for the living room,

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living beneath the television set.

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Valve have made use of an operating system which is limit based,

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which they've dubbed SteamOS.

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They also seem to have taken a leaf out of the Google Android playbook.

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They'll be producing a version of this machine themselves

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but have signed up 13 third-party manufacturers

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to create these computing crates.

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Confusingly, some of these machines

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will have different specifications and different prices.

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The Steambox will make use of a new and different kind of controller.

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Analogue control sticks are replaced with touchpads

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that provide haptic, or forced feedback to the user.

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The one I'm playing on is a prototype.

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The finished controller will also have a touch-screen display

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in the space currently occupied by those four square buttons.

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If you're used to analogue sticks,

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the touch controller takes a little bit of getting used to.

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And seems to be really, very, very responsive indeed.

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So here they are, the very first batch of third-party Steamboxes.

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Some of which look quite sleek,

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like they could slip seamlessly beneath your existing kit.

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And some, which, to my eyes,

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look a little bit like a minibar fridge crossed with an existing PC.

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Very Vegas.

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This first batch of machines are priced between 500 and 6,000.

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Prototype test units are already in the wild being put through their paces,

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with finished boxes likely to be released later this year.

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Marc Cieslak.

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As with many tech expos, sometimes the most interesting stuff

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doesn't turn up in glamorous halls

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but, instead, in the seedy back alleys,

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where the little innovators set out their stalls.

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This is university research, which detects neural impulses,

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in this case, the ones controlling my eyebrow muscles,

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and then turns them into a pink monkey arm-wrestling game.

0:19:570:20:01

Where, at the moment, I am being outwaggled by Nema here.

0:20:010:20:04

OK. Back to London now. It's time for Webscape.

0:20:040:20:06

And here is Kate Russell.

0:20:060:20:08

There are plenty of websites online

0:20:140:20:16

where you can browse through thousands of recipes

0:20:160:20:19

but sometimes the real gems are easier to find

0:20:190:20:22

in a specialised collection, like at greatbritishchefs.com.

0:20:220:20:27

Having stuffed yourself silly

0:20:270:20:29

with cold turkey throughout the festive season,

0:20:290:20:33

surely it's time for a change of menu.

0:20:330:20:36

These pages ooze delicious recipes, tips

0:20:360:20:40

and how-to-videos from distinctive British chefs

0:20:400:20:44

who all cook in their own restaurants.

0:20:440:20:46

Recipes are all clearly identified by skill level and prep time

0:20:460:20:51

so you can plan the perfect feast for any occasion

0:20:510:20:55

using fresh, seasonal vegetables and ingredients.

0:20:550:20:59

There are lots of free apps

0:20:590:21:02

for Apple devices and Windows 8 desktop.

0:21:020:21:05

And if you're following a recipe on your laptop in the kitchen,

0:21:050:21:08

you can launch the screen into cooking mode

0:21:080:21:11

for full-screen steps that are easy to navigate with floury fingers.

0:21:110:21:16

"Turn the pastry around on the work surface

0:21:160:21:19

"so that you roll it altogether."

0:21:190:21:21

# Come on, skinny love what happened here? #

0:21:230:21:28

If all that's a bit rich for you,

0:21:280:21:30

here's another specialist recipe site

0:21:300:21:32

that should appeal to healthy eaters.

0:21:320:21:35

Skinnytaste is all about maximum flavour, minimum naughtiness.

0:21:350:21:39

With Weight Watchers-friendly recipes

0:21:390:21:41

that should make it a pleasure to eat a healthy diet.

0:21:410:21:44

Who's watching you online?

0:21:500:21:53

It's a question we've all been pondering a little more seriously

0:21:530:21:57

since Edward Snowden blew the lid

0:21:570:21:59

on various government activities recently.

0:21:590:22:02

And now, thanks to a plug-in for Firefox,

0:22:020:22:05

you can see a little more clearly

0:22:050:22:07

what's going on under your browser's hood with Lightbeam.

0:22:070:22:10

Once installed, the app will track

0:22:120:22:14

which websites are talking to your browser.

0:22:140:22:17

Even the third-party sites serving up things like ad banners

0:22:170:22:21

and tracking cookies to follow you around the web.

0:22:210:22:25

This is the part of the internet you can't usually see

0:22:250:22:29

and it makes for enlightening observation.

0:22:290:22:34

You can explore the information

0:22:340:22:36

using one of three data-visualisation tools.

0:22:360:22:39

Data is collected continuously as you surf around the web,

0:22:390:22:43

building up a picture of how your activity

0:22:430:22:46

is being tracked and traced.

0:22:460:22:48

# I always feel like somebody's watching me

0:22:480:22:51

# Tell me, is it just a dream? #

0:22:510:22:53

If you played a lot of board games over the holidays,

0:22:540:22:57

you'll probably recognise this bad boy, Connect Four.

0:22:570:23:01

Our video of the week this week comes from Numberphile

0:23:010:23:04

and reveals how you can guarantee a win.

0:23:040:23:07

So simple, it feels almost like cheating.

0:23:070:23:10

And it is a mathematical certainty that you will win

0:23:100:23:15

if you play perfectly by dropping your opening disc,

0:23:150:23:19

or stone, as these are sometimes called,

0:23:190:23:22

into the middle column, like so.

0:23:220:23:26

Thank you, Kate. Kate Russell's Webscape.

0:23:260:23:30

And that rounds off Click in Las Vegas Part One.

0:23:300:23:33

After all, there's far too much at CES to cover in just one programme,

0:23:330:23:36

so we have been forced to stick around

0:23:360:23:39

to bring you more from the show next week. What's a geek to do?

0:23:390:23:42

Feel free to get in touch about anything you've seen.

0:23:420:23:45

We're on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook

0:23:450:23:47

and on the e-mail, of course.

0:23:470:23:49

[email protected]

0:23:490:23:50

And you can check out the latest technology news at our website,

0:23:500:23:54

bbc.co.uk/click

0:23:540:23:56

Thanks for watching and we'll see you back in Vegas next week.

0:23:560:24:00

Click reports from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and brings you the latest trends in technology for the year ahead.


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