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CES gadgets: Sony running with wearable tech, Ford’s map for self-driving cars, and Samsung disappoints

Kirsten Robb /

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas overnight contained some exciting revelations from the biggest names in tech innovation, as well as some more predictable announcements.

Sony announced its intentions to evolve its SmartWear range with a stainless steel edition of its SmartWatch 3 and a new workout coaching headset prototype named Smart B-Trainer (the ‘b’ stands for beat).

The fully waterproof audio headset features a full sensor suite built-in, created for runners to use it in all conditions, as well as voice coaching, music and intelligent playlist creation.

Meanwhile, car manufacturer Ford revealed its Smart Mobility initiative, a set of 25 experiments to “address growing or increasing transportation challenges”.

This includes plans for a fully autonomous or “self-driving” car.

“We’re already manufacturing and selling semi-autonomous vehicles that use software and sensors to steer into both parallel and perpendicular parking spaces, adjust speed based on traffic flow or apply the brakes in an emergency,” said Raj Nair, Ford chief technical officer and group vice president of global product development.

“There will be a Ford autonomous vehicle in the future, and we take putting one on the road very seriously.”

The car giant said a fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle is undergoing road testing. The vehicle uses the same semi-autonomous technology in Ford vehicles today, while adding four remote sensors to generate a real-time 3D map of the surrounding environment.

Ford said the vehicle can sense objects around it using the sensors and uses advanced algorithms to help it learn to predict where vehicles and pedestrians might move.

On a less exciting note, Samsung disappointed tech fans at this year’s conference with a lack of major announcements. The Korean brand instead focused on its new TV and kitchen appliances.

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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