Well, it doesn't come with the Discovery One, but this HAL 9000 ($500) is the closest you'll come to that ship's charismatic AI controller. Based on actual studio blueprints, this incredibly detailed, hand-assembled replica features a custom-ground fish-eye lens with a sticker to replicate the writing on the original Nikkor lens, a red LED eye, the ability to speak one of 15 movie quotes, the ability to respond to voices, the ability to respond to IR commands, and aircraft-grade aluminum construction.
Not satisfied with the killer Android tablets and phones companies were building with its Tegra 3 processor, gaming chip shop Nvidia decided to make their own showcase for their next chip. The Nvidia Project Shield ($TBA) is a new Android-based portable gaming platform powered by the company's new quad-core Tegra 4 chip. Thanks to a 72-core GPU, it's capable of producing stunning graphics to display on the integrated 5-inch, 720p touchscreen display, and it's also got a real gaming controller attached, with a custom tuned port audio system. The icing on the cake? The ability to stream games from a PC powered by a GeForce GTX GPU.
And the year of 4K rolls on with these Sony Bravia 2013 4K UHD LED TVs ($TBA). Available in both 65- and 55-inch models, the X900A series boasts 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, the 4K X-Reality PRO picture engine, Triluminos LED backlighting and QD Vision's Color IQTM optical component for rich, authentic color and a more natural viewing experience, integrated magnetic fluid speakers and DSP technology for surprisingly full sound, and built-in WI-Fi with the requisite suite of Internet-connected apps. Arriving this Spring.
If you still haven't picked up a Nike+ Fuelband or Jawbone Up, you ought to add the Fitbit Flex ($100) to your list of fitness trackers to check out. Like the others, the Flex is designed to be worn on your wrist, and tracks your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes, and quality of sleep, all of which it syncs to your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth 4.0. It can even vibrate to wake you up gently. Arriving this Spring in a variety of stylish colors.
Bored with the same old point-and-shoot designs? The Canon PowerShot N Camera ($300) should pique your interest. Sporting an unusual squarish shape, the PowerShot N eschews the typical top-mounted zoom ring and shutter combination by moving both controls to rings around the lens. A 2.8-inch tilting touchscreen LCD comprises the rear of the device, letting you shoot photos at nearly any angle, while a 12.1 megapixel sensor, 28mm wide-angle lens with 8x optical zoom, and a DIGIC 5 Image Processor provide superb images. Other features include built-in Wi-Fi for convenient sharing, a new Creative Shot mode that automatically creates a series of five "artistic" shots with varying composition, lighting, and color from each photo, and 1080p video recording.
Upset that you missed a chance to buy one of Microsoft's Big Ass Tables? You can come close with the new Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC ($1,700). Sporting a 27-inch display, it's designed to lie flat on nearly any surface, letting two or more people use the screen at the same time. Obviously, it comes running Windows 8, and comes pre-loaded apps and games like Monopoly, FilmOn TV, Stagelight, and more. Pair it with the Multimode Table for the ability to use like, you know, an actual PC.
Not feeling the watch-based movement and health trackers? Check out the Withings Smart Activity Tracker ($TBA). Able to slim into a pocket or into the included belt clip or arm band, it tracks heart rate, steps taken, strides run, distances covered, calories burned, and quality of sleep, all in a tiny 8 gram form factor. Other features include an OLED touchscreen display, a rear-mounted heart rate sensor, a two-week battery life, micro USB port for charging, and Bluetooth 4.0 for low-power wireless syncing to the Withings Health Mate App. Arriving Q1 2013.
Turn you iPad into a mini movieplex with the Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater ($200). Designed to connect directly to the iPad using either the 30-pin or Lightning connector, this form-fitting accessory is powered by Audifi and features high-efficiency front-facing speakers that offer surprisingly rich sound, thanks to ported enclosures that increase bass response. You can adjust the sound using a free downloadable app, and to finish off the experience it includes a Smart Cover-like stand/cover so you don't have to hold the damn thing the whole time.
Well, we didn't see this one coming. The Samsung Vacuum Tube Soundbar ($TBA) packs a decidedly audiophile feature — an integrated vacuum tube — into the un-audiophile sound bar form factor. While the goal is warmer, more natural sound, other features — like a gyroscope to optimize sound quality based on height, rotation, and slope and a wireless subwoofer — will likely make a difference too. In keeping with the wireless theme, it also offers Bluetooth for cordlessly connecting your smartphone, tablet, or even TV if it supports that kind of thing.
No, the LaCie Blade Runner Hard Drive ($300) doesn't come emblazoned with graphics from Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic. Instead, this limited edition hard drive's Philippe Starck design, which features an anthropomorphic metal interior and a cage-like shell, attempts to mirror the combination of human and machine discussed in the movie. Of course, computer peripherals generally need to do more than just look cool, and as such it also features 4TB of storage and a speedy USB 3.0 interface. Limited to just 9,999 worldwide.
When you're having to bring your mode of transportation with you into the office, size reduction matters — and while we've covered folding bikes before, they're only part of the equation. The Overade Folding Helmet ($100-$130) addresses the rest. This protective helmet was designed to save you room once the ride is over by folding into a palm-friendly size that's just one third the volume of the helmet when worn. Available in a few tasteful colorways, for a few extra bucks you can also get a matching protective cover and visor.
Whether you like to spend your free time under the sea or far, far above it, these Linde Werdelin Dive & Ski Instruments (1,200-1,800 CHF; roughly $1,300-$1,950) are worthy companions. Designed to clip on top of the company's watches but perfectly capable of standing on their own, these digital timepieces feature anodized aluminum cases, sapphire crystal screens, four-button menu systems, and angular cases. The skiing model — dubbed The Rock — measures altitude and has an external sensor for accurate measurement of air temperature, while its scuba counterpart — The Reef — provides accurate calculations of depth, oxygen percentage, and water temperature.