Each January gadget companies from around the world descend on Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show.
Although officially centred on the Las Vegas Convention Center, gadget demos and press conferences envelop almost every hotel and venue in the city for the week-long event.
Notably absent from the strip this year are Microsoft, Dell and HP. Perhaps taking their lead from Apple – which has never attended the show – these giants of the US electronics industry are taking a year out to focus their energy elsewhere.
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Asian electronics giants such as Samsung, LG and Lenovo now dominate the show, each unveiling crateloads of shiny hardware that we can expect to see on the high street this year.
LG's flagship contribution was an 84-inch, ultra-high-definition television that sports all the bells and whistles. With 3D support, 10-speaker surround sound and a resolution four times that of current HD sets, the LG will probably be the best – and most expensive – TV on the market when it's released later in 2013.
Meanwhile, Lenovo ensured every corner of the PC market was catered for with sleek touchscreen desktops, Apple lookalike laptops and updates to its ThinkPad corporate range.
One of the most intriguing gadgets teased at this year's Vegas show is a new TV from Samsung. While other manufacturers fight for the title of largest screen, thinnest frame and highest pixel count, Samsung has hinted at something different: a transparent, portrait-shaped screen that could be placed in front of a window. Details such as how you watch it when the curtains are closed and whether your neighbours can watch your screen from behind were sadly unavailable at the time of writing.
Fujifilm unveiled updates to its highly regarded X10 and X100 compact digital cameras. The new models, called the X20 and X100S, are visually similar to their predecessors, but under the skin they feature updated sensors for better image quality and low light performance. The X100S also fixes the Achilles heel of the X100 – its sluggish focusing speed – with what Fujifilm claims is the world's fastest autofocus.
No electronics show would be complete without the weird and wacky and this year didn't disappoint. Spurred on by crowd-funding sites that allow customers to pre-order products that don't yet exist, boutique manufacturers are testing the market with dozens of niche products, then only producing the ones people actually want.
My pick of the crowd-funded products on show in Las Vegas is the HAPIfork (pictured), a piece of electronic cutlery that aims to help owners lose weight by vibrating and flashing a warning light if they are eating too quickly. Chewing data can be downloaded to a computer for later graphing and sharing on social networks. Soon our Facebook news feeds will be full not only of friends' food pictures, but also data on how quickly they scoffed it.
Look out for in-depth reviews of the latest products from the show in the coming weeks.