Curved-screen smartphone, smart toothbrush at CES

Ah, here we are, the first week of a new year. By now you should be done finding bits of glitter from your holiday celebrations in your contact lens cases and finally be ready to embrace the entirety of one more cycle on this floating rock we call Earth.

For techies, that means by starting off with one of the biggest industry spectacles of the year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Now in its 47th year, the annual trade show is usually a continuation of the holiday season for anyone interested in technology, as this is where upcoming gadgets and innovations are debuted.

Previously, some CES shows have had a sort of theme accompanying them, with recent years focusing on 3D TVs, tablets and Netbooks (remember those?). However, at the time of this writing, 2014’s CES is shaping up to be a pretty general affair with plenty of variety for consumers.

Some of the things shown off include the new G Flex curved-screen smartphone by LG. Touted as being the first “flexible” smartphone, the G Flex features a (somewhat bendable) curved six-inch screen that is meant to contour better to the user’s face than your standard smartphone. But perhaps even more interesting, the phone’s backing is made of a self-healing material that actually heals from minor scratches and scuffs. Seriously. The phone is expected out in the first quarter of this year.

Another gadget unveiled during a CES preview show was a new lightbulb designed to help homeowners in the event of a power outage. Called a SmartCharge LED Lightbulb, the bulbs come equipped with a rechargeable battery that stays lit for up to four hours after the power is cut. The bulbs are set to retail for $25 a piece.

Think you might need some tips on brushing? Kolibree has got you covered. The company was at CES to show off its new smart toothbrush, which connects to users’ phones and monitors their brushing in real time. Then, if a certain spot was missed or more brushing was required, the user’s phone would ding and inform them of where to focus their brushwork. Very practical.

And while this was written before CES had closed its doors for another year, I would guess that if anything were to have been deemed the theme for this year, it would likely go to the whole 4K/Ultra HD TV scene. Talks about 4K and Ultra HDresolution television sets really took flight in the latter half of 2013, and the number of manufacturers looking to hop onto the hype train will only increase at this point. But as a consumer, just relax, there are barely any movies and literally no channels being streamed in 4K at this time, so you’re not missing out on anything, and probably won’t be for the next few years.

For now, consumers seem to be growing more inclined to enjoy some of the smaller innovations, such as the household practical items mentioned above, instead of a new TV or disc format every other year.