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Geared Up

Presenting our annual Tech Special, starring smart TVs, cutting-edge audio and robots, robots, robots!

Author Adam K. Raymond

PANASONIC SMART VIERA 2013

The TV of tomorrow comes with customizable home pages displaying Web apps, weather alerts, stock tickers, Facebook pages and, if you look hard enough, TV shows. The My Home Screen feature allows everyone in the house to create personalized home pages, and switches between them seamlessly by using face-recognition technology that seems straight out of a sci-fi blockbuster. All you do is plop down on the couch, and a camera on the TV reads your face, pulls up your custom settings and lets you quickly navigate to your favorite channels. The future is now. Prices vary by model / www.shop.panasonic.com

 

WHEEME

The 21st century isn’t dominated by robot servants (yet), but at least there’s WheeMe, a robot masseur that looks like a tiny remote-controlled car. Lie down and place it on your back, and it will move around via nubby silicone-rubber wheels, relieving tension with three different modes. Is there a mini Swede named Sven driving it? Nope: Sensors detect when it’s nearing the edge of your back, so it’ll never fall off and start massaging the carpet. $99 / www.robotshop.com

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