A Roundup of CES 2015 Roundups
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), is one of the most important – perhaps the most important – consumer electronics and technology trade shows, attracting major companies and industry professionals worldwide. The annual show is held each January at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The 2015 show was held from Tuesday, January 6 to Friday, January 9, and the first roundups are coming up.
According to CNET, rather than a single overarching product or trend, the most important thing about CES may be the show itself: The industry as a whole came together in meetings, at parties, in back rooms, and on the show floor to coalesce around tech’s dominant and increasingly intertwined themes. By the end of the week, CNET reporters gained a sense of what the tech of 2015 will look like, and saw more than a few sparkling examples of what’s to come.
TV Hardware, Virtual Reality, Drones, 3D Printers, Self-Driving Cars
The cable TV model is about to get disrupted in a big way. Virtual reality is now a reality – no more at the fringes of the tech world, VR is now getting ready for prime time with immersive interface devices like the Oculus Rift. CNET’s own Next Big Thing supersession at the show drove the point home: virtual reality is really here, and it’s here to stay.
Companies are finding new uses for virtual and augmented tech, ranging from the more conventional, like VR video games and entertainment, to newer concepts, like shopping on Amazon with augmented reality. Facebook paid $2 billion for Oculus VR – mostly known for applying virtual reality to gaming – opening up the possibilities of what virtual reality’s role will be in social media and beyond. Google delivered a simple cardboard headset that turns your smartphone into a VR device.
Drones and 3D printers are continuing to evolve rapidly. The Internet of Things and connected homes are gaining mainstream popularity, and so are elf-driving cars – Audi set the tone for automakers at CES by sending a car with no driver from the San Francisco Bay Area to Las Vegas.
New PCs are thinner and lighter than ever before – the Intel’s Compute Stick, a “PC on a stick,” is a full-fledged Windows PC about the size of a Chromecast.
TV hardware still dominates the main floor of CES:
This show is still all about the screens – the bigger and brighter, the better. The show floor was awash with new OLED TVs from LG, and LCD TVs are getting a shot in the arm from quantum dot technology and high dynamic range (HDR) tech across several vendors.
Most of the other CES 2015 roundups published so far – from Fortune, Forbes, The Verge, The Telegraph, BBC News and other international news outlets – focus mostly on TV technology. The Verge says:
Manufacturers are putting out 4K televisions, trying to one-up each other by signing exclusive content deals that might be good for them, but lock out other manufacturers. Meanwhile both streaming services and cable/satellite providers are picking and choosing when they want to get involved and who they’re ready to work with. And then there’s the matter of high dynamic range. With the first wave of televisions failing to catch fire, everyone’s looking for the magic bullet that will make 4K a must-have for consumers. Many think the brilliant, vibrant imagery of HDR is the answer – but there are multiple options out there to choose from as well. The UHD Alliance is claiming it can fix all of this.
CTV News has an article on the oddest gadgets of CES 2015. Notably, a robotic exoskeleton from Ekso Bionic allows a disabled person, who usually needs a wheelchair, to walk about 500 steps before tiring. The system includes mechanized leg braces, a battery backpack and a walking cane with controls to operate the system. Software and weight sensors are used to adjust the mechanized gait to the ability of each user.
Images from CES, Kobby Dagan and Shutterstock.