CES 2014: Day 2 and 3 Highlights

Day 2 and 3 of the Consumer Electronics Show has come! (If you missed Day 0 and 1 highlights you can find them here.) Here are the highlights (thanks to Wired for the coverage):

  • Sony unveiled:
    • SmartWatch 2, successor to the original.
    • PlayStation Now, a streaming gaming service. It will come to PlayStation devices first (PS3, PS4, and PS Vita), and eventually to tablets, phones, and Bravia TVs. You can rent by title or subscribe by month.
    • A new video streaming service, with personalized channels and live and on-demand programming. You can swap from one device to another and your video will follow you.
    • The 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector, coming summer of this year for $30,000-40,000.
  • CLO3D unveiled the C-Mirror, which lets you try on virtual clothes.
  • Samsung unveiled:
    • Two concept TV sets that can bend: a LED set and an OLED set.
    • An 8K TV concept.
    • The world’s largest washer & dryer.
  • Mophie unveiled the Space Pack – “the world’s first battery pack that also boasts built-in storage and file management.” It comes in 16 and 32 GB versions, has a button to switch on file management, it can store files locally instead of on your phone (iPhone only at the moment), and files are arranged into six groups.
  • Sharp unveiled a 8K TV concept with glasses-free 3D. However, according to the author’s experience, there was “a visible lenticular coating to the screen and certain sweet spots you need to stand on to get the 3D effect.”
  • Bosch unveiled an e-bike that can go up to 20 mph and takes 2.5 hours to charge.
  • Wahoo unveiled some heart rate monitors – Tickr, Tickr Run, Tickr X. They use Bluetooth LE and Ant+, which makes them compatible with smartphone apps, GPS watches, and bike computers.
  • LG unveiled another prototype OLED TV that can go from curved to flat. According to the author’s experience “It takes longer to transform than the Samsung model, too – about 13 seconds from curved to flat.”
  • Vizio unveiled a couple of P-series 4K TV sets. The 50-inch set will cost $1000, and the 70-inch version will cost $2600. They’ll have a full-array backlight system with 64 zones of local dimming.
  • WowWee unveiled some MiP robots that can be controlled via an iPhone app.
  • Toshiba unveiled:
    • A 5-in-1 computer prototype – similar in functionality to a hybrid laptop/tablet.
    • My favorite gadget/smart item so far – the Glas Luce, a smart mirror prototype that shows you daily stats on the side, including time, date, weather, schedule, steps, calories, and vital signs. (Check out a picture on Wired’s live blog.)
  • Panasonic unveiled:
    • The Toughpad FZ-M1, a 7-inch tablet with Windows 8.1, a 1280×800 resolution, drop-proof up to 5 ft., dust- and water-resistant, with a 4th-gen Intel i5 vPro processor. You can add an optional card reader, extra battery, barcode reader, or GPS. It will be released in March for $2000.
    • A 85″ 4K gaming TV set.
    • A prototype 4K LED technology that aims to provide a picture quality close to that of plasma TVs.
  • Intel unveiled the Charging Bowl, which uses the A4WP wireless charging standard and can charge their Jarvis earpiece (cf. previous CES article).
  • There were some car-related announcements as well:
    • Tesla unveiled the Model X.
    • Google Glass and smartwatches replacing your key fob.
    • “High-speed wireless data will be yet another option when you buy a car, keeping it connected to your home and providing a rolling WiFi hotspot.”
  • BodyMedia unveiled some disposable body trackers that last 7 days and records activities including steps, calories, etc.
  • NeatConnect unveiled a cloud scanner. According to the author, “It scans receipts, business cards, and other printed documents (nothing handwritten), and runs them through its optical character recognition system. From there, it organizes and uploads the data to the NeatCloud service ($10 to $25 per month to upload and access data), which lets you tap into your account with mobile apps. For a small business, it acts like a desktop accountant. The NeatConnect has its own touchscreen and Wi-Fi connectivity, so you don’t even need to hook it up to a computer to use it. You can even use it to scan and organize your recipes.”
  • Nest unveiled their new smart, combo smoke and carbon monoxide detector – the Nest Protect.
  • Synaptics unveiled a thin touch keyboard prototype. According to the author, it “uses magnets instead of a mechanical scissor action for key presses, which means it uses capacitive sensing to do this.” You can swipe on keys like the spacebar for actions.
  • Cambridge Consultants unveiled the ArcAid system for basketball, which tracks your shots over time and shows you how to improve your basketball skills.

While Day 2 and 3 appeared to be more of the same, I do like some of the little tidbits:

  • The smart clothes mirror.
  • The smart bathroom mirror – by and far my favorite.
  • Disposable body trackers, which, as the Wired author pointed out, would be great for doctors to use with patients.
  • Smart devices coming to sports, like the basketball system.

Technically those carry a lot of the same ideas as extended computing (which is being harped on at this CES), but to me it’s nice to see technology used in really smart ways. Take a look at the smart bathroom mirror to see what I mean. Just about everyone gets up in the morning and goes into the bathroom for something – “relief,” shower, brushing teeth, etc. Having the day’s information right there saves you from pulling out your phone first thing in the morning (which you’re unlikely to do if you need to hit the bathroom quick), and it has the potential of showing you more information than a single phone’s screen would be able to. That’s what I call smart technology.

Let’s hope CES continues to show us more of the same!




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