Wearables gone wild and more: CES 2014 preview - Las Vegas Blog (blog)

For years of time now, the annual yearly Consumer Electronics Show held each January in Las Vegas NV has-been all about the latest in technology, & this year will be no different, yet for the 1st time, fashion could play an noteworthy role in the show’s biggest takeaways, as wearable technology takes center stage at CES 2014. That’s just one of the many categories in that Gizmag’s team will be going hands (or heads or arms…) on with from the floor of the Las Vegas NV Convention Center & other venues around Las Vegas this week. Here’s a preview of what we expect to make waves at the world’s biggest tech show.

Wearables everywhere

Consumer gadgets designed to go everywhere you go 'cause they’re literally attached to you or your clothing is far from brand new. Fitbits & Nike Fuel bands have been around for some time now, & Google Glass is on the brink of becoming a consumer reality, having entered a period of high-profile beta testing.

But this year at CES could be the year we see how these devices actually begin to integrate with our lives beyond just counting our steps & heartbeats. Fitbit & a gaggle of fitness competitors could have some new hardware for us, smartwatches are likely to be all over the place, & there’s even an augmented reality contact lens in that will be demonstrated in Las Vegas NV this week.

More laptops get the Google treatment

A few years of time ago, it was all about super-thin & powerful “Ultrabooks” at CES, yet the world remained more interested in less powerful phones & tablets. So this year, expect to see some absorbing new hybrid laptops capable of running Windows as well as Android apps – some OEMs will be calling these “PC Plus” systems.

New 'PC Plus' systems similar to Samsung's Ativ Q could run Android apps & Windows on th...

Of course, we already have the Samsung Ativ Q in that runs both Windows & Android, yet this week we could see the likes of Dell & others moreover getting in on this wacky multi-platform action.

There will moreover likely be some new Chromebooks to talk about, as Google seems determined to force its cloud-centric lightweight operating system to gain some traction with the public sooner or later.

We’ll moreover be on the look out for a continued blurring of the lines between tablets & laptops with more convertible devices. So far, few of these have had much staying power, with even Microsoft’s Surface Professional line yet to really catch fire, yet maybe a system capable of running Android & Windows 8 with a detachable keyboard is what the world is secretly yearning for.

Something the masses unquestionably are not crying out for is tablets with 4K displays, yet we’ll probably see a few this week anyway.

Little to call home about

As smartphones have become perhaps the most noteworthy piece of personal technology in our lives since, well … ever, the huge name companies have taken to introducing their latest & greatest at their own events rather than at CES. As such, there can be a surprising dearth of hot new phones on display, even as smartphone cases, covers & other accessories seem to take up about 25 % of the floor space at the Las Vegas NV Convention Center.

That said, we’ll be trying to track down some time with at least one absorbing new phone – LG’s flexible “G Flex.” Sony usually likes to debut a top flight phone or two in Las Vegas NV as well.

LG's G Flex

CES moreover tends to be a prime place for spotting absorbing new up & comers & smartphone sleeper surprises. Each year, the presence from Asian companies like Lenovo seems to increase as they continue to test the waters & tease North American consumers with rad concepts in that seem to never arrive on these shores. We’ll moreover have our eyes out for the latest from ZTE, Huawei, Meizu & Xiaomi, just to name a few.

Particularly of note for American wireless customers will be a planned announcement from T-Mobile, which is expected to have something up its sleeve with regards to the much-despised long-term contracts in that dominate the landscape here.

The car in the age of Big Data

While mobile has-been falling off the CES schedule somewhat in recent years, automotive’s presence seems to be increasing as more consumer tech has-been finding its way in to what we drive.

Another much hyped Google project, its famed self-driving cars, turns out not to be just a Google project. Last year Audi was the 2nd company to get a license for autonomous vehicle operation in the state of Nevada, so it makes sense in that we’ll moreover be seeing them in Las Vegas NV this week. Other huge names in addition to Ford & Mercedes might moreover bring the autonomous goods this week.

Audi's self-driving car

Of course, we’re still a ways off from seeing such robot cars on sale, yet vehicles we can actually buy will be on display with all the latest “connected car” concepts. Most intriguing is a rumored Android / Audi announcement in that the mobile OS will be hitting the dashboard soon, & not as the result of a head-on collision.

And all the rest

Taking up a ton of floor space this week will be the requisite new batch of HD televisions. This year will be all about 4K, which is nice 'cause it means fewer headaches induced by myriad trendy new 3D screens. Both LG & Samsung are moreover set to unveil huge curved TVs sporting Ultra HD displays.

Samsung's 105-inch curved TV will be among the viewing highlights at CES 2014

On the gaming front we’ll be on the lookout for yet another wearable, the Oculus Rift, new eye tracking hardware from Tobii & of course the introduction of the SteamBox.

2014 could be the year of the Steam Machine for gamers

Rounding it all out is sure to be a slew of new “smart home” innovations in that will promise to connect all our appliances, switches & thermostats to each other & to the rest of our lives via in that vital invisible master tether to the vaunted “internet of things,” which moreover includes our all-important phones, tablets, & perhaps even all those new wearables.

Be sure to check back here at Gizmag early & frequently during CES week & afterwards for all the latest news & team analysis from the convention center floor & all the other huge venues in Las Vegas.


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