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Trends from CES

With the doors closing on CES today it seems fitting to take a look back at the hottest trends of the show and highlight some of my favourite tech pieces.

Garmin

Wearable technology has been a dominating trend at CES this year, especially in the fitness arena. A host of bands, watches and detachable gadgetry were unveiled with the promise of improving our sleep, training our brain and enhancing our fitness. Launches such as the Garmin vivofit (www.garmin.co.uk), available from March for around £99.99, intend to monitor your personal activity levels and use the information to set tailor made goals. The water-resistant band tracks your sleep, counts your steps, monitors calories burnt and sets out to help you achieve your fitness goals with its progress tracker and inactivity sensor.

LG

The term “the internet of everything” was key at CES 2014. The phrase essentially identifies that technology firms are working hard to  make our homes, lives and cars smarter using interactive technology and data communication. From the aforementioned fitness trackers, to LG’s smart fridges and washing machines that you can text, the major tech players are aiming to use technology to improve the efficiency of our day to day activities.

Earlier on in the week we focused on Ultra HD and curved technology. Both elements have played a huge part in CES 2014. With smartphones and televisions literally bending – our visual experience becomes highly immersive and our calls more ergonomic.

Toyota

In the automotive sphere, hydrogen powered cars and self-driving capabilities caused quite a stir. Toyota announced the as yet untitled hydrogen and oxygen powered car, set to launch in 2015 (www.toyota.com/fuelcell). Toyota claims that despite its sustainable fuel, the car will perform in the same way as a ‘regular’ car – achieving 0-60 in 10 seconds and reaching top speeds in excess of 100mph. The firm acknowledged and commented on the challenge of refuelling the fuel cell car with niche and currently sparse refuelling systems, announcing that certain areas in the US are becoming focused on significantly multiplying the number. BMW showcased its latest autonomous driving tech at the show in its 2-Series Coupe and 6-Series Gran Coupe. The technology facilitates the cars to navigate bends and hurdles without driver intervention thanks to cameras, radars and sensors.

Griffin

In addition to these key trends I want to highlight some other stand-out products from the show. The Griffin Wireless Powermate, available from Summer 2014 for around $59.99 (www.griffintechnology.com). Achingly stylish in its metallic, circular form, the Bluetooth LE running Powermate can be programmed to carry out six key commands for most computer applications in a click or a spin – from simply adjusting computer volume and replacing repetitive keystrokes, to becoming the hacker’s choice for programming smartly. The rather quirky, russian-doll inspired styled Mother product from Sen.se caught my eye, available to pre-order now for $166 (www.sensemother.com). The ‘doll’ assumes the role of a nucleus and four connectors are then attached to items that you want to essentially make ‘smarter’. A connector can for example be attached to a pill bottle and if the bottle remains untouched an alert will be sent to your smartphone to remind you to take your pills. I was really impressed by the ranges on show from Ozaki (www.ozakiverse.com) – the Taiwanese company got is so right with its array of cool smartphone and tablet accessories including the mini piano keyboard for iPhone and interactive chess set for the iPad – Chesspoly.

Goodnight from Las Vegas!

 

 

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Vegas Diary – Day 3 – Back to the Future

polaroid

CES opened its doors today and the tech fest officially opened. A notable trend at this year’s CES was the coming together of retro and high tech. Polaroid unveiled its Socialmatic today – the touchscreen, 14MP camera that instantly prints your images like the retro Polaroid and also uses Android to connect to your favourite Apps and share your photos. The perfect blend of the old and the new from www.polaroid.com

fujifilm

Fujifilm launched an addition to its Instax range at CES, unveiling the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic. The instant camera looks gorgeous with its classic camera looks but is also packed with some great photographic features – bulb and double exposures, macro mode and high performance flash. Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic will shortly be retailing for around $199 www.fujifilm.com

ion

Audio firm Ion showcased its stylish Archive LP Digital Conversion Turntable with Speakers at CES. Its retro look belies the clever technology packed into this product. The natural wood, all in one turntable converts your records into digital files on your computer ready to take on the go on your portable media device. Thanks to in-built stereo speakers you can play your favourite tracks in an instant. Alternatively you can connect it to your home stereo using the RCA outputs www.ionaudio.com

soundfreaq

Soundfreaq has really been making an impact here at CES. Last month the firm launched the retro looking Sound Spot ($69.99) – jammed full of great technology and audio capability. The small, square, wireless speaker range can be moved around your home to create some seriously sizeable audio. Working with Bluetooth and an internal rechargeable battery this is one highly functional and great looking home speaker system www.soundfreaq.com

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