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.
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.
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.
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.
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!