Vegas

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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Vegas Diary – Day 2 – Getting Curvy

Day 2 of pre-CES saw a day of press conferences from all the big tech players. Standing out for me was certainly Samsung and its offering. CES sees the launch of Samsung’s first Ultra High Definition Television, the Bendable TV, an impressive Chef Collection for the kitchen and some hard-working, multi-tasking additions to its tablet range.

105'Curved_UHD_front

In the world of television for 2014 Samsung is embracing the curve for what is tipped to be a truly cinematic experience, The firm explains that with a wider field of view the audience is given the illusion of a larger screen size and also the effect of 3D without the awkward glasses. The unveiling of Samsung’s forthcoming Bendable TV range caused much excitement here in Las Vegas. At the touch of a button the Ultra High Definition flat screen television shape-shifts to become curved – offering the viewer multiple viewing perspectives.

Food_Showcase

Samsung’s Chef collection was also a highlight. The firm teamed up with Michelin starred chefs to create a multi-zone fridge offering varying temperatures for optimum food preservation. Thanks to a metal cooling plate and triple cooling system, meat and fish can be stored at a separate temperature to fruit and vegetables.

NotePRO_3

CES also sees the launch of the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO series. Key features include a large 12.2″ screen size with multi-window capability, 10 hour battery life, a full size virtual keyboard, 3GB of RAM and the S Pen. Samsung has also incorporated a remote PC feature to the series making this a seriously hard-working and exciting tablet series launch.

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Vegas Diary – Day 1 – CES Unveiled

Nothing can quite prepare you for Las Vegas. The sheer size of the place, the all day gambling, the Lycra – it’s completely bonkers. Sin City is to be my home for the next five days so to get into character I’m writing this post from my hotel room in a floor length ballgown surrounded by poker chips (sort of).

Today I attended the pre-CES event called CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. CES Unveiled is the official media event showcasing nearly 100 exhibitors from around the world, including CES Innovation Award winners. Key trends from Unveiled included curved smartphones, fitness technology, sound systems and smartphone accessories.

LG’s forthcoming LG G Flex was on display. LG informed us that the G Flex is the world’s first flexible, curved phone and will sport a self-healing back – ideal for those of us who scuff our phones on a regular basis. The launch date and price tag are still to be confirmed but I feel quite sure that this won’t be the last curved phone I see in Las Vegas. Curves are in!

LG G Flex

Fashion and function met in a very stylish way on the Boostcase stand. The firm’s power boosting cases, available in Selfridges and Harrods, incorporate battery packs for the iPhone with stylish designs and additional features such as pouches for your lippy and cash.

Boostcase

In the fitness realm Fitbug, the movement and sleep tracker, unveiled KiK. KiK works in association with the new Fitbug Orb to essentially become your own digital coach. KiK offers a series of 12 week plans with titles such as No More Baby Belly, Diabetes and Salsa to Fitness, that you load onto your smart device via USB and subsequently provides you with video tutorials, goal setting, monitoring and expert advice.

Other eye-catching innovations spotted at CES Unveiled included the brand new Zepp – a small device that attaches to your tennis racquet or golf club and then tracks and plays back your swings allowing you to analyse and improve your game. For those conscious of the impact of UV on the skin – France’s latest beauty device ‘June’ is a bracelet that monitors how much UV you are exposed to and offers advice on how to limit the signs of ageing with recommended sun protection factors.

This was only a taster of the tech mecca that is to follow over the subsequent days and the array of gadgets to come, like everything else in Las Vegas, is going to be huge!

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