January is arguably the most exciting month of the year for technology fans because it means it’s time for CES. For four days, from the 7th to the 10th, thousands of people headed to Las Vegas in the hope of seeing more than just a few Elvis impersonators and enticing casinos.
The annual Consumer Electronics show is where we all hope to catch a sneak preview of what the year (and beyond) has in store for us in terms of gadgets and gismos. And as usual, we were not disappointed as Sony, Samsung, Microsoft and many others all announced what tricks they currently have up their sleeves.
Here’s a look at some of the best products we got a look at.
4K TVs –
You may have only just caught up with the trend of having a HD enabled TV and may now be contemplating a move to a 3D enabled one, but the manufacturers are one step ahead and have already created the next stage in televisual entertainment; 4K. Ultra High definition, or 4K, basically means that the TV’s horizontal resolution is at least 4,000 pixels, and although this technology has been around for a few years now, CES 2014 gave us our best look at it yet.
There were many companies showing off their latest 4K offerings including Samsung with their gigantic 105-inch, curved screen TV and LG with their 77-inch screen which bends at the touch of a button (Samsung also has one of these too). Perhaps the most impressive spectacle, though, was created by Panasonic. The Japanese giants unveiled a TV that bends both inwards and outwards and can be integrated with other screens to create an image that spans the whole wall.
BMW’s Self-driving Car –
We have heard rumblings about self-driving cars for a while now, but this is the first time we have been able to see one in its full glory. It is thought that software controlled vehicles can be safer than those driven by humans and could limit the amount of accidents that happen on our roads every year. And for anyone that was wondering if a self-driven car could perform as well as one driven by a person; the answer is yes.
Both the BMW 2-Series coupe and the 6-Series gran coupe have been modified to incorporate this technology and were showcased around a race track at the Las Vegas event. The cars were seen to weave effortlessly through cones and even power slide through tough corners. Japanese manufacturer, Toyota, also unveiled their version of this type of machinery.
Smart Jewellery –
As many people predicted, wearable tech was again out in full force at CES 2014 as it looks set to be another big year for devices of this kind. Whilst Pebble’s announcement of their new Pebble Steel (an upgrade of their original smartwatch which includes a stainless steel wristband) and Sony showed off both its ‘Core’ and ‘Smartband’ accessories, full marks for creativity have to go to Cambridge up-and-comers, CSR.
They have designed a range of smart jewellery products which act as on-the-go notification devices for all your incoming alerts. You can assign a range of colours to various functions on your smartphone so that the jewellery flashes with the corresponding colour when a new message, email or update of another kind, comes in.
Iris Scanner –
You many think that unlocking your new IPhone 5 with your fingerprint is pretty cool, but 2014 is set to unleash a range of iris scanners on us to improve the security of our personal items even more. EyeLock’s ‘myris’ was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show and was definitely one of the low profile, yet highly interesting, gadgets on display. It simply plugs into your device via a USB port and then allows you to register a scan of your eye as the password. Expect these to hit the shops in the early part of this year.
CES 2014 was definitely another rousing success for manufacturers and tech fans alike; proving it really is one of the most exciting dates in the technology calendar. It’s now left to technology PR agencies to market these products and bring them into the public domain during the coming months.
By Chris Mayhew
Chris Mayhew looks forward to the Consumer Electronics Show every year and was not disappointed by what was on offer in Las Vegas 2014. He would recommend Surrey based technology PR agency, Éclat, to anyone looking for a company to represent their brand.