January 5, 2014
The upcoming Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas promises to feature the usual array of devices that only the wealthy could possibly afford along with some gadgets for the masses.
- 4K TV takes a bow. Major television manufacturers LG, Samsung and Panasonic plan to debut huge 4K TVs costing anywhere from $3000 to over $100,000 at CES 2014. A 4K Ultra HD TV (a.k.a., UHD TV) has four times the resolution of 1080p full HD TV. That's 8 million pixels, compared with 2 million pixels for full HD, at a resolution just slightly below what you'd see at your local movie theater with digital cinema. Though you won't find much 4K content available yet, YouTube plans to demo its 4K video streaming codec at CES as well.
- Low cost tablets run the new Android version. Polaroid plans to show their new line of Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) tablets, at 7", 8" and 10" sizes and ranging in price from $129 to $179. The tablets are slated for release in the spring. Few devices ship with this new version of Android yet, let alone those in the low end of the price spectrum.
- Wearable technology companies continue pushing into the mainstream. So far, wearable health devices like the FitBit have developed a niche following with technology to track steps, calories and workout information and sync it to your smart phone. Devices like Samsung's Galaxy Gear and Google Glass, still only available to beta testers, haven't set the world ablaze so far, but more companies keep jumping on board in hopes of catching the public's attention.
- Android and iOS want to control your car. Tech companies have been fighting for ground in the auto industry, trying to control nearly everything a car does except driving. Some car manufacturers have begun adding iOS or Android compatibility directly into their automobiles, and Apple and Google continue to compete for placement in the most popular car models. Audi is expected to announce a partnership with Google to include Android in their cars.
- Smart home tech keeps trying to engage. "Intelligent home" technology aims to let you control nearly every part of your home with a smart phone or other small instrument. So far, smart phone control of home components has caught on in the home security industry, but promises of energy conservation and other nifty possibilities are still being fleshed out. Expect companies to continue showing new options in this area.
- Snap a BlackBerry-esque keyboard onto your iPhone. Despite having to defend itself in a lawsuit from BlackBerry, Ryan Seacrest's Typo Keyboards business still plans to debut its iPhone snap-on keyboard at CES 2014. Slated to begin shipping orders in late January, the company's $99 product connects to an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S and uses a Bluetooth connection. BlackBerry alleges that the Typo looks too much like a BlackBerry keyboard and infringes on the iconic smart phone company's intellectual property rights.