The annual CES show has been the premier technology/gadget shows for more than 40 years. Experts that track such stuff, estimate that this year’s show drew more than 150,000 people. Sounds about right when you consider the show consumed the Las Vegas Convention Center and beyond.
The space and the sheer number of gadgets at the show were often overwhelming. Everything from smartphones, tablet computers, device cases and flying drones to TVs, washing machines, routers and vacuums were showcased. Really, everything… even a fork that helps people lose weight and a robotic gutter cleaner.
But if you manage to step above the fray, you can pick out some trends that represent a larger shift in the way we consume technology.
Music is personal, right down to the earphones and headphones on our head
Go into any electronics chain or airport tech shop and you’ll see teens, businesspeople and even grandparents shopping for a good set of earphones or headphones. Seems those earphones that come with most music players just don’t cut it. At CES, we saw the latest wares not only from the big boys such as Bose and Sony but also smaller, hungry manufacturers such as House of Marley, Skullcandy, Urbanears, and Wicked Audio, all of which were offering goods in a variety of colors and designs.
Deep down, we’re all action stars—and now we’ve got video to prove it
Fun, outdoorsy risk taker… does that describe you? Another hot trend we saw at the 2013 CES was the proliferation of wearable action cameras. Geonaute (which released a 360 degree action cam), GoPro, and Liquid Image were a few of the CES standouts—all showcasing cameras featuring HD recording in super lightweight, compact form factors, along with a lot of aftermarket accessories.
If we can’t be there, we want our TVs to make us feel like we’re there
(just not in 3D)
TVs took another mega step forward with ultra HD and 4K—TVs that feature up to four times the number of pixels than your current top-of-the-line 1080p HD TV. We checked out all the big dogs’ booths—Samsung, Sharp and Sonystandard 1080p offerings. If you thought 1080p was sharp, ultra HD takes it to the next level. Those aerial shots of an island with the rocky coast? With regular 1080p, you see the waves crashing on the rocky shore. With ultra HD you see the texture of the rocks and the mist from the waves. The difference is truly there to see… and you don’t have to wear goofy glasses.
Qualcomm provides mobile processors for Samsung and Sony, is a former technology partner of Skullcandy, has an equity stake in Sharp, and provides the Wi-Fi chip in GoPro's Hero3 camera.