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Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Consumer Electronics Show

The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is right around the corner and rumors have reached a fever pitch. It appears that this year there are going to be four hot categories to watch: home automation, smart phones, televisions, and health care. What makes this year so different from the past is the inclusions of new types of vendors who have never shown before. The introduction of new players to the field promises to make this a year to remember.

We all know that smartphones are an industry that is larger than most of us are able to comprehend. Obviously, the competition in this field is fierce and it looks like at CES 2014, Samsung may emerge in the lead of the pack. If the (many, many) rumors about their Galaxy S5 are true, the folks at Apple may be scrambling to up their game on the iPhone 6. If these rumors are to believed the Samsung S5 could be made of a special carbon fiber-diamond like exterior, have a 64-bit A7 processor, 4 GB of RAM, a screen with a resolution of 2560 X 1440, and a 16 MP camera. Of course, there is a chance they won’t even unveil the phone at CES and opt for a massive launch instead since almost nothing is confirmed by them.

Last year saw ADT become the leader of the home automation pack with their Pulse system that allows users to remotely control almost every aspect of their home. Their partnerships with various other technology companies allows users to control their door locks, lights, temperature, security cameras, and alarms. This year, it looks like home improvement rivals Lowe’s and Home Depot will be not only trying to compete with ADT, but also each other in the home security department. Lowe’s already has the Iris home security system, so they aren’t new to the game like Home Depot is. It’s looking like quite a showdown might occur.

One of the other perennial attractions at CES are the televisions. Each year they seem to get bigger with clearer pictures. This year there will be a new element added to the mix; flexibility. After the introduction to OLED TV technology at last years CES, this year we will likely see others try to do their own thing with the flexible screen technology. It’s rumored that both LG and Samsung are going to unveil their bendable televisions this year. Another new technology that’s getting buzz is the 4K Ultra HD TV which gives an unparalleled high definition picture (with an unparalleled price tag, of course). The hopes are that someone will be able to create a much more affordable 4K TV this year.

Health care technology is also one of the most buzzed-about sections of the CES this year. 2014 marks the first year that health care technology has had its own section and it promises to be very interesting. With the current trends in health technology I’m expecting to see great advances in how we are able to track our exercise and cheaper calories burned monitors. Also, given the increase in the number of citizens reaching retirement age, I expect to see a number of technologies that will enable users to administer health tests easily at home to keep better control over their well being.

All in all it’s shaping up to be an incredible year at the Consumer Electronics Show. With more and more industries being included in it, the appeal is reaching across markets and demographics. What was once just relegated as an event for geeks is now getting major coverage across all media outlets and is enabling the growth of technology to only increase as time goes on.

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