CES 2014: TVs, Sensors, and Androids in Cars

The Consumer Electronic Show, commonly known as CES, is now over. The thousands of reporters, bloggers, dealers, and buyers are slowly peeling out of las Vegas. The yearly event marks the new cycle of boom and bust that is the consumer electronic market with many items destined to be seen toward the middle of the year or not at all.

CES-2014

CES is one of those events that everyone says you should do once just to experience, like the San Diego Comic-Con. Except there is more bitching about it than anything. It is considered a big deal in consumer technology and that’s why they go. The reality is the show is more for connections, deal making, and selling than it is for the front page of the Verge or Engadget. Much of the show won’t and can’t be covered; there is literally too much to see. Beyond the big names there are thousands of smaller companies and start-ups trying to sell their products to potential buyers. Retailers of all stripes come to see potential goods. And of course in between there are deals being made.

This year’s CES was a bit of repeat of last years. For the past three or four years there has been a shift away from computers and gadgets to items like televisions and cars. This year was no exception. Its not to say that there was nothing new on the PC and phone front (more later) but it clear TVs and Cars are getting more attention.

If I were to summarize CES it would be 4K, Sensors, and Car tech. The big news around televisions was 4K. 4K is just the next step beyond HD (high definition) and replaces 3-D as the new flavor of the month. However while 3-D felt and landed onto the market like a gimmick, 4K looks to be a true upgrade. 4K was so ubiquitous this year it even ended up on a few laptops and computer monitors. The second big thing was sensors (and honestly the “Internet of Things” which are made up of sensors). This year everything had a sensor and almost everyone a sensor platform. SONY introduced

Lastly the biggest thing in cars were how much of them would contain computers. Chip maker NVIDIA announced their K1 chip which in addition to running on tablets and phones would run in cars. Potentially bigger news was the announcement by Google and select car makers of the Open Automotive Alliance which would bring the Android OS into cars as the on board information system.

On the PC and phone front Android and Chrome make further inroads with PC makers and chip vendors. Both AMD and Intel announced initiatives to bring Android apps to Windows. HP and Lenovo both introduced devices running Android aimed at businesses and consumers in unusual packages (All in Ones). As usual there were new Android phones and tablets announced. Asus is bringing it PadPhone line of phone/tablet hybrids with ATT along with a new line of ZenPhones with a new customized skin for Android. SONY will bring their Xperia Z line of phones to the US with the Z1 S and the Z1 Compact. SONY also announced their long awaited game streaming service called PlayStation Now which covers everything in the SONY roster except their laptops and PCs. Samsung announced Pro versions of their Note and Tab devices which now run a new skin called Magazine UX and looks a lot like Microsoft’s Metro interface. A number of Windows devices were announced including 4K workstations by Toshiba, an interesting Ultrabook by LG, and an 8.3 inch Lenovo tablet under its ThinkPad line. Valve finally introduced their SteamBox platform along with 13 partners in a short presentation.

Beyond gadgets Yahoo showed of its plan to recreate itself in Vegas. Yahoo chief Melissa Meyer trotted out Katie Couric, former Times columnist David Pogue, and even SNL’s latest to show off new services by the Internet pioneer. Yahoo introduced new “web magazines” for food and technology, a new news app for iOS and new ad models based on Tumblr.

There was more but this was a fast walk through the the things I found interesting. Thanks for reading.

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