TVs, Wearables and Virtual Reality: what to expect from the Consumer Electronics Show 2015
The annual Consumer Electronics Show kicks off tomorrow, with the world’s tech giants and start-ups coming together to unveil their vision for the future.
Although there are some notable absentees from the show (Apple, for example), the fact that Samsung, LG and Sony (among many others) will be present means that we should probably sit up and pay attention.
Here’s what to expect from this year’s show.
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to TVs. At the top-end, there’s OLEDs, 3D TVs and 4Ks. At the more affordable end of the spectrum, you can pick up a decent HDTV for less than £150. How much better can things really get?
Quite a lot, as it turns out. CES is renowned for showcasing barely believable television technology, and this year should be no different. On show this year will be the LG’s quantum dot technology, which uses nano-sized dots to provide a wider colour palette and provide a brighter screen, Ultra HD technology and Sony and Samsung’s long-awaited PS Now TVs (which let you play PlayStation 3 games without a console).
None of them will come cheap, of course. Last year, LG unveiled a 105-inch curved 4K television that costs $69,999 (around £45,000)!
2015 is almost certainly going to be the year of wearable technology, with smartwatches leading the way.
Most of the major tech companies have laid their smartwatch plans out on the table already, although HTC have been a notable absentee. That will change this year, when the company reveals their wrist-worn device. Just don’t call it a watch: the company have suggested it’s ‘very different’ to anything else on the market at the moment. Our money is on a medieval-style gauntlet.
The other watch threatening to steal headlines is the Goldkey. Produced by an independent company, Goldkey is apparently the first smartwatch that won’t require a linked device to work; you’ll be able to make calls from the watch itself.
It won’t just be watches on show though. Among the other rumoured wearables are smart chest bands, smart t-shirts (to monitor heart rate), smart insoles (to monitor your exercise performance) and smart jewellery.
It feels like an age since the Oculus Rift was unveiled for the first time (it’s actually just over 2 years ago), but the headset should finally be with us this year. After stealing the show last year, the company was acquired for $2bn by Facebook.
We might also get to see a bit more of Project Morpheus, Sony’s attempt at VR, as well as other efforts from the major tech players. Whether or not we’ll get a release date for any of this technology is another matter entirely.
The mysterious 4th competitor in the games console market, Valve’s Steam Machine – which will bring its incredible PC gaming platform to a more traditional console set-up – has been a long time coming.
Unfortunately, we may have to wait until March to hear more about it; Valve won’t be at CES this year, with rumours suggesting they’re waiting until the Game Developer Conference.
That said, a lot of manufacturers are working on their own versions of the Steam Machine. With the console set for release this year, at least one of them is bound to unveil their version of the hardware.
Samsung Galaxy S6
CES isn’t known for major smartphone announcements (to date, the biggest was the Sony Xperia in 2013), so this is a major longshot. It’s not beyond possibility though: Samsung had a rough 2014 after the massive success of the iPhone 6 and a raft of high-quality yet affordable Android devices. Launching an exciting new phone early may just restore confidence in the company.
The Internet of Things
‘The Internet of Things’ is one of those buzz terms that gets bandied around a lot, but doesn’t really mean anything to the average consumer. That could well change in 2015, with Samsung in particular keen to push their vision of the connected future.
The overall concept is vast, but essentially boils down to everything being connected to the internet in order to share information quickly. This includes everything from your tablet to your clothes, which will be able to transmit health information to your doctor. Your toothbrush will even be able to share live data with your dentist.
Don’t expect things to get quite that specific at CES this year, but do expect to see a lot more ‘household’ objects integrating with the internet (and each other).
No Michael Bay
Not after this little performance last year, anyway…
Get ready for the wonderful future; sell your electronics now and get saving!