CES, the world's largest annual electronics expo, took place last week in Vegas and VentureBeat compiled a helpful list of top trends from the show.
- The Internet of Things is real, but expensive. "Every major tech company touted the Internet of Things (IoT)," wrote VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi. "We saw connected lightbulbs, smart pet feeders, teddy bears with health sensors, self-watering flowerpots, smart toothbrushes, and many more."
- The car is the new supercomputer. I personally felt the car was the most prominent device touted at CES this year, at least based on my Twitter feed. "Nvidia brought this point home as it introduced two new computers for the car, one for the information youíll see on your dashboard and another for the autopilot system in a self-driving car," Takahashi wrote.
- Smart appliances need ecosystems and standards. "The Internet of Things could become the biggest network of devices of all time by the year 2020, with 50 billion connected devices, according to Intel. But that wonít happen if the companies involved donít make interoperable standards."
- Virtual reality has its leaders - and its competitors. Takahashi says Oculus VR (along with its partner Samsung Gear VR) is the clear leader, but it is facing many new rivals: "Sulonís Cortex headset, Razerís Open Source Virtual Reality platform, and other VR vendors also made appearances at the show."
- 4K TV goes mainstream, but there's more to come. "UltraHD TVs were in every major booth, and they were the most talked-about product at the show. These TVs have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, or four
times as detailed as the 1920 x 1080 pixels of high-definition TV." Takahashi said Samsung and Sharp are already hinting at higher-res TVs on the way, like 8K TV.
- Wearables are exploding, but you may not want to buy them yet. "VentureBeatís Harrison Weber gave a complete rundown of 56 wearables he tried at CES," Takahashi wrote. "We know that the
Apple Watch is coming soon, and I didnít see or hear about any device
that is going to be much better than that one."
- Tech is helping the lazy, the disabled, and the rich. This has always been true, but Takahashi notes eye-tracking control for people who can't use a mouse or a touchscreen, or - get this - an automated baby rocker for exhausted parents. Groan.
- Last year's tech has become real. Takahashi points to Intel's RealSense depth camera, 4K TVs, curved OLED screens and Ford's Sync 3 voice recognition system for cars as 2013 ideas that finally came into fruition.
- Asian companies are emerging as the strongest. "CES is now home to some huge Chinese tech companies, from smartphone
provider Xiaomi to Changhong, which occupies the booth that Microsoft
once had in the Las Vegas Convention Center."
- Drones and robots are multiplying. "There were hundreds of drones on display at CES," Takahashi wrote. "The market is still small, but the variety of drones is huge, with applications ranging from entertainment to selfies." He added that robots of all kinds, with better AI, are in the works.
- 3D printers will be a bonanza for creators. "The smell of burnt plastic was palpable in the 3D printing section of the Sands Expo," Takahashi wrote, with MakerBot and HP leading the charge. "Weíll see more digital content creation companies, toy makers, and small hardware companies emerge as a result."