HD Everything and Internet of Toothbrushes at CES 2014

Jan 10 2014, 3:06pm CST | by

HD Everything and Internet of Toothbrushes at CES 2014

Sorry, did I say Internet of Toothbrushes? Maybe I meant Internet of Things. It’s definitely arrived though, for you can connect all sorts of mundane things to the interwebs now, including even your toothbrush. OK, technically you have to go and buy this special toothbrush but still…

Being a geek at heart, I’d always wanted to attend CES, and now living in Las Vegas it was too good an opportunity to miss! As a local I avoided much of the pain that you get as a visitor here, such as poor transit and price gouging from hotels. One of the problems of Vegas is getting around, and of course Uber isn’t available here. With my local knowledge I was largely able to avoid the long lines, and I even got to try Vegas’s least loved piece of public transport: the Monorail. It’s a shame it goes inconveniently from nowhere to nowhere because it would actually be a great way to get around if only it went to McCarran Airport. And like all Monorails, it somehow seems like the cutting edge of futuristic; even though the logo is reminiscent of the Jetsons.

Hopping off the Monorail at the Convention Center I noticed BMW were offering test drives of their new all-electric i3. It’s a compact car that seats 4 people in comfort and the model I drove was really plush inside. It was as luxurious as a Tesla Model S, and surprisingly, almost as quick. The 0-60 is just 7 seconds, and when you press on the pedal it feels like you are going to take off. I had a blast driving it and if I had a spare $40k I’d certainly consider it for my next car. It felt quite dull getting back into my internally combusted engine equipped car on the way home.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the other cool things I saw:

Sticking with cars, HD Radio is here and growing in availability. It still requires new equipment, but cleverly with HD Radio, it broadcasts alongside the FM signal, so it’s a more convenient upgrade path for the stations and for the listener, when you go out of range of digital it will fall back to FM . Because it doesn’t use new frequencies there’s some cost savings too I expect. I’ve experienced HD Radio once in a hire car and was impressed. As a former audiophile who used to have a DAB radio in the UK, I’ve longed for superior audio on the go, with a fuller dynamic range and more channel choice. When I got a car here in the US I was excited to get one with Sirius, but the compression used by satellite radio delivers terrible audio quality, noticeably worse than FM and only slightly better than AM. Once my free trial expires I’ll have to wave goodbye to BBC World as there’s no way I’m paying to listen to something which makes everyone sound like they are talking through a drainpipe.

Internet of Everything: whether it’s doorbells, baby monitors, pet feeders, or doorlocks you can now connect pretty much anything to the internet. The use cases can be marginal, but since pretty much everyone has wifi at home,  a smartphone that runs apps, and the cost of some of these devices is in the realm of impulse-buy, then these markets are exploding. I recently went home for the holidays, and was able to check up on our cat every day with a live webcam. It cost something like $50 but was worth a lot more to us for the peace of mind. Some of the products that caught my eye: Doorbot, Petzila, Trax, Kolibree, iBabi HD

HD TV is so, 2013. In 2014 you need a 4K TV. Again, I’m a sucker for high quality, and the pictures on these new sets are exceptional. But for most people, unless you sit right in front of a giant screen you probably won’t notice much of a difference from HD to 4K. (The jump from SD to HD was much more noticeable). Still, prices will keep dropping and the next time I replace my TV I’ll no doubt have that, or the next leap whatever that will be. The lack of available content will be a problem for a while though so 4K seems like an early-adopters game for the forseeable future. The other noticeable thing about the TVs this year was how many were made with flexible curved screens. And the same thing has spread to phones as well. Remains to be seen if this is just a gimmick, but it certainly did feel quite nice in the hand.

Google’s ChromeBooks have been quietly bringing about a revolution to personal computing over the last few years. Since the advent of nearly ubiquitous internet connectivity and the rise of the cloud, the need for an operating system that actually runs applications has dwindled. I spend the vast majority of my time in a web browser and I so I don’t particularly want to pay for a full blown OS, and all the upgrade and patching hassles that entails. The latest iteration of the ChromeOS is in a new desktop form-factor known as ChromeBase, which adds to the existing ChromeBook and ChromeBox variants.

Also, for the first time this year, Downtown played a role in CES, with Passport2Downtown a free series of events (and shuttle buses!) to help people see a completely new side to Vegas. I expect next year a lot more people will choose to stay Downtown and take the shuttles in the other direction and avoid the strip altogether.

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

VW banks on China to reach part of its 2018 goal this year - CEO
Strong sales growth in China will help Germany’s Volkswagen AG clinch its sales target of 10 million vehicles annually well ahead of 2018, the current objective, VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said at the start of...
 
 
The New Role Of Leaders
When Alfred Sloan created the modern corporation at General Motors, he based it on the military.  The company was split into divisions, each with its own leadership.  Information flowed up, orders went down and your...
 
 
2014 Lexus GX 460 Test Drive And Review: The Refined Off-Roader
2014 Lexus GX 460 My absolute favorite vehicle segment is the mid-sized SUV. I like mine with a robust body structure (usually body-on-frame), good ground clearance and straightforward technology for all terrains....
 
 
Asia's Week: Japan's Rebound Gets More Taxing
Another calamitous loss of human life gripped Asia’s attention this week, relegating economic matters to secondary notice, but they were also of concern. China’s growth pauses never cease to furrow brows but it is Japan...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

VW banks on China to reach part of its 2018 goal this year - CEO
Strong sales growth in China will help Germany’s Volkswagen AG clinch its sales target of 10 million vehicles annually well ahead of 2018, the current objective, VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said at the start of...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
3 Steps To Landing A Web Designer Internship
As a web designer myself, I can relate to young web designers who are just starting out and looking for a way to get their foot in the door. It’s very hard to start because many companies are looking for experienced...
Read more on Business Balla
 
4 Dow Stocks Under Accumulation
The choppy nature of the 1st quarter is not surprising after the action in 2013. The sharp declines in the Nasdaq 100 and biotechnology stocks have caused some technical damage that would normally take time to repair....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Bank Deposits, Structuring, and Asset Forfeitures
This is a version of an article originally published in the Winter 2014 issue of the White Collar Crime Committee Newsletter, Criminal Justice Section, American Bar Association.  For the original article, including full...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Is Big Data A Potential Distraction?
Over recent months, I’ve read numerous articles that have reported that many executives are struggling with ‘Big Data’. In fact, many studies report that upwards of 50-60% of executives say that their firms are weak or...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Does Doing Good In Business Imply Doing Less Well?
Many entrepreneurs still don’t understand that building a business culture today of doing good, like helping people (society) and planet (sustainability), is also a key to maximizing profit. Employees and customers...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Melissa Joan Hart: Celebrity pressure is gym motivation
Melissa Joan Hart admits the pressure of being a celebrity encourages her to go to the gym. The 38-year-old actress - who gained 60lbs while pregnant with her third child in 2012 - recently lost a dramatic 40lbs and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
iPad Sales Predicted to Decrease in Q2 2014
The iPad might be unable to generate a blockbuster sale in the second quarter of 2014, as a new report claims that the device might experience a declined sale in the specific period.The report has been published by...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
New Photos Reveal the iPad Air 2 with Integrated Front Panel and Display
The next model of iPad Air might get a thinner shape, as a number of photos reveal that the device will include its front panel integrated with the display, rather than being separated.The photos have been unveiled by...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Pebble Is Winning The Wearables War and What That Means For The iWatch
Some suggestive data indicates that the Pebble smartwatch, which sold 400,000 units in 2013, has the most staying power of the first batch of consumer wearables. null Want a clear indication that what these numbers show...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla