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

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

11 killed in Pakistan building collapse
Islamabad, Sep 2 (IANS) At least 11 people, including women and children, were killed Tuesday when a roof of an old building collapsed in Pakistan, a media report said. As many as 18 people were wounded when a two-...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Imran refuses to budge as parliament supports Pakistan PM (Roundup)
Islamabad, Sep 2 (IANS) Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan refused to budge on his demand for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation Tuesday as a joint session of parliament came out overwhelmingly...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
IS video shows beheading of second US journalist
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) Days after the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley, Sunni militant group Islamic State (IS) has posted a video showing the beheading of another kidnapped American journalist...
Read more on Ad Balla
 
Modi cites people's efforts for India-Japan strategic ties
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said India and Japan were now working as "special strategic and global" partners and this was the result of efforts of not just the two governments but because...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
IS beheads second US journalist
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) The Islamic State militant organisation has posted a video titled "A second message to America", showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, CNN reported. The video also...
Read more on Ad Balla
 
Rahane shines as India seal series in Edgbaston
Birmingham, Sep 2 (IANS) Ajinkya Rahane's maiden century and his century-run stand with Shikhar Dhawan powered India to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over England in the fourth ODI here Tuesday and also sealed the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
India vs England: Scoreboard, fourth ODI
Birmingham, Sep 2 (IANS) The following is the final scoreboard of the fourth ODI between India and England at Edgbaston here Tuesday. England Alastair Cook c Raina b Kumar 9 Alex Hales b Kumar 6 Gary Ballance c Rahane...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Britain asks citizens to review travel plans to Pakistan
Islamabad, Sep 2 (IANS) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised its citizens to review their planned trips to Pakistan in view of the volatile security situation in the country. "There is a high...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jaime King: Motherhood is all that matters
Jaime King says her son is the most important thing in her life now. The 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' star welcomed her first child James - her son with husband Kyle Newman - into the world last October and since she...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Chris Brown pleads guilty to assault
Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to assault. The 'Beautiful People' hitmaker was sentenced to time already served by a judge after accepting a plea deal at a Washington DC superior court today (02.09.14), where he was...
Read more on Celebrity Balla