Welcome to the 2014 CES Show – Las Vegas
The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which opened to the public on January 7 and runs through January 14, is a geek’s dream, so here’s the news on some of the latest, hottest and mind-blowing gadgets. When the showroom area is the size of 37 football fields, it isn’t easy to narrow it down.
The first stop was at the 3-D printers. It wasn’t surprising to see that this area had expanded to include 28 companies. 3-D printers have evolved tremendously and while it’s still expensive, it will get cheaper with time.
The impressive 3-D printed kitchen showcased by Avi Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems, launches us into the space age, complete with 3-D candy. 3-D systems also printed guitars for the 3-D Printed Band which was happy to show off their musical talent. Their guitarist, Olaf Diegel, dreamed up the idea and it was a good one. It was impressive.
America’s voracious appetite for cars was well sated at the show. From the hydrogen powered cars showcased by manufacturers including Toyota to autonomous cars that drive themselves – CES had it all. Gas prices are high, no problem. Toyota unveiled a prototype of its new hydrogen/electric cell car that will be on the market in 2015. The new FCV will deliver 300 miles before it needs recharging for 3-5 minutes. No plug in sight? That’s ok, use the sun with Ford’s C-Max Solar Energi Concept Car to provide power combined with a new concentrator to recharge faster.
Autonomous driving was the wow factor at this year’s show. BMW presented a demonstration at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway as a 6 Series and a prototype M235i circled the course minus a driver. The new Audi concept, the A7 Autonomous, uses lasers and radar to see the road and is designed to assist drivers over a long distance by keeping the car a set distance from other traffic and staying in the lane. Apparently, the Audi also drove up on the stage at the LV Convention Center on its own. Impressive.
Everyone is going to want the Samsung’s 110-inch Ultra HD 4K TV. It has four times the resolution of a standard high def and brings real meaning to the term “home theater.” While most will balk at the steep pricetag of $150,000, eventually that will come down. It always does.
You may not want to worry about the space and weight of one of these behemoth TVs. Sony’s 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector is an attractive, modernistic piece of furniture that you push against the wall and the image is shown on the wall directly above it. The result is a 4K image of up to 147 inches diagonally, and that, my friends, is a home theater.
Sony says the Ultra Short Throw Projector is scheduled to hit the market sometime this summer. Other short throw projectors will also be available, including one from Philips, the Screeneo at about $2,000 and the Hecto from LG which is expected to retail for about $9,000.
Who would show up at a huge electronic show with a bowl? Intel would and they would be right. Intel’s challenge is to make everything smart and that is exactly what they are doing with the introduction of a wireless charging bowl. It functions using magnetic resonance and is about 10 inches in diameter.
Right now it only works with their new smart headset but Intel has plans to expand so the bowl will charge whatever you need, whether it be tablets, cellphones or Ultrabooks. All you do is drop the item into the bowl and it charges. Couldn’t be simpler — or more welcome. No more hunting down your chargers and looking for outlets in awkward places.
Drones have been in the news lately and a leader in the field, Parrot, was there with two home versions for those who have to have the latest in flying and creeping around gadgets. A mini-version of their AR Drone is lightweight, and can fly around or climb walls. Why, you might ask – because it’s fun. It has a range of about 75 feet and includes a high-speed camera.
They also brought along their Jumping Sumo, which jumps 2.5 feet in the air and can climb steps. The Sumo is controlled by an iOS device and the mini drone by either an iOS device or Android.
This is just an example of the fantastic world of the future as visualized at the Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Some of these products are available now; others are coming out soon. With the rapid evolution of technological innovation, the Los Angeles Post-Examiner is waiting with baited breath for next year’s show.
I started to write because I developed laryngitis and needed to communicate or burst. It’s true. However, once I discovered the written word, I fell in love. I edited and wrote for my college newspaper and wrote articles for various journals after that. I am still working on the great American novel but I have yet to find the one among many starts I want to finish. Above all, I am fascinated with the world and the people in it. I have a dog who sincerely believes he should write instead of me but I steadfastly refuse to show him how to use the keyboard partly because of writer neurosis and partly because I hate his style.