The 2014 International CES (CES 2014), which is set to kick off on Tuesday is the perfect cure for technology-savvy people who're still suffering from New Year hangover. As everyone deals with the holiday hangover, CES 2014 will be attracting technology industry insiders from all over the world as companies, small and big, will vie to show off the latest innovations in technology.
We don't expect the biggest brands in the industry to make any flashy unveiling but the CES has always been one of the best venues to see emerging technologies. It is where one small tech startup can magically turn into a big name.
"CES is a hands-on experience. Anyone with an idea can introduce a product and see how people react to it immediately. Whether people want to invest, whether they want to buy it, whether they want to write about it," said Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) president Gary Shapiro. CEA organizes the annual tech expo.
There will be the usual press events and keynote speeches on January 6 and the following four days will be spent on discovering what can be the next big thing in the technology world from the estimated 20,000 products that will be showcased.
Here's our pick.
Wearables will be a big part of this year's CES and consumers can expect wearable gadgets that can cover almost every part of the human anatomy. With the much anticipated Google Glass concocting some excitement and apprehension in the industry, there can be head-mounted pieces that will try to bump the Glass prior to its official rollout this year. Technology enthusiasts can expect wearable technology devices for the face, neck, waist and wrist.
Some brands to check out will be Epson and its Moverio glasses; Veristride and its shoe sensor that gives users feedback about their movements; Smartissimo from Singapore that is expected to unveil a wearable muscle stimulator; and ButterflEye that came up with swimming goggles that help users monitor their heart rate.
Manufacturers might also capitalize on introducing innovative fitness wearables that can compete with the Nike+ Fuelband or the FitBit. LG is expected to unwrap a fitness wristband that will make use of a curved display.
There can be silly looking wearable gadgets that will try to impress but it will be the gadget that can seamlessly integrate with everyday life that will take the limelight. Fashionable wearables will be a bonus.
Internet of Things
Every appliance, equipment and gadget are expected to communicate with each other to make life easier for everyone. Smart technology will help define lifestyle. Brands will focus on sensors and use data analysis to help hardware do tasks without the need for human intervention.
Expect good competition for gadgets that can make the home more energy efficient, more secure and safer. Okidokeys may turn heads as it helps people unlock their homes using a mobile phone while there can be odd ones such as a smart toothbrush from Kolibree that will help monitor one's brushing habits.
Of course, not to be left out will be the connectivity of vehicles with the availability of LTE and Wi-Fi. Brands will try to transform the dashboard of the car to enable owners to do things such as consume entertainment content and access vital information to make the commute easier. Android and Apple will be slowly creeping into car technology with car makers collaborating with the bigwigs of the mobile devices niche.
This technology niche has gained so much attention with printable prosthesis, rocket parts, guns, loudspeaker and liver making headlines in 2013. However, it is struggling with the cost of 3D printers that make the technology inaccessible for the majority. CES 2014 might bring more affordable 3D printers and scanners to push for bigger advancements in this field.
TV will be a big thing at CES 2014. Samsung and LG will again clash with their 4K ultra high definition (UHD) sets with better specifications, curved displays and other prototypes that are built to impress.
As for tablets and smartphones, most manufacturers will most likely wait until February to announce their new offerings at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.