CES 2014 preview roundup: Daft Technologic Punks in Vegas (baby)

CES 2014

What will happen in Vegas? And will it stay there?

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, there's something for everyone. Connected, simplified, biometric gadgets are in focus in today's roundup. But beware plunging prices, as emerging markets... well... emerge.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers sample the wares in sin city.

Your humble blogwatcher wrote it, cut it, pasted it, saved it -- curating these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Rory Cellan-Jones buys it, uses it, breaks it, and fixes it:

Wandering around the ballroom...I tried to work out which gadgets told the story of where technology is heading.


Lenovo [has a] new Windows 8 tablet, LG [has] a giant curved smartphone. ... With wearable technology a big theme, a French company was showing off...June, a bracelet which monitors exposure to sunlight. ... There were lots of connected cameras...and plenty of wireless lighting, allowing...users to change the mood in the living room with one tap of the finger. Out of left field, came the connected toothbrush which monitors your family's dental hygiene. ... Companies like China's DJI are showing...practical uses for drones, from aerial filming to monitoring crops.


There was something nearly everything...had in common. ... Just about every new gadget at CES this year is either connected directly to the internet or talks to it via a smartphone.  MORE


But Tiernan Ray trashes it, changes it, mails, upgrades it:

The Consumer Electronics...Association's Steve Koenig...points out BRIC markets won't be the reliable grower event [many are] expecting. ... Growth is expected to reverse, to a decline of 1%, at $1.06 trillion. One of the biggest factors is decline in average selling prices. ... Volume growth in smartphones and tablets is becoming more dependent on lower-end devices.


North America will see a decline of 1%. ... Europe is struggling [with] maturity of its markets and the still shaky state of the southern nations, dragging down...growth to negative 6%. ... In Asia, a slowdown in Japan...South Korea and Australia, means an 8% projected spending decline.  MORE


So Kevin C. Tofel charges it, points it, zooms it, presses it:

After eight years of covering CES, I’m expecting — hoping, really — for more of something else...Simplicity. ... I’ve never seen an infant pick up quickly on how to use a desktop computer, but put an iPad in their hands and you’ll see magic happen. ... Likewise, those products that are complicated...or simply add features for technology’s sake are challenged to find an audience.


Making the “tech” invisible should be the goal for companies because that’s what makes for a potentially good appliance. ... That’s what I hope to see more of...more “magic.” All the features in the world aren’t going to sell products if average consumers simply can’t use them.  MORE


Meanwhile, Cecilia Kang and Hayley Tsukayama snap it, work it, quick-erase it:

This week in Las Vegas...personal technology will get much more personal, with the proliferation of biometric tools to create more-customized online experiences while also testing new boundaries on privacy. ... The trend could represent the next wave of mobile computing after smartphones and weave technology into more aspects of everyday life.


As technology moves deeper into the habits [of] users, the collection and analysis of everything from iris patterns to the unique qualities of a person’s walking style raise fresh questions about privacy, as companies share the information to build more-sophisticated portraits of consumers [and] as the FBI and other agencies ramp up collection of biometric information such as fingerprints and facial and voice data.


Voice-guided driverless cars won’t be available for several years. And Microsoft’s stress-detection bras and mood-sensing ear buds are still being nurtured in labs. ... A brain-wave detector [in] Interaxon’s headband could presumably tell whether the wearer is bored with a conversation or having trouble focusing on a task. [But] such technology appears gimmicky. ... Biometrics are catching on more quickly in...security. Dozens of companies will showcase technology...that uses fingerprint, palm-print and iris scanners, and voice-recognition software to replace passwords.  MORE

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