A CES 2014 Perspective from Abt Representative, Chad Taylor
CES 2014 started off with a ton of issues for me this year. The trip from Chicago to Las Vegas started off on the wrong foot, as I spent hours worth of flight delays and was on the phone for hours more trying to figure everything out. However, after much patience and airport re-organization, I finally made it to Las Vegas for CES 2014.
The show for me started on Monday afternoon and featured the ASUS desktop team. They have more than a few new products being introduced this year including a new desktop series with wireless charging capabilities. They also showed off the amazing new routers that will soon invade homes and make wireless coverage and speeds better than ever. And did I mention an amazing and affordable 4K monitor. Pivot Head was next on the long list of vendors to speak with. This company is a crossover between an action camera and a camcorder. The trick is you can do this right from the glasses that you are wearing. The quality is amazing and with some of the new features that they will be coming out with over the next few months they should take off quickly. Monday night featured our yearly trip to the Sony pre-show event. At this event I was able to see some of Sony’s new products including the VAIO Flip, Smart Watch, Smart Band, Tennis Racquet Sensor (still trying to figure this one out) and many other products. Sony always impresses at CES.
I started Tuesday once again with Asus notebook and tablet teams. Not only did I get to see a great assortment of tablets but a new 4K laptop that looked and sounded amazing due to Asus’s continued partnership with Bang and Olufsen. I was also able to take a look and some amazing 2 in 1 devices that will hopefully be available soon. Asus is really focusing on the Windows and Android convergence as well. They already have one 2 in 1 out in the market that supports Windows and Android and with another one coming this might be a trend for 2014 from Asus.
Next was Samsung which if you saw the booth at CES was nothing short of amazing. Samsung will be releasing a new design in tablets in the coming months. The Galaxy Pro 12.1 inch tablets is well big and powerful and really allow a user to get away from a traditional notebook and not have to squint at a small screen. While I cannot really go into much more detail on what Samsung has planned this year I can tell you that Samsung will continue to flex their muscles in 2014.
Lenovo continued the onslaught of new products that they show off at CES with the new Thinkpad X1 Carbon. This is by far one of my favorite designs ever and now they made it better. With the adaptive keyboard that changes based on what the user is doing makes the X1 even more attractive. Lenovo is also getting into the 4K laptop arena with the new a new Y510 series. I have to tell you 4K on a 15.6” screen truly looks amazing. The 13” machines that support 4K in my opinion just do not make sense the small screen just does not do the resolution justice. They also showed off all of the new desktops that they will be releasing this year. And yes desktops are not yet dead.
Dell was at CES for the first time in a long time. With the company going private I think we will see big things from this year. The only announcement that they had was the AlienwareSteambox. This nice little console will be trying to take on the major consoles in the market. Other than that Dell is moving in the right direction. Good machines at attractive price points.
The show floor was well for lack of a better term a zoo. People from all over the world converge on Vegas to see all that latest and greatest gadgets available in the not too distant future we hope. From curved TV’s to a Dog Collar that tells you the vital info of your pet you can see everything at CES. Here are some of my favorite products from the show.
- FitBit – no new products announced but they have big plans for this year.
- JayBird – this company already makes some great fitness headphones and they will be debuting there first fitness band later this year. It is a wristband design and has a really premium look and feel to it. Not only will it do step counting, calories, etc. But it is supposed to do heart rate as well.
- FitBug – really a simply solutions to counting steps and fitness. This company will also be incorporating fitness plans that you can purchase based on what you want to accomplish.
- SpreeSports – probably the coolest of the fitness monitors. And well less obtrusive of them all. This is a headband that is able to calculate body temperature, heart rate, and movement all in one device and all without getting in the way.
– I thought this was the best designed unit out of all the fitness trackers. And there were tons of them.
- Belkin – when Belkin purchased Linksys I was hesitant as to what they would do with the networking giant. Well they did something that I did not expect. They brought back the Blue and Black design with the WRT1900AC which if you are a Linksys fan you are excited about. WeMo is also going to get bigger and better. They showed new WeMo light bulbs, coffee makers, heaters, and well anything else they can get their hands on. The DIY brand of home automation is inexpensive but actually works well. Keep an eye out for it on Abt.com in the coming months.
- Infomotion 94Fifty Smart Basketball – I wish I had this when I was playing basketball. Not that it would have made me any better but at least I would have known what to work on. This ball gives you drills to do, tracks how quickly you shoot, and how well you dribble. Pretty amazing stuff. And I see more products like this coming in the near future.
- Sphero 2.0 – probably the coolest App enabled gadget that I saw. And it looked fun as well. Sphero is a little ball that is controlled by an App and the user controls with an IOS and certain Android devices. Great for all ages. You can even play again other people that have Sphero.
Overall even with all the delays long days of running around, Las Vegas the show was a great success. It is always fun to see what the next big thing might be. Unfortunately now the waiting game begins as many of the products will not even be available until this summer.