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Archive for the ‘CES 2014’ Category

CES 2014: 3D Printing Brings Your Imagination to Life

Friday, January 10th, 2014

3D printing technology has been all the craze the last year or so.  We’ve mentioned it a few times before, from dinosaurs to movie props, 3D printing brings to life anything you can imagine.  At CES 3D printing showed off how precise and colorful these new machines can get.  One exhibit displayed a doll house, fully equipped with rooms and everything tiny dolls could need.

doll house exterior

doll house interior

There was even a fully functional drum set.

drum set

While all of these things are creative and incredibly beautiful, many people behind 3D printing can see a bigger future than just great looking designs.  The healthcare industry is a potential customer as 3D printing becomes more and more precise.  Imagine a world where you can quickly design an artificial finger, limb, or even artery from a 3D printer.  The future of 3D printing is here now, and only developer’s imagination can tell what it will create.

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CES 2014: Oculus Rift Headset

Friday, January 10th, 2014

oculus rift crystal cove ces 2014

 

Image courtesy of endgadget.com 

It sounds like something from a Sci-Fi movie, but the Oculus Rift is anything but fictional, it’s a fully immersive virtual reality experience.  The Oculus Rift  has been in development since it’s inception years ago and during CES 2014 the latest prototype Oculus Rift Crystal Cove prototype has made a wealth of updates, making the new experience incredible.  The new “Crystal Cove” prototype is now slightly smaller and runs at 1080p resolution. The biggest improvement made, however, is the unit’s enhanced positional tracking and motion blur technologies. If you take a look at the image above, you will notice white dots around the front headset.  These white dots coordinate with the pre-positioned camera that will gauge where you look.  Depending on what you are doing in the game, if you need to look up, down, left or right, it will track that information and correlate it with your character’s movement.

On top of added technology, the headset shows viewers beautiful imagery, all in 1080p OLED that is both sharp and bright.  Oculus Rift has been in the hands of developers form every industry, from automotive, to even NASA.  As the technology continues to improve, look to see the unit becoming more affordable, more intuitive, and more mainstream.  Manufacturers are hoping this will hit the general public this year, but as with everything showcased at CES, only time will tell.

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A CES 2014 Perspective from Abt Representative, Chad Taylor

Friday, January 10th, 2014

abt at ces 2014

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.

  1. FitBit – no new products announced but they have big plans for this year.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

CES 2014: ASUS Transformer Book Duet

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

ASUS announced the Transformer Book Duet that offers consumers the best of both worlds when it comes to technology and operating system preference.  The ASUS Transformer Book Duet can run both Windows 8.1 and Android. While a dual-OS tablet is something they have already offered, its previous generations products featured a tablet that ran Android, and when docked with a keyboard (which included an onboard Intel Atom processor) would switch to Windows seamlessly. However, the Transformer Book Duet can switch between Windows 8.1 and Android 4.1 at the touch of a button — in either tablet mode or when docked with the keyboard. Do this all effortlessly as the inside of the machine is a Core i3 for the base model along with a gorgeous 1366×768 display. If you want to add on the options, you can select up to a Core i7 processor, 128GB SSD, and a 1080p display.

CES 2014: Pioneer Showcases New In-Car Receivers

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

ces_2014_pioneer_pr_main

 

Image courtesy of endgadget.com 

When people think of CES, they immediately think of big-screen HDTVs and big surround sound systems.  What people don’t think about, are the new in-dash car receivers.  In-dash car receivers have become more and more complex in the growing years, providing drivers with a wealth of entertainment, customization and so much more for their favorite car.  At CES 2014, Pioneer unveiled its NEX, also known as Networked Entertainment eXperience, with five new in-car receivers.

The new line of NEX will become your smartphone’s best friend.  Control it with a variety of applications or improve your phone with the AVISYNC Networked Navigation to receive traffic updates, weather and even updated gas prices.  Have a small computer, in the dash of your car!  Look for them to arrive early 2014 from Pioneer!

CES 2014: Harman offers Infinity One Wireless Speaker

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

infinity ces2014

Wireless speakers are an amazing tool to have when you want to listen to your favorite tunes, wherever you are. It’s no secret that wireless speakers are all over the CES 2014 floor.   Manufacturer, Harman’s Infinity brand has its first entry in to the group with the Inifinity One. The Infinity One states that is provides portable hi-fi sound with the wireless capability and rechargeable battery that is estimated to work for up to 10 hours of run time before needing a re-charge. As of right now, there is not a price tag on the unit, but look for it to hit the market soon.

Harman’s plan with the new Infinity One wireless speaker is to revitalize the brand.  To help in doing so, Harman has signed a 5-year contract with the bank Linkin Park, which will spearhead the advertising , showcasing the Infinity One’s power and portability.

Mini Systems Get Big at CES 2014

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Back in the 1980s, there were two things about the music that were big: the hair, and the boomboxes. Thankfully, both style and technology evolved, and the D-Battery-powered, shoulder-mounted cassette stereo went the way of the teased, crimped, bleach-blonde mane. Those looking for a portable, all-in-one music system were presented with numerous options of stereo mini systemsThese classy, compact stereo systems were designed to fit in with either the boardroom or dorm room crowd, saving space yet still putting out respectable sounds. And for a while, the boombox languished in obscurity, a relic of times past. A few quick stops at CES 2014, though, and it looks like these sonic beasts have not yet given up fighting.

At the LG exhibit, our man on the ground demoed the new LG X Boom CM9730 boom box, which features a face-melting 25,000 watts of power. I don’t know how much power that is, but I’m pretty sure you can jump start a dump truck with this thing. The X Boom is not for the weak of heart, or those short on space for that matter. Each of the two speaker units is roughly the size of a shetland pony, and LG’s specs show that the entire package tips the scales at over 350 lbs! LG bills the X Boom as sort of party-in-a-box, putting out the kind of power needed to replicate the dance club atmosphere in your home, backyard or hopefully-neighborless apartment. Further bolstering its party cred are an auto equalizer that adapts to musical genre; the Smart DJ system, which gives users the ability to add samples and other sound effects to music; and integrated LED lighting that changes to the beat of the music.

Inputs include standard CD tray and dual USB inputs. The USB inputs give the X Boom a couple neat tricks, including the Jukebox function, letting users create custom folders and playlists from a flash drive, while USB-to-USB recording lets users swap music with their friends. Twin jog-dials make navigating external files a breeze, and act as DJ mixers when the music’s bumping. And one feature we always love: the LG X Boom supports wireless streaming from any Bluetooth device, so you can go deaf to any song available via streaming services.

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Mophie Space Pack Adds Storage and Battery Life to your iPhone

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Since the debut of the smartphone, countless brands have popped up offering every kind of imaginable accessory, from the indispensable waterproof iPhone case to the, well, the toilet paper dispenser iPod dock. One of the brands of iPhone accessories that we really love is Mophie. Their Juice Pack and Juice Pack Air battery cases protect your smartphone and give you up to an extra 80-100% of battery power. So not only is your precious iPhone or Galaxy S4 protected from dents and dings that daily life delivers, you can go nearly twice as long as normal between recharges. We like Mophie products so much, in fact, that every one of the smartphones that our over 200 delivery and service teams use is outfitted with a Juice Pack. Which is why we extra excited to get a look at the new Mophie Space Pack at CES.

Mophie Juice Pack

Mophie Juice Packs on delivery fleet SGS4 phones.

The Mophie Space Pack builds on the genius of the Juice Pack by adding additional storage space—either 16GB or 32GB—to create a product unlike anything currently available.  However, due to iOS restraints, adding storage is not a simple plug-and-play affair. To use the additional storage, users will need to download Mophie’s Space app, which includes an integrated file manager, camera app and media player. Users will have to access the app anytime they want to access or share any media stored in the Space Pack. So, not a totally seamless system, but it’s the only one of its kind and it’s a clever workaround to a problem that plagues many smartphone users. And for potential iPhone 5s buyers, it can be cheaper than the price difference between new iPhone models.

Mophie Space Pack

A look at the Mophie Space app.

Like the Juice Pack Air, the Space Pack is slim and ergonomic. It adds some length and depth to the iPhone body, but still slides in and out of pockets with ease and is comfortable to hold. You’ll also find the same 1,700 mAh battery pack, giving you double the power of the iPhone 5′s built-in power pack. Doubling both storage and run-time means a lot less recharges and memory dumps, which is great when you’re away from a power outlet or access to The Cloud. For road warriors and other prolific iPhone users, and especially for the Instagrammers and other voracious consumers and producers of media, the Mophie Space Pack looks to be the best single accessory available.

Mophie Space Pack

Just as slim and ergo as the Juice Pack

According to Mophie, the Space Pack will start shipping in March, but pre-ordering is open now. For more info, call us at 888-228-5800 and ask for one of our Apple sales specialists.

CES 2014: Sony PlayStation Now Goes to the Cloud

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

sony playstation now

Image owned by independent.co.uk

Sony announced at CES 2014 that the Sony PlayStation Now will now be a cloud-based videogame streaming service.  This will allow users to have access to a variety of PlayStation games on a wealth of devices.  Expect it to become fully functional by summer 2014.  When this goes live, this will mean you can play PlayStation 3 games on consoles such as the PS4 and PS Vita, as well as Sony’s Bravia range of TVs, along with non-Sony products like smartphones and tablets via dedicated apps.

For tablet loving individuals, you will soon be able to play your favorite PlayStation games.  Never be without your favorite games, and take them wherever you go with the PlayStation Now available summer 2014!

CES 2014: Lenovo ThinkPad X1

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Our CES 2014 Representatives stopped by the Lenovo Booth and check out the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook, the world’s slimmest 14-inch ultrabook on the market.  Made of carbon fiber, it is slim and offers a sturdy and light structure.  It has a gorgeous 14-inch 2560 x 14440 IPS touchscreen display.

An interesting new feature of the Lenovo Carbon X1, is the adaptive keyboard.  This keyboard will adapt based on the application or program you are using.  If you are surfing the web, the keyboard will work as a regular keyboard, however if you are Skyping, the keyboard will adapt to be convenient during Skype.  As a high-end Ultrabook, The X1 Carbon is packed with power. It comes with low-voltage Haswell Core i5 or i7 processors, HD4400 integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD (upgradable to 512GB). In terms of ports, Lenovo’s added a full-size HDMI port to the mix, in addition to two USB 3.0 ports, a mini DisplayPort, and OneLink docking and charging connector.