CES 2014: A Preview from Dan Feinberg

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I'm heading to Las Vegas again for CES--this is my 16th year attending this exciting show and I have seen it change quite a bit over the years. This year change seems to be accelerating. Gone are the huge Microsoft booths and gone are many of the top-tier sub assembly suppliers. We will see a significant expansion of automotive and medical electronics at CES this year. We'll also see the first wave of real wearable electronics and electronic devices for health, fitness, and medical monitoring.

Photos courtesy PC World

Smart watches, Google Glass-like devices, and even voice activity collars monitoring trackers by a company named “Voyce” for our dogs will be shown. This device is touted to help us understand our dogs. These and literally hundreds of other devices will be on display. Also on display will be "tons o’ junk"--after all, how many smart phone cases and “revolutionary and unique” earphones can the global economy support? Based on all the press invites I am getting, apparently many more.

Just a few years ago, the next big thing was 3D TV and I bet there will be few, if any, of those shown. On the other hand, super hi-res 4K TV as well as very high-quality OLED TV will be taking its place. I also think that the wearable smart watch just truly may be one of the “next big things.”

Credit Sarah Tew/CNET

What about tablets? Probably lots of them there, but most teckies already have a Windows Surface, or an iPad, or a Galaxy tab, or a Lenovo tablet, or even the new and apparently very popular Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. Yes, there will be some new tablets, but I think they are becoming old news--so 2012. I'm also getting hundreds of invites to come and see the latest semi-useless app that lets you see when the garbage collector will arrive this week.

One computer-like gaming device being introduced this week is the Steam Box, a totally new operating system in a box for gamers. Also, the fate of the Chromebook is in question. For those of you that do not know, the Chromebook is a very low powered netbook-like device. It's really a terminal that has very little ability on its own, but requires a connection to the Internet to do almost anything. Surprisingly, they have sold well, but many of us believe this is because many buying them are doing so based on their low price and really have no idea how limited they really are. One has to wonder if the Chromebook will go the way of the similar netbook or will it become the next tablet.

I am sure there will be some surprises at CES this year so stay tuned. Look for my reports and photos from the show floor as CES 2014 progresses.



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