Reading time ( words)
The CES show opens Tuesday morning, but the press got an advanced viewing Sunday night at "CES Unveiled" and Monday, during press day.
The "CES Unveiled" event seemed to be a much more professional event this year with enough room to move around and see the various new product announcements. If you're interested in wearable electronics and phone and tablet cases you had much to choose from. In addition, fitness and health monitoring devices, wearable sports, and activity cameras were abundant. Plenty of smart phone accessories were on display--everything from junky plastic cases to useful, on-the-go charging devices. Rayovac showed simple, but useful such devices.
Want your own drone? The toy-like drones of a few years ago have given way to some serious looking devices that seem capable of doing more than flying over your backyard. If you let it fly out of range of your controller or smart phone it even recognizes that and, on its own, returns to your last known location.
New displays are everywhere. Everything from the new, advanced Philips 27” Gaming Monitor with G-SYNC which delivers truly revolutionary performance through NVIDIA G-SYNC, a new graphics technology to a plethora of 4K Ultra Hi Definition (UHD)--get used to the UHD moniker, you'll be hearing more about it in the years to come. Samsung announced and showed the world’s largest TC, a 105” behemoth at 4K UHD resolution as well as a curved screen. The effect makes even a movie theater seem to me so 1980s. The almost 3D effect of the super hi-resolution is truly astounding. Of course, most people cannot afford one and there is little programing available as yet, but, unlike 3D TV, this is a wave that will arrive in the next three to four years. Speaking of 3D, IZON showed the first 3D without glasses monitor that actually approaches glasses using 3D. To use it, you need a 3D-capable Blue Ray player, but they are readily available. You also need a 3D Blue Ray disk of the movie you want to watch, but they are also readily available. By playing the 3D Blue Ray movie on the IZON monitor/device it actually plays in 3D. I am not sure this is ready for prime time as I only got to see the small monitor and the sweet spot was small. You had to sit almost dead center and if you moved too much you lost the 3D effect, but when you're in the right spot it works. If you lost the 3D effect the image was still in excellent 2D. I will be visiting their booth Tuesday to see the full size version. Still, this unit is quantum levels more advanced than the best that was shown a year ago.
Other advanced looks included more wireless speakers than you could imagine. They all work well, but not all of them sound great. The same thing goes for wireless ear buds. It is certainly recognized that the earphones you get with an iPod or iPhone (or any phone) are very low quality. Almost no one uses them; most who really want good quality sound opt for high-quality wired ear-buds as the wireless versions are somewhat noisy and provide only fair to good sound. A company called Yurbuds has, in the past, provided comfortable to wear ear buds with the above mentioned fair to good sound. This year, they were showing their Inspire wireless earbuds which I found to provide truly excellent sound for the few minutes I got to try them. In addition they were extremely comfortable to insert and wear.
CES officially opens Tuesday, so I'll get a chance to see and play with many more interesting devices such as robotics, wearable sensors and cameras, cars that drive themselves, and yes, there are even some true high-end computer components on display. One additional phrase you'll be hearing more about in the coming months and years is “The Internet of Things.” Like UHD, this is not like the 3D TV of 2011--this is real.