The Consumer Electronics Show is big business. It runs in January each year, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, one of the sprawling venues for which Google provides Indoor Maps.
If you’ve never heard of CES, it’s where tons of new tech is debuted, from new tablets to robotics, new games to 3D printing.
Incidentally, CES has an interesting history that goes back to 1967. It was the place that technology such as the VCR first saw the light of day.
In the ‘90s, CES used to coincide with the AVN Adult Video awards; you must read a wonderful essay by David Foster Wallace, with lots of fascinating insight into both shows (the most popular venue at CES for a number of years was the Adult Software exhibition, but thankfully things have moved on since then, tech is even bigger business and attracts less of these crazy sideshows).
Anyway, I digress; let’s have a rundown of CES 2014 interesting product launches so far that might just affect the world of digital and marketing.
Yahoo News Digest
Remember when Yahoo bought Summly for $30m in March? Well, now it has unveiled News Digest, a major part of its new media department.
The service is in the business of curating ‘atoms’, the most important bits of content on particular subjects. As Nick D’Aloisio, Founder of Summly, put it:
Atoms assembled from around the web include articles, maps, infographics, Wikipedia extracts, videos, photos and more.
With Google and Microsoft absent from CES this year, Yahoo has managed to create quite a buzz.
Sony Playstation Now
The shift to streaming continues apace with Sony launching Playstation Now, allowing Playstation 3 and 4 owners to stream games titles from Sony’s content hub.
It’s actually a relaunch of a service already available to Sony Playstation users, but significantly Sony have rebranded it as an ecosystem available across their devices.
To that end, the service is set to launch for other Sony hardware, too, such as Bravia televisions and tablets and smartphones. This could put Sony in a stronger position in a number of markets, making them seem more than just a hardware company.
Being able to play Playstation games on a Sony tablet, providing it works well, is a step forward.
Windows and Android: Dual OS
Intel showcased processors that will let devices such as Asus’s tablet/laptop hybrid run both Windows and Android OSs.
More devices are set to follow, allowing users to access the Android app ecosystem and use that oft-important-for-business Microsoft software.
Although the home is a big part of CES 2014, with many new IoT devices, such as smartphone activated door locks being showcased, the world of wearables seems to be even bigger this year.
A few highlights:
The Sony SmartBand and LifeLog
This is Sony trying to take wearables one step further; a device that creates a sort of diary or timeline of your day. The LifeLog app will automatically collate photographs, events, your travels etc.
Okay, this is just a smarter version of the Pebble smartwatch, but I think it’s significant as wearables are beginning to integrate.
Making wearables desirable and not just bits of tech stuck on your body will be an important part of increasing adoption.
Intel launched ‘a make it wearable’ intiative with a prize fund of $1.3m. Intel also showed the first of its devices, an earpiece and a smartwatch.
The need for security is still spawning new consumer tech. eyeLock is a USB iris scanner guaranteed to be more secure than ‘P4ssw0rd’.
As Mashable succinctly puts it:
Three-dimensional printing is a transformative technology, but the future of easily replicated objects is difficult to imagine when the only thing you see printed in demonstrations is tiny figurines.
To that end, the Makerbot is a large scale 3D printer that might be about to push the industry on a little bit.
Maybe, looking back at CES 2014, some of these developments will seem as naff as this image but who knows?