Posts with tag ces 2014
The end game
It’s Friday. The liveblogs are ending; the major announcements wrapped up, the wacky finds fewer and further between. CES 2014 has finally come to an end, and this was our second year covering the event, finding the most important, most influential, or just plain most crazy announcements of the week. It was also our biggest year covering the event, with thousands of readers visiting the site to check out the best of what CES has to offer.
It was a pretty crazy week. Let’s revisit it. Click through after the break to read more.
Expect it before E3
Microsoft used to be a spectacle at CES – big product announcements, fancy tech demos, the works. But now they’ve changed their ways, believing that they’ve effectively outgrown the trade show. “Whenever we want, we can talk about Xbox stuff and get coverage. Why try to talk with 100,000 other things going on?” Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten told Engadget today during an interview. That may be true, but Microsoft isn’t letting CES pass without any announcement – Whitten just revealed that Microsoft will be significantly improving the Live experience in the Xbox One via an upcoming software update.
Thank goodness, too – Live, which used to be so easily accessible and excellent on the Xbox 360, has been significantly worsened on the Xbox One with a bad user interface, missing features, and an unstable Party system. Whitten told Engadget that some of the complaints surrounding live “[are] pretty valid,” explicitly admitting that “some of the social stuff is hidden or harder to use than it was on the Xbox 360.”
Whitten also revealed that the update will be coming as soon as possible, at least before E3 this summer. He also confirmed what we’ve all expected for quite some time now – the software on the Xbox One will constantly evolve just as the software on the Xbox 360 has before it. Thank goodness, too – some of this stuff really does need to get better.
From AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon
T-Mobile’s doing their big CES 2014 keynote today, and thought the party’s just getting started we already have at least one big announcement coming from the event. T-Mobile has just announced that if you switch from a qualifying carrier – that is to say, AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon – the company will pay out the entirety of your termination fee as long as you trade in your existing device.
T-Mobile CEO John Ledger says that this is akin to “giving families a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card.” T-Mobile’s press release announcing the change continues to claim that the company is there to provide “relief for customers fed up with a broken, arrogant wireless industry” – a huge shot at the other big names in the industry.
Zap zap not my iPhone
CES is home to some truly bizarre toys, most of which we don’t quite bother to report on for the sake of your and my sanity, but this might be weird enough that we just have to give you the scoop. Introducing The Yellow Jacket, a new rubber iPhone case and battery extender that just so happens to also be controversial – and, in some places, illegal.
That’s right, The Yellow Jacket is in some places illegal – but what makes it so wrong to obtain? Why, that would be the inclusion of none other than a built in stun gun to stop a would be mugger from stealing your phone. It’s certainly an insane idea, but co-founder and CEO Sean Simone has a big claim – “legalize our device and [it] would stop overnight.” The built in charge provides up to double the built in battery life of your iPhone, or 55 zaps from the stun gun.
An interesting idea, but I wouldn’t hold my breath, Mr. Simone.
Update 01/08/14 @ 5:25 PM EST: At the request of Yellow Jacket we’ve updated our article to clarify that the Yellow Jacket is, in fact, only illegal in some parts of the United States.
Source: The Verge
Another great affordable choice
Vizio is literally the king of quality, high end televisions with beautiful pictures and bargain basement pricing, and now they’re doing it again with their new $999 50-inch 4K TV. According to Vizio employees on the floor at CES today, the company’s just announced lineup of 4K HDTVs will begin as low as $999 for the 50-inch model – competing not just with the likes of Sony and Samsung in picture quality, but also with televisions such as that perhaps ill fated Polaroid we showed you yesterday on pricing.
Now, this is for the base 4K TV lineup – not the high end Reference series with comes with HDR decoding – but what more could you ask for at this price? Leave HDR to our cameras, Vizio. We’ll take the $999 4K TV.
Source: The Verge
A cheap way to experience 4K
Polaroid may not be best known for manufacturing televisions, but they certainly do so – and like competitor Vizio, they do so cheaply. Enter Polaroid’s new 50-inch 4K TV, Polaroid’s first ultra high definition set, that’ll run you just $999 – literally thousands of dollars less than most of the other 4K TVs that have launched at CES are expected to run for.
The Verge says that Polaroid’s new set definitely has the resolution, but it doesn’t necessarily have the “pop” – color wise, things are pretty dim here with not the best viewing angles and some of what they’re calling “strobing.” Polaroid’s new 4K TV will launch later this year. For those of you excited to get your hands on a new, inexpensive 4K TV.
Stream old games to next gen
Sony has just blown the lid right off the next generation console race yet again, announcing the company’s new Playstation Now service. Details are limited at the moment as the company is still on the stage explaining more, but Sony is promising that Playstation Now will allow you to stream Playstation 3 games and more to your Playstation 4, effectively bringing backwards compatibility to the PS4.
The service will also allow you to stream Playstation 3 games to your tablet and smartphone, however I’m not entirely sure how playable those games will be on a touchscreen device. Games will stream from the cloud, so you’ll need to have an impressive internet conntection to make this thing playable – sorry, Verizon 3G probably won’t do the trick.
Microsoft has famously completely forgone backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, whilst Nintendo is embracing it by supporting the entire catalogue of Wii games and accessories on the Wii U.
Source: The Verge
An impressive number
Sony must be out popping the champaign – the company today announced at their CES 2014 presentation that they have managed to have already sold a cumulative total of 4.2 million Playstation 4 units across the world as of December 28th, 2013. The number beats Microsoft’s sales numbers of 3 million Xbox One consoles sold in a similar timeframe, and Sony has yet to even launch in one of their biggest markets – Japan.
The Playstation 4 is Sony’s next generation console, competing against the Nintendo Wii U, the Microsoft Xbox One, and various other newcomers in an increasingly crowded market.
Source: Geoff Keighley (Twitter)
Smarter appliances for complicated lives
In 2014, the technology industry will begin trying to make everything around you smarter. Smarter phones, smarter televisions, smarter cars; but let’s all be honest here, the single thing that will truly become dramatically smarter this year will be our wearables. And these devices won’t only become smarter, but they’ll also become meaningfully smarter.
The trend began in earnest last year, and 2014 will simply take this trend to its fullest potential. Don’t believe me? Take the Pebble, perhaps the only smartwatch to make a meaningful impact on the industry in the last year. 2013 gave us the original Pebble – a quality device that proves it should exist with a huge amount of potential, but with a few downsides. 2014 has already given us the new Pebble Steel – a smarter, faster, more beautiful version of last year’s device. If 2013 gave us the smartwatch, 2014 has already given us the smartwatch… polished. And all of this is forgoing even mentioning the fact that 2013 has brought us the Google Glass.
Smart wearables, such as smartwatches, are already on an extraordinarily track as smartphones were in the last decade and MP3 players before that. Early adopters have already eaten up the likes of the Pebble smartwatch and the Fitbit fitness tracker – they’ve already proven their value and usefulness, and now they just need to become polished enough to appeal to the average consumer. It also helps, of course, that Apple will almost definitely be announcing their own smartwatch (the “iWatch”, if you will) this year, and you can be damn sure that Apple won’t release this unless they know that it’s both useful enough and polished enough to appeal to not just the early adopters, but also the general public.
2014 will be a big year for so many different parts of the technology industry, and so many new pieces of tech will begin to impact our lives in meaningful ways. Your life is complicated, and your appliances are becoming smarter than ever.
Forget the smartwatch, meet the smart car
Google’s already dominated the smartphone market with their Android platform, and now they’re focusing on their idea of the next big thing – your car. Today the company announced the Open Automotive Alliance, a collaboration between Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Nvidia (?) that hopes to standardize the software side of future cars.
Essentially, this will bring Android to your car’s dashboard, allowing you to safely access and use your favorite applications using your car’s built in controls and dashboard display. Google is really focusing on safety here – the point isn’t to bring up the number of accidents caused by distracted driving, with the company saying that today’s announcement will “create new opportunities for developers to extend the variety and depth of the Android app ecosystem in new, exciting and safe ways.”
Google is actively inviting automotive manufacturers to join the alliance and help standardize the future of automotives. While 2014 may be the year Smart TVs begin to take hold, perhaps it’ll also be the year that your cars begin to get just a little smarter as well.
House of 4K
Turns out 2014 might very well truly be the year of the 4K TV, as Netflix today confirmed what we were all already expecting – the company will begin shooting, producing, and streaming all future original, Netflix produced shows in 4K, up from the company’s current standard of 1080p.
Netflix has been testing 4K streaming support for quite some time now, so it’s really no surprise that the fruits of those efforts will begin to show this year. In fact, Netflix’s upcoming second season of House of Cards will be available in 4K streaming on “supported devices” later this Spring.
4K TVs, along with Smart TVs, are definitely a big story at CES 2014 this year. LG has announced a new lineup of webOS-based Smart TVs yesterday while other manufacturers, such as Vizio, will also soon begin offering a lineup of affordable 4K TVs.
Android on your next PC
Hope you like Android, because if Intel has its way you’ll be seeing a lot more of it on your next Intel based PC. Intel announced in their lead up to CES 2014 yesterday that the company is working on. Though details are admittedly very, very sparse, Intel made it clear that they’re working on making this thing as seamless as possible; with the press of a button, you can switch from your Windows desktop to an Android one and back nearly instantly.
The real question, however, is whether or not this is something that customers will actually want to do. Just like people hated using Windows on smaller, portable devices that it was clearly not designed for, will people really want to run Android on a large PC device that it’s not officially at home for? That’s a question that Intel needs to ask itself, and a question that only you can answer.