Tech Guide has landed in Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show where the latest tech products we’ll be using this year and beyond are revealed to the world.
At CES, everyone from major global manufacturers to the newest start-ups with their first prototype have an opportunity to wow the industry and media in a town best known for making or breaking fortunes.
In previous years CES has given us the first glimpse at what has gone on to become household technology including the VCR, compact disc, plasma TVs, DVDs and Blu-rays and 3D TVs.
So what does CES 2015 have in store?
As usual – the world’s largest consumer tech trade show – will focus on TV and home entertainment products.
But there will also be a first glimpse of the next type of TVs and the technology that will make the picture quality even more lifelike.
Wearable technology will be more prominent this year to provide real-time information about all aspects of our lives.
Connectivity between users and the products in their homes will also have a greater emphasis.
The “Internet of Things” – a phrase to describe the complete connection and ability to control and gather information from our devices – will also be on display at CES.
And the ever-growing attendance of car companies at CES will continue in 2015 with major brands like Mercedes Benz, Ford, Audi and BMW showcasing the latest tech enhancements to our driving experience.
Televisions have been one of the mainstay products of CES and with good reason.
Just about every home has one and it has been transformed from being just a window to the world to a fully connected device that can access content on demand and also act as a dashboard for our homes.
Curved TVs will once again be showcased with larger screens and even more technology that will draw viewers even deeper into the display.
OLED (organic light emitting diode) – a material that produces its own light when a charge passes through it and therefore doesn’t require a backlight – will become even more common among the major brands this year as they perfect their manufacturing processes to produce higher volumes at a lower price.
LG has shown it has found the right formula with OLED and it will form a major part of the company’s TV range in 2015.
Another technology that will be revealed at CES is Quantum Dot which will allow the TV to show a wider range of colours and even more detail.
4K – also known as Ultra High Definition (UHD) – will also become more popular this year and will soon become the new normal for TVs despite the fact 4K content is non-existent.
The majority of TVs showcased at CES this year will be 4K or UHD so consumers will be ready when native 4K content does arrive.
That should also be this year with streaming services the likely place to access this content which has four times the resolution of full high definition.
A 4K movie is a far larger file than a movie that fits on a 50GB Blu-ray Disc but the Blu-ray Disc association will eventually come up with the technology to fit a feature length film in 4K on a single disc.
And of course the TVs on display at CES will be smart TVs and enhancements to the onboard operating system software will make them even simpler to set up and connect while also providing access to an unprecedented amount of content.
The connectivity of the TV will extend to other devices and appliances in the house making it the central hub of the home.
Wearables, as the name suggests, is technology that can be carried on our bodies – activity bands, smartwatches and smartglasses.
They provide not only information about our exercise and activities along with notifications from our smartphones.
At CES we will also see wearables that can control other devices in the home and in our cars and also receive feedback and information about our surroundings.
The addition of sensors and other data-collecting technology will provide an even deeper insight into our health, habits and every nuance of our daily lives.
Other wearable devices like smartglasses – Google Glass is a great example – will also provide real-time information in a graphical format that we will literally see in our eyeline.
Expect this to be an area where established and well-known brands incorporate technology to provide an all-new use and perspective of their products.
And of course Apple will be releasing the Apple Watch in a couple of months.
But Apple won’t be anywhere near CES – never have and never will – but the company will still have a presence with a wide range of accessories available for all of its products.
THE INTERNET OF THINGS
This will become a common term in 2015 and will describe not only the connection of all of our devices but also the outcome.
We already have a number of smart home devices to control lighting and appliances with the Internet of Things will be when you can make something happen if something else happens.
For example, at sunset our lights will turn on, the blinds will be drawn and the kettle will be turned on.
Or when your child’s smartphone is detected entering your home after school the TV will be inoperable for an hour to give them time to do their homework.
With wireless networks in our homes now commonplace, the installation and operation of these devices will be easier and more popular than ever and is set to become a multi-billion dollar industry in Australia alone.
Self-driving cars have been showcased as CES in the past but the accuracy and reliability of the sophisticated technology behind it is higher than ever.
It is another leap forward towards a time when we will put our complete trust in these vehicles to make all of the on-road decisions.
Safety is a factor for any in-vehicle technology and vehicle-to-vehicle communication will play a big part in that.
And by that we’re not talking about drivers talking to each other on the road – but cars intelligently communicating traffic and safety information to other cars.
What will also be showcased this year at CES will the increasing number of cars adopting Apple’s CarPlay technology to make using the iPhone even easier and safer behind the wheel.
But there will also be other Android systems that will be on display in Las Vegas for the first time.
Stay tuned to Tech Guide for all of the latest news and product announcement from the Consumer Electronics Show.
* Stephen Fenech travelled to Las Vegas as a guest of LG