The two biggest events in consumer technology are Mobile World Congress in March and CES in January. CES just kicked off and here are the key trends and new products that you need to be aware of.
- Wearables continue to be the focus ultimately because hardware is what excites people.
- Everything new in terms of screens seems to be focused on curves.
- If you really want to stand out then you need a robot (Toshiba does).
- Smart home products are becoming smarter by becoming less manufacturer-proprietary and more open to 3rd party apps and hardware.
- Samsung, LG, HTC, Xiami and Sony held off on their big product launches until the Mobile World Congress or their own events. However, there were some interesting product launches from LG, Asus, Acer, Lenovo and Microsoft.
- The topic on everyone’s lips was how IoT is about the consumer benefit and not science fiction- but then continued to talk about the technology.
- Sony announced the Sony Smartwatch 3 which will be the first Android Wear device to have built-in GPS (note: this is key in using the wearable as a sports tracker without also having to bring your mobile phone)
- The most talked about wearable is a device that supposedly measures your carbon footprint whose objective is helping to improve the world.
- The Samsung Gear VR device is now available for 199 USD.
- Lenovo Vibe Band VB10 comes with an e-ink display to enable long battery life. The band features full fitness tracking and connects with the phone via Bluetooth.
- Being, which is a wearable device that can work as a smartwatch or be clipped to your clothing, measures heart rate and blood pressure to tell you your stress level (which will, in turn, probably make people stressed).
- MyBrain, a digital meditation aid that shares EEG measurements with your smartphone.
- Melomind looks like a cross between a headband and a helmet and measures users’ brain waves and sends them to the smartphone.
- Blue Maestro’s Pacif-i is a pacifier which measures a baby’s temperature and displays it on the smartphone.
- Tzoa, a wearable devies that measures air pollution and UV exposure
…just to name a few.
Phones & Tablets
- LG launched G Flex 2 (another curved smartphone) but it’s expected to remain a niche product.
- Lenovo launched AnyPen which lets you write on a tablet with any ordinary pen or pencil.
- Sharp announced a 5-inch frameless phone (the screen goes to the edge) it actually uses an optical lense trick to make the front panel appear to extend to the edge but it looks real.
- Lenovo announced the P90 smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen and Atom processor, the Vibe X2 Pro with dual sims and a selfie flash accessory.
- Microsoft launched the cheapest web ready phone to date, the Nokia 215, for $29 and yes, it comes with Facebook.
- Spot-on, an I Spy inspired app which encourages users to spot famous people and interesting things in pictures.
- Breathometer, which connects to Breeze, a portable breathalyser that helps users make informed social drinking decisions.
- Blur, protecting your passwords, payments and privacy.
- uCiC, allowing you to reach out to people anywhere in the world and have them complete an image or video request for you.
…and plenty of other apps!
That’s all for this year’s CES. Now the countdown starts for MWC 2015.