Welcoming the bizarre
Consumer Electronics Show or CES in short has been around for decade now. Every year it redefines the ‘American Dream’ and spreads throughout the world, catching everyone’s fancy. This year’s iteration of the mega tech fest took the game to an entire new level. Kingston David explores a few of the bizarre tech that could find their way into your home.
Las Vegas lit up, this January, for CES 2015 at the now familiar Vegas Convention Centre. As it is the norm every year, this was going to be the biggest ever tech show hosted under this name. CES has come a long way from being a showbiz event to an annual affair that every techie looks forward to eagerly.
Among the sea of technology showcased during the three-day convention was one tech that stood out and also made a huge impact, the 4k TV. This is not the first time 4k has been at CES, but this time the statement was made with intent. 4k is here now to stay! We all have Full HD or 1080p TVs at home, but 4k is eons into the future even at the first glance. It is one of the very few technology upgrades that one cannot comprehend and decide upon just through reviews and research but will have to experience in person. In simple terms, 4k packs four times the pixels of Full HD, and more pixels equal more clarity.
Though we had an overload of 4k TVs at the show, each manufacturer had his own version of the technology. Samsung which, of late, have been falling behind a little in the race to supremacy seems to have a new name for the same tech, SUHD. The good thing is that all their SUHD TVs will be smart and run a custom OS called Tizen. LG captured the centre-stage at the venue as well as in technology with an entire new series of 4k OLED TVs. They have also promised to equally concentrate on quantum dot display tech too.
OLED is where each pixel has subpixels, which mean more dense pixels on the display that provide rich textures and colours. Quantum dot is where the future of 4k is slated to sway with more brightness into the picture. Other notable additions to the world of TV include Sony’s decision to run Android OS and LG’s Ultra Surround Sound Systems with Harman/Kardon audio, the brains behind many reputed audio systems such as JBL, Infinity, etc. The better audio would definitely do justice to the stunning picture.
Moving onto Smartphones, there will always be flagship launches from reputed manufacturers, be it CES or not. However, a phone like the Tonino Lamborghini 88 Tauri tends to stand out. The price tag of $6000 might seems exorbitant even with all the leather and gold, but a Lamborghini badge needs a deserving owner. Most phones in this category are more bling and less functional. However, the Tonino begs to differ and is made powerful by the latest Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and 3 gigabytes of RAM. The display is sweet too with 1080p resolution on a 5.5-inch screen that is covered by a custom etched Lamborghini glass. A 20-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel front-shooter complete the package. If you want to make an impression, this is the right phone to own.
Wearable gadgets took the most drastic leap forward this year from anything and everything capable of internet connectivity; your dog’s collar, cycling helmets and even your belt. While dog collars with tracking and cycle helmets with telemetric and fitness tracking do not sound out of place in this century, belts that loosen while you sit do. Belty’s Smart Belt might look like overkill for the job but it has stuff underneath that might be a misfit for many. The belt itself however will never be a misfit since it automatically loosens or tightens when you move around or sit/stand. It also provides health warnings and metric data based on your waist size. Impressive or scary, we are yet to figure.
Each year, the unveiling of an Automobile technology at the CES creates a stir and this year it was not one but many. Nvidia, the graphics giant announced an insanely powerful graphics processor that was not meant for mobile platforms but to be exclusively used in cars. Bye, bye to dated graphics, your next car could have cool graphics and smooth animations on the infotainment display and could also have incorporated many more functions, making driving even more relaxing.
Self-driven cars are not restricted to fiction novels and Hollywood movies anymore, Audi and BMW are at it and the competition makes it very interesting for us to dream of a completely autonomous car in the near future. During the show, Audi took the gamble of announcing that their A7 named Jack is on the way from San Francisco, all the way to Vegas, driving itself. Audi is confident that this system will be polished enough for application in passenger cars in just a few more years and make highway cruising enjoyable and safe. BMW took a different approach and have seemed to solve the problem of parking. Their new i3 electric concept can park itself after the driver gets down and activates the self-assist parking system via a smartwatch. The car will also pick you up once you are done, all via commands from the touch-screen interface of the watch. James Bond, please take a break for ze Germans are here.