CES 2016 – News

CES2016

The Consumer Electronics Show was hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 6th-9th.  It has been my privilege to attend this amazing show for many years.  This year it proved to be one of the biggest shows that had some great things but had some disappointments as well.

First and Foremost there has been some major players that aren’t present at the show.  These include Apple, Google and Microsoft.  According to their media spokesman they don’t attend these conferences for various different reasons.  Mostly Apple and Google have their own conferences through the year but Microsoft was quoted in saying that it was just too difficult to come up with new tech year after year.  However, they too have moved to having their own conference.  At their conference last year they introduced the Hololense, Lumia 950 and 950XL, and new Surface Tablets and a new product called a Surface Book.  These devices are slowly releasing to the consumer and probably the biggest disappointment is the Lumia 950 and 950XL that many people complain about Windows 10 just not being mature enough with a slim selection in apps when compared to the giants like Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

As in years’ prior there was a big show from the likes of Sony, Lg, Hisense, Samsung and other TV makers.  One of the best displays, I felt, was the LG display.  They showed off new ways of watching TV with the announcement of LG Web OS 3.0. (who would’ve thought that web OS, originally bought from HP and their failed tablet market, would actually be successful on the TV front)  LG promises many new features for its’ TV lineup in 2016 including Magic Mobile Connection and Channel Plus.  These new features will only work with the 2016 models of LG TVs and are NOT backwards compatible.  Huge disappointment that to get the new features of web OS 3.0 that you you have to have a 2016 model.  Is it worth the purchase? Only time will tell when it is released to the wild but if you bought a TV in 2014 like I did, it would have to take a LOT to get me to buy a whole new set to get these features.  Beyond that the other players at the show showcased OLED HDTVs which were razor thin and offered brilliant colors but the price tag on that new technology is “out of this world.”

In the Center Hall there was a huge presence from chip maker Intel.  They showed off their tech from laptops, to wearable and event a 4ft. tall robot that took commands from the crowd.  While they showed some impressive things the main theme of CES 2016 was virtual reality.  HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung VR were nearly around every corner.  Intel showcased the HTC Vive along with Steam VR to show how to paint in 3D.  It takes quite a bit of setup from the perfect light, to height of the sensors.  Which VR technology is best?  Good question as everything at CES was a demo that was made for only 1 game or 1 painting application.  I am anxious to see this in the real world, but being a big fan of Steam gaming I’ll be looking more closely at the HTC Vive.

I was disappointed to not even see the likes of AMD at the show.  They sent out a press release of their new chip code named “Polaris” for later this year but there was NO presence from them at the show.  I have a feeling that if AMD doesn’t pull off something big soon, they’ll soon be yesterday’s news.  However Nvidia, AMD’s competitor, had a very small booth as compared to years’ past.  They were only in the auto section of the show advertising their Nvidia car technology which included pedestrian collision avoidance.

This year’s show included A LOT of drones.  Now there are small drones, big drones, GPS tracking drones and even drones that will deliver your packages in the works.  I remember when these drones impressed me with the original A.R. Drone, being controlled via the HD camera on an app on the Iphone or android platforms.  Now everyone has drones and the market is absolutely flooded with them.

Technology to look out for in 2016 is the up and coming VR tech.  Will it flop like 3D nearly has?  Will it have success with the backers of Intel, Sony, Samsung, HTC and other big time players.  2016 will reveal this to us soon enough.  Be on the lookout for this VR tech entering your living room if you got the chunk of change to purchase one.  Look for more drones to enter the market.  Look for Android Auto and Apple Auto to finally be introduced into after market radio systems.  Look for further expansion to the Skylake chip set of the Intel market.  If you are looking to buy a laptop, insist on Intel Skylake as they are the processors with the best efficiency and the most power savings for longer battery life.  Look for TVs to get slimmer with more enhancements to their “smart” capabilities.

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