What we expect to see
CES officially invades Las Vegas January 6 – January 9, 2015. Those dates may seem far away, but as anyone who follows the show knows, they’ll be here before we know it.
Already we’ve had info coming in revealing what the annual tech fest will hold, though of course many mysteries still wait in those desert conference corridors.
Read on for company-by-company breakdown of what we expect to see during the 2015 edition of the International Consumer Electronics Show, and let us know in the comments if there’s anything you’re particularly keen on seeing. We’ll keep an eye out for it.
Sony always comes out swinging at CES, and we expect this year to be no different.
The company is hosting the prerequisite press conference on January 5, and it’s here the company plans to feature "the latest products and technology in 4K UHD, Hi-Res Audio, Digital Imaging and Mobile." If that doesn’t spell it out for you, we’re not sure what will.
While the thought of more 4K TVs is certainly tantalizing, the possibility of seeing the Xperia Z4 onstage is what really has our interest piqued. The firm announced its new Exmor RS IMX230 camera sensor in late November, and though it packs the same 21MP as the Xperia Z3, it features a number of new features, including a CMOS image sensor that can track rapidly moving subjects.
A report from PhoneArena has the handset, said to feature a larger QHD sreen, joined at CES by an even heftier Xperia Z4 Ultra. Among their upgrades, both new phones may sport a heaving 4GB of RAM. What those extra GBs will bring is anyone’s guess, but they will sure look good on a spec sheet.
Samsung’s CES 2014 press conference will live on in infamy thanks to Michael Bay, but this year we expect the Korean firm to rebound with products that steal the show, not imploding directors.
It’s par for the course Samsung will unveil its latest TV line, and we expect a follow-up to the bendable TV unveiled last time around (maybe one that folds in half!). Some of the firm’s CES ’14 televisions had gorgeous curves, making a repeat of sloped screens highly likely.
But that leaves us wondering, what else? Will we see the next iteration of Pro tablets? It’s possible. A new laptop? Less likely. More washing machines? Oh, you know it.
What would really knock our socks off is a look at the company’s smartwatch and fitness tracker line-up and, if we can be so bold, some talk around Gear VR applications. That’s all speculation on our part, but not out of the realm of possibility.
Samsung’s plans may have yet to fully crystallize, but you can bet one of if not the biggest brand at CES 2015 will do it up this year. Especially if it wants you to forget about Michael Bay.
Despite having a huge presence at CES 2014, the Portal maker has decided it’s sitting the 2015 edition out.
Valve informed TechRadar it won’t be attending CES in the New Year. At CES 2014, the company behind Portal revealed over a dozen partners for its Steam Machine hardware and built quite the buzz around bringing PC gaming to the living room.
While the company won’t be at CES 2015, it does plan a large Steam Machine presence for GDC 2015. TechRadar will be at that show in March, by the way.
What we want to see: #1 – #5
The ramifications of CES 2014 are still being felt in everything from TVs to processors to wearables. CES 2015 promises to be an even bigger show, full of the innovative, the inspiring and the impossible.
We’ve put together a list of what we want to see at CES 2015, so read on for our hopes and best guesses for the show. And don’t forget to let us know what you’re pining for come January, too.
1. TV innovation beyond the bend and curve
We get it. You can bend and curve (see here and here) a TV. Big whoop. How about revealing some television innovation that truly improves our viewing experience?
CES 2014 was all about the curved TV screen for big guns Samsung and LG – who could make it bigger, thinner and curvier without folding? The problem was, was there even a problem for these concave couch curlers to solve?
As Dan Grabham asked in his CES hands on review of the 105-inch curved Ultra HD TV from LG, "do we really need curved TVs?"
The answer, from looking at the market, is no. Yes, there was an awe factor when unveiling these futurist devices in front of ravenous consumer-tech crowds, but when the lights faded and everyone went home, we weren’t buying these sets.
Instead of trying to lure us in with more bends and curves, we want Samsung, LG and others to announce more 4K content and a viable system to deliver it to consumers at CES 2015. We know it’s not the sexiest subject, especially since we’ve already seen 4K-and-beyond TVs, but why not give us stuff to actually watch on the growing field of ultra high-res screens?
There’s currently no reason for the average person to buy a pricey 4K TV because there simply isn’t that much 4K content to watch on them. If Samsung, LG, et al can come up with the content and fast, reliable ways to get it to consumers, we may leave Las Vegas truly impressed and excited for the living room screen’s future.
Update: LG gave us a taste of what its future TV innovation has in store. In mid-July, the company posted a YouTube video of its flexible 18-inch OLED display. It’s a neat trick and one that could have actual benefit to consumers, like fitting larger screens in unconventional spaces. Might we see the tech at CES 2015? We’d sure like to.
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxbHpXE4VM0
2. Stop the 4K TV price madness
It’s no secret that 4K TVs are astronomically expensive, but on July 22 Samsung took it to a whole new level by revealing the price of the 105-inch curved 4K TV it showed off during CES 2014. The damage? A whopping $120,000 (about £70,333, AU$127,732).
Talk about going from wow factor to ow factor.
We understand the parts for these high-res beasts are expensive, but it’d be fantastic if Samsung, LG and other makers of 4K TVs could lower the price of their products in addition to giving us stuff to watch on them.
It may take years before 4K TV prices are within most people’s budgets, but the movement could start at this upcoming CES. We want to see top-tier TV manufacturers like Samsung reduce the price by one digit with a $999 price tag for a 50-incher.
This may be wishful thinking, but it’s not unreasonable to want TV makers to begin to bring down the prices of the technology it carts out to amaze us.
3. More than just more tablets from Samsung
Director Michael Bay’s meltdown was the most memorable moment of Samsung’s CES 2014 press conference. Unfortunately for the Galaxy tablets also wheeled out during the presser, they were upstaged. Hard.
Samsung has unveiled even more tablets since CES, leading us to plea, "Enough!" We’re heading into the pre-CES months hoping Samsung can cook up a mobile device (yes, just one) that will hold its own next to celebrity implosions and smart laundry machines.
The Korean firm intrigued with its Youm flexible phone screens during CES 2013 – perhaps it will be ready to unveil a consumer-ready foldable phone or tablet during 2015’s dance? With LG revealing roll-up displays (destined for TVs, to be sure), Samsung may be feeling the heat to bring a bendy phone/tablet to market.
4. Steam Machine pricing and availability
No doubt the people’s favorite at CES 2014 was Valve and its army of Steam Machine partners, not to mention the Steam Controller.
Valve hasn’t kept quiet; since January, the company held a developer conference, showed off its VR headset and, in not so good news, announced Steam Machines won’t arrive in consumer homes until 2015. It’s the last point we want addressed at CES.
While at least one non-Valve Steam Box – the Alienware Alpha – should be out this year, we want the release date and price questions resolved for everyone else. In other words, we want CES 2015 to be brimming with Steam Machine news, including word of a truly affordable one.
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YAf5S4LSJQ
Aside from Alienware, the rest of the pack, led by Valve, should get its act together by CES 2015. Of course, anyone familiar with Gabe Newell’s crew knows speed is not their calling card, so while we can hope, we won’t hold our breath.
5. LG and Huawei deliver standout smartphones
It’s a long shot to think LG will actually unveil a smartphone during CES as it hasn’t the last two years and typically saves such unveilings for MWC. Nevertheless, this is a list of what we want to see, right?
Along with Huawei, LG could use CES to gain massive exposure with a knockout smartphone. The LG G3 isn’t chopped liver, but perhaps LG could put its foldable display tech to work bending like a Cirque du Soleil performer?
As for Huawei, the Chinese firm is trying mightily to break into the US market. What better way to re-re-introduce itself to US buyers than with a carrier-backed, affordable and better-than-average phone announced in Sin City? Hell, trot out AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega or, better yet, T-Mobile CEO John Legere to say a few words. Even better, bring them both onstage and see what happens.
We digress, but the point is CES has become stagnant on the smartphone announcement front. We’d love to see LG and Huawei liven up the proceedings with a phone that makes us drool.
What we want to see: #6 – #9
6. Next-level wearables
Wearables are here, and they’re beyond what even Dick Tracy could have imagined. CES 2014 saw its share of fitness and activity trackers, but in the subsequent months the market has exploded (relative to what it was, at least).
Android Wear has ushered in a new era of wearable tech, and there’s more than a fair chance we’ll see the Apple iWatch announced before CES 2015 gets off the ground.
Although wearables are gaining steam, there’s always room for improvement. Our wish list for CES 2015 wearables includes waterproofing, more with heart rate monitors, standalone smarties that don’t need a mobile device and more full-featured smartwatches that are compatible with different OSes.
The last one is another long shot, but as TechRadar’s resident wearables expert Matt Swider opines, it’d be nice to be able to have an Android Wear smartwatch that worked with an iOS device, and vice versa.
There’s little doubt CES 2015 will be filled to the walls with wearables. One manufacturer – Lenovo – has confirmed it plans to unveil new wearable devices during the Vegas gathering.
The question is, will the new batch of wearables be much of an improvement of the ones we already have?
7. Virtual reality in Las Vegas
Just like wearables, we’re no longer speaking of VR as a far-off possibility. There are a number of big-name contenders that, while not quite ready for consumers, are pretty damn close to being released. Oculus Rift is eyeing 2015, Sony’s Project Morpheus is moving along and Samsung Gear VR is looking increasingly ready to reveal itself.
That’s not to mention the other smaller firms working on virtual reality gear (like the Virtuiz Omni) and the gaggle of developers likely to spring up after Oculus’ VR conference in September.
CES is as much about entertainment as it is anything else, so VR-related innovations are well within the scope of the show. We want to see more VR content (games, apps, movies, etc.), more polished products and, if it’s not revealed at IFA 2014, Samsung’s VR headset.
Gear VR will likely be a serious Rift and Morpheus competitor, so come CES, we hope Samsung and anyone else dabbling in virtual reality are ready to bring it on.
8. Truly good 2-in-1s
It’s not CES unless a cacophony of computers make their voices heard. There will be PCs of every stripe at CES 2015, but we’re looking specifically at 2-in-1s for right now.
HP, Dell, Acer and Asus are just a few of the notable names we’re putting money on to unveil new tablet/laptop hybrids, so it’s not a matter of if they’ll be announced but rather of how good they’ll be.
There’s a chance Windows 9 will release this fall, which would already be an improvement over Windows 8.1. Even if we don’t go all the way up to nine, Windows 8.2 may be ready to rumble come January 2015.
Aside from a souped-up OS (assuming most of the hybrids will run Windows), the advances in processors like AMD’s Beema and Mullins APUs and Intel’s Core M could make the 2015 crop of 2-in-1s the best to date.
If the build quality matches better internal specs, 2-in-1s may be the sleeper hit of CES 2015.
9. Smarter cars than ever before
Toyota ran away with our Best of CES 2014 awards thanks to its hydrogen-powered car. Part of our reasoning in giving the FCV the top spot was because of its industry-changing position as the first mass-produced fuel-cell vehicle. Its impact, we reasoned, would be far reaching and vastly positive.
Next CES, we want more of the same. We want cars that run on next-gen energy sources and we want cars that don’t need a driver at all. Google typically doesn’t drop by CES, but that doesn’t mean automated cars from different venders can’t make an appearance.
Speaking of Google, we fully expect automakers to show off their Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay-equipped models. For those who haven’t picked a side, CES 2015 is the perfect time to call shotgun.
Car infotainment systems are in some ways still in their infancy, so we’re excited to see what solutions await. Especially if it means going for a test-drive.
Source : TechRadar: Phone and communications news http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/techradar/phone-and-communications-news/~3/xS49qMgh3MI/story01.htm