Givencurrent trendsin technology, we expected to see smart home devices, ultra-high-res TVs and driverless cars to be highlights and those categories are represented but there are surprises, too.Personal transporters appear to be having a resurgence if this year’s show is any indication, and computer monitors are suddenly sexy again thanks to some nice curves and 4K resolution. An ultra-thin tablet, an incredible smartphone chargerand a novel streaming serviceall surpassed the restrictive limitations of their predecessors to create a significantly better experience.
LAS VEGAS — Every year, the International CES brings with it a colossal wave of new and innovative devices, and much of what appears at the show will define consumer tech in the following months. CES 2015 is no exception.
The biggest standouts were in relatively mature categories. An ultra-thin tablet, an incredible smartphone charger and a novel streaming service all surpassed the restrictive limitations of their predecessors to create a significantly better experience. That’s progress.
CES is all about progress, and Sharp’s latest TV is the progress poster child for TVs at CES 2015. On the spec sheet, Sharp’s set is a 4K TV. But there’s some pixel magic going on here: The TV has a total of 66 million subpixels — 42 million more than a normal 4K TV, and all of those subpixels can be individually controlled. Sharp’s clever TV can allow pixels to “borrow” subpixels from their neighbors, increasing the overall sharpness, also called pixel splitting. The result is a display with an effective resolution of 7,680 x 4,320, which is — you guessed it — 8K. Technically it’s not actual 8K, which is why Sharp avoids the term, but the company does claim the set is the highest-resolution 4K UHD TV you can buy.
Bang & Olufsen has brought forward some real innovation in the interface of the BeoSound Moment: a music player with a capacitive touch wheel that’s built into a real wood surface. When you use it for the first time, the effect is a little like magic. You can plug in your own iPhone or music player, or stream, via Bluetooth, from any number of services, including Spotify, Deezer or YouTube. The interface also offers something called a MoodWheel, a color wheel where the colors correspond to the mood of the music you want to play. The entire set-up is designed to play more toward your intuitive music listening instincts rather than forcing you to spend time learning yet another complicated interface.
If the skateboard and Segway had a strange, high-tech love child, it would be the IO Hawk. It’s as weird and wonderful as it sounds. Built by the company with the same name, the IO Hawk is a self-balancing motorized personal transporter. Similar to the Segway (but minus the handle bars), the product is powered by batteries, motors and uses slight pressure from your feet to guide it where you want it to go. When you shift your balance, the device responds and moves in that direction. It weighs 22 pounds and can travel up to 6 mph.
Mercedes-Benz is jumping into self-driving cars with its latest “autonomous” vehicle, the F 015 Luxury in Motion “visionary concept” car. Mercedes looks forward to a world after 2030, when cars will be “exclusive cocoons,” a new kind of mobile living space. The F 015 has bizarre proportions and large LED lights on the front and back, which it uses to communicate with other cars. It’s equipped with four rotating chairs that allow the passengers to sit face-to-face and the windows can be used as display screens. The future is driverless, and it looks pretty hot. Read more…