The heavy news coverage at this year’s Consumer Electronics show seemed fixated on massive displays and wearable gadgets.
But cruising the miles of show floor revealed some interesting and inexpensive products we can use now — or soon.
Literally, a long walk on the wild side
Put on your best walking shoes — experiencing CES is a trial of bright lights, crazy promotions, ear-splitting noise, and endless aisles. This year, the show grew to a record two million square feet and over 3,200 exhibitors — another indication that the world economy is creeping back to health.
Obviously, CES showcases the latest technological advances. But although a 105-inch curved TV might be interesting, uncovering innovative — and practical — products is, to my way of thinking, the real prize. Below are a few interesting items the average PC user might put on their purchase-soon list. For the most part, the theme is security and mobility. But 3D printers might also soon find their way into the home.
One technology trend was obvious by its near absence: products and applications for the PC; these are replaced by an ocean of products for mobile devices.
PCs are, of course, not going away anytime soon. But they appear increasingly to be merely servants to our phones, tablets, and other portable devices. That change was highlighted by the number of products that rely on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth — for example, Android- and iOS-based apps that let us control lights, thermostats, locks, and more. There’s even a phrase for this trend: the Internet of things.
At CES, I looked for products that were relatively inexpensive, actually improved our lives, and offered clever solutions to daily computing hassles. Some of these products are available now; others, later this year. Some are still a bit out of the mainstream, but they showcase technologies consumers will probably be using in the near future.