CES is here again, and it is always fun to gaze into the crystal ball of CES. This year it seems like more practical applications are popping up that will be adopted and built upon, but don’t be lead astray as the growth of new technology continues to progress at very rapid rates leaving todays new technology as yesterdays old tired and true. Check out what tech trends are coming out of this years CES.
5 tech trends that will dominate CES 2015
Jan 2, 2015
Of course, there have been pseudo-trends, too. 3D TV, pushed heavily in 2010 and 2011, never took off. Last year Qualcomm unveiled a chip made specifically for smart TVs, the Snapdragon 802, then cancelled it. And many of the e-readers that appeared at CES 2010 never appeared on store shelves after tablets and cheap Kindles ensured they could never compete.
That’s why it’s good to look at the tech trends at CES — even the bigger ones — with a skeptical eye
That’s why it’s good to look at the tech trends at CES — even the bigger ones — with a skeptical eye. Just because something is to be found at every booth at the show doesn’t mean it’ll ever be found in actual living rooms. At the same time, the show has probably been more accurate than not in predicting future tech: Flat TVs, soundbars and HDTV were common at CES long before they went mainstream.With that in mind, here are the main trends we expect to see at CES 2015, and our thoughts on how influential they’ll be in the coming year.
1. Rise of the smart home
CES has been showcasing smart refrigerators and connected lighting for more than a decade now, but this year’s show looks like when it all comes together. A litany of companies — big and small — will be peddling connected appliances, from washing machines to bathroom scales.
At the same time, plenty of software companies will be vying to be the next big platform in the “Internet of Things” (IoT), claiming how their tech is the most effortless, letting you control your entire house from a smartphone or tablet. They might even be right, but they’ll have to figure out how they fit into a world with Apple’s still-to-launch HomeKit platform and Google’s Nest, arguably the biggest drivers of this trend.
Bigger companies aren’t waiting around. Samsung will certainly have a lot to say about the connected home in its keynote, and Honeywell and Schlage have a big presence at the show. The plethora of smart-home devices at CES may not transform every household by the end of the year, but the category appears on the edge of critical mass. With some direction, 2015 could be the year our houses really started to get to know us.
2. 4K everything
We already knew 4K was going to become the standard in high-quality video — we reached that point at last year’s show. At CES 2015, 4K — which has four times the resolution of full HD video — will assert its dominance by being everywhere.
The portion of 4K models in TV manufacturers’ lineups will increase dramatically. It’ll be a given that any set with premium features (e.g. better color, ultra-slim design, etc.) will be 4K. And the Sonys, Sharps and Panasonics will certainly follow Vizio’s lead and finally make smaller models affordable.
4K won’t just be limited to TVs, either. You can bet pretty much any camera that records video will be able to capture footage in 4K. Computer monitors with 4K resolution and ultra-wide aspect ratios. Even phones will get in on the pixel action, although for those devices, 4K will be more about streaming to TVs and recording video, and not necessarily having 4K screens themselves (although that’s on the table, too).
3. Wearables get smarter
Passive fitness tracking is so 2014. For CES 2015, the smartwatch — or at least the smarter tracker — will assert itself. This is partly because of engineering; tiny screens and better mobile tech means it’s easier to build at least some interactivity into wearables. But everybody in the wearables game is also racing the Apple Watch, which will change all the rules when it finally launches early this year.
At the same time, more efficient chips mean today’s wearables can do much more than their predecessors. Continual heart-rate monitoring, already coming in big-name devices from Fitbit and others, will become more common. And using a smartwatch as a remote control — for TVs, smart-home gadgets and even cars(!) — will be a rising feature.
4. Connected car 2.0
The auto companies are all over the roster of CES 2015, and with keynotes from Ford and Mercedes-Benz, you can bet in-car tech will be a big focus. Although you can’t throw a rock at CES without hitting sophisticated dashboards, this year’s show comes after last year’s launch of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, not to mention the revamped Ford Sync.
The connected car, one whose built-in systems communicate effortlessly with the driver’s smartphone, is an idea that makes too much sense to fail. There are a lot of cooks in this kitchen, though, including carmakers, software companies and tech giants, so it may not always be a smooth ride.
At least we don’t have to do all of the driving anymore: Self-driving cars are getting closer to a reality, and there will be several examples at the show, including a novel solution from the likes of BMW: parking via smartwatch.
5. Virtual reality gets real
Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift has electrified the field of virtual reality, and the effects will definitely be felt at CES. Not only will Oculus be demonstrating its latest tech at the show, but it’s safe to say anyone building a VR headset will be at CES 2015.
Also, Samsung and Google have shown how easy it can be to transform a smartphone into a immersive VR environment. With mobile cameras getting more sophisticated and 3D imaging technology getting common, software makers will be lining up with ways for users to create their own VR experiences.