2015 got off to a great start for lovers of anything electronic with the International Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas. For anyone who doesn’t know, the International CES is where innovators and lovers of the business of consumer technologies gather. The first CES took place more than 40 years ago, and it is now known as the international stage for launching next generation technologies to the consumer market.
As usual, there was a range of weird and wonderful gadgets, from cars that will be driving themselves in 2030, to 3D printed dresses that defend the wearer and our personal favourite, smartphone super chargers that provide a full battery in less than two minutes, but what really got us interested was the focus on 4k, or Ultra HD, and Smart TVs.
Making sure that 4k succeeds where 3D failed, TV manufacturers have been making sure that there are content players in place (all currently OTT players), and Netflix has announced that it will be producing all originals in 4k. Some mid range manufacturers have also brought out 4k sets, so there is a feeling that this is something that could well become mainstream, but production costs and delivery may end up being the constraints here.
Interesting developments in the world of television sets and services included the partnership of Sony and Google, which has resulted in the launch of Android TV, a full version of Android (including access to Google Apps) run through a ‘Smart’ TV. 2015 looks like the beginning of the end for Cable TV, as Sling TV will give anyone in the US with a broadband connection, a good selection of channels for the bargain price of $20 per month – that’s $20 a month with no one off sign up fee or contract. Hot on its heels comes Sony’s Playstation Vue, another online TV service set up as a rival to cable. It certainly is a brave new world out there.
There were two stand out items for us when we looked at cameras and accessories. First off was the amazing sounding Prynt, a device that allows you to turn your smartphone into an instant camera. You simply insert your phone into the device and hey presto, you can print off pocket sized photos! It is a little on the large size but a brilliant gadget for any photography fan. Going with the pocket sized printer theme, the second device was a new one from Polaroid itself, the Zip Mobile printer that prints out 2×3 inch photos using Zink, its inkless paper. No more excuses for not printing photos from your phone!
Did you follow the 2015 CES? What were your favourites? We’d love to hear from you!