Wednesday at #CES2014

Second full day at CES 2014.

Gaming. This guy at the YEI Technologies booth was suiting up with a PrioVR full body tracking suit that can be paired with an Oculus Rift headset for a “who needs the real world” virtual reality gaming experience.

Not too far away, a small crowd were driving their Spheros through a playing field.  While the non-spherical Spheros 2B is now out, there is still plenty of play value in the original.

Connected Home. 2014-01-08 12.14.53Qualcomm had a “Disney House of the Future” type of an exhibit where you walk through the Qualcomm Connected SmartHome – a model of a small house wired to the gills with Qualcomm hardware that enabled smart lightbulbs, tablet, air conditioners, teddy bears, TVs, watches, speakers, door locks, and home security system. Qualcomm showed off how its AllJoyn system allows independent devices from different manufacturers to respond to an AllJoin event together.  For example, using a tablet to turn down the air conditioner caused the lights to shift to bluish tint to make you feel psychologically cooler as the AC kicked in.

We also spent some time at Cisco’s “Internet of Everything” exhibit. Cisco is building the infrastructure for the Internet of Everything, which I suppose goes beyond the Internet of Things to … well … everything. Picture below of a prototype of an in-home dashboard for real-time monitoring of energy consumption.

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Cars. The BMW i3 appears in several places in CES 2014.  We came across one in Central Hall. A fully electric 170 horsepower car with a cruising range of 80-100 miles, the i3 can also perform automatic push-button parallel option.  Just press the button, and if there’s a parking space at least 22 inches longer then the i3, the car will park itself without your help. Something I could use, for sure.


Samsung’s curved TV’s were on display, both stacked high in quantity…

…and individually, as this 85″ bendable beast of a beauty.  With a push of a button, the TV changes from perfectly flat to curved.

Why the excitement about curved? That was I asked question myself before CES. Why would anyone want a curved TV? But it actually makes a huge difference.  At home, only the people sitting directly in front of our TV get a good picture – those sitting off to the sides suffer a distorted image that just isn’t up to snuff.  Not so with the curved TVs – they look great from a much wider range of viewing angles.  If we had one at home, everyone would be happy with their seat.

TVs are traditionally the monster category at CES. Even today, with more and more people cutting the cord to cable and satellite and relying on Web-based content, TVs still impress with their size and shininess.  For TV junkies, here’s a few more shots of Samsung TV porn on display at CES 2014.

Also on display was the 98″ Samsung 8K (QUHD) TV. Strange thing, the image was so sharp, my reaction was that 98″ wasn’t enough – the screen needed to be even bigger!

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A few years ago, 3D TV was hyped at CES, although the market never

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took to it in a big way (those glasses you have to wear at home).  There were a few entries of glassless 3D TVs at CES 2014.  Not as sharp as the conventional TVs, but no instant headaches like you got looking at the early glassless TVs a couple years ago.  The 3D effect is more subtle than you get with glasses.  But then again – no glasses!

Besides Samsung, here are shots of LG’s display, including a massive standing room only 3D (glasses required) TV installation. Well, not just standing, the front of the exhibit was filled with exhausted attendees collapsed on the floor, lying down and staring as the 3D panorama unfolded in front of them.

The only thing I found even more appealing than these TVs was the 34″ LG UltraWide QHD 21:9 monitor (ok, so I’m a nerd!).

So many other TVs, including but not limited to Sony, Panasonic and Sharp. A few pics of the Hisense exhibit below.

Oculus Rift at Intel.  On the way in to Central Hall we noticed the long line of people waiting for their turn at the new Oculus Rift HD headset at the Intel exhibit. We passed on waiting, hoping the line would be shorter at the end of the day.  Bad move.  As we passed by Intel at the close of the day the line was even longer – but congrats to those who waited!


About Tom Novak

Tom Novak is the Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Marketing at the George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

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