The year’s first technology festival, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is up and running in Las Vegas, and here’s what you can look forward to over the next three days.
It should come as no surprise that the companies who are ushering in the age of ginormous smartphones are also the world’s largest display manufacturers. Sharp have already announced 4K screen technology in a diminutive 4.1-inch LCD in 2014 and the next volley of flagship phones will run on Qualcomm processors that are more than up to the ultra-HD task. What’s left for mega-sized displays? Just a little thing called 5K and even truer than life virtual reality. HP are first out the gate with their curved 27-inch Z27q panel, but the Korean giants LG and Samsung have upcoming events rumoured to take curved TVs to a truly ludicrous level of visual quality. Now that 3D has finally been buried under the limbs of the HD arms race there’s a new jester entering the arena. HP also unveiled the ZVR, a display that morphs a 3D image into a 3D model that you can manipulate. Yes you still have to wear glasses and must be perpendicular to the screen, but the potential for Minority Report style interfaces is there.
PM says: Just like 4K, you probably won’t have time to upgrade before the next best thing ever technology gets paraded in the Nevada desert. Five Kay is here to stay. Until next year, at least.
MSI’s GT80 gaming laptop is a shot across the bow of Dell’s flagship Alienware product line, but also a response to the resurgence in popularity of mechanical keyboards. Much like the hipsters (for the purposes of this article Neil Young is a hipster too) sparked the hi-res audio debate with a mass vinyl revival, slapping Cherry MX switches on to a premium gaming beast. The GT80’s specifications read are an eye-watering testament to how far PC gaming has evolved into a demanding demon: Intel Core i7 processor, 24GB RAM, 8GB 980 SLI graphics two 128GB SSDs and a 1TB 7200 HDD. That’s a boat load of hardware to push pixels around an 18-inch screen. Also the trackpad – which is coincidentally the only thing that makes this a laptop besides for the folding lid – doubles as a 10-digit number pad.
PM says: Expect to see more High-end devices launched with retro keyboard controls as people flock in droves to apologise for writing BlackBerry and their qwerty ways off so easily.
Movement tracking 2.0
Valedo is the future of preventative treatment. Designed to stamp out the scourge of non-specific lower back pain, the two USB-rechargeable sensors attach to your sternum and the small off your back while you go through the motions of playing the companion game on your smart device. It’s all to get you through the therapeutic contortion drills that’ll keep your back happy for longer. While you could be sceptical about the long-term usefulness of this kind of product, it has been awarded high honours and endorsements even touting a registration as an official medical device. Back crackers beware.
PM says: Consider this the first wave of the next flood of wearables. Put Valedo next to the Athos smart clothing and you’ll start to see a pattern of diagnostic movement tracking which eclipses our current performance tracking gadgetry.