The 2014 CES Show has kicked off and the big question is what is hot and what will sell in the second half of 2014 when the gadgets shown at CES start rolling into stores.
The big buzz here is wearable technology and devices like an Internet-connected tennis racket.
Samsung who launched a watch late last year is tipped to launch a new version while Sony is set to try and grab a share of the wearable action with several new products.
This year there is a brand new CES TechZone exhibit called “WristRevolution”, what will be on show is an array of products of relatively unknown Companies such as Kronoz, Cookoo, Sonostar, Metawatch, Archos, Burg, and Pine.
There will also be new wearable products from Major companies like Pebble, Qualcomm and Sony.
Some of the watches, like the Cookoo, offer notifications and more bundled in a standard watch style design, while other products, like the Sonostar, carry a more futuristic wraparound design. Some, like the Kronoz, allow users to answer calls directly on their wrists, and others, like the Pine, also include biometric sensors for measuring heart rate.
Along with smart watches, there will be wearable activity trackers like the Fitbit, and the Jawbone UP.
One of the big wearable categories is glasses due in part to the publicity created by Google Glasses.
At this year’s CES several companies will show off smart glasses, with Epson, Vuzix, GlassUp, and more exhibiting various smart eyewear products. GlassUp, like Google Glass, is designed to allow wearers to view incoming notifications like emails, text messages, app updates, and more, but it is far simpler than Google Glass, lacking key features like a camera.
Also on show are internet enabled products like tennis rackets.
With tiny sensors embedded in the handle, the racket measures a player’s strokes, topspin and just about everything else that happens when the ball is struck.
All that information is instantly relayed via a wireless Bluetooth connection to a smartphone app. The player can later view and analyse it on the Web.
This year, CES will feature keynote speeches from Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, Cisco Systems chief John Chambers and Sony chief Kazuo Hirai. Later in the week, attendees can catch luminaries such as Twitter chief Dick Costolo and Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs on stage.
The show’s record 1.861 million square feet of exhibit space represents an endurance test for even the hardiest of CES journalists.
Those able to meet the challenge will see the usual array of new laptops, tablets and smartphones.
But these are increasingly dwarfed in prominence by special exhibits for connected automobiles, the smart home and wearable computers, the latter with an emphasis on fitness and health products. These three categories are mere slices of the much broader trend toward the Internet of things that is gradually turning the entire physical world into a vast connected network of objects.
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As a whole, connected gadgets are being marketed as devices that will help consumers lead healthier, happier and safer lives claim the experts who roam the press centre in an effort to convert a journalist to their thinking for a category or product.