If you’ve been on a tech blog at all in the past week, you’ve been bombarded with images and news of the latest and greatest tech and gadgets out of the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, currently under way in Las Vegas. CES is an international technology trade show where industry giants and startups alike demo new products and prototypes, foreshadowing the trends that will dominate the year to come.
In other words, it’s a little slice of nerd nirvana early in the year.
While it’ll take weeks to sift through all of the cool announcements, here are a few that have already caught my eye:
Wearables you Might Actually Wear
The Kickstarter-darling Pebble Smart Watch™ has been on the market for a while now, and the newly announced Pebble Steel offers the same functionality as the original smartwatch. The reason the Pebble Steel is exciting is it’s the first entry into the smartwatch arena that actually looks like a watch instead of a gadget trying its best to emulate a watch. For wearables to truly become the trend everyone’s predicting them to be, the marriage of style and function is going to be essential (looking at you, Google Glass).
Re-imagining the PC
A bit of a nerd confession for you: as much as I love technology, one arena I’ve never dabbled in personally is building my own PC. I have a desktop at home, and I’ve changed the occasional video card, but I’ve never taken the plunge to build my own rig. And it looks like I may never need to learn: this year, there are several companies out there re-imagining what a PC is and how it’s built. Valve Corporation, creators of the software distribution platform Steam, has started an initiative around “Steam Machines,” which are sort of a hybrid between PCs and game consoles. Valve has partnered with several hardware manufacturers to create self-contained Steam Machine PCs to use to play PC games in the living room.
And Razer presented a very intriguing prototype, called Project Christine, a completely modular PC concept that integrates all of a PC’s components into modules that can swapped in and out at will:
On the Cusp of Virtual Reality
Another Kickstarter success story, the Oculus Rift is a head-mounted virtual reality display that has captured the imaginations of developers and tech bloggers alike. At CES, the Oculus team presented a new prototype, dubbed “Crystal Cove,” that advances the VR headset with features such as a new display with a higher refresh rate and advanced positional tracking utilizing an external camera. Users who have gotten hands-on time with the Crystal Cove have declared it an absolute revelation, offering incredible levels of immersion and interaction with virtual worlds and bringing the Oculus that much closer to a consumer release.
What’s your favorite story so far out of CES 2014? Share in the comments or tweet me @writerwin.
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