Monday, January 13, 2014

CES 2014 Las Vegas Review

NOTE:Some of these links below did not work with Google Chrome/ Chrome Canary but were fine in FireFox.

This glorious and warm  (well in Lausanne) start to the year of 2014 was not spent in Las Vegas at CES 2014

However a daily YouTube tune in was made to 

The Verge

to name but three.   What did I learn?

We are sponsored
Some of my favourite technology reporters provided great coverage at CES. Unfortunately the reality is that there is no free ride and reports (example from Geekbeat) continuously reminded us the viewers that our sponsorship is <desperately> required!

Wearable technology

Probably the main focus of CES this year was wearable technology.  I am thrilled.  So many products I really lost count.  I would just say that many products are still in development,  some may not make it to production and those that do can be expensive.  So don't get too excited just yet.

Jaybird Reign  199 USD , May 2014

Watch the videos inside here for a LOT of reviews

In summary: Only Jaybird impressed me with Health monitori products for Athletes.  Whilst I applaud the idea of health monitoring gadgets I want something to record my intensive training sessions, not a gadget that is able to tell my friends I walked 2Km to the pub this evening.

Withings Wireless Heart Rate

An updated version not tied to Apple!  Now wireless and works fine with Android or iOS.

Measuring my heart rate

About one year ago Mio perfected the wrist based heart rate monitoring technology in a watch  (not shipped to Europe until recently - we tried). This avoids having to wear a heart rate chest belt.  I hate chest belts so I am very interested.

Again, an avalanche of wrist based optical Heart Rate monitoring and fitness products were released.

Mio Link

DC Rainmaker Mio Link review

My Prediction:  The Mio style optical wrist based heart rate monitoring will revolutionise and shake up the Heart Rate Industry.  By end of 2014 all the majors from Garmin to Polar will be throwing away their hear rate belts in favour of this technology.

Speakers talking over the experts
Not one of the presenters from any Tech channel really seemed to have any existing serious Sports Tech knowledge.  As such, every single report of a Health monitoring gadget that was covered was to some extent LAME.  Next time folks, Agata and Marcus offer their services, we could really have done a superior job, honest.

SmartWatch coverage was a little better, less lame given that nobody is really sure of the marketplace yet.  Many people are waiting for Apple and just everybody agrees that none of the CES products can yet lay claim to simplicity/ elegance/ functionality.

I was quite impressed by the new ergonomics of Meta Smartwatch (by Frank Nuovo), but I did watch a

that nearly had me punching my fist into the screen.  It's a sort of making of video that emphasises the glamour over function.  I'm still not sure if this is a just a Metawatch Frame repackaging. Hmm.

My prediction: The Market waits for Apple, and the whole Swiss Watch industry really hopes that there will never be a stylish must have SmartWatch.

No 3D TVs but some 4K TVs
In previous CES the rage was all about 3D TV's.   For the buying public who then went ahead and bought.  Result ... suckers!  Today 3D content is minimal and manufacturers have lost interest, whilst film studios were never convincingly interested.

This year manufacturers hoped to promote 4K TV's instead. Essentially any TV with a pixel resolution of 3840x2160.

For Marcus; a computer person I would be more interested in sensibly priced 4K screens and it seems that both Dell P2815Q and Lenovo Pro2840M are two noteworthy examples.

My prediction: 4K TV's will be everywhere in the retail channel by end of 2014.  And 4K screens as above will be the latest thing.  I am still not sure what Interface I need to drive these with. Anybody?

NO innovations in Storage
CES was just not the place for Storage companies to announce their products.  This could also be because just days earlier Storage Visions 2014  was held.  Either way some new NGFF M.2 designs are beginning to surface. Muskin example.  New designs often feature the  LSI Sandforce 3700 Flash Controller.

Lastly, as a Synology fan I was moderately excited to see that Disk Station Manager (DSM) 5.0 an upgrade to the current 4.3 software is to be announced soon.

My prediction:M.2 disks with their dual SATA and PCIe interfaces will dominate the portable data space in late 2014. They are a standard and in PCIe guise can provide for sequential reads of over 1000MBytes/second. Fast.

Corvette Performance Data Recorder

Chevrolet surprised me with a future Performance gismo addition to the 2014 year Corvette enabling you to video record a driving session complete with overlays of specific data life G force, speed.  This actually seems to beat the Nissan GT-R computer.  Impressive, though not yet shipping

Aggressive ASUS Price Points
Introducing ZenFone

ASUS announced the Zenfone4/ 5/ 6 models with 4-6 inch screens respectively.  No 4G, but from about 100 USD unlocked.  Killer pricing. When these ship the delta between Android and Apple is so large that buying Apple means you are either stupid, ignorant, wealthy, or somehow convinced the exorbitant premium is justified.

Engadget talks Zenfone

ASUS combined Android and Windows

In 2013 Asus launched the Transformer Trio, which did ship but not in volume.  Any Trio owners will recognise they should have waited for the new TD300 instead.   Whilst the TD300 does not have 2 separate processors since it runs Android or Windows via the same Intel i7 processor, it does have a larger 13.3 inch screen, performance  and  SSD disk.

Samsung Galaxy 2 Camera update

Slightly faster that the original Galaxy Camera but no better Camera Internals, just Android 4.3,  NFC (not useful for the camera) and lighter.   Samsung .. you forgot the larger sensor and pixel count.   I'm not going to buy the Elephant sized Samsung NX30! Disappointing.

Thunderbolt - Who Cares?
Apart from LaCie and a handful of motherboard manufacturers who are thinking ... why did we bother, Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt2 devices are almost non existent.

In past generations the choice of Firewire devices was similarly limited, but back in the day that was because Apple was a niche product.  Today, that's no longer true, but Thunderbolt, pah, nowhere.

Lacie Thunderbolt 2 disk

Noteworthy - Please Research

Toyota iRoad

And Finally .. really annoying

Geekbeat Stir Kinetic Desk
This falls into the category of .. I just don't believe in the premise, which is that you can stand up and work effectively.  At least, for me to do anything other than automatic  (i.e. no thinking required), I need to be sitting down. 

Standing up for 4 hours (!!) is equivalent in exercise to a 2 mile run. Big deal.

Much Better than Us!
Please check out the paid professionals. Some articles

CNET: CES 2014 must see
Verge: Best of CES
Driving the iRoad

Other Links
Crucial NGFF m.2 SSD review
Toshiba 4K Laptop