10 Big Trends from CES
The technologies that seem to be shaking up the consumer electronics industry
1. The Cloud. Everything is going there, to that digital locker in the sky: entertainment content, images from surveillance cameras, settings for home control systems. Are you ready to give up your home-based hard drive?
2. IP Monitoring. With so many devices inside your house connected to the Internet, it high time to start watching over them to make sure they’re working ok. Better yet, see how long your kids have been on Facebook.
3. DIY Home Automation Systems. X-10 set the stage years and years ago with a plethora of plug-and-play products that consumers could easily setup to create a basic home automation system. The DIY concept died out for awhile, IT”S BAAAAACCCCKKKK.
4. Gamey TVs. We play video games by waving our hands in front of the TV screen, so why not use hand gestures (as well as our voices) to operate our TVs? Are the remote control’s days numbered?
5. Streaming A/V. Apple AirPlay is still making inroads into electronics products, making it oh so easy to stream audio and video from iDevices to entertainment gear. Now, Bluetooth is in the game, offering consumers another streaming option.
6. Furniture-Grade Electronics. Who says a speaker has to look like a speaker or a home theater should be noticeably high-tech? Manufacturers are finding ways to make the A/V equipment look more like furniture, without sacrificing a bit on quality.
7. Digital Health. If technology can monitor your home, why not use it to monitor what you as a person are doing, too. Sensors that track when you move, sleep, and eat may be just what the doctor ordered. Here’s to your health!
8. Earbud Improvements. There’s no shortage of choice in the earbud market. What’s more refreshing, though, is the fact that manufacturers of high-performance speakers are now offering something nice to stick in your ear as a complementary piece to their sound systems. Now if I could only get them to stay in (new designs promise to hold on tight no matter what you’re doing).
9. Smarter DVRs. The ability to record and playback video will always be the core function of a DVR, but they also need to keep pace with the rest of the CE industry by making them smarter—and they are. New-generation DVRs will stream, simplify navigation of channel guides and do a better job of gathering content from the Internet.
10. Shrinking Speakers. Floorstanding speakers rule when it comes to audio cool. They sound better than any other type of speaker; now manufacturers are making them even more attractive but shrinking their physical dimensions. You can hear great music and still have room to dance.