Techzone 360 Week in Review

By Tony Rizzo January 11, 2014

Well, another year and another Consumer Electronics Show can now call it a wrap. It has certainly been an exciting show this year with, we believe, some significant new directions for consumer technology being taken. Also true is that this year CES saw the emergence of wearable tech (WT) as the hot new industry buzzword. We cover wearable tech over on our Wearable Techworld site so we won't take any real note of it here at Techzone 360, but suffice it to say wearable tech was hot, hot, hot. We were most interested in many of the things that Sony put on the show floor this year - from a new wearable tech devices dubbed the Core and SmartWear (ok, so we snuck one in here) to new PlayStation cloud streaming capabilities. Not to be outdone, Supermicro also rolled out a cloud-based gaming platform.

We believe Sony delivered on some of the most interesting tech at CES this year - in particular its new Ultra Short Throw Projector, an amazing if as yet likely ultra-expensive piece of tech that will ship later this year. More importantly for Sony however - and in fact for the industry as a whole - was relatively new Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai's vision for where consumer tech needs to go and the next generation of customer it must cater to. Hirai presented his vision as CES 2014's opening day keynote but we opted to utilize Hirai's presentation as a fascinating summary of CES 2014 instead.

Automobiles of course are also an integral part of today's consumer tech world. For some of us in fact autos and the related consumer tech segment of telematics may be more important than anything else. CES 2014 more or less delivered an auto show within the main event. CES does this every year but perhaps this year it has reached some new heights. There was the amazing Corvette Sting Ray, the wonderful BMW i3, the really cool Audi technology showcase, the first commercially available self-driving car launched (really) and even the launch of a car positioned as better than a perpetual motion car.

We'll leave CES 2014 behind now (at least until CES Week rolls around in New York City in June, but before we do we must give a nod to the one consumer tech segment that never fails to leave us hungry for the toys - the next generation TV segment that includes ultra high definition - or 4K. This year is was all about extending the market to "bendable" 150 inch TVs, as Samsung did (imagine a TV that curves for viewing then returns to a flat position against the wall when not in use.

Curved TVs are interesting - especially if you happen to be sitting in the sweet spot dead center but we wonder about sitting off center - the experience may be less than you might imagine. The real news however is on 4K, which will surely go mainstream this year. Meanwhile, LG was all over CES, as it always is - this time around it managed to finally show us what it intends to do with webOS, especially when it comes to smart TVs. You may recall webOS was among the first mobile operating systems - developed at Palm, acquired and sent to oblivion by Hewlett=Packard and finally acquired by LG.

We'll wrap the week up with some additional albeit non-CES items. First, it may come as a surprise to some of us but a recently conducted Forrester Research consumer "brand" survey puts Microsoft ahead of both Apple and Samsung in terms of brand recognition. We certainly would not expect Microsoft to fall behind Samsung but we confess to being surprised Microsoft beat out Apple. Go figure. Meanwhile, Samsung and Apple are heading over to a mediator to try and hash out their patent disputes. Don't hold your breath on that working out however.

And finally, in case you did not know the iPhone celebrated its seventh birthday this week! It still seems like only yesterday that it first showed up.

Have a great weekend!




Edited by Tony Rizzo

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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