By Chevy Culture Contributors
There‟s no better place to see the latest in technological advancements than the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), getting underway in Las Vegas this week. And as usual, Chevrolet is at the forefront of those advancements: Last year, the next-generation Chevrolet MyLink* infotainment system won the Best-of-CES Award in the Car Tech category from tech news provider CNET. This year, Chevrolet is further revolutionizing in-vehicle technology, making your car the ultimate hotspot with 4G LTE connectivity: Coming this summer, built-in OnStar with 4G LTE** will be available on nearly every vehicle in the 2015 lineup, from Spark to Corvette to the all-new Silverado.
In honor of this momentous occasion, we asked three tech influencers and Chevy Culture contributors—Mike Payne of The Coolist, Christen Costa of Gadget Review and Liz Gumbinner of Cool Mom Tech—what else they‟re looking forward to seeing at CES this year, in the non-automotive categories. Not surprisingly, the items on their wishlists fell into these five categories:
1. Wearable Technology
“Off-brand smart watches will probably be the item du jour at CES 2014,” says Mike Payne of The Coolist. “I don‟t believe smart watches really add much benefit beyond the smart phone, but there will probably be a whole lot of „me too‟s‟ at this year‟s show.”
Christen Costa of Gadget Review is also curious. “Which company,” he wonders, “can create an all-in-one wearable health device to track good and bad habits?”
2. Digital Home Products
Liz Gumbinner of Cool Tech Mom says she‟s looking out for new options for portable sound with Bluetooth, as well as innovations that enable smartphones to control lighting and other home electronics, “along the lines of the Belkin WeMo light switch, which lets you turn lights on and off from the other side of the world; the Nest Learning Thermostat, which „learns‟ the temperatures you like; and tablet- and smartphone-controlled electronics and appliances.”
She also asks, what's in it for the kids? “Tech marketers are trying to reach younger and younger audiences. Last year there was an iPad holder attached to a training potty! What will it be this year? And will it be smart or crazy?”
Payne is watching for selling points around home electronics: “4k OLED [organic light-emitting device]? 3D with smell-o-vision? I expect TV manufacturers to roll out a new talking point to keep people interested. Bigger, thinner and more 3D are probably going to only interest people so much. What new marketing term will the TV-makers roll out in 2014? That‟ll probably be more interesting than the products themselves.”
3. New Gaming Devices
According to Payne, “Ground-breaking gaming peripherals are no stranger to CES. The Razer Edge gaming tablet, the NVIDIA Project Shield and the Oculus Rift have appeared at recent shows, so could 2014 usher in a new kind of gaming interface or gadget that breaks the mold? I‟m watching carefully.”
“I‟m looking out for how tablets and phones will enhance the gaming experience on the next-gen video game consoles,” adds Costa.
4.The Next Wave of Digital Cameras
“My eyes are also peeled for compact digital cameras that continue to push the envelope,” says Payne. “In recent years, we‟ve seen cameras with swivel screens, cameras with built-in WiFi and cameras with increasingly large megapixel sensors. What will be new this year? I expect to see more pro functionality work its way down to the consumer class. The wild card this year could be more light-field cameras like Lytro from years past. That could be a game changer.”
5. More Smart Glasses
“I think Google Glass will have at least one competitor,” says Payne. “That might be Samsung or that might be someone else. Google Glass has been alone for too long—I think they‟ll have company pretty soon.”
“I‟m looking out for smart glasses that aren‟t cost-prohibitive and aren‟t so nerdy—glasses that are actually wearable,” quips Costa.
Whatever the next big thing turns out to be, the writers and editors of Chevy Culture wish all of you a very Happy Techy New Year!
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*MyLink functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.
**Visit onstar.com for vehicle availability, details and system limitations. Services vary by model and conditions. 4G LTE service available in
select markets.4G LTE performance based on industry averages and vehicle systems design. Requires active OnStar subscription. AppShop requires a
compatible smartphone with Bluetooth Tethering/Personal Hotspot capability. Data plan rates apply.