The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time. Apart from going back to work after a long December holiday. the beginning of a new year is a time when the air is filled with hopes and dreams. The new years resolutions are rife and people in general are more positive, driven and hopeful.
There is one specific reason we love the beginning of the year… CES Baby (Consumer Electronics Show)! The biggest technological consumer electronics extravaganza of the year! From January 7 to January 10, CES 2014 will invade the Las Vegas Convention Center per usual, and we’re gearing up to see everything from “must have” to “please, get that away from me.” There are the usual Day One keynotes and press events on January 6, plus several pre-show going-ons on January 5.
Here’s two cocompletely must have products we saw already:
The LaCie Sphère
Priced at $490, this is easily the most impractical 1TB hard drive in the galaxy. But does it look cool…
The LaCie Sphère is a silver-plated globe about the size of a softball. It was designed by Christofle, the centuries-old French concern known for its fancy jewelry and silver cutlery. The company hand-plates each stainless steel ball with silver, then polishes it to an icy sheen. The 1TB hard drive inside bus-powered — no ugly power cables gunking up these clean lines, folks (just an ugly USB 3.0 cable). A little blue LED at the base indicated the drive’s status.
LaCie FuelWireless 1TB Drive for Mobiles
Another Lacie product. LaCie’s drives have always been drool-worthy, mostly because they’re handsome, but also because they’re built intelligently, with real-world applications in mind. The company’s traffic-cone-orange rugged drives, for example, are favourites among photojournalists and videographers who back up their CF cards on the road.
It’s a battery-powered 1TB drive that connects to your mobile or your laptop wirelessly over Wi-Fi, allowing you to watch movies or backup data from anywhere, without cables and without an internet connection. If there is an internet connection nearby, the Fuel can serve as a hotspot by allowing you to share that internet connection with up to five users simultaneously. It’s the type of thing that would be great on flights, in paid-access coffee shops, and in hotel rooms.
We want one! now!
Nvidia Tegra K1 Super-Chip
The chipset maker officially announced Tegra K1, which features the first 192-core GPU based on the Kepler architecture. NVIDIA is bringing its graphics chops to the new DirectX 11-powered GPU, and it packs a serious punch. The K1 offers real-time computing, global illumination, higher dynamic range and greater detail like reflective surfaces, dripping water and other realistic physically-based rendering. Interestingly.
This is the future of gaming right here!
Tegra K1 will actually come in two different versions: a 32-bit option with a 2.3GHz “4-plus-1” A15 CPU and a 64-bit unit with a 2.5GHz dual-coreDenver CPU. Naturally we’re a bit more curious about the latter at the moment, and we’ll update you as we get more information about either chip — such as availability.
The primary module hooks up to the lock on the inside of door, with no trace of the mechanism visible from the outside. Trigger it via your mobile device and it rotates to unlock the door. There’s also a large button you can use to unlock it sans smartphone from the inside. The system starts at $179.
You can still use your old fashioned key if you want to. Using the Android or iOS app, you can also unlock the door remotely and grant access to users.
LG 84-inch 4K TV
The LCD panel isn’t nearly as vivid as an OLED one, but it still manages to handle itself adequately while keeping a thin profile. Hidden from sight is the “Tru-ULTRA HD Engine Pro” chip, which handles upscaling any SD, HD and “True HD” (read: 1080p) content.
Around the back you’ll find HDMI 2.0, USB and LAN inputs that will help pipe UHD content to the TV, which even supports h.264 and the fresh HEVC format. The set itself doesn’t have an extravagant stand or frame as is often the case with UHD sets, but its sleek body and pair of thin, side-mounted speaker bars would look right at home in any (exceptionally large) entertainment center. Both a price tag and release date are MIA, so you’ll have to wait a while before bringing this behemoth home.
What to expect next
We can all agree that the highlight of CES 2014 will be 4K video Streaming.
Toward the end of 2013, Netflix teased that it is currently testing 4K video streaming, with an estimated launch window of some time this coming spring. We expect the company to announce Netflix 4K-ready Ultra HD televisions at CES which will come with the app pre-installed. House of Cards is currently the only confirmed show to be available in 4K in the lineup.
YouTube, on the other hand, will also reportedly show off its 4K streaming tech via Google’s VP9 video codec. The codec helps HD videos stream at a faster rate while reducing the bandwidth necessary, although we expect the demo to apply mostly to computers and smartphones first before making its way to televisions.
While we’re on the topic, other companies pushing 4K TVs include Polaroid and LG. $1,000 for an Ultra HD TV? So. Many. Pixels.
Stay tuned for tomorrow, which is considered as the first proper day of CES 2014. If you want to stay in touch with some of the best online live-coverage of CES, we recommend following Wired or Engadget.