The tech press both loves and hates the the first real work week of January. Every year the CES (Consumer Entertainment Show) is held in Las Vegas and despite repeated claims that it has passed its peak it continues to get bigger and bigger and have more and more gadgets, devices, technology and shiny things to show off.
So what has been the overriding theme this year?
The smart home or Internet of Things has started to take over. Nest has announced partnerships with several other notable manufacturers including Philips Hue, LG, Whirlpool, Kevo Smart Locks letting the thermostat act a central hub and work together. Belkin showed off several expansions to their WeMo range with door, window, keychain and motion sensors added. Samsung announced an open standard which will work with a majority of devices already on the market and are trying to position themselves at the centre of this new market.
As expected VR is a big theme in 2015 already. Intel, Razer, Leap Motion and several other smaller companies launched the first attempt at a open source standard for VR called OSVR. This standard is designed to take in both hardware and software and support plug ins and additions. From a consumer point of view it probably will not mean anything for quite a while but it has the potential to be important.
CES has also always featured some more unusual health products. Those that caught my eye included the Blue Spark Bluetooth thermometer – place the stick on pad under your armpit and you get a continuous read out and recording of your (or someone elses) temperature and the smart epipen holder.
As normal screen manufacturers showed off their highest resolution and biggest new screens. HP showed a number of new monitors including the first 5K screen and a 3D virtual reality curved screen. Samsung, Sony, LG and Sharp showed off new bigger and higher resolution TVs Sony running theirs on Android and Samsung on Tsien.
On the gaming front Razor showed off the Forge. This is an Android gaming and media console for the TV but with the ability to stream games from your PC. The technology looks like an evolution of the Razor Edge tablet and if it works as well as the demonstrations it might be a significant entrant to the set top box market. They also showed off the Turret which is keyboard and mouse combination designed for the couch.
Finally 3D printing seems ready to go mainstream. Makerbot showed off a new system that lets more composite items be printed, HP showed off new Intel powered 3d printers and there were a bevy of smaller manufacturers vying for market space.