Best start up: AIRTAME. – A wireless PC screen mirror dongle that supports Miracast beaming one PC to multiple screens.
Best Digital Health & Fitness Product: JayBird Reign: If you saw one you saw hundreds of fitness bands at CES. Not that this does more but its iOS and Android apps do much more including offering suggestions based on your physical history “Hey lay off the cakes fatso and go to the gym your lazy sod”. iTWire says, “Health bands have just begun – it may be wise to wait for future models that have electrocardiogram and pulse monitoring capability.
Best Audio Product: ClearView Clio – is a Bluetooth speaker with an "Edge Motion" system to "activate" a transparent piece of acrylic and produce full stereo sound.
Best Software: Sony PlayStation Now – In the next few years it will replace the need for a hardware console. Games are played over broadband. What is best is that it enables PS3 games to play on PS4 – as well as a raft of other devices.
Best Emerging Technology AND Best of the Best: Oculus Rift 'Crystal Cove' prototype. Cool name – shame about the huge proportions. This adds depth sensing via an external camera, a 1080p OLED display for improved clarity and almost removes motion blur. Virtual becomes reality.
Best Mobile Technology: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. Sony does not get enough accolade for its excellent Android smartphones – usually leading the pack with best camera, water/dust resistance and a first class build quality. This is a compact, a 4.3” version of the flagship Z device that features most of the same powerful components and has a 20.7MP camera, quad-core processor, Triluminos display, and a variety of colour options.
Best Offbeat Product: Sen.se Mother. A smart, wireless nesting doll base station and sensor-laden cookies that can be repurposed monitor everything from distance walked to how many cappuccinos you make in a day.
Best Kid-Friendly Product: Mimo Baby with Intel. A smart baby onesie is a wearable baby monitor showing baby's vital stats, activity level and skin temperature.
Best Maker-Friendly Technology: MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer. Heralds the arrival of truly consumer-friendly 3D printing. With a nearly automated setup, easily replaceable cartridges and a sleek design, this marks the beginning of home ‘replication’.
Best PC: Razer Project Christine. It is innovative – a modular design, which makes replacing the GPU as simple as inserting a pod into one of the many, many expansion bays. Project Christine could mark the beginning of plug-and-play PC upgrades for gaming machines and, with time, it could change the way OEMs design regular computers, too.
Best Video Product: Dish Virtual Joey. It is a streaming app for smart TVs – LG’s webOS only at present - that takes the place of a set-top box (like Foxtel IQ or a HD digital tuner for free to air). It is not in Australia yet but demonstrates the fact that smart TVs have enough processing power as many PCs.
My first observation is that there is not a lot of new technology on show – more evolution than revolution but then the world has only recently crawled back up the fiscal cliff - maybe it is not the right time to embark on a paradigm shift.
The thing that impressed me most from CES was Intel’s support of wearable computing via its SD card sized, computer on a chip, Edison project and its support for both Windows and Android – both watershed moments.
The other thing is that consumer technology via apps, smart devices and the inherent simplicity required for mass adoption will drive enterprise – instead of vice versa. Its why Sony’s PlayStation Now and Dishes Virtual Joey projects are so important – a future without hardware or OS dependency.
The real advances in 2014 will be software apps – utilising ‘who-cares-what’ devices or more specifically the device you have at the time and place you need computing. It is a utopian view but I am beginning to see that the future is not single OS dominance but Android, iOS, Windows and Linux et al, coexisting and selected based on a person’s specific computing needs. Devices that run two or more OS are interesting.