Seen & Heard

Top Trends & Stories from CES 2014

We attended CES 2014, the world’s largest consumer technology show, to see what products—and stories—are being introduced into the market this year. We attended as a guest of Qualcomm, to support the launch of Qualcomm’s Allplay smart media platform, for which we developed the communications platform, story and video.

Allplay embodies one of the key trends we saw this year at CES: towards smart interoperable systems that promise to transform the way we live at home. For more on this and other trends, read on.

Curve it. Already introduced in Asia and coming soon to the US is a penchant for cured form factors. Curved televisions, curved phones and other devices are now riding a curve wave: Virtually every TV brand at CES featured a curve screen. Combined with crisp resolution, it helps to create a really immersive experience.

LG and Samsung each have their own distinct takes on the curve for smartphones. LG’s is vertical and Samsung’s is horizontal. Beyond the curve, both brands are sticking with specs similar to lines already on the market. Both are leveraging the Phablet craze. And both are pushing the resolution and curve for their smart phones as well as their TVs.

What is 4K?

Answer: high-definition taken to the next, ultra level. Look for resolution as much as four times higher than what you are currently used to at home. The experience 4k delivers is truly amazing. Unfortunately, it’s a classic example of great technology leaping ahead of the market: No content is being produced for 4K streaming yet. Stay tuned. We see sports mega-events such as the  Super Bowl or the World Cup as the perfect way to introduce this groundbreaking experience to the masses.

What are you wearing?

Are you ready for personal technology to become one of your go-to accessories? Brands at CES are hoping so, to judge by the raft of new smart watch offerings from Samsung, Qualcomm, Neptune, Meta and Ezio as well as fitness monitors from Fitbit, Nike and Up.  Are we ready to be an always-on culture? These devices are getting very, very good a delivering data-driven insight that can enhance your health and enrich your lifestyle. We just wonder if we’re ready to change behavior in fundamental ways once the honeymoon phase of using a new technology is over.

We also wonder how these technology-centric offerings play against our deeper impulses towards fashion as an expression of individuality and society. Can smart watches displace Rolexes and Omegas from pride of place on the wrist? Can Nike and Fitbit replace bracelets? Are we at the beginning of a new age of Millenial-led, data-driven function over fashion? Or are we waiting for function and fashion to integrate in a tighter way?

Keys to the new car.

Infotainment features from iOS or Android are coming to your car. Look for exciting new ways to discover, connect and securely manage a host of experiences with networks, content and devices. Fundamentally, this is not innovation in automobiles: It’s an extension of the mobile experience from the smartphone to the dashboard.


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Welcome home.

Do we need a smart coffee, a smart TV, smart speakers? Do we want to be beholden to one brand for this to together in the closed model like Samnsung-NO. The key to connectivity is security, privacy, control. The key is interoperability. Look for companies like Qualcomm, WeMo, BeeWi to provide this. You just left of the office, text gets sent to your dashboard that you left the garage door open and the oven is still on. Do you want to know-Yes.

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CES talks about being the stage of innovation. Yes, there’s a lot of novelty on offer. But what we really saw was less about technology innovation and more about brands taking the time to tell stories and showcase designs that get us excited about making that technology a bigger and more meaningful part of our lives.

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