My Visit to the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

I spent a few days last week at the CES in Las Vegas to learn about the latest trends in consumer electronics, with particular attention to items in the “connected home” category. This was my first time at the CES and everything one hears about the show is true: the exhibit floor is massive, it is impossible to see everything, and the products displayed range from innovative to ridiculous.

4K televisions were introduced by a number of companies including Sony, Samsung, and LG. These TVs have four times the resolution of HDTVs and look amazing. At this point, the prices for 4K televisions are very high ($20,000+) and there are few sources of programming in this ultra high resolution. Most cable systems don’t even have the bandwidth to transmit much 4K programming, but fiber systems might. On the bright side, a number of “upconverters” were shown that extract near-ultra resolution from regular HDTV programming.

CES 4K tablet

Above is a 20″ Panasonic 4K tablet with an amazing 3840 x 2560 pixel ultra high resolution screen. This prototype runs Windows 8 and gives us a glimpse into the future when tablets might be better suited for high-end technical, multimedia, and business uses.

CES 2013 DTS display

These dancers were part of an extravagant display at the dts booth. Dts is a group of technologies used for surround sound in cinemas and home theater systems. Many large companies constructed impressive display areas. Sony had a 25,000 sq ft area with an immersive, 360 degree video screen encircling the entire “booth.” LG had a two story 3D video wall as the entrance to their section.

I did manage to visit a number of companies offering home automation products that included energy monitoring and smart appliances. I’ll be writing about some of those in future posts. Mainly, I came away with a lot of ideas and concepts to research in 2013.