CES 2014: What to look forward to this year

Faizan Nizami

Starting this week, one of the world`s biggest electronics trade fair is about to kick off at Sin City. The four-day 2014 International CES aka Consumer Electronics Show 2014 (CES) is set to titillate your technological cravings from January 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tech giants like Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, LG and many others will grace the CES with a deluge of phones, TVs, laptops, tablets, wearable tech (smart watches, health monitors, music players), and a gamut of new, innovative devices.

3D printing, Ultra HD TVs, driver-less cars are only some of the stuff you can expect from this year`s show.

CES 2014 will give you 3,200 exhibitors with as many as 15 product categories worth of consumer tech goodness to be unveiled.

With that in mind, let`s take a peek at what 2014 International CES has in store for us this time around.

Wearable Devices

Google Glass, the forerunner in wearable tech ecosystem, started a revolution in the smart wearable devices last year. Now, there`s a race to get more and more devices into this segment and CES has a glut of smart watches, fitness bands and headgear to show off.

To give you a fair idea of things, about 100 companies or so are ready to showcase new and advanced tech with an entire hall dedicated to fitness products.

Archos wants to showcase its fitness band — Archos Activity Monitor — capable of recording how many calories you burn, your daily walking habit and can record your steps.

Google Glass will take the heat from Innovega and its ground-breaking contact lens, dubbed the iOptik. This new innovative contact lens displays information in front of your eyeball (because using glass tech is so old school). Well no, according to tech site BGR, the lens actually uses light generated from the complementary eye gear and projects the contents on the lens creating an augmented vision.

Expect a full demo of the iOptik at the convention.

Check out the iOptik below:

There are rumours that the current Samsung Galaxy Gear is going to get an update. Though Galaxy Gear 2 could be announced at the MWC in February this year, speculations are rife that Samsung might reveal it earlier than usual.

LG could unveil the Lifeband Touch, a fitness-tracking wristband that could monitor the wearer`s exercise routine and sync with LG smartphones. How many LG smartphones will sync with it is unclear. ZTE, Qualcomm and many others are in the fray as well.

Some other watch tech exhibitors will include MetaWatch, Qualcomm Toq, Burg Limited, Kronoz LLC, COOKOO, Dennco Brands, and Neptune.

Is CES 2014 — Year of the 4K?

LG and Samsung will have their massive 105-inch high-definition curved tellies on display. Touted to be world`s biggest curved TVs, these super TVs will have an astounding 11 million pixels and a gigantic resolution of 5120 x 2160. Samsung is calling its new Ultra HD TV the "world`s most curved" TV.

Expect Sony and LG to draw on the same lines as well.

Oh and speaking of Sony, its taking 4K (four times the normal FHD resolution) a little too seriously. 4K TVs, 4K ultrabooks, 4K tablets, and 4K source players.

Also, the Xperia phone lineup could be updated as well.

LG has a lot on its plates too. It`s own curved TV has what it takes to take down Samsung`s "world`s most curved" TV and is based on HP`s WebOS, which it bought last year. A line up of not less than 10 4K TVs, new phones and notebooks, and most probably, an update to its flagship phone G2. The LG G Flex can witness an update as well.

TV maker Polaroid is planing to debut a USD 999 4K 50-inch TV too. There might be a USD 599 50-inch 1080p smart TV which will include a Roku streaming stick.

US online content service Netflix is also heading towards the 4K market. It has announced that it will begin streaming 4K media this February. House of Cards - Season 2 could be seen on 4K!

3D Printers

Additive manufacturing, popularly known as 3D printing, is going mainstream, so to speak. Companies want to take this technology to consumers and it has generated a lot of interest (remember the 3D gun). As a result, the 3D hall has been sold out to exhibitors.

The event will showcase Singapore`s start up Pirate3DP and 3D Systems. Pirate3DP`s Buccaneer printer is expected to put up a show. According to an international news channel, 3D System will exhibit three model categories: coloured plastics, edible materials and ceramics.

It`s a little too early in the day to peg 3D printing as the next big consumer I-so-very-much-want-it thing. The cost involved is ginormous; then there is the little problem of what to do with all the vases and bowls you`ve made. Still, it maybe some time before 3D printing becomes a household name.

Samsung Galaxy phones, tablets and more!

Samsung`s got a lot up its sleeve this CES and it will come packing. Expect a range of smartphones, TVs and other devices. But what has many heads talking is the unexpected/expected announcement of the next iteration of its flagship smartphone series — Samsung Galaxy S5 — enough said.

Dwindling sales of the Galaxy S4 may force Samsung`s hand to bring the S5 to CES sooner than its expected. However, reports in December suggest that the next flagship won`t be seen doing the rounds till Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014.

In other rumoured specifications of the phone, the S5 may come encased in a full metal body, a 64-bit chip, 2K display (2560 x 1440), iris scanner and a 16MP camera.

If that`s not enough, Samsung Galaxy Round could be seen on stage too. As a matter of fact, the Round has a better chance at being shown than the S5, though this won`t be a total surprise.

And then there is the talk about Samsung`s fold-in-two phone and another foldable phone too.

In the tablet arena, Galaxy Note 12.2 slate may make its way to the show. Korean media reports suggest that a 10.5-inch AMOLED tab is waiting in the docks for the CES.

Reports coming in from SamMobile suggest that Samsung might release the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and Galaxy Tab 3 Lite before March next year.

Expect Samsung to hog a lot of limelight.

64-bit architecture chipset

After Apple brewed the iPhone 5S with the 64-bit architecture-based A7 chipset, chip makers went into a frenzy as quad-core processors went for a toss. This CES will witness the coming together of Samsung and chip maker Qualcomm to showcase new-gen chipsets that would be available this year.

The chunk of the attention is reserved for the Snapdragon 805. This little baby has ultra high-definition (UHD) and, wait for it, an in-built 4K. Imagine personal technology like phones and tablets that carry 4K with a cinch.

Qualcomm will also unveil the Snapdragon 410. It can be expected that this processor will be seen running on many phones and tablets.


Valve Steam Machines, and a headset based on the Oculus Rift but made by Sony ,will bring gaming to another level at this year`s run as well.

Sony has been heard working on a virtual reality (VR) headset that could be revealed in early 2014. Several reports have claimed that the device will work in tandem with PS4 and that it is based on the mechanism attributed to the Oculus Rift.

Valve, with its much hyped Steam Machines, is about to bring its baby to this year`s show too. Valve had earlier said that CES will have information regarding the commercial roll out of the Steam Machines.

Visitors may get the chance to check out the devices and get a first-hand experience (Steam controller, SteamOS) of what these machines are capable of doing.

ZTE Smartphones

ZTE has got five smartphones to unveil this CES.

First up, the Grand S II, the phone features voice control technology that would enable users to unlock their phones or take a photo using voice commands, along with improved audio features.

According to a popular tech website, the company is also expected to demo two new smartphones, Nubia 5S and Nubia 5S Mini, which include quad-core Snapdragon processors.

The Nubia 5S features a 5-inch 1080p display and 13-megapixel camera, while the Nubia 5S Mini has a 4.7-inch display.

ZTE is also partnering with AT&T`s prepaid offshoot Aio Wireless to introduce the Sonata 4G, which has a 4-inch display, 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, and a 5-megapixel camera.

The report added that ZTE would also unveil the Iconic Phablet , a 5.7-inch dual-core handset that sports a Gorilla Glass touch screen, Dolby Digital Sound, and wireless charging apart from a smartwatch and a 4G Wi-Fi Projector Hotspot.