ACM - Computers in Entertainment

The CES Experience: Top five moments

By Joey Lee

Entrepreneur, Rapper, Actor 50 Cent at CES 2014

Entrepreneur, Rapper, Actor 50 Cent at CES 2014

You walk through the doors, and it’s just like a carnival of mammoth proportions. Only, instead of stalls displaying twirls of cotton candy and makeshift games that entitle you to a loveable stuffed toy, it’s hundreds and hundreds of booths playing host to all sorts of technological wizardry. 

For the uninitiated, this is huge. It’s that kingpin event, which brings in ingenious minds from all across the field of technology together in one space, each ready to unveil what they’ve been working on for thousands of hours. In hopes of outwitting one another. 

And then there’s us. The rest of the world; the ones that are to be dazzled, hopefully enough to the point where we’d excitedly share the news of some new ground-breaking invention, before our attention is diverted to the next booth at this almost-regal palooza of an event. 

With a new record of more than 2.5 million square feet of space, and an estimate of a quarter of a million attendees, this is our sum-up of the one and only CES 2014.

The Bright Future of Television  


It wasn’t too long ago that HDTVs revolutionized the scene, making literally every program on the tube look that much more appealing. But a new benchmark was set as companies like Sony and LG unleashed the raw visual power of Ultra HDTVs, with reasonable prices to boot, into the domestic market. AT CES 2014, The two heavyweights in the television industry weren’t the only ones butting heads with notable names like Samsung unveiling a prototype simply called “Bendable TV” alongside LG’s 105-inch curved OLED TV, which fused two of last year’s headline innovation —4K and OLED technology.

4K technology, which has four times the picture resolution of regular 1080p HDTVs, generate stunning images on televisions, and bring a new meaning to “crystal clear” especially for TV aficionados. Yet, as fascinating as this may seem, 4K technology might be over as quickly as it started, thanks to the researchers behind 8K technology that are eager to dethrone 4K technology. 

Virtual Reality Gaming Prospects

What used to be viewed upon as some far-fetched dream of gamers is phasing its way into reality, with Oculus Rift and Glyph both leading the charge in breaking the boundaries of traditional gaming.

A full-blown four-minute immersive demo experience that plunged one into the eerie void that is space, gave the closest direct POV-perspective of a fighter spaceship that a gamer could currently hope to wish for. This writer is pretty convinced. Boasting an impressive 100 ms latency—which is a tremendous spike from its previous version that provided a less-than-prolific 500 ms latency—and having pledged to hit 50 ms latency in their next upgrade in software, gamers can anticipate a realistic immersive experience capable of tricking the human mind to think on is in the game itself. 

With every highly profitable piece of tech wear, there comes competitors, and Glyph is a worthy opponent. Their Kickstarter campaign has convinced nearly 1,500 people to commit $499 or more to buy the device, raising more than thrice their intended target of $250,000. Said to stand out from its other competitors with its unique image e projection method, which reflects light onto each retina through a series of lenses and tiny mirrors, Glyph makes for sharper, easier-to-watch images than the regular screen Oculus Rift uses.

Razer’s Project Christine

What is a “fully modular” PC you may ask? It might just be an idea now, but if there’s anyone to trust in making it materialize, it would probably be none other than Razer. This year’s Razer offering was a modular gaming PC that dazzled its way at the CES to win “Best PC” distinctions.

In a beautifully simple nutshell, Project Christine is a gaming computer that is as simple to reconfigure or upgrade as playing with Lego. For example, a replacement of your graphic card would never require a trip down to the computer store ever again. Instead, you’d just pop out the old GPU and insert in the new GPU, allowing one to constantly upgrade and even reassemble the entire PC easily.

It’s lovely how beauty always comes back round to simplicity, and a future of literally plug-and-play computers is enough to make every gamer clamor for one to call their own. 

The Potential of Wearables

There was a significant jump in the likes of wrist wearables and headbands. As technology skips along at its exponentially increasing pace, it’s only a matter of time before the next iPhone of watches or sports tech arrives in the scene.

Having always been skewed toward aesthetics, functionality has always been a grey area that’s never been fully exploited in these devices. But that doesn’t seem like it will stay that way for much longer. From LG’s Lifeband Touch to the sweeping Razer Nabu, it’s almost certain that in a few years from now on, smart bands and smart watches will outdo their current counterparts by an extraordinary distance.

The most notable sign of how lucrative the field of wearables could be was highlighted when Razer stepped into the fray with the Razer Nabu, a crossbreed between a smart watch and a fitness band. A significant sign since the brand has established itself as a company committed to the gaming industry. Then again, if Razer can get itself a slice of the pie (as proven when they won three awards: Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award, the Tom’s Guide Readers’ Choice Award, and the Digital Trend’s Best of CES in the Sports and Fitness category), who can blame them for trying? 

Petroleum-based Cars’ Possible Extinction

The automobile section has its own goal, a future where cars would run solely on electric or hydrogen, bringing an end to our dependence on our gradually depleting source of natural fuel.

Toyota impressed many with its futuristic-looking FCV-R hydrogen fuel cell concept car, which has no engine under its hood. Hopefully this heralds the future of motor transport: A simple tank of compressed hydrogen gas and an electric drivetrain boosted by the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen with water vapor being the byproduct.

Expected to hit the U.S market next year in California, the biggest flaw in the master plan of the so-called “Car of the Future” would easily be the lack of public hydrogen fuelling stations.

Ford also showed off its sturdy C-MAX Energi Hybrid, which has solar panels on its roof that are further amped by a Fresnel lens from above that concentrates as much as eight times sunlight compared to regular sunlight. After spending eight hours under this canopy of lenses, the C-MAX Energi can fuel a 20-minute trip, gas and carbon free.

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It’s flashy, it’s elaborate, and it’s slightly on the vicarious side of life, but CES is to a geek what a candy shop would be to a fat kid. That might be a bit of a pun since rapper/headphone mogul 50 Cent was present at CES himself, sporting his own headphones from his company SMS Audio at their booth. The celebrity sightings make the event even more illustrious that it already is.

Even though it might seem almost a little too soon, who can blame you for looking forward to CES 2015?

 

Image Credits: Joey Lee and razerzone.com