This week’s headline story: 2014 Tech Trends on Display at CES
Wearable computers and biometric sensors were big at the show this year. Sony has a new writs band and app that will not only track your daily activities and physical exertion but will also work with your cell phone to keep track of the music you listen, your location, and your online activities. The app pulls it all together to provide a snapshot of your life at any given time in a trend referred to as lifelogging or the quantified self. Sony wasn’t alone. Samsung and Qualcomm also unveiled lifelogging devices.
Several companies were showing various forms of eyewear – sunglasses, scuba masks, ski goggles, prescription eyeglasses with tiny built in cameras that allow wearers to capture the moments of their life in video and share it online in a trend called lifestreaming. All in all more than a dozen competitors to Google Glass are expected to ship in 2014, and many of these have cameras.
Vuzix, a company that develops wearable display technology for military and industrial applications, has developed a pair of sleek wraparound shades that will let users see colorful images projected over objects in the real world. The sunglasses will not only be less bulky and obtrusive than Google Glass, they’ll also provide an augmented reality experience that actually resembles the one portrayed in Google’s first promotional video for Glass, in which useful bits of information like navigational cues are displayed in the middle of the wearer’s field of vision.
Several new smart watches were introduced as well. Unlike the previous generation of watches, these are fashionable and subtle with low-key integration with a smartphone. The Cogito smart watch is one example, with a circular display inside the dial of an analog watch providing just enough space to deliver useful notifications from a person’s phone without compromising on the style and compactness of conventional watches.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich used his keynote address to share Intel’s “wearable strategy” and emphasized its efforts to “make the digital world more secure, and stay ahead of threats to private information on mobile and wearable devices.”
While wearable technologies were huge news at CES this year, new television technologies are always of interest. This year, TV manufacturers are focusing on delivering more pixels on curved displays. Samsung’s new 4K Ultra-HD TV with a 105-inch curved display certainly takes the prize in this arena. While the price hasn’t yet been announced you can guess that it will probably cost more than your car and slightly less than your house.
CES also served as a launch pad for several new tablets. Asus unveiled its new version of the Transformers which switches between notebook and tablet, and between windows and android. Panasonic unveiled the Toughpad Rugged – a tablet designed for rough work and play. Samsung delivered the largest tablet yet- a 12.2″ Galaxy Tab Pro.
- Three big trends converge at CES [Computerworld]
- Wearable Gadgets in the Spotlight at CES [NewsFactor]
- Coming Soon: Smart Glasses That Look Like Regular Spectacles [Technology Review]
- CES 2014: Less Is More for Smart Watches and Other Wearable Gadgets [MIT Tech Review]
- Intel CEO Outlines Strategy for Wearables, Security at CES [NewsFactor]
- Smart, Sharp and Curvy: TVs Debuting at CES [NewsFactor]
- CES 2014: New Lineup of Exciting Tablets Unveiled [NewsFactor]
and elsewhere in Tech News.
- CES 2014: Intel’s 3-D Camera Heads to Laptops and Tablets [MIT Tech Review]
A new 3D camera from Intel may change the way notebooks and tablets are used. Seven different laptops and tablets from Dell, Lenovo, and Asus will arrive in the market this year with integrated depth cameras. The cameras will allow users to interact with their computers with hand gestures. They will also power new games and applications.
- Study: Self-driving car sales will explode [USA Today]
A new study predicts the annual sales of self-driving cars worldwide will balloon from 230,000 in 2025 to 11.8 million by 2035.
- Robotics Expert Warns Future ‘Is Coming Much Faster Than We Think’ [CIO Journal]
Carnegie Mellon robotics expert and author Illah R. Nourbakhsh warns that robots increasingly will compete with humans in the labor market, likely pushing more well-educated people into the lower middle class.
- Motorola patents e-tattoo that can read your thoughts by listening to unvocalized words in your throat [Extreme Tech]
Google-owned Motorola is attempting to patent electronic tattoo technology that is able to decode sub-vocalized words from your throat and transmit them to wireless devices. That’s right, actual electronic components embedded in the skin like a tattoo. Talk about extreme technology!
and in Information Security news this week..
- Analysts Say Target’s Entire Network Breached [NewsFactor]
Target has increased its estimate on the number of people effected by the data breach over the holidays from 40 million to between 70 and 100 million. Analysts now suspect that Target’s entire network was compromised not just the payment processing side.
- Neiman Marcus notifies customers after card data breach [Computerworld]
It looks as though hackers took advantage of the busy shopping season to swipe customer credit cards. It’s not just Target that was attacked. Neiman Marcus is notifying its customers of a data breach after hackers stole merchant card information for an undisclosed number of shoppers.
- Snapchat Hack a Wake-Up Call to Parents, Social Media [NewsFactor]
Snapchat – the popular teen chat utility known for keeping chat private by making picture posts disappear after 10 seconds, was hacked and the user names and mobile numbers of 4.8 million members were posted on the Internet.
and in Tech Industry news…
- T-Mobile Buys Verizon Spectrum in $3.3B Deal [NewsFactor]
Even as rumors fly about Sprint acquiring T-Mobile, T-mobile has purchased $3.3 billion worth of wireless spectrum from Verizon.
- Next Gen Corning Gorilla Glass — a Smartphone Germ Killer [NewsFactor]
Corning, maker of Gorilla Glass, the tough glass used on iPhones and many other smartphones, has announced a new product – antimicrobial Gorilla Glass – strong glass that won’t spread germs and make you sick.
- Outside the Box: Nvidia Uses Crop Circle as PR for New Chip [NewsFactor]
Californians have been talking about an unusual crop circle that appeared overnight near Chualar, Calif. It looks like a stylized image of a computer chip with the number “192” in Braille. It turned out to be a brilliant marketing ploy by chip manufacturer Nvidia who unveiled its 192-core mobile processor at CES.
- Intel Says Its Processors Are Now ‘Conflict-Free’ [NewsFactor]
Intel is making an interesting claim. The company has announced that all of its processors are now “conflict free.” That is, they are now free of minerals from mines held by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s the first major U.S. technology company to make such a claim about its products.
- IBM Investing $1 Billion To Turn Watson Loose on Big Data [NewsFactor]
IBM is investing $1 billion in the IBM Watson Group to apply the power of Watson’s artificial intelligence to cracking business problems by analyzing big data. “IBM has transformed Watson from a quiz-show winner into a commercial cognitive computing breakthrough that is helping businesses engage customers, healthcare organizations personalize patient care, and entrepreneurs build businesses,” said Michael Rhodin, senior vice president of the IBM Watson Group
- Should Smilies Have Noses: The Great Emoticon Debate [GIZMODO]
One interesting finding from a study performed by the dating website Zoosk was that user profiles that included a smiley emoticon with a dash for a nose “:-)” racked up a 13 percent net increase in replies, while the those that used a smiley emoticon with no nose “:)” suffered a 66 percent decline. The lesson: include noses on your smileys if you want a date.
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