The latest edition of the Consumer Electronics Show is wrapping up in Las Vegas, and, once again, the technology that manufacturers displayed at CES 2015 is going to heavily influence what consumers see on store shelves this year.
Some of the products being shown are prototypes that show off the capabilities of technology, but many will be shipping within the first quarter — some are even available now.
Despite the fact that the biggest trend setter in consumer electronics — Apple Inc (AAPL) — wasn’t even at the Las Vegas show, its influence was felt. Many of the exhibitors will be hoping the spotlight on their gear will let them steal a step on Apple, before that company starts launching its own new products later in 2015.
For a look at what’s going to be hot this year, here’s our list of the 5 biggest technology trends from CES 2015.
The 5 Biggest Technology Trends From CES 2015: Everything is “Smart”
In 2014, we started to really hear noise about smart gear. The connected home was a big theme at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, but with the acquisition of Nest and Dropcam by Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Samsung’s (SSNLF) purchase of SmartThings and Apple’s HomeKit for iOS 8, things are getting real.
At CES 2015, it seems like everything is “smart.”
Internet-connected thermostats are everywhere, smart locks are taking off, cars are connected, appliances can be remotely monitored and controlled, and Samsung has pledged that 90% of the products it sells globally will be connected within two years.
When one of the world’s largest manufacturers of household appliances and televisions (and the leading seller of smartphones) pledges that the vast majority of its products will be smart within two years and that everything it sells will be connected by 2020, the Internet of Things is officially more than a fad.
The 5 Biggest Technology Trends From CES 2015: 4K is the new HD
4K TVs are the eye candy that’s dominated the consumer Electronics Show for the past several years.
CES 2015 was a bit different. Yes, there were plenty of massive 4K TVs on display — the kind that cost as much as a car. Perfect for the cameras.
But at CES 2015 it became clear that 4K is no longer just a showcase feature — it’s going mainstream. You’ll still be able to buy 1080p HD TVs in 2015, but 4K resolution is becoming the norm, despite the fact that 4K content remains elusive.
If you want to impress the neighbors, you still have options. For example, Samsung will sell you a 98-inch 8K TV. But good luck finding native resolution video to play on that behemoth, though.
The 5 Biggest Technology Trends From CES 2015: Laptops Are Getting Seriously Thinner and Lighter
Faster, smaller, more energy efficient and much better at graphics performance, these chips are making possible a wave of very impressive new PC notebooks. They’re lighter, slimmer, more powerful and with significantly better battery life than anything that’s come before.
These svelte new laptops, many with all-day battery life, are poised to fight back against tablets and may convince long-time holdouts to finally upgrade their old PCs.
At CES 2015, there were multiple claimants to the “world’s lightest PC notebook” title, including Dell’s new XPS 13 at just 2.6 pounds for a 13-inch laptop, and the Lenovo (LNVGY) LaVie Z HZ550 at just 1.72 pounds.
Rumors were also buzzing about a new Broadwell-powered MacBook Air Apple is expected to release in 2015, a 12-inch Retina Display model that’s likely to make the current 2.38 pound, 11-inch MacBook Air look positively chunky in comparison.
The 5 Biggest Technology Trends From CES 2015: Wearables Explode
Last year was a big one for wearables. Activity trackers continued to sell (despite a recall setback suffered by industry leader Fitbit), and Google’s Android Wear release led to an end-of-year rush on new round-face smartwatches like the Moto 360.
The elephant in the room at CES 2015 was Apple, specifically the Apple Watch, which will be released sometime in the next few months.
Other wearables-makers are concerned that the Apple Watch will dominate wearables the way the iPhone and then iPad did when they were launched. Those concerns have led to a rush to get cool wearables into consumer hands before the Apple Watch arrives.
CES 2015 included every variation of smartwatch and wearable imaginable, from a fitness tracker that also measures caloric intake using a glucose sensor to fashion label entries like the Guess Connect smartwatch and even a blinged-out, solar-powered activity tracker encrusted with Swarovski crystals.
The 5 Biggest Technology Trends From CES 2015: Curves Are In
One of the biggest overall themes of CES 2015 was curves.
For many years, technology meant sharp angles, but in 2014 we started to see that shift and at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, curved was definitely “in.”
The flashiest TVs are curved. Thanks to Android Wear and the Apple Watch, rectangular smartwatches are out and rounded edges are in.
And the hottest smartphone at the show was probably LG’s Flex 2, a followup to last year’s curved, self-healing device that’s vastly improved and bound to be copied.
Get used to it: CES 2015 shows that curved is hot this year when it comes to technology.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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