CES 2015: Preview and Predictions
Once again, I'm preparing to head to Las Vegas for the annual CES show. I'm trying to set priorities regarding who to visit and what to see. It's impossible to see everything, especially now that this gigantic show has spread out with exhibits not only filling the Las Vegas Convention Center, but also now areas at Sands, The Venetian, and Madalay Bay.
Looking back over the last five years of CES and analyzing predictions and items featured by the large exhibitors, you'd likely assume the 2015 show would feature more advanced 3D TVs, as they were predicted to take over the market...wrong!
Last year seemed to promise the end of the PC era and the beginning of a majority using touch interface tablets...again, wrong! In fact, after experimenting with tablets and Net/Chrome books, many companies and individuals are upgrading or replacing their older PCs at a rapid rate. I received several invitations to see new PC components and keyboards. The PC era is far from over--it's actually seeing a bit of a rebirth.
As for displays, the prediction was that the age of the so-called Hi-Def 1080p monitors at an end. That prediction seems correct, but while 4K is becoming main stream, it seems as though the next geneneration of 5K or higher resolution monitors and TVs is almost upon us. The question is: What graphics hardware will power them? My guess is that NVIDIA and AMD will tell us this week.
What do I expect to see and, more importantly, what will we see that will actually be mainstream in two or three years (unlike the 3D TV and an all tablet world)?
Here are my guesses:
- We'll see a great deal of hype about the Internet of Things, but I predict that cost and the pain of implementation will prevent this from becoming fully mainstream except in certain areas like fitness.
- We'll see a slew of smart watches, not only at CES, but later in the year from Apple and others. The talk is that everyone will want or will have a wearable device. My prediction is that unless they do far more than become a remote display or control for your smartphone they will be far from mainstream. The exception, again, being health- or fitness-related wearables.
- As noted above, resolutions beyond 4K. This one I feel will, in fact, become mainstream and do so quickly.
- 3D printers are no doubt making great strides and I expect to see cheaper and more capable printers this year. Except for a few very specialized uses I don't see everyone having or even wanting one, perhaps ever.
- More powerful, faster, and, in general, really cool PC components such as processors, new DDR4 memory, amazing motherboards and graphics cards, and even keyboards. The PC is seeing a resurgence as many have realized the extreme limitations of tablets and Net-Chrome devices. Don’t get me wrong, these products will survive and grow, but most people already own one variation and don't want or need a second device. I predict that the PC resurgence will gain momentum in 2015 driven by the many new advanced components that will be shown at CES.
- The elephant in the room will be Windows 10. It will not be shown at CES as Microsoft has taken a page out of Apple's book and will unveil the first beta version later in the month at a special event. Either way, Windows 10, which has gotten excellent reviews from the pre beta testing group (including myself), will be a major topic of conversation.
- Automotive electronics is a topic that has gained prominence. I expect to see amazing advances in automotive electronics this year and not just new cutesy Bluetooth devices, but true twenty-first century science fiction technology.
- Drones have been featured at CES for years, but they are no longer toys. I predict drones will be in more households than you might imagine and for reasons both fun and, perhaps, alarming.
- Cable and satellite TV providers should be concerned about streaming media. I feel many of us will be cutting the cord over the next five years and we'll see advanced reasons why we can do so this year at CES.
- Virtual reality is something I truly believe will become mainstream. Yes, Oculus Rift will be soon be showing a new headset, but I expect the true acknowledged leader in this field 10 years from now will be a company none of us have heard of yet.
Stay tuned as I will be providing many pictures and comments on what I see daily at CES 2015.