Thursday 14 November 2019

Five things we learned from Vegas

Developer Christoph Kohstall shows the Nixie wearable drone camera powered by Intel’s Edison kit.
Developer Christoph Kohstall shows the Nixie wearable drone camera powered by Intel’s Edison kit.

Amid the jamboree of drones, selfie gadgets and giant tellies sparkling at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, here's what really matters:

1 Fitness watches are flooding the market: They're rubber, they're colourful and they all do pretty much the same thing. Fitness watches dominated CES this year. For fitness non-fanatics, they suffer one main problem: they're often cast aside into a drawer within a month of being activated.

2 Tablets have fallen off a cliff: Two years ago, tablets were one of the biggest things about CES. Now it was a struggle to find any standalone models. This is an astonishing turnaround for a technology that once threatened to kill off laptops. Tablets have become passive devices used as second TV screens or toys.

3 Smart homes are coming faster than we think: I know, we've been bleating on about 'smart homes' for years now. Believe me, it's happening now. Ordinary household things can now be connected to online (mainly smartphone) control with almost no rewiring or techie hassle.

4 Robots are just about here: What was striking is that the robots were practical and useful, not flashy. Even though Toshiba showcased a silicone humanoid model called Aiko, the biggest category was machines to help with household or work chores and personal movement.

5 Apple is still the top dog: Even though the world's biggest tech company was not at CES, it took top billing for part of it as rumours came through of a possibly cheaper MacBook Air in the works and a potential March launch date for its smartwatch. Apple has form when it comes to unsourced rumours about its own plans stealing the limelight from rivals' launch schedules. And each time it happens, it reminds us all who the real heavyweight is for consumer tech.

Irish Independent

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