CES 2014: The hottest gadgets that wiill soon be making their way to the Middle East
International CES (Consumer Electronics Show), the world’s largest consumer electronics show, kicked off its annual technology binge week on Tuesday with an opening speech by Gary Shapiro, the president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, and a keynote from Sony’s CEO, Kazuo Hirai.
The Consumer Electronics Association owns CES.
Shapiro rehashed some of the work that the CEA has done over the past year, including its work in pushing the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the use of electronic devices on airlines during takeoff and landing in the US and lobbying the US Congress to pass legislation cracking down on patent trolling, a controversial practice involving the collection of licensing fees by patent-holding companies.
Shapiro said that spending on consumer electronics will grow 24 per cent to $208 billion in the US according to an article in Gulf News.
Boom in wearable technology
“This is being driven by product categories that didn’t even exist in a meaningful way a few years ago,” he said. The last two years have seen a boom in fitness and other wearable technology, and this year 3D printing has a large presence at the show, with over 30 companies exhibiting.
Kirai gave a speech focusing on his interest in consumer electronics as a child, and spoke about the emotional ethos that Sony tries to embed in its products. He even spoke jokingly about Sony’s past experience with failed technology, such as Betamax.
Sony’s biggest push this year is the distribution of content, a theme that carried over from Sony’s press conference the previous day. Hirai even brought out the Chairman and CEO of Sony Picture Entertainment Michael Lynton and Vince Gilligan, the creative force behind the hit television show ‘Breaking Bad’ to talk to them about the impact of technology on their profession.
Hirai also made two announcements. Sony will launch a 147-inch, 4K (also known as ultra-high definition) projector that can cover an entire wall in a home. Hirai said the projector could be used to project outside scenes, such as a waves or urban landscapes, which would have the effect of making it appear there was another window in the room.
But Sony’s biggest announcement was that Sony would offer a cloud-based streaming service in the US this summer, putting it in direct competition with a growing number of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.
Hirai didn’t specify what the service would offer, but Sony has been making a concerted effort to bring as much of its content online as possible. No release date was announced.
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