What to expect from CES 2014
Next month sees the biggest tech show on the planet rock up in Las Vegas - here´s what the rumour mill expects to see at the International CES 2014
Enough already about hitting the sales and getting fit. For tech fans the New Year can mean only one thing - Vegas, and the International CES.
Taking place between January 7 and 10, CES will see a glut of never-before-seen tech unveiled in Sin City. Tablets, TVs, laptops, smartwatches, fitness gadgets, fridges - we'll see the whole nine yards. And TechTalk will be there to give you the inside line on what's hot and what's not.
Last year brought us 4K TV, a waterproof phone, Fitbit Flex and the Oculous Rift virtual reality headset. So what can we expect this year? At present we really don't know, but here's a round of up of the rumours.
Flexible OLED TVs
This year has already seen Samsung and LG unveil TVs with curved
OLED screens, but at CES 2014 both are expected to show off
flexible OLED tellies. That's TVs with screens that bend - yep,
Alongside 4K, OLED is the future of TV - with TVs sporting the technologies dominating last year's CES. But the 2014 show will see the two firms take things a step further with OLED displays which can be curved via the remote control to suit the viewer. A report from Korean Times cited an industry official as saying: "Samsung will unveil a prototype of the flexible OLED TV at next month's ICES."
Huge 4K TVs 'twice as vivid as current ones'
It wouldn't be CES without huge tellies. Last year we met Samsung's 85-inch S9, a huge 4K TV which swung majestically in an easel. Also known as ultra HD, 4K offers four times the resolution of current HD TVs, but this year's CES will see that picture made even sharper with Samsung and LG's 105-inch curved Ultra HD TVs.
Both are reported to use the 21:9 'CinemaScope' aspect ratio and both will have resolutions of 5,126 x 2,160. Samsung said in a blog post: "The Samsung 105-inch Curved UHD TV provides almost two times vivid images when viewed from the side"
Wearable tech - smartwatches and fitness gadgets
From smartwatches to Google Glass, wearable tech is already
grabbing headlines. But experts say 2014 will be the year it goes
mainstream. Forbes has declared 2014 the year of wearable tech, and
nowhere will this be more apparent than at CES 2014, where a whole
host of clip-on fitness gadgets and smartwatches are expected to be
Scott Stein at Cnet says: "Expect fitness trackers everywhere at CES 2014: they're cheap and easy to make, and might suddenly turn into the disposable MP3 player of this year."
2013 saw smartwatches from Sony, Samsung and Pebble, but we're yet to see one killer device that has the impact the iPad did for tablets. That may come in 2014, but not at CES - as Apple, Google and Microsoft won't be exhibiting. Stein said: "Expect a lot of wild-card watch makers promising better software, displays, or features."
Samsung Galaxy S5
If it only seems a few months since Samsung launched its last flagship smartphone, that's because it is. Samsung launched its eye-controlled iPhone rival in the spring, and its follow up would normally appear around a year later.
However, a report on TechRadar citing Korean-language web portal Naver has suggested we could see the anticipated Galaxy S5 a few months earlier than we'd expected. We can look forward to a 64-bit processor as well as a sleek all-metal body and an improved camera, according to the report.
Phones with bendy screens
We've talked about TVs that bend so what about phones that bend
Last year Samsung caught up napping by revealing its Youm flexible OLED screen prototype at a low-key event at CES after its main press show. Earlier this year - after CES - Samsung announced a prototype phone with a bendy screen, the Galaxy Round. TechRadar reports that we could see the announcement of a full launch for the Round at CES 2014. We could also hear more about a UK launch for LG's bendy-screen phone, the Flex.
Chromebooks are laptops that run on Google's Chrome operating
system. They're cheaper than Windows laptops but run a more limited
suite of software, all of which are based on the web. As fewer of
us buy regular desktop PCs and laptops, sales of Chromebooks are on
the rise - up 1,542% according to IDC.
Naturally, this means tech firms are taking much notice of the devices, already made by Samsung, Acer and HP. This means they'll be a big part of CES 2014. LG has announced plans to launch the first Chrome desktop PC at CES, while Asus is also expected to launch a Chromebook laptop at the show. The future's chrome-plated.
4K and curved OLED (again)
Although 4K and curved OLED were the big news of CES 2013
they're still a way off making it into our living rooms. Expect
them to be back in Vegas next month to stake their claim to being
the next TV you purchase. Expect to see smaller, more affordable
sets from Samsung, Sony et al.
Had your appetite whetted by our rumour round up? Check out Tech Talk between Jan 7-11 for live updates, videos and photos from the CES floor - and join the chat using #CurrysAtCES