CES 2014: Pushing The Boundaries of Interactive Entertainment
CES 2014 was a great time for electronics manufacturers to show the public what they have been cooking during the last 12 months in their R&D departments.
Practically everybody had an excellent showing. Samsung revealed their new 4k ‘curved’ LCD TV at 105 inches wide! South Korean conglomerate LG, unveiled their new flexible TV which bends at the press of a button and wooed crowds with their upgraded webOS that will be incorporated in just over half of their new Smart TV Line this year. Finally, Roku, the company behind the Roku streaming player, have partnered with Hisense and TCL to create its very own brand of TV with the Roku software built-in!
Whilst the modern television continues to shine through with fleeting-but-worthwhile moments of innovation and technological advancements, the real talking point of CES 2014 was the birth of technologies and the evolution of services we’ve never seen, heard or thought were possible until now.
From dedicated video game streaming services to virtual reality headsets and laptop-tablet hybrids, CES had something from everyone for everyone, as it continues to be the centrepiece that demonstrates how the smartest minds intend to push the boundaries in interactive entertainment.
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro: Huge 12-inch Tablet for Professionals
At first look, you’re probably thinking “it’s just a Galaxy Note 10.1 with a bigger screen.” and you’ll be right, at least initially. Samsung have opted out of continuing the use of the TouchWiz user interface and have replaced it with a new UI that is very similar to that of Windows 8, called “Magazine UX”.
Essentially it acts as a platform for delivering relevant content that is personal enough for you to consume, whilst staying true to its original purpose; a tablet that offers built-in system features and apps in order to improve your productivity.
No pricing information has been provided for the Note Pro, however the device is said to be released globally in Q1 2014.
Asus Unveils 4-in-1 Laptop-Tablet – Transformer Book Duet TD300
Asus have revealed their Transformer Book Duet TD300 to be a device that can more or less, do everything. It is a Windows Laptop, Windows Tablet, Android tablet and Android laptop. The point? You get to experience the best of both worlds. Changing from one operating system to the other is simply done by pressing a button on the Transformer Book Duet TD300’s keyboard.
Pricing and release date information is currently unavailable for the UK at the moment of writing.
Dell Announces New 4K Monitors P2815Q – Retail For Under £500
Colour me surprised! 4K devices that are priced under £800 usually leaves me weary of their build quality. So when I heard Dell announced new ultra high definition monitors at CES 2014 that would retail for under £500, I was perplexed…for a total of two whole minutes.
The P2815Q comes in at 28-inches, supporting 4K resolutions (3840 x 2160). The most impressive part about this ordeal is that this model is actually larger than the Dell’s other 4K monitor, the P2815Q, whilst being the cheaper alternative too.
Dell plans to release the P2815Q worldwide on January, 23rd 2014.
Intel RealSense: Reinventing How We Interact With Our Content
Intel, creators of the world-renowned Intel Core processor are moving laterally with their approach to consumer electronics by investing heavily in new technologies that bridges the gap between reality and virtual.
At CES 2014, Intel took center stage to unveil RealSense, a camera that uses gestures to complete tasks and actions on a computer that would usually be done via a keyboard and mouse. This opens up a new world of immersive possibilities, whereby in the future, users may actually be able to interact with their devices on a whole new level.
Intel showcased several tech demos to demonstrate the potential of this technology. Created by designer Shunsuke Nakamura, Kagura is an app that allows you to create music simply through specific hand and head gestures. You can reduce and increase the tempo, and play instruments that are displayed on screen.
Whilst it is still a prototype and has plenty of faults of its own, it definitely has the potential to revolutionise the way we interact with our content and devices, but just like Microsoft’s Kinect camera, it’s mainly dependent on the quality of software developers are able to create for it.
According to Intel, the RealSense Camera will be available in 2014.
Sony Announces PlayStation Now – Game Streaming Service
Whilst CES isn’t the ideal event for gaming news and announcements from the ‘big three’ compared to that of E3, Gamescom and TGS, Sony always has something to whet the appetites of millions of gamers whilst they look forward to the blockbuster announcements that are set to be revealed at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Presenting PlayStation Now, Sony’s new Gaikai-fueled streaming service gives you the ability to stream PlayStation titles from the first PlayStation up till the recently released PS4. The goal from Sony is to place their entire PlayStation library via PlayStation Now across a vast array of internet-enabled devices such as your PSVita, PS3, PS4, televisions, tablets and smartphones.
PlayStation Now has currently launched only in the US with a limited number of PS3 titles available for streaming, however more information on a UK/EU launch will arrive later in 2014.