Gadget show has everything under the sun from curved TVs to solar-powered cars

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show has attracted more than 3,200 exhibitors

Technicians work on a LG Electronics 3D video wall in preparation for the Consumer Electronics Show  at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

Technicians work on a LG Electronics 3D video wall in preparation for the Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 01:00

From 3D printing to wearable technology and increasingly smarter products, this year’s International CES exhibition in Las Vegas is expected to give gadget fans food for thought.

Faced with accusations that it was losing relevance, the show is striking back. Once known as the Consumer Electronics Show, the event has branched out in recent years, including everything from TVs and home entertainment products to software and the mobile sector.

Tech trends
CES, which opens on Tuesday, is expected to showcase some of the biggest technology trends of the year, with more than 3,200 exhibitors in 15 tech areas spread throughout the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Over the week, attendees can expect to see everything from home appliances that can be controlled remotely via your smartphone to the latest in health technology.

There’s a scavenger hunt for attendees, intended to showcase how iBeacon technology, which uses low-energy bluetooth transmitters in beacons, works. And there is always room for the odd robot or two.

The idea of 4K, or ultra high- definition, TV was introduced at last year’s show, with some of the big television makers promising that the new standard would be the future of the industry. But the high cost of the sets and accompanying devices, and questions over content have dogged the debate.

This year, 4K is expected to play an even bigger role for companies such as Sony, LG and Panasonic as they fight to win over customers. But there are others entering the fray. Polaroid has announced its plans for a line of more affordable 4K TVs, which would cost about $1,000 (€735).

Ultra HD
LG and Samsung, meanwhile, have both revealed curved 105- inch Ultra HD TVs recently.

The technology will also be seen in mobile phones. Chinese firm ZTE has revealed plans to to include Ultra HD video capture in its Nubia 5S handset. And there are still some companies trying to push 3D technology, although the emphasis has shifted to TVs that will show 3D without requiring glasses.

It’s not all about TV though. Wearable technology has been increasing in popularity, and this year’s CES is expected to be full of devices that will track your movement, position and activity level, or recharge your devices through solar panels built into everyday items such as handbags.

3D printing
You may not yet see how 3D printing will affect your life, but companies at this year’s CES are expected to push the notion harder than before. Although expensive – a 3D printer for your own use will set you back about $1,500 – the technology has come down in price, with devices like the 3Doodler pen trying to break new ground and make the technology more accessible to the average user.

CES is so sure it will be a popular technology that it has dedicated a new tech zone to 3D printing, an area of the exhibition that the organisers claim was expanded three times to meet demand for space. Among the exhibitors are Scultpeo and Makerbot.

Car makers are also expected to have a larger presence at CES, with the growth of interest in increasingly automated and driverless vehicles.

Ford is back at the show
with a concept car powered
by the sun. The hybrid C-Max Solar Energi Concept car will be unveiled at the show, teaming a petrol engine with roof mounted solar panels to power the vehicle.

Among the celebrities expected to show up at the Las Vegas Convention Center are Pharrell Williams, rapper 50 Cent, Swedish House Mafia’s Steve Angello and Motley Crue’s Vince Neil.

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