Year of the app signals CES shift from hardware
In among the iPhone cases – including customised, 3D printed ones from Sculpteo – was the Canopy Sensus iPhone case, which turns the back of your iPhone and the right side of it into a touch-sensitive surface.
It wasn’t all about weird and wonderful gadgets. There was a growing emphasis on functional technology too.
Fitness gadgets made an appearance, from Bodymedia’s monitoring band to Fitbug’s latest add-on, the Fitbug Wow scales and the Orb, which also works as a sleep tracker.
Withings updated its wifi scale to a Body Analyser and added a Smart Activity Tracker to its product portfolio. It seemed as if everyone was getting in on the act.
Your home is about to get more high tech too, with a range of connected appliances that help you manage your home more smartly also in evidence.
Everything from smarter fridges to connected ovens could be found around the show hall. It’s an area that well-known names such as LG and Samsung have been pushing for some time.
LG’s smart fridge links up with your smartphone so you can access the fridge’s contents while you’re off doing the weekly shopping, and get an idea of what food is about to expire. Of course this requires some manual intervention, uploading the contents as you stock it. And for certain areas – Korea, for example – the fridge will automatically reorder the food for you.
LG’s smart appliances don’t end there. Smart Adapt means you can download new washing programmes for your washing machine via smartphone, and the oven also allows you to monitor it via smartphone. Samsung’s smart fridge includes a touch screen that you can use to interact with software such as a weather app and a link to Evernote so you can share recipes.
And if you want to take the smart home even further, a new sensor from Parrot allows you to interact with your plant; simply put it into the soil, pair it with your iOS smartphone or tablet over bluetooth, and you have the ability to monitor your plant’s wellbeing. Sunlight, temperature, water content of the soil – there will be no excuses for withering plants, because the device even prompts you to water them when needed.
Such devices are driving the shift towards apps and services seen at CES this year, leading the Consumer Electronics Association’s chief economist and research director Shawn DuBravac to dub it the largest app event in the world.