The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is an annual showcase of the latest gadgets and services designed to transform the way we work and play. Of course, not all these visions of the future hit their mark, but these consumer technologies often give us a sense of where cutting-edge tech meets real world consumers.
Some industry voices have noted that cloud services providers have had very little presence at CES, but it must be noted that cloud services are at the heart of many of the new product announcements from CES 2014.
This post will look at some of the announcements from CES 2014 involving cloud-supported technologies.
Simple.tv is a DVR box that records TV from over the air to an attached drive. Recorded video which can then be accessed via tablet, phone, PC or TV. At CES 2014, they showed off new cloud functionality that would allow Simple.tv to record and stream from the cloud, further untethering TV watchers from the limitations of traditional TV.
Even devices primarily designed for physical media are becoming cloud-connected. The LG Smart TV Blu-ray Disc Player, for instance, can now stream movies and digitally record TV, limiting the need for a secondary device for streaming and recording video.
Professional wrestling, once a staple of premium cable or satellite subscriptions, will now be available to stream online through a $9.99 per month subscription starting Feb. 24. It will be interesting to see if other premium, event-driven television such as sports broadcasts introduce online-streaming-only options going forward.
Netflix, which has come to be one of the most popular streaming services, has said that it will be streaming this year’s TV season of House of Cards in the higher-than-high 4K resolution. Upping the resolution will provide content for new 4k TVs, and possibly make 4k productions more common.
Sony also announced a streaming video service to deliver live television, video-on-demand content and DVR functions to make it easier to watch across different devices later this year.
The Internet of Things
Introducing internet connectivity to devices such as toothbrushes, fridges, beds, and crockpots has been the subject of jokes around technology taken to excess.
But everyday devices like cars might be entering the information superhighway with Ford adding capabilities that allow smartphone apps to read data from the car such as speed and fuel consumption via the Smart Device Link API. Google is also pushing the Open Auto Alliance as a means of bringing Android compatibility to General Motors, Audi, Honda and Hyundai cars starting in 2014.
Some services are already allowing processor-intense gaming to move to the cloud. But mainstream game maker Sony will likely be introducing many new gamers to streaming gaming with the coming launch of “PS Now”, which will offer some of the company’s back-catalog of its games via a new cloud delivery platform.