2014 International CES Highlights

This year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has quickly come and gone, and after walking miles and miles through exhibits and products, I’m glad to say that it was fun, but I’m done! With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, 20,000-plus products, 3,200 exhibitors and 152,000-plus attendees, I believe this is the largest CES I’ve ever attended. The amount of products and concepts I saw last week is too vast to put into one column, but below are my personal highlights.


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LG’s curved OLED TV

I ran into many familiar faces, including Wahoo’s Fish Tacos’ co-founder Wing Lam and wife Kathy Lam – they were there to launch My Open Road, an Indiegogo social energy campaign to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 2 million tons over the next five years. This is an app that allows you to compete with commuters to see who can use the most energy-efficient way to get around town.

My Open Road can detect what type of transportation you’re using and assigns each mode of transportation a Social Responsibility Score based on its energy efficiency (i.e., a Regular Car is 500; Electric Car is 900 or Walk/Running is 1,000). The more efficient you are, the higher your social responsibility score will be. The current CO2 reduction is about 19,480 pounds. Let’s see how high it can go! Visit myopenroad.com for more information and indiegogo.com/projects/635312/ to contribute. The goal is to raise $90,000 (contribution options range from $1 to $1,000).

At CES’ opening keynote speech, the State of the Consumer Electronics Industry, Gary Sharpiro, president and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), announced a service close to my heart – USTechVets.org – a website designed to align U.S. military veterans with employers in the tech sector. Within minutes of his announcement, I blasted this site address out to all my vet friends looking for jobs. I hope this will help them find something!

Additionally, at the opening keynote, Shapiro was followed by Sony CEO Kaz Hirai looking back at Sony’s successes and failures, and emphasized the need to tap into consumers’ curiosity by pursuing what he calls kando, Japanese for “The Wow.” He said Sony will be focusing its products on a sector it calls Generation Remix – basically the digital natives (like my 4-year-old daughter) who always will know technology in their lives.

This announcement equated to its new cloud-based service (Gaikai) and being able to try it on the show floor with game titles such as God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us and Beyond Two Souls.

Also, other than the vast array of 4K TVs, the answer to the burning question I always receive about backward compatibility was sort of answered. You will be able to play PlayStation 3 games on your PlayStation 4 with PlayStation Now, via streaming. This service will give you instant access to PlayStation’s most popular games.

Sign-up here to become a beta tester: us.playstation.com/playstationnow.

Overall, 4K ruled the show. In the past couple of years, 3-D was all the rage for TV manufacturers. It’s now been replaced with 4K technology. If that’s not enough for you, Samsung had a concept 8K demo TV. I also got to see LG’s curved phone and OLED TVs.

And there were countless phone and tablet cases, along with various sensors and wearable tech that popped up this year – from baby products to motion/security systems for your home (including smart light bulbs) to smart watches.

Stay tuned for more!