This time every year we’re treated to a whole host of new tech at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (hat tip to RR for this excellent photo history). Most of what we see on the news involves weird, wonderful, but pretty silly gadgets like Hapifork, although I personally think this ‘Pebble’ watch, which is something of a Kickstarter success story, has more potential than most.
Underneath all that, there’s usually one or two more sensible, established technologies that the big players are looking to make disruptive updates to over the next 12 months. Whereas in recent years it’s been all about smartphones, this year TV – although it’s always on the agenda – seems to be resolutely where it’s at.
At first thought, TV technology hasn’t really changed a great deal in the last century, but being old enough to remember having a black and white TV (some 13,000 of us still need to upgrade) with only four channels and a tuning dial, today’s LCD TVs with built-in streaming services are already a world apart – but what next?
While Samsung has thrown weight behind smart-TVs, Sony is punting ‘4K’ HD, but it’s Apple, conspicuous by its relative absence in the market, that is being looked at to make or break the pathway for TV technology development during the near future. There have been any number of analyst and editorial reports pondering what delights will come out of Cupertino this year, some even suggesting that Apple absolutely must take ownership of our living rooms, lest the likes of Google stake a big enough claim first.
As for what precisely we’ll see, one would hope for something to make as ground breaking an impact as the iPad did; any tablet doubter perhaps silenced by news that Asus and Acer have gone as far to ditch netbook production. With the iTunes library as a resource, and so many compatible ‘i’ devices in the wild, there’s certainly potential for something interesting. With ITV already being taken, maybe the biggest challenge will be working out what to call it.