Every January, the tech world converges on Las Vegas to spin, schmooze, and showcase the stuff that the gadget-obsessed will spend the next year bickering about. Sure, not every significant electronic device gets announced here (see Apple), but the floor is essentially a view into the near future of consumer tech. In lieu of showing you every fitness tracker, personal drone, and oversize headphone being hawked, we picked out the overarching trends coming down the pike.
TVs get bent.
Every year, TV manufacturers chase a new gimmick. This year, most of them brought a curved set in their bag of tricks. Why? Companies claim a more immersive, movie theater-like experience and a wider array of viewing angles are possible by tilting the screen edges slightly inward. We found that the tech does look fantastic on really big sets such as LG's over-the-top 105-incher, but it didn't make a clear enough difference to warrant a purchase.
What was clearer was the picture. Called Ultra-High Definition or UHD (used almost interchangeably with the term 4K), new sets have four times the resolution of your 1080p set and look pretty spectacular when displaying UHD content. All the top dogs brought UHD sets, but the most notable was Vizio, which unveiled an LED backlit 50-incher with a $1,000 price tag – the cheapest yet from a legit company. Early adopters be warned: There's still not much UHD content available to watch, though several CES announcements foretold of programming to come. Sony launched its Video Unlimited 4K Service, which will allow for the streaming and download of 70 UHD movies to start through the use of Sony's own 4K media player (which only works with Sony sets, of course). And Netflix announced that it will begin to stream 4K content with the second season of its D.C. drama, 'House of Cards.' So your next TV could show Kevin Spacey's face in ultra-high def. Great.