The big story at CES 2015 was in drones, virtual reality headsets, and 4K TVs. The big news with the 4K TVs is that we may finally have a standard for the ultra high definition sets, as a UHD alliance has been formed and UHD Blu-ray players finally had a standard adopted. But they won't be available until the fall. The standard defines the dynamic range and color gamut, as well as the compression algorithm, which is HEVC/H.265.
Tom saw a new box from Bitdefender at CES that promises to be in between the internet and the computer and cleanses all traffic. The box connects to the router and it will prevent malware from getting through. They plan to ship it for $200. Leo says the premise of this is good, but may not necessarily be better than a software antivirus because if software doesn't know about a virus, neither will the physical box. We can't even be sure it will ship at all at this point either.
Scott has spent the last week at CES and he put 28 miles on his feet in 5 days! What was the big news? Scott says that the biggest announcement was the formation of the UHD Alliance, an organization formed to create standards for 4K transmission and content. The new specs need to have dynamic range and color gamut kept in mind. Right now, content is graded and mastered from HD standards of the last 10 years. But now, the UHD Alliance, which consists of studios, TV makers, and content distributors, will get together to create a 4K standard, and you'd be stunned how great it looks.
In addition to some interesting new products, like self driving cars and drones, CES was what Leo called "Groundhog Day." There was about 10% new stuff, another 20% crazy stuff that will never see the light of day, and the rest we've all seen before.
CES starts this week in Las Vegas, NV. The confab, which is meant to bring together electronics manufacturers and retailers, also attracts media and tech geeks. All too often, Leo says that a lot of what we'll see at CES never gets released. But we'll see some pretty cutting edge stuff including smart thermostats, self driving cars, and the "internet of things."
The IFA convention is happening in Europe, and Leo says it's becoming more and more like CES. Right now is the ideal time for it as it as the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. Of course, there's always a lead-in of about a year from product announcement to seeing it in stores. So what's previewed this year will be out next year. Except for Apple, which typically releases its phones 10 days after the announcement.
3Doodler allows people to create amazing 3D objects without the restrictions of complicated software. The pen melts mini-plastic straw and can build things by painting with plastic. Dick says there's a learning curve, but it's great fun.
They're also planning on silicone accessories to help make 3D designs. It's $99 with 25 10" pieces of filament. Leo says you probably go through them like crazy!
Find out more at www.the3doodler.com/
A few years back, Chris bought a FloTV, which took CES by storm with the potential of mobile television. It eventually died, but he made a few hundred off it when they closed the business. Now Chris wants to know if there's anything he could use it for. Leo says not really. There isn't anything on the net, at least. But at least Chris got a few months of use and even made some cash on it! Leo says that's why you should take emerging technologies at CES with a grain of salt.
Dick DeBartolo is back from CES and he saw a lot of the same old stuff. But he did see the Mophie Space Pack, which offers additional storage. Leo says it's a great case and a great name. He also saw EyeLock MYIRIS, which is an eye scanning video security device. And it's near impenetrable. $300, and will be available early Spring. He saw some low cost 4K TVs and monitors, for under $1000, some with touch. They looked great, and have come down significantly in price. He also saw Bluetooth light bulbs with speakers.
Scott is back from CES, and he actually walked over 24 miles looking at the latest gadgets and HDTVs. He saw a lot of 4K, and TVs with curved screens. Leo says there's no real benefit from a curved screen, and Scott says that's especially true at the smaller 50" sizes. But for a bigger 105" TV, it may help.