Las Vegas is gadget central for annual CES tech convention

The 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show kicked off on Tuesday (January 06), turning the city of Las Vegas into the tech capitol of the world, at least for the next four days.

There are a number of early trends and among those is the continued consumer fascination with bigger, lighter, thinner, and certainly more dramatic TV’s. South Korean electronics giant Samsung has been ahead of the curve and once again looks to be a leader in the next chapter, heavily pushing their 4K curved televisions that are hard to miss at CES.

Lindsey Turrentine, editor and Chief at CNET, the online website that covers the consumer electronics sector, said 4K makes a difference you can see.

“So, 4K is four times the number of pixels that you would have on sort of the current television, the 1080P,” explained Turrentine. “4K is a higher resolution so more pixels per inch.”

The future of driverless cars is also one of the major themes this year.

On Monday evening (January 05), Mercedes-Benz unveiled its F 015 luxury concept sedan at the automaker’s keynote address. The car’s arrival on stage drew applause with its spacious cabin and lounge-like seating for four, exploring new possibilities for self-driving cars that can double as virtual living rooms on wheels.

Meanwhile, rival German automaker BMW was busy displaying its forward thinking “i360 concept garage.” The solar powered carport offers a seamless way to recharge its electric models, like the i3 and i8, while at the same time communicating with other household devices.

Julien Lienich, of BMW explains that the program is all about creating synergies in the home.

“What we have here is the full integration of our electric vehicle into a smart home system,” said Lienich. “They’ve always split smart homes into two topics, we have the smart home and the energy management, and with this, the car is really becoming the part of the energy management.

The buzz phrase, “The Internet of Things” is third, but certainly not the least of the major trends taking place here. It’s really just a general term that involves the evolution of how devices talk to each other…without you.

Robin Raskin, founder of the Living in Digital Times website, said the timing of everything coming together just makes sense.

“All of a sudden you have all of this stuff, you have crock pots talking to your birdfeeder, you have thermostats that control your home temperature, you have sewing machines that you can say ’embroider me this, please’ and so you have toothbrushes that tell you when you have brushed enough and then ‘send it to my dentist please,'” laughed Raskin, when explaining the concept of “The Internet of Things.”

Of course, there are always plenty of other hot trends emerging at CES, including wearable and smart devices, the growth of 3D printers, robotics and drones to keep the more than 150,000 visitors to the show busy for the next four days.

The 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show, one of the world’s largest trade shows, runs from Tuesday through Friday (January 09).