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Here’s Everything We Expect to See at CES 2015

·Technology Editor
CES logo
CES logo

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show — the enormous annual orgy of new gadgets and tech toys — is less than two weeks away. This show, as always, will have something for everyone, from iPhone newbies to committed nerds.

We’ll be covering the weeklong gathering directly from the show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center, bringing you videos and hands-on impressions of all the coolest, and strangest, gadgets we can get our grubby little paws on. It’s going to be a crazy week full of excitement and surprises. Here’s what we expect to come out of CES 2015.

4K TVs
The big buzzword in TVs at CES 2015 will be 4K. A television with a 4K display offers 3,840 (roughly 4,000 or “4K”) horizontal pixels of resolution, compared with today’s HD sets, which have 1,920 pixels. That means sharper and more lifelike images.

Curved UHD TV
Curved UHD TV

As with previous new TV technologies, the first sets that offer 4K resolution have been super-expensive, super-huge, or both. This year, however, we expect to see more affordable 4K televisions in more manageable sizes.

We could also hear some announcements regarding the availability of new 4K content sources from some of the biggest names in the industry. Right now, there’s a dearth of 4K content, which makes owning a 4K set kind of pointless. There’s little advantage to buying into a new digital technology while it’s still at the expensive part of the product cycle, especially if there’s no media to play on it. So expect to see news about new 4K streaming options and services.

Connected everything
Besides 4K TVs, the Internet of Things, or “IoT,” will also get a ton of attention at CES. What is the IoT? Basically, it’s a way of saying something has a Web connection. Can your coffee maker access the Web? Then it’s a part of the IoT. Does your dishwasher have an app? It’s part of the IoT, too.

Web-connected Mr. Coffee coffee maker
Web-connected Mr. Coffee coffee maker

In other words, this category of gadgets is as nebulous as it gets, but the prospect of having everything from your toaster to your washing machine connected to the Internet does hold some promise. Wouldn’t you like the option of monitoring your clothes drier from the office via your smartphone? Of course you would.

Expect to see a variety of electronics ranging from air conditioners to toothbrushes join the IoT at this year’s show.

Wearables
Wearables, including fitness trackers, smartwatches, and virtual reality headsets, have been the most buzzed-about gadgets over the past few years, and we don’t expect that to be any different at CES 2015.

We’ll likely see a host of new fitness trackers that incorporate everything from heart-rate monitors and step counters to music apps at the show. And keep an eye out for fitness trackers that work with Apple’s new iOS 8 Health app and Google’s Fit app for Android.

Smartwatches should also have a large presence at CES. The excellent Pebble Steel made its debut at last year’s show, and with the release of Google’s Android Wear operating system, the number of watches at this year’s show is likely to be massive.

Oculus Rift virtual reality headset
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is still one of the coolest gadgets in all of tech, but Oculus isn’t the only name in the game anymore. We’re expecting to see new VR headsets from multiple companies at CES 2015, which means we’ll have even more chances to look ridiculous while exploring digital worlds. Hooray!

Auto tech
CES may be a tech convention, but the number of automakers showing off their latest and greatest wares at CES 2015 will have you thinking you took a wrong turn and ended up at an auto show.

Dashboard Web display
Dashboard Web display

The entire North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center is now largely dedicated to car tech, which means we’ll see big announcements about in-car apps and assisted-driving technologies from nearly every major automaker, including Audi, BMW, Chevy, Ford, Honda, and others. Apple and Google, of course, are stoking this fire with their own automotive app platforms. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a few self-driving car concepts shuttling around the convention center, either.

Phones and tablets
Big-name smartphone and tablet makers like Apple and Samsung tend to host their own press conferences to debut their new gadgets, but CES 2015 should still bring us announcements from a variety of handset and slate makers looking to make names for themselves in the U.S. So be on the lookout for new devices from the likes of Lenovo, Huawei, and others.

image

Of course, there’s always the outside chance that one of the larger companies, like Samsung, could show off a new phone or tablet. If that’s the case, you can be sure we’ll be all over it.

PCs
Despite talk of its demise, the PC is still a hugely important product, and we fully expect to hear announcements about new desktops, laptops, and laptop-tablet hybrids at this year’s CES.

Alienware gaming PC
Alienware gaming PC

Gaming systems are always a big draw, and innovative laptop designs have garnered an enormous amount of attention in previous years.

See you there
That’s all we’ve got for now. If we manage to see even half of the aforementioned gadgets and technologies make their debut at this year’s CES, the show will be a blast. We’ll also be on the lookout for new categories of products, and of course the bizarre and weird gadgets that tend to emerge from the dark recesses of the CES trade show floor.

So check back the week of Jan. 4 for our full coverage of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. See you then!

Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley or on Google+ here.