The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 proved to be yet another exciting year of product breakthroughs, technology you didn’t know you needed, and an amazing assortment of gadgets and accessories to fit every personal style!
We are excited to share with you the top 5 product trends of CES 2015. This year, we had the unique opportunity to report each day from CES on the Walmart Geeks and Gadgets blog. It’s was a busy week, but we covered some of the topics below as well as Connected Health, Wearables, Personal Digital Assistants, 3D Printing for families, Home Automation, and the Best of Show for Moms.
Now onto our top 5 Tech Product Trends of CES 2015…
Wearables entered a new dimension this year as Blue Spark introduced the first wearable Temp Traq thermometer. It affixes on your baby/child like a Band-Aid and gives continuous reading temperatures for 24 hours. No need to disturb a sleeping baby to get a temperature any longer. Results are sent to your smartphone.
A similar Band-Aid product is AmpStrip. Put it on just above your rib cage to get a continuous heartbeat rating sent to your smartphone. Though the product is geared towards athletes to get a continuous reading based on their activities, it could also be advantageous for keeping track of your heartbeat for those with heart issues.
Of course, there were health trackers galore, but the Healbe’s GoBe Body Manger was certainly a standout. Not only does it track steps, calories, and sleep, but also calories consumed by assessing your glucose concentration rate just under your skin. Just think, no more journaling calories. You will find out your total calorie total for the day and see how you did. Remarkable.
Another trend we saw in wearables is more of a dedication to fashion. Yes, there are still plenty of plastic wristband trackers around, but companies like Mira, Withings Activité Pop, and not-yet funded semi-precious stone newcomer, Viawear Tyia are offering stylish ways to track your health or help you manage message alerts from your phone.
See more in our article on Wearables on the Geeks and Gadgets blog.
Much more of the CES showroom floor was dedicated to 3D Printing this year. With an amazing array of items produced from 3D printers, like electrical guitars, a complete drum set, accessories for the dinner table, women’s fashionable pumps, jewelry, vases, even beautifully crafted dresses…though you need to wear something underneath them!
3D printers have now broken the $1,000 barrier line, making them more affordable for families. But just what can you make at home? Practically anything! That’s the beauty of 3D printing, its up to your imagination. There are hundreds of thousands of recipes online you can access to print up and make it “real” in your family room. Or, you could create from scratch your own jewelry, toys, and tools such as just the right size screwdriver you needed to put together your child’s new Christmas bike.
We covered 3D printing more extensively on the Walmart Geeks and Gadgets blog, where you learn more how 3D printers are relevant to families.
The Connected Home continues to expand into new technologies. Z-Wave and Zigbee are flourishing as protocols for sending home automation signals throughout the house. WiFi signals and HomePlug (signals through the electrical wiring) continue to have a presence. One new protocol entrant this year was home automation through Bluetooth. Avi-on has introduced several lighting items using Bluetooth. An interesting approach, as more consumers are knowledgeable about Bluetooth than Z-Wave or Zigbee…even WiFi. Although trying to control your house away from your house through its mobile app isn’t possible, as the signal doesn’t carry more than 200 feet.
It was exciting to see a large number of companies offering new technologies in the home automation space. A number of them promoting that no “hub” is needed, as with Z-Wave and Zigbee products, however the downside is that you will only be able to spread your home automation as far as their product line covers. So if the company sells lights, you can automate your lights, but until (or if) they expand their technology to locks and climate control, you may have to use another product and app for those items.
The benefit of Z-Wave and Zigbee technologies is that they can connect to 100’s of different brands of home automation from lights to appliances to door looks to sprinklers. Although they are a little more involved to set up. For an overview of different types of DIY home automation, see DIY Home Automation article on our sister site, TheWellConnectedHome.com.
See further coverage of the Connected Home from CES 2015 in our Geeks and Gadgets article.
Connecting Things (The Internet of Things)
The IoT, or Internet of Things is a big acronym that is tossed around these days. It basically means that small processors are put into all sorts of items so they can communicate via the Internet to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Last year the WeMo Crock pot was heralded as the first crock pot that you could adjust its settings via your smartphone. This year, the pacifier joins the ranks of connected things as the BlueMaestro pacifier connects to your phone via Bluetooth and alerts you if you have left the pacifier behind or if your toddler has taken off running with pacifier in mouth and out of the Bluetooth range.
Other interesting connected finds at CES include a nice set of Lechal loafers for those who feel wearing a wrist tracker is in distaste, the iSwimBand bracelet or swim goggle device that alerts you if your child has gone underwater for a specified time of seconds, and the Linx Impact Assessment System, designed to alert you of impacts to the head – great for children who play football.
Oh and do you love yoga but would love to have more information on whether you’re doing it right or if you are balancing your body weight properly in different positions? The Yoga SmartMat is the answer.
VOXX’s Child Alert System is one of those products that you don’t need…until you absolutely need it! VOXX’s Child Alert System is a set-up-yourself device that contains strips that you adhere to your baby’s car seat, under the seat pad.
It is a weight-sensing system that alerts the driver via the included car FOB once s/he has walked away from the car, that they have left their child in the backseat. Now you may think, that would never happen to you, but it could. And what about when others are caring for your child, will they remember?
About 29% of children who died due to being left in the car were being taken care of someone else other than their parents. The VOXX Child Alert System is just another safety precaution to help provide parents with peace of mind.
Wearables is a trend that will only continue to gain steam. Expect to see connected things in clothing, health assessment tools, kitchen appliances…even walls and cupboards.
4K television sets are not new to CES, in fact, they were first introduced during last year’s show. This year, they are much more mainstream with every TV manufacturer touting their superior 4K TV’s. 4K TV’s have four times the resolution of 1080p HD TV’s, displaying 8 million pixels. And I must say, the clarity of 4K TV is stunning. In fact, it’s so stunning and so rich, that it doesn’t look real! Nonetheless, the picture is fascinating. Curved 4K TV’s immerse you even more into the show/movie you are watching.
Now, you’re probably wondering, do we really need to upgrade? You will probably want to at some point, but right now, there is not enough content to take advantage of a 4K TV set. But companies like Sony, Netflix, and Amazon are already working on changing that. And now that more TV companies are producing 4K TV’s, the price for some sets has finally come down below the $1,000 mark. Still curious about 4K and what it is? We found this great 4K article on TechRadar.com to give you more details.
4K is not just for TV’s. Smartphones are already out with the ability to display 4K images/movies. Video cameras and cameras are available in the 4K flavor and Panasonic just announced a 4K Blue-ray player that upscales your Blue-ray videos into 4K for viewing on a 4K TV.
Though there are many product trends of CES 2015 we could tell you about, these were the top 5 that have the most relevancy to families. Technology is rapidly changing the way to interact, assess, and live our lives. It’s an exciting time to be alive, with innovations happening everyday around us. Want more? See our CES 2015 Great Gadgets for Moms and our top 5 product trends from previous CES shows: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010. You’ll see some trends continue to thrive throughout the years.