CES 2015 - It wasn't too long ago when 3DTVs were generating a lot of attention from consumers and hardware manufacturers - but that buzz quickly died down in favor of 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) and curved displays.
Samsung announced its SUHDs, while Sony, LG Electronics, and other companies dive into the UHD market.
Some TV manufacturers began rejecting 3DTVs at CES 2013 and CES 2014, such as Vizio and Panasonic, with wasted time and resources invested into 3D research. There is still great appeal for 3D technology among PC users - and gaming - but it doesn't look like TV manufacturers are going to waste their time.
The wearables market is growing, and has consumer attention as witnessed during CES 2015, but age, income and gender demographics are quite different between smartwatch and fitness tracker owners. Trying to create appealing products and price points requires insight into who is purchasing these devices - and how to cater to their specific needs - but that can be a daunting task for manufacturers.
Thirty-six percent of fitness tracker consumers in the United States are 35 to 54 years old, 41 percent make an average income of more than $100,000, and 54 percent were women. The NPD Group report also found that one in 10 US adults own some form of a fitness tracker.
Meanwhile, 69 percent of smartwatch owners are 18 to 34 years old, 71 percent are male, and 48 percent have an income below $45,000.
"The Interview" has racked up $31 million in on-demand and digital sales, closing in on the $41 million it cost to create the film. The movie was released online on Christmas Eve, and while it was an instant hit among Internet pirates, has also generated impressive sales and rental figures from paid users.
The controversial movie racked up $15 million in sales during the four days it was released, and continues to generate success. Apple iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and cable video on-demand services now offer the movie for rental and sale.
"The Interview" will receive a UK release in the future, Sony noted, and it appears Netflix want access to the film. Just a few days after the movie was released, there was talk as to whether or not the film could help spur same-day online launches for future Hollywood films.
CES 2015 - BlackBerry launched its Internet of Things (IoT) platform, with an early focus on the automotive and asset tracking verticals. Using its IoT technology, users will be able to build their services on top of the IoT Platform's efficient and scalable messaging system.
"The BlackBerry IoT platform blends the technologies that have enabled BlackBerry to become a leader in both the mobile data security and embedded systems industries," said Matt Hoffman, VP of strategy and marketing of BlackBerry.
This could be a clever play by BlackBerry, as consumers and companies are showing increased interest in IoT. BlackBerry pairing its QNX Software Systems with its well-respected secure network will allow it to utilize two strengths at a time when its efforts to reclaim glory in the smartphone market has largely fallen flat.
A few days ago we reported on the first solid news of the next iteration of Blu-ray from the floor of CES, and now our friends at TheDigitalBits have reported further information, including the official format name and disc capacities.
Dubbed 'Ultra HD Blu-ray' the finalised 4K resolution format specifications aren't due to be locked down until later this quarter, but is confirmed to utilise the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) H.265 codec, the next generation of what's currently employed in today's Blu-ray spec.
As expected, disc size will be expanded, jumping from the current 50GB to a standard 66GB configuration, with the option of a triple layered 100GB configuration. Catering for films such as 'The Hobbit' Trilogy and the upcoming 'Avatar' sequels, the format will support frame rates of up to 60 frames per second and other picture enhancements including 10-bit gradation, High Dynamic Range and wider colour gamut.
It's expected that Ultra HD Blu-ray will hit the market early in 2016.
CES 2015 - Still undecided if curved monitor technology is for you? Philips is here to tease you too - unveiling their 34" 12:9 panoramic Curved UltraWide LCD display at CES 2015.
Said to help "envelop users who seek a natural media viewing experience", this screen offers top notch color accuracy, UltraWide Quad HD 3440 x 1440 resolution, a pair of 7 W DTS stereo speakers built-in and a narrow bezel to wrap up an overall sleek design.
Supporting a 60Hz refresh rate with a 5ms SmartResponse time, Philips' new offering uses an AH-IPS LCD panel to display and has a 178 degree viewing angle. A cool and mostly-overlooked feature of this monitor is the ability to use MultiView technology, meaning you can connect two devices to the display at any given time and use them both simultaneously - giving you a feel somewhat like split screen multiplayer gaming on a console.
CES 2015 - Featuring a new range of ULTRA Performance 11AC routers, expanded DIY home automation offerings, all-new DIY Home Security Kits, the industry's first Gigabit PowerLine Kits with MIMO and all-new IP surveillance solutions, D-Link have unleashed a range of new products to the market as an addition to the ever-flowing CES 2015 coverage.
First off the rank is their ULTRA performance Wi-Fi Routers, the AC5300, AC3200 and AC3100. These devices claim a wireless speed of up to 5.3 Gbps, furthered coverage, a revamped user interface and dynamic Smart Connect to automatically balance clients.
Their new home automation offerings are coming in the form of their Connected Home Hub and range of Sensors and Sirens - designed to help keep DIY homeowners more in tune with what's happening. D-Link's connected Home Hub plugs into existing home routers, acting as a centralized control for D-Link Connected Home Devices - this is done by integrating Wi-Fi and Z-Wave wireless technologies using the 'mydlink' Home app for iOS and Android platforms. D-Link has expanded their security range by including the Z-Wave Open & Close Sensor, the Z-Wave Motion Sensor (DCH-Z120), their Wi-Fi Water Sensor and the Wi-Fi Siren.
CES 2015 - We learned today that Samsung plans to release two small form factor products from the 850 EVO product series. This news comes on the heels of Samsung's new portable USB 3.0 SSD that uses the same 3D V-NAND technology found in the company's successful 3bit per cell 2.5" form factor products.
The 850 EVO series won high praise from product reviewers for performance, endurance and warranty length that are all above other products in the price class.
The mSATA form factor gained popularity in notebook and small form factor systems three years ago. There are a number of existing systems in customer hands, many that shipped with smaller, slower solid state drives from system builders.
When Intel released the 9-Series chipset, system builders adapted the new M.2 form factor that offers varying size lengths, allowing for more customization at the device level.
From what we can tell, the mSATA model will scale to 1TB of capacity and the M.2 will go to 500GB after overprovisioning. Since neither product is official at this time, the capacity sizes may change. The 840 EVO mSATA scaled to 1TB and is extremely popular with our readers.
CES 2015 -Toshiba has announced a new SSHD (Solid-State Hybrid Drive) featuring Toshiba's A19nm NAND. We actually found the Toshiba SSHD hiding out in another manufacturers booth, so we had the chance to grab a few pictures. Please note that these may not be final production run models. The Drive Revision number AAA indicates that this is likely not the final product. The new series consists of two drive models. The MQ02ABD100H features 1TB of capacity, and the MQ02ABF050H we found comes with 500GB of capacity.
The 500GB model pictured above comes with a slim 7mm z-height, and the 1TB model features a 9.5mm z-height. SSHDs have a small complimentary amount of NAND, and hot data is dynamically placed on the faster NAND media. This provides tremendous performance advantages, while still delivering plenty of capacity. Both models can be used for high-performance computers, but the 500GB model is also an obvious fit for mobile applications.
This new revision differs from previous Toshiba SSHDs, which used separate controllers to manage the HDD and the NAND. On the new models the onboard NAND is also controlled by the drive's HDD controller chip. Merging these functions will reduce design complexity and also likely draw less power, and with the mobile-oriented design of the 500GB this will help to improve battery life. Yes, we asked to remove the PCB for a closer look at the new implementation, but that request was denied. Toshiba is the only HDD manufacturer with NAND fabrication capabilities, they actually invented NAND, and flash will comprise nearly half of their revenue by the end of the fiscal year. It would be natural to assume there will be more refined integration between Toshiba NAND and HDDs in the future.
CES 2015 - Sixense is one of the companies in the industry that I'm most excited to see succeed, they worked with Razer on the Hydra motion controller, something I used when I played HLVR with the Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra. But Sixense have been working on the STEM system for quite a while now, and we're beginning to see them get closer to the finish line.
We met up with the great guys at Sixense, including Amir Rubin who is such a great guy and super intelligent. He walked me through the changes that the STEM system is still going through, improving each month with its internal component slowly getting smaller and smaller, as well as more efficient.