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1/4/2014
09:06 AM
Michael Endler
Michael Endler
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CES 2014: 8 Technologies To Watch

Giant TVs, laser-equipped cars, wearable computers -- it must be the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. Which products will dazzle?
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A road-worthy solar-powered car
Announced Jan. 2, Ford's C-Max Solar Energi concept car achieves an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe in the city and 92 MPGe on the highway. Given that it's a solar-powered car, its great mileage is not all that surprising. What is surprising: the vehicle's overall capability.  

With a range of 620 miles, it equals its predecessor, the plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi. Ford claims the Solar Energi could reduce the average car owner's annual greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tons, and that the vehicle, which retains an electrical charge port, absorbs enough sunlight daily to equal a four-hour electrical charge. The Solar Energi is just a concept for now, but Ford plans to test the car in conjunction with Georgia Tech to determine if it is viable for mass production.

A road-worthy solar-powered car
Announced Jan. 2, Ford's C-Max Solar Energi concept car achieves an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe in the city and 92 MPGe on the highway. Given that it's a solar-powered car, its great mileage is not all that surprising. What is surprising: the vehicle's overall capability.

With a range of 620 miles, it equals its predecessor, the plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi. Ford claims the Solar Energi could reduce the average car owner's annual greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tons, and that the vehicle, which retains an electrical charge port, absorbs enough sunlight daily to equal a four-hour electrical charge. The Solar Energi is just a concept for now, but Ford plans to test the car in conjunction with Georgia Tech to determine if it is viable for mass production.

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asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2014 | 6:10:16 PM
Technology is great but...
Personally, I'd like to see the Android platform less shackeled to Google.  With each passing version, Android becomes less open and more proprietary, which simply means less functionality for the consumer.  All that being said, caveat emptor...anything a brand name for profit company attaches itself to open source, it doesn't stay open for very long.
kritik1
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kritik1,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/5/2014 | 6:22:13 PM
Re: Technology is great but...
People look forward to open platforms as they are a collective success.  If Android were to become "less-open" then it would be Android's loss.  An empty open slot begs to  be filled by an innovative open platform from some creative platform in the making either as an open project or an existing project that feels by going open it would meet more rapid success.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2014 | 10:41:32 PM
Re: Technology is great but...
Android is a great invention not only from pure technical perspective but also from conceptual level. It's based on open platform concept so that the manufactures can have budget tablet produced, which will definitely drive BYOD trend and the prevailing of mobile devices. I do not want to see that it becomes less open and protected behind IPR. Nowadays in many restaurants you can place the order by using the tablet, which is quite convenient. In the future with the development of curved LCD, we can predict that soon we will have the menu printed on "electronic paper".
samicksha
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samicksha,
User Rank: Strategist
1/6/2014 | 3:00:12 AM
Re: Technology is great but...
Wearables wave is still in its early phases, the most recent one we saw was Samsung smartwatch which arrived to shopping malls but did not made much difference and one of the reasons i see was cost, apart from the glass and smartwatches i would also like include wearables which offer health related statics like your heart rate monitors.
virsingh211
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virsingh211,
User Rank: Strategist
1/6/2014 | 4:05:23 AM
Re: Technology is great but...
Please don't me saying, as if now i am not so optimistic about wearables and specially smartwatches , it has to have some functionality that's just killer otherwise why someone will invest into same.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2014 | 7:41:18 PM
Lasers and Glasses
The Laser headlights sound interesting. I wonder if the bounce-back reflection of a laser signal could be useful for a collision avoidance system? Yes it's true that Google Glass has been talked about for a while, but because of the high initial costs involved, the first devices here will likely be commercial and not consumer.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
1/5/2014 | 1:40:24 PM
Errors
There are a number of glaring errors in this article, but I'll point out just one. In the case of 4k Tv. It's totally incorrect that one must sit further back to eliminate seeing the pixels. The facts are totally different. In order to see each pixel, which is the only reason to buy 2k HD or 4k HD, one must sit CLOSER. The author doesn't understand what's happening here. With SD, in the old days, the resolution was so low, and the scan lines so prominent, that you didn't want to sit so close as to see them. That's no longer true. Now you so want to see them, small as they now are. There are two opposed concepts that are at play here. The first is the one that deals with resolution. The higher the resolution, the closer one must sit to get the benefit of it. But for the movie industry, they have another concept which has nothing to do with resolution. They go by the angle of view, which they say should be around 55 degrees so that the view is large enough to fill our field of wiew, but not so large so as to force us to move our heads back and forth. So going by the latter, the bigger the screen, the further back we should sit. For a 100" dia screen we should sit about 9' back. That works out well for 2k HD, which is the current 1080p, because we can see all the detail it offers at that distance, and actually we can sit back almost 12'. But for 4k HD, we need to sit much closer to see all the detail, which would be about 6'. This is clearly too close for comfort to such a large screen. But if you don't sit that close, then there's no point in getting 4k. So we can see that the two standards are in opposition. For best viewing, we need to sit further back, but for full detail we need to sit further forward. Deciding which is more important should decide what resolution screen is needed.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2014 | 8:33:07 AM
Falling Tablet Prices
I've been waiting and waiting to see tablet prices drop the way PC prices dropped when they became main stream.  The component parts should be less expensive than a low end laptop but we are seeing a stall in getting those higher end tablets down to budget laptop prices.  I can't say I'm excited to try out a $38 tablet but a name brand tablet (Acer) with decent hardware under $200 is tempting.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2014 | 10:38:12 AM
VR Headsets
I'm surprised there was no mention here of the Oculus Rift headset or its contemporaries? Valve could be showing of its own virtual reality hardware and there's supposed to be an HD (possibly 4k) Oculus Rift set to debut too. 

It's pretty exciting what changes virtual reality could have to our media viewing. 
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2014 | 11:22:36 AM
Chrome
I'm excited to see Chrome OS laptops and desktops evolve. The "Mac or Windows" two-horse race in this area has gotten old. Not that Macs and Windows 8 devices aren't beautiful and useful, but Chrome OS has been on the verge of shaking up the market with a new stripped-down and affordable PC experience. Is this the year of Chrome?
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2014 | 1:32:03 PM
Re: Chrome
Chrome would need another message than 'stripped down and affordable,' I'd say. I'm not sure "stripped down" is what people want, and PCs are mighty affordable already. Can it make a dent in the laptop/tablet hybrid world perhaps?
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2014 | 2:25:32 PM
Re: Chrome
I don't see Chrome as dominating, but Google could slowly find a place in desktops/laptops/tablets for it. Bandwidth is an important component of this. 
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2014 | 4:01:36 PM
Re: Chrome
It appears that Chromebooks are making a dent in the laptop market. They accounted for almost 10% of the laptop market in 2013, according to NPD. That's up from less than 1% the year before.

Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/6/2014 | 6:18:26 PM
Re: Chrome
And the more we hear about incidents like Yahoo serving up Java malware, and as people realize that Chromebooks aren't susceptable (so far anyway) the better sales will likely get.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/7/2014 | 7:35:05 PM
tanked
It would've been nice to see, at the beginning of this year, the stuff that tanked in 2013. Next year perhaps? Hello $80,000 televisions!
Anyway, count me in as a buyer for the $38, 7" tablet, but I can't find any at that price. The cheapest I found is the Ubislate 7Ci for almost 60 bucks.Still affordable tho.
Here is the link for all the models and prices.: http://www.ubislate.com/device-specification
Anyone finds strange that the Ford C-Max Solar Energi has better mileage in the city than in the highway? (108 MPGe city vs 92 MPGe highway) Does anybody know why?
Also the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept looks awesome. Here is a link to a neat video: http://youtu.be/ryeVRZIMXvA
Laser light can illuminate almost the double of the distance of the led lights. Pretty good.

I wonder was next for cars. phasers?
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
1/7/2014 | 9:56:44 PM
Re: tanked
I'd predict that smartwatches may be on that list of stuff that tanked. We'll see!
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2014 | 6:33:48 PM
Re: tanked
@Kristin Burnham

As Jeff Bertolucci recently pointed it out in another cool article: "Even if you aren't a fan of the smartwatch, wearable computing has a bright future." Let me add, and they are here to stay. Will 2014 be the year of wearable? I think so.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
1/9/2014 | 7:53:01 AM
Re: tanked
Wearable tech, no doubt. I just don't see smartwatches in particular taking off with consumers.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
1/11/2014 | 8:48:35 AM
Re: tanked
Wind resistance.  The lower the speed, the better mileage almost any car gets, to a point.  In the city, the stop start kills the wind resistance advantage.  If city driving is handled mostly on battery, better city economy makes sense.  It might also be due to an underpowered conventional engine that's struggling at highway speeds.

I own a Hyundai Santa Fe and the best mileage I've ever recorded is when I spent several hours driving through Yellowstone Park.  The speed limit is ~40 but with Summer traffic it was usually 30 with few stops... just small variations in speed.  This vehicle normally struggles to get 23mpg but in the park, it achieved 31 mpg!

A long time ago I read a Popular Science article (?I think?) about what to do if you are low on gas and will run out before the next gas station.  The article said to start the vehicle and gently accelerate to about 20.  Shut off the engine and coast until it stops.  Repeat.  The article claimed even a gas guzzler could get crazy mileage with this technique (something like ~50mpg). Of course it will take you all day to get anywhere but in a desperate situation...
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/11/2014 | 3:39:06 PM
Re: tanked
@rradina

Thank you for the explanation. I understand what you're saying. It makes sense somehow. About to let the car coast, my dad used to do that. I did it a few times myself to save some gas. Kinda neat.
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