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1/4/2014
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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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The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off next week in Las Vegas, which means somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 people will flock to the desert, eager to learn where the tech industry will  place its bets for the upcoming year.

"Bets" is an appropriate term -- and not just because of the venue. Some of the technologies recently hyped at CES haven't paid off. None of the exhibitors gambling on 3D televisions have been rewarded yet, for example.

But CES is also a launchpad for many of today's most compelling trends. Smartphones with bendable or curved displays could become the norm before long -- and Samsung prophesied as much at last year's CES, when it demonstrated its flexible glass technology. 3D printing, smart cars, connected fitness devices, and wearable technology were other CES 2013 trends that appear poised to break out in 2014.

CES 2014 will feature more than 3,000 exhibitors. That's more than the Las Vegas Convention Center's 3.2 million square feet can accommodate, so attendees will be scrambling not only around the crowded exhibits, but also into meeting rooms and conference halls spread across nearby hotels. Product demonstrations aren't the only attraction. The keynote lineup includes such heavy hitters as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Cisco CEO John Chambers.

Las Vegas is a monument to conspicuous consumption, so some of the hubbub inevitably will revolve around vapid first-world problems. I'm looking at you, $650 crocodile-skin iPhone case. But even if you're a hardened cynic, CES should offer something to inspire; from wearable devices to the Internet of Things to solar-powered cars, many of the products at this year's show use technologies that could literally change the world.

And if you're not a tech cynic, you're in for a treat. There will be enough tablets, ultrabooks, TVs, and cameras to exhaust even the most enthusiastic of technophiles. TV manufacturers appear determined to make 4K sets a bigger deal than their 3D predecessors, and though the biggest, most glorious models still target people who also own private jets, some will be available to mere mortals.

In a sign of the PC industry's ongoing power shift, several manufacturers will showcase desktop machines that run operating systems other than Windows. 3D printing also could push further into the mainstream at CES 2014.

This year's show runs Jan. 7-10 and InformationWeek will be there to bring you news and analysis. In the meantime, we've collected some of the cooler products slated to appear. Will a car with laser-beam headlights enthrall your inner motorist? What about a big-screen TV that curves around you? Or perhaps one of the new low-budget tablets? Click through our slideshow to see what's cooking at CES 2014.

Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He graduated from Stanford in 2005 and previously worked in talent representation, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher.

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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.
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...
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.
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
1/7/2014 | 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
1/7/2014 | 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?
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.
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.

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. 
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?
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