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CES 2015: The 5 biggest things we learned this year


With another year at CES done and dusted, the moment for speculation and breathless reaction is over, and the time has come to sit back in our imaginary armchairs, stroke our imaginary beards and ponder what exactly went on in Las Vegas over the past week.

We’ve already seen the world’s smartest fridge magnet and the world’s most expensive Sony Walkman, but what else did we learn from this year’s show? These are the 5 biggest takeaways;

1. We live in a connected world

As we predicted last week, 2015 is the year that just about any object you can possibly imagine being connected to the internet gets connected to the internet. This might be for the good of nature and mankind (e.g.The Parrot Pot that knows when your plants are thirsty), or simply for the sake of it (e.g. the smart belt, belty, that adjusts to your waistline.) The question now, then, is which of these products are useful solutions to actual problems, and which are trend-hopping gimmicks that nobody really needs? It should be an interesting year.

2. The wait for Oculus goes on

Having dominated CES in 2013 and 2014, this year Oculus Rift came face-to-face with a VR competitor referring to itself as the ‘Oculus killer‘. As it turned out, Oculus had nothing to worry about, as the ridiculous-looking 3D Head was laughed out of Las Vegas for exaggerating its products capabilities and selling them at an inflated price.

Even so, CES 2015 wasn’t the stage for a consumer version of Oculus Rift either, as the wait goes on for virtual reality to join the mainstream. Back in November, Oculus CEO Brandon Iribe said the company was “months, not years away” from a big announcement. Watch this space, then.

Mercedes-Benz F015 - Luxury in Motion

3. Cars lose their drivers…

With almost the entirety of the North Hall booked out by car companies at this year’s CES, we were expecting big things from the automotive industry. As well as the ongoing development of in-car technology, the biggest trend was again the self-driving car – announcements by Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Delphi goes to show this is an idea that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Mercedes says it’s F 015 concept car is unlikely to see the light of day before 2030, but what a concept it is. As well as being completely driverless (it doesn’t even have pedals or a steering wheel), the vehicle reimagines the car of the future as a luxury, chauffered ride around town with safety features to boot.

4. …and headphones lost their wires

Music technology was another big highlight of CES 2015, with devices like Pono and the all-new Sony Walkman making headlines for their ultra-high audio quality and ultra-high prices.

Another takeaway from this year’s show, though, was that the number of headphones on display which ditched wires completely. Earbuds from Bragi, HearNotes and FreeWavz showed that a truly wireless listening experience is indeed possible – so expect the big names to swoop in shortly for a piece of the pie.

5. Selfie sticks just won’t go away

Finally, if there’s one thing that we hoped not to see at this year’s CES, it was cameras strapped to the end of poles. Far from drifting into obscurity, though, the dreaded selfie stick was back with a vengeance – wielded around at the four day event with less self-awareness than ever before. If you were hoping this fad would die a death in 2o15, we’re sorry to report it looks like selfie sticks are here to stay.

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