by Mark A. Ollig
What event contained over 2.2 million net square feet of display space, some 3,600 exhibitors, approximately 160,000 attendees, and over 20,000 products?
Yes, it was the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Online social media was buzzing last week.
The CES Facebook page, and the Twitter hashtag #CES2015, saw thousands of messages containing photos, opinions, and information about the latest and greatest technology being shown during CES.
Intel Corporation, during its CES keynote address, announced a new, button-sized computing chip module, called Curie.
Curie will be used in smart wearables, and IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
One Intel-engineered wearable is called MICA (My Intelligent Communications Accessory), a smart-bracelet touted as “Hi-Tech Meets High Fashion.”
A luxuriously looking bracelet, it uses a curved, sapphire glass touchscreen, and comes with 18-carat gold coating.
MICA allows the wearer to manage their calendar schedule, perform text messaging, view notices from their online social media contacts, and more.
You can see MICA on Intel’s webpage: http://tinyurl.com/lhj4aul.
Sharp Corporation announced its prototype Aquos Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV.
Some folks were mistakenly calling this an 8K resolution screen model.
Because of the splitting of pixels to create “subpixels,” this TV does not provide true 8K resolution, and Sharp is mindful not to describe it as such.
Sharp did say the Aquos Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV delivers 167 percent greater resolution than traditional 4K HD TV’s.
The Aquos Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV display screen contains some 66 million subpixels; meaning four subpixels, containing red, green, blue, and yellow, are within every single pixel.
The display screen measures 80 inches, and because of the splitting of individual pixels into subpixels, it has an effective resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels.
It uses Google’s Android TV platform, including all the Google Play applications.
The Aquos Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV will be available this fall.
This year’s CES also saw the newest Parrot Pot introduced.
The Parrot Pot is a circular flower pot, measuring about 12 inches high.
It’s an autonomous container, comprised of sensors for monitoring temperature, sunlight, soil moisture, and fertilizer levels.
This pot has its own built-in water reservoir, which it monitors.
When the plant needs watering, you can be notified via your smartphone,
If you’re not available, the built-in 2.2 liter water reserve tank will automatically spray the container’s 2 liters of soil, using its Intelligent Watering System.
Parrot Pot’s intelligence is supported by a 32 MHz processor, 8 KB of RAM, and 250 KB of flash memory.
It includes Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, and its battery lasts one year.
Monitoring a plant’s condition can be remotely accomplished by using an app on a smartdevice.
The Parrot Pot provides a database of 8,000 different plants, allowing a user to know how best to care for a specific plant.
A video demonstrating this second-generation Parrot Pot can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/l7f3rtw.
Drone maker DJI, demonstrated Inspire 1, its flying quadcopter.
Inspire 1 includes a 4K high-resolution video and 12- megapixel motorized camera, for capturing video and photos from the air.
This camera can operate independently, or be controlled from a user on the ground using an Inspire 1 remote controller, or via a mobile device software app.
DJI’s Inspire 1 webpage is: http://www.dji.com/product/inspire-1.
Inspire 1 will be available later this year.
For those interested in self-driving cars, our friends at BMW demonstrated Connected Drive Active Assist, using their BMWi3 research vehicle.
This specially-equipped demo car has Remote Valet Parking Assistant; meaning, when you arrive at your destination, instead of hunting for an open parking spot, you can exit your vehicle, enter a command into the car’s app on your smartphone (or wearable smartdevice), and let your car park itself.
When the car receives the command, it will begin searching for an open parking spot on its own, while you enter into the hotel, theater, or other venue you’re at.
In a multi-level parking garage, this autonomous car will have already downloaded the parking spot arrangement, and will be carefully steering itself through the different levels.
The car uses 360-degree collision avoidance sensors, which take into consideration other cars and any hazards; all while looking for an open parking spot.
As the car approaches an unused parking spot, it will park itself, lock the doors, and faithfully wait in the parking space until it’s instructed to pick you up.
Connected Drive Active Assist could be ready by 2020.
Mercedes-Benz also unveiled its vision of the self-driving car of the future.
The F 015 Luxury in Motion is a concept vehicle designed to drive autonomously on the open road.
Inside, passengers will relax and enjoy their private space with a 360-degree view within a wood-paneled interior.
Yours truly also liked the car’s swiveling, white leather chairs.
The F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car is still a work in progress, but looks very promising.
We may not be seeing driverless, autonomous cars zipping by us on the highways, or buzzing through parking lots anytime soon; however, the day is fast approaching when we will.
The CES website is located at http://www.cesweb.org.