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What to Expect at CES 2014

It’s January and most of the country is locked in a deep freeze, so what better time to head to Las Vegas for that annual sensory overload known as CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show to give the mid-Winter conference and exhibition its full title.

If Jet Blue and the other airlines can get off the ground, over 150,00 people are expected to descend on the Las Vegas Convention Center for the four-day event, which kicks off on Tuesday and runs through Friday. Over 3,200 exhibitors will be showcasing their products and services across 15 different industry categories, including automotive electronics, video games, digital imaging, and every kind of wireless device imaginable.

If you can’t make it to Sin City, don’t worry. More than 5,000 media will be there to write, blog, post and tweet about everything that goes down, from the big name keynotes that will open the show to the late night parties that will all claim to be the “hottest ticket in town.”

Many of those 5,000 media have already been hard at work previewing the products and services that are likely to shape the consumer electronics industry over the next 12 months. Here are just 5 of the most talked about categories:

Health and Fitness

One area that everyone expects to explode in popularity over the coming year is health and fitness. Smarter wireless devices, Bluetooth connectivity and more creative apps have already combined to produce an array of activity trackers, heart-rate monitors, networked scales, and more, and it looks like we are only just getting started.

Expect more mobile devices that can be customized to monitor your own individual health issues or help you achieve your personal fitness goals. And networked devices add that all-important sharing opportunity, offering the encouragement and motivation of group support. You probably don’t think you needed to monitor your daily steps or your nightly sleep patterns but 2014 is the year to give it a try!

Hybrid Tablets

The tablet was supposed to herald the demise of the netbook but instead we are seeing more and more tablets morph back into mini laptops. Perhaps it’s the popular complaint that it’s too difficult to get any real work done on a tablet, or maybe it’s the added processing capacity. Whatever it is, tablet makers are adding keyboards, swivel screens and additional USB ports, and are taking advantage of software innovations that allow users to switch between tablet mode and laptop mode with just a tap or a swipe.

Drones, Robots, and More

It’s a great time to be a kid – and that probably includes 100,000 of the 150,000 visitors at CES! Expect the attendees to duck and dive as drones swoop low over their heads, or bump into each other as they scurry after robotic balls and other wired toys.

The type and number of electronic toys are limited only by the imagination of the designers, as touch screen phones and 4G wireless networks open up endless possibilities for fun.

Wearable Tech

You’ve probably heard of Glass, Google’s light-weight, voice-activated computer that masquerades as eye-wear, but that is just the tip of the wearable tech iceberg. Smart watches are probably the best known of the wearable tech categories but expect everything from gloves to headbands to shirts to also get wired, as snowboarders, athletes and ordinary individuals look for convenient ways to monitor their activities and stay connected.

Last but not least….

Of course, it wouldn’t be CES without giant TV screens, and at CES 2014 the screens are bigger than ever! Samsung, Sony, LG and Panasonic are just a few of the manufacturers that are introducing new TVs at this year’s event. Perhaps the most talked-about TV is Samsung’s “Bendable TV,” which allows the user to switch between a flat screen and a curved screen at the touch of a button. With a prototype measuring 105 inches, most people would probably have to bend it to get it inside their living room!

Here’s looking forward to a fun 4 days. The Online Mom will file more reports from the show later in the week.

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