Although, this year’s four-day Consumer Electronics Show doesn’t wrap up until this Friday, it’s already provided plenty of incredible technological innovations, cool new gadgets and other game-changing announcements, presentations and moments of general awe and wonder. Because it can be hard to sift through them all, we’ve culled five stories from the show we found particularly interesting, not to mention pertinent to our industry.
1.) Sony no Crony: Jumping headfirst into the age of connectivity, Sony was especially busy at CES, heavily hyping the Sony Entertainment Network, a new service that will finally connect the company’s numerous digital products with its numerous hardware products. Going forward, Sony’s music, games, movies and more can be found and shared across the company’s PlayStation 3, Bravia TVs, tablets and smartphones. By unifying its disparate parts, Sony has made a crucial step forward and placed the domineering Apple square in its sights.
2.) A Sportier Smart Phone: LG used its time at CES to unveil The Spectrum, a new smartphone that will give Verizon customers exclusive access to HD video on ESPN’s popular ScoreCenter app. Of course, smartphone users have been able to watch sports highlights for a while on their phones, but this partnership marks the first time sports will be viewable at 720p on a mobile device. The Spectrum launches on the Verizon network on January 19.
3.) A Smarter Smart TV: Lenovo unveiled what could be the smartest smart TV yet: The Lenovo K91. Offering 55 inches of streaming video-on-demand and multimedia sharing, the K91 runs on a custom-skinned version of Android 4.0 and features a slew of games from a Lenovo-approved Android market. Throw in voice recognition and an integrated 5MP webcam and you have the next generation in home connectivity. While an April release is planned in China, a stateside roll-out has yet to be finalized. Good things come to those who wait…
4.) A Simpler Smart TV: GigaOM reports on the CES unveiling of Simple.TV, a new kind of streaming set-top box for consumers who have given their cable packages the boot. The streaming set-top box can be connected to an HD antenna or to a broadband feed. From there, the user can transmit live and recorded television to an array of supporting mobile devices and tablets, which as of now include iPad, Roku boxes and Boxee. If TiVo and Sling had a baby, it might look something like Simple.TV.
5.) Tablet Totality: If you thought 2011 was tablet-crazy, 2012 might just be off the hook. The good folks at Mashable report that CES has officially kicked off the “year of the tablet,” in which Microsoft, Samsung, Motorola, BlackBerry others vie to compete with the rampaging iPad. All of these companies had something tablet-related to share at CES, with the Motorola Xoom making an especially large splash thanks to a 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 10.1-inch screen, 1280×800 resolution, 4G connectivity, 32GB of on board memory and the Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” OS.