Watch Digital Trends’ experts Steph Stricklen, Greg Nibler, Caleb Denison, and Jeremy Kaplan share their reactions to the hottest categories and devices at CES. Hear their comments, excitement, and concerns about smart home devices, QLED versus OLED TV screens, Dolby Atmos Surround Sound, self-driving cars, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, Amazon’s Alexa, and the mad, mad, walkathon world of CES itself.
Stricklen and Nibler kicked off the show talking about the immensity of CES, which covers the equivalent of 43 football fields of stuff that will be seen by an estimated 180,000 people before the show is over. It can be sensory overload as manufacturers from all over the world bringing everything they have that is new and shiny. Denison shared the exercise aspect of CES, saying his fitness tracker shows he logs 13 to 14 miles a day, and “If you sleep, you miss it.” Once you hit the ground, you never stop at CES.
Everywhere people turned they saw smart devices, often in unexpected uses such as a smart pillow designed to elevate snorers heads till they stop. Smart toothbrushes are getting a lot of attention but no one is quite sure why. Find out why Stricklen may be taking out a second mortgage on her home.
QLED and OLED
Denison talked about a new player joining LG in the OLED TV market — technology that is still simply the best, even with Samsung’s new QLED displays. Stricklen mentioned she saw Digital Trends’ Nick Mokey and Greg Mombert stopped cold, just staring at a new OLED screen. Denison answered a viewer’s question from Facebook about whether curved screens are better than flat screens and also commented about dramatic changes in the beginning prices of new TV technology.
Dolby Atmos Surround Sound
Denison said the new Dolby Atmos soundbars are causing a stir at CES, with products using the new technology on the show floor from several major manufacturers. The sound is so good without requiring speakers all over the room. The panelists talked about what movies they would love to see re-edited to take advantage of the astounding audio experience.
Self-driving cars are getting a lot of attention at CES and Digital Trends’ experts have different opinions about how soon they are willing to ride in one. Kaplan revealed the answer he received from most major carmakers about when we will be able to buy self-driving cars. Everyone commented on the moral aspects of self-driving cars — in some cases deciding who to crash into. Kaplan mentioned that as companies amass data about people, that information may factor in the crash decisions, deciding, for example, whether a bus full of nuns may figure as socially more valuable than other people in a vehicle’s path.
Drones are everywhere at CES and our panelists talked about drones for fun, drones for specific jobs, and why some think that any drone today without a camera doesn’t make sense. When it comes to drones large enough to fly people around, two of the panelists are ready to go for a ride today.
VR and AR
Virtual and augmented reality products are also ubiquitous at CES and the experts dealt with the nausea some people feel with VR. Stricklen talked about why she likes the idea of AR as a mom and Denison mentioned practical ways AR can be used for education, not just entertainment.
Amazon Echo’s Alexa voice assistant may not have the knowledge database of the newer Google Home, but Alexa’s lead on the market is showing at CES where tons of other devices are being demonstrated with Alexa capability built in, even toothbrushes. Kaplan shared that the turning point for most people will be when they recognize smart devices with voice control can make their lives better.
Internet of Things — especially at home
The group all spoke about the need for security and possible legislation with IoT devices– in homes and elsewhere. Denison mentioned that phones, computers, and tablets have had cameras for years and security is a continuing concern.