Life & Technology - 2GB 4th January, 2015

CES, the world's largest consumer technology exhibition, starts on Monday and I'm heading over to Las Vegas to check out all the big announcements.

 

I’m actually not sure how much smartphone news we’ll see at CES to be honest. Mobile World Congress, another big convention, is just a month and a half away now, and I think most manufacturers will be saving their smartphone announcements for then.

 

HTC, Sony, LG, Samsung and Huawei will all be making announcements, so I’d be a little surprised if we don’t see at least one phone though.

 

I think we’ll start to see more Quad HD displays, and I hope we’ll begin to see more waterproof phones. When you’ve got kids, it’s something you can’t go without.

 

Feels like we’ve been talking about wearables a lot lately, but now that Apple’s thrown down the gauntlet with the Apple Watch, I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more manufacturers bring out their own smartwatches and try and beat Apple to the punch. There’s been rumours of a HTC smartwatch for months now, so that’s something that we might see unveiled

 

I’m sure we’ll also see a plethora of new fitness trackers and like, and maybe even some more hybrid devices. Last year, Jabra brought out a pair of head of wireless headphones that doubled as a fitness tracker thanks to an inbuilt heart rate monitor, so I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see more wearables try and do more.

 

We already have software on our phones that can tell whether we’re at home or at work, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see if this is a trend that continues.

 

Phones have some pretty amazing sensors in them now, GPS, gyroscopes, ambient light sensors, so it will be fascinating to see how they all work together to really give our smartphones some smarts.

 

We can already program our phones to turn on our lights when we get home – the kind of smart-home stuff we were talking about earlier – but you have to use a few different apps to actually configure it. I think we’ll see things like this become a bit more seamless.

 

It doesn’t even have to be that complicated. It could be phones that automatically put themselves on vibrate when or turn on your personal hotspot when you’re on a train, or a fitness band that realises you’ve started running, so it turns on work out tracking if you haven’t yourself. Just little things that make our lives easier.

 

Oculus looks to be getting their Oculus Rift to the point where it could be ready for a wider release this year, and we’ve already seen the Samsung and Oculus collaboration, the Gear VR launch in the United States (we should see an Australian release early this year)

 

Sony is also planning its own VR headset, and there are rumours Microsoft is making one too, so I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if we saw other manufacturers giving the tech a go