Early last month, a group of us from the Shumaker Technology Group escaped the frigid Michigan winter and visited Las Vegas for the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. CES is a technology trade show where companies from all around the world showcase their newest and most innovative products and concepts, and we certainly weren’t disappointed.
Intel had a particularly exciting display this year. RealSense, a 3D camera sensor, was unveiled. The camera sees depth like a human eye and enables the user to interact with the computer in a much more exciting way than the typical keyboard and mouse setup allows. A picture can hardly do the experience justice, so you’ll have to take our word until it hits the market. It’s scheduled to make its way into consumer laptops starting in the second half of 2014.
Oculus VR generated a lot of buzz with their Oculus Rift immersive gaming head-mounted display, powered by Intel. The gentlemen in this picture aren’t titling their heads to get a better look at their physical surroundings, but are peering into space from the windows of the cockpits of their fighter planes, only seeing and hearing sensations from this virtual reality. A consumer version isn’t yet available, but this demo has us anxiously anticipating its release.
“Immersive” was a buzzword at CES, but we weren’t too mad about it. Omni is another immersive gaming effort by a company called Virtuix. Instead of limiting the experience to a stationary position, Omni pushes the immersion even farther and allows for a full-body gaming experience. In this demo, the player physically ran around the Omni platform, allowing him to explore the virtual world of TRAVR: Shadow Ops, a game specifically designed for Omni. Consumers will have to wait a bit longer for this immersive experience, as Virtuix Omni is currently only available for pre-order.
And how could we forget the automotive display? Besides being awed by the external appeal of these cars, the innovation on the inside had us intrigued. Audi is introducing a center console entirely free of analog controls, consolidating everything into a screen directly in front of the steering wheel. This will become available starting in the TT in 2015. Mercedes-Benz also impressed us with Mercedes-Benz Apps, a huge step in automobile connectivity. This in-car app system featured apps ranging from Google Maps and Yelp to TuneIn Internet Radio and Facebook. We’re excited to see these technologies in action in the coming years.
Those are just a few of the standouts from CES. It was an incredible experience, and we already can’t wait for CES 2015!
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