Weekly Download 15.2

download-150965_640The annual Consumer Electronics Show was held a couple of weeks ago. While individual gadgets are not top priority for me (lots of shine and sizzle, too little substance), I enjoy observing general trends. Two categories stood out, that I confirmed on a recent visit to Best Buy.

#1: The connected home. This includes everything from thermostats, smoke/CO detectors (Nest Protect has caught a friend’s attention), lights, access control, home monitoring and sound/video/entertainment systems.

#2: Home entertainment. There still seems to be a quest for “bigger is better.” Now, there are 4K screens and curved screens, all targeted toward creating an in-home experience for large groups of people. We have a traditional colonial-style house, with no oversized great room to hold a dozen or more viewing guests. Fortunately for us, it also seems like demand is growing for tools to promote “cocooning” in your own home.

  • The Intel® Compute Stick is a complete system on an old school USB stick-sized device that can transform any HDMI display into a fully-functioning computer.
  • The HP Sprout is a combo PC, scanner and projector with a touch-sensitive projection surface. It’s too soon to tell if it will become the next great thing in home computing.

Here are a couple of other observations:

  • 3-D printing continues to evolve to include food, clothing, parts and even entire cars!
  • Watches are hot again, particularly when loaded with fitness and wellness capabilities. I’m not sure what to think about this category—I thought we gave watches up long ago.
  • WattUp™ is a potential game-changer in the way we keep our myriad devices charged by creating wire-free charging zones.

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