We're less than two months away from CES 2015! Can you feel the excitement?
The ramifications of CES 2014 are still being felt in everything from TVs to processors to wearables. CES 2015 promises to be an even bigger show, full of the innovative, the inspiring and the impossible.
We've put together a list of what we want to see at CES 2015, so read on for our hopes and best guesses for the show. And don't forget to let us know what you're pining for come January, too.
1. TV innovation beyond the bend and curve
We get it. You can bend and curve (see here and here) a TV. Big whoop. How about revealing some television innovation that truly improves our viewing experience?
CES 2014 was all about the curved TV screen for big guns Samsung and LG - who could make it bigger, thinner and curvier without folding? The problem was, was there even a problem for these concave couch curlers to solve?
As Dan Grabham asked in his CES hands on review of the 105-inch curved Ultra HD TV from LG, "do we really need curved TVs?"
The answer, from looking at the market, is no. Yes, there was an awe factor when unveiling these futurist devices in front of ravenous consumer-tech crowds, but when the lights faded and everyone went home, we weren't buying these sets.
Instead of trying to lure us in with more bends and curves, we want Samsung, LG and others to announce more 4K content and a viable system to deliver it to consumers at CES 2015. We know it's not the sexiest subject, especially since we've already seen 4K-and-beyond TVs, but why not give us stuff to actually watch on the growing field of ultra high-res screens?
There's currently no reason for the average person to buy a pricey 4K TV because there simply isn't that much 4K content to watch on them. If Samsung, LG, et al can come up with the content and fast, reliable ways to get it to consumers, we may leave Las Vegas truly impressed and excited for the living room screen's future.
- The TV that impressed us most at CES 2014 wasn't curved
Update: LG gave us a taste of what its future TV innovation has in store. In mid-July, the company posted a YouTube video of its flexible 18-inch OLED display. It's a neat trick and one that could have actual benefit to consumers, like fitting larger screens in unconventional spaces. Might we see the tech at CES 2015? We'd sure like to.
2. Stop the 4K TV price madness
It's no secret that 4K TVs are astronomically expensive, but on July 22 Samsung took it to a whole new level by revealing the price of the 105-inch curved 4K TV it showed off during CES 2014. The damage? A whopping $120,000 (about £70,333, AU$127,732).
Talk about going from wow factor to ow factor.
We understand the parts for these high-res beasts are expensive, but it'd be fantastic if Samsung, LG and other makers of 4K TVs could lower the price of their products in addition to giving us stuff to watch on them.
It may take years before 4K TV prices are within most people's budgets, but the movement could start at this upcoming CES. We want to see top-tier TV manufacturers like Samsung reduce the price by one digit with a $999 price tag for a 50-incher.
This may be wishful thinking, but it's not unreasonable to want TV makers to begin to bring down the prices of the technology it carts out to amaze us.
3. More than just more tablets from Samsung
Director Michael Bay's meltdown was the most memorable moment of Samsung's CES 2014 press conference. Unfortunately for the Galaxy tablets also wheeled out during the presser, they were upstaged. Hard.
Samsung has unveiled even more tablets since CES, leading us to plea, "Enough!" We're heading into the pre-CES months hoping Samsung can cook up a mobile device (yes, just one) that will hold its own next to celebrity implosions and smart laundry machines.
The Korean firm intrigued with its Youm flexible phone screens during CES 2013 - perhaps it will be ready to unveil a consumer-ready foldable phone or tablet during 2015's dance? With LG revealing roll-up displays (destined for TVs, to be sure), Samsung may be feeling the heat to bring a bendy phone/tablet to market.
4. Steam Machine pricing and availability
No doubt the people's favorite at CES 2014 was Valve and its army of Steam Machine partners, not to mention the Steam Controller.
Valve hasn't kept quiet; since January, the company held a developer conference, showed off its VR headset and, in not so good news, announced Steam Machines won't arrive in consumer homes until 2015. It's the last point we want addressed at CES.
While at least one non-Valve Steam Box - the Alienware Alpha - should be out this year, we want the release date and price questions resolved for everyone else. In other words, we want CES 2015 to be brimming with Steam Machine news, including word of a truly affordable one.
Aside from Alienware, the rest of the pack, led by Valve, should get its act together by CES 2015. Of course, anyone familiar with Gabe Newell's crew knows speed is not their calling card, so while we can hope, we won't hold our breath.
5. LG and Huawei deliver standout smartphones
It's a long shot to think LG will actually unveil a smartphone during CES as it hasn't the last two years and typically saves such unveilings for MWC. Nevertheless, this is a list of what we want to see, right?
Along with Huawei, LG could use CES to gain massive exposure with a knockout smartphone. The LG G3 isn't chopped liver, but perhaps LG could put its foldable display tech to work bending like a Cirque du Soleil performer?
As for Huawei, the Chinese firm is trying mightily to break into the US market. What better way to re-re-introduce itself to US buyers than with a carrier-backed, affordable and better-than-average phone announced in Sin City? Hell, trot out AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega or, better yet, T-Mobile CEO John Legere to say a few words. Even better, bring them both onstage and see what happens.
We digress, but the point is CES has become stagnant on the smartphone announcement front. We'd love to see LG and Huawei liven up the proceedings with a phone that makes us drool.