It’s CES time! That’s right folks, nerdkind from around the globe descend upon Las Vegas this week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Every year CES brings us a bevy of new tech, from mobile to gaming to crazy kinds of media, waiting to be snapped up and fawned over by the masses. Now unfortunately I’m not able to be there myself because my job description doesn’t have a bullet point that says “go to CES and see awesome things.” But I can do the next best thing. Through all the coverage and videos and liveblogs I can still see everything that’s going on, and show you fine folks what I thought was cool. Day 1 didn’t disappoint, and of course provided toys needed to fight the war for your living room and the war for your mobile life.
We’ll start with the living room first – which is nothing without a TV. We’re at an interesting time in television tech – after the big push manufacturers made with 3D sets I’ve never really seen them take off. And to be quite honest they’re really not all that impressive. Manufacturers seem to agree, and are going in different directions to try to sell more units. They’re making them smart, they’re making them big, and they’re making them super sharp. Samsung and LG have finally brought OLED (organic LED) tech to larger 55” screens. OLEDs are awesome because it takes backlight out of the picture, making the blacks purely black – giving the user better black level and picture. Not to be left behind, Sony unveiled their Crystal LED TVs today – something new that runs on completely different tech. They showed off sets featuring 6 million crystal LEDs that give brighter and crisper color, and at the same time have a response time 10 times faster than traditional LEDs. So the result? Super thin screens with super sharp images. The OLED TVs will be available later this year, while Sony’s Crystal model is still a prototype. You can see a side by side LCD / Crystal LED video on Mashable and see for yourself. Like I said though, the TVs weren’t just about pretty faces. Vizio introduced TV models with a Chrome browser and VIA (Vizio Internet Apps) and built in Google TV. Samsung went the same route, partnering with DirecTV to provide a boxless, minimalist TV experience. Both with some slick design.