The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a showcase of products that will be arriving in showrooms and living rooms soon. Here’s a look back at some of the new items unveiled at last week’s show, and how they might change your life if the price is right.
1. Ultra TV aka 4K TV
3-D TV’s didn’t exactly take off, and it will be interesting to see if Ultra TV sales, also known as 4K TV’s, are popular. The resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels. That’s four times as much as the current 1080p video. CNNMoney reports the image depth is obvious, giving almost a 3-D look without 3-D TV. The smallest and cheapest Ultra TV’s are $4-5,000 while others are expected to be $30,000.
I think Ultra TV’s will get a lot of buzz next holiday season, but I don’t think they’ll be flying off the shelves even though television sets are popular with the holiday shopping crowd.
They said 3-D TV’s would be popular, and they never took off. I think these TV’s will be popular once they come down in price.
2. Upgrade your TV with just a kit
From The New York Times Bits Blog Samsung unveiled an Evolution Kit that allows you to upgrade your television easier. When you replace the box on the back of the TV, the picture and hardware will update and it will be cheaper than purchasing a new television. Samsung says “you can buy a new television every year.”
I think this is a great way to appease the techie in all of us, but the price has to be relatively low to make it worthwhile. I can’t imagine people will pay more than a few hundred dollars for this feature. It will also cut down on the number of TV sets that are ending up in the landfill.
3. On-demand TV personalized for you
My friend jokes that her two year old daughter thinks all television is on demand. She requests certain Mickey Mouse shows, and there they are On Demand or on the DVR. Viewing what we want is on its way to a whole new level thanks to new technology that personalizes your viewing habits.
According to The New York Times Bits Blog, Panasonic announced the “My Home Screen,” that will show a viewer customized shows, streaming content, and Internet content all on one screen. This makes it easy to find what you need without scrolling through a bunch of content, menus, or stations. Each family member will have their own personalized screen, and facial recognition technology will even be used.
Samsung calls the personal content S Recommendations. Once again, all the personalized content will be on one screen so you don’t have to search for it in different places.
4. Virtual healthcare in a kiosk
Ohio based HealthSpot is rolling out its healthcare kiosks in select markets, including Cleveland, in 2013. Instead of waiting to see a doctor, you sit down at a kiosk and see a doctor remotely. You sit down in the 8 by 5 foot kiosk and you meet with a board certified doctor through the video monitor.
There are a variety of tools in the kiosk like a thermometer and blood pressure cuff to take your vital signs. If you have a rash, a dermascope provides a magnified view of your rash or skin.
A doctor told me recently that it will be the same level of care as a MinuteClinic which you commonly find in drugstores. The difference is the absence of a doctor in the same room as you. Bottom line: you can get basic care through a computer.
These will be located in grocery stores, urgent care facilities, specialty doctors offices like ENT or dermatology, emergency room, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and college campuses.
5. Monitor your health for cheaper insurance rates
Some car insurance companies are trying to get consumers to install devices in their car that monitor their driving habits. The insurers say the devices can only decrease your insurance rates if your driving habits are worthy of a discount. This trend may be coming to healthcare.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Market Watch found the BodyMedia patch at the CES Show. It monitors the steps you take, your sleep, and other health data. The device is attached to your arm and worn for seven days.
It’s an interesting concept as employers are holding more and more incentives to get employees to be healthier. My employer has contests and give-aways to employees who stay health for a certain amount of time. We also can earn discounts on our premiums if we get an annual exam, take a health screening, and don’t smoke.
I think this product will take off if required by employers to earn discounts. I imagine there will be big privacy questions, though, as many people are less than willing to share personal information with their health insurance company. I think as premiums continue to increase, people will become less reluctant.
If the financial reward is steep enough, people just might wear the device.
What do you think of all these new products? Click comment below and join the conversation.