March 2, 2014

Health, Wearables, and Mobile Shine at 2014 International CES

150,000 industry professionals, including more than 35,000 from outside the United States, attended the 2014 International CES from January 7-10, 2014. In a press release, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association, which owns and produces CES, said, "This year's show was an energizing display of where the future is headed, bringing to life cool new products from every industry that touches technology. One-third of the world’s population interacted with CES in some way this week as we experienced the future. From curved and flexible Ultra HD TVs and next generation smart phones to drones, robots, sensors, the Internet of Everything, Hi-Res audio, connected cars and 3D printers, it seems like the only thing missing from the 2014 CES was a time-travel machine." Here are some of my observations attending the event in Las Vegas, Nev.

Several companies exhibited their digital health and fitness, and wearable technology products and services, some of which are highlighted in these videos: "Digital Health & Fitness Highlights: 2014 CES" and "Wearable Tech Highlights: 2014 CES." I saw the Kolibree Smart Toothbrush, LG Lifeband Touch fitness activity monitor, Reebok CrossCheck, and Sleep Number X12 Smart Bed. I even witnessed Shaquille O'neal checking out the Fitbit booth. While an increasingly crowded sector, I do not have any doubts that fitness and wearable technology will grow rapidly in the coming years as people seek to monitor their health and daily activity.

Specifically to mobile technology, I saw the latest smartphones and tablets that will be available to consumers in 2014 including the Huawei Ascend Mate2, 4G Lenovo ThinkPad 8, and Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2. This year's devices possess faster processors and higher quality screens. Moreover, NVIDIA unveiled the Tegra K1 mobile processor, which, for the first time, next-generation PC gaming will now be available on mobile platforms. These developments will allow app and web-content developers like ROI3, Inc. to produce an experience for consumers on their mobile devices that they already experience via personal computers. Here is a video that provides highlights from the mobile tech sector at CES.

I also attended the second annual CEA MoDev Hackathon that featured nearly 100 developers competing individually and as teams for up to $100,000 in cash and prizes. As explained in this press release, "Apps were awarded for innovative integration with Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Sony and Modev." Furthermore, "App Projects from Travel Channel Cities Metro, Travel Offers, Travel Swipe, Travel Channel Navigator and Travel Live were awarded top honors. The Journey Live app was selected as the grand prize winner."

Lastly, the Mobile Apps Showdown competition featured four-minute elevator-pitch-style presentations from 10 semifinalist app developers selected ahead of time by a team of expert panelists and Living in Digital Times readers. Password Box, an innovative, free password manager, with secure digital wallet features for your iPhone, iPad and desktop devices, won the top showdown prize. Ballerz, an iOS app that helps players find pickup basketball games in their area based on skill level, was the online showdown winner. A group of active duty naval officers who found that playing sports reduced stress and boosted morale on the base developed Ballerz.

Aaron Rose serves as President and CEO of ROI3, Inc., a Seattle, Wash.-based company that empowers people in emerging economies through innovative, technology-based solutions. He is also the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.

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