Welcome to CES 2014 – Tech Trends for Families

The holidays tend to be crazy for tech writers. Not only do we have last-minute products to review, but many of us are preparing for the Consumer Electronics Show in early January. Even if we’re not attending, it’s when most companies announce their big products for the year. And so here I am in Vegas again, checking out all of the new trends and seeing what’s hot.

I’d have to say that one of the biggest trends of note is a connected home. I covered connected appliances a few years ago and, at the time, connected homes were geared toward those with custom installers, big dreams, and money to burn. Today, we’re seeing more and more budget-friendly connected devices, as well as cost-effective options for DIYers. As my family is house-hunting, I’ve adopted that as my CES focus this year and I’m looking forward to sharing what I find. I’ve already seen a range from video doorbells to a WiFi enabled pressure cooker. If you can connect it, they’re doing so.

 

Mother.4Cookies.product shot
This “Mother” hub from Sen.se communicates with cookies that can be stuck on whatever you’d like. They track movement and temperature so you can create your own connected home.

Health and fitness products continue to have a strong emphasis, including many that fall into the previous category. There is a never ending stream of devices that track your foot steps, sleep patterns, blood sugar, oxygen levels, blood pressure, and more. It’s wonderful to see technology being used in ways that are potentially life-saving, as devices and apps remind you to take medicines, alert you to dangerous changes in your health status, and keep you connected to those who can help you in an emergency.

TVs are always a hot spot at CES and this year is no different. The two big things we’re seeing are some dazzling 4K displays (having a horizontal resolution of ~4000, or twice as much as an HD TV) and curved displays which are designed to provide a high-quality viewing experience from any angle within the curve. And, of course, TVs are connected, too!

ThinkVision 28_06
Lenovo announced their ThinkVision 28 4K Smart Display that multi-tasks as a 4K monitor, Android All-in-One, and TV (via the HDMI input).

It’s going to be a great year if you want to be able to control your life with your smart phone or tablet. If you don’t have either, prepared to be left behind in the realm of technology. What would you most likely to see connected to your mobile devices?

Disclosure: This post contains mention of a product of Lenovo. I am part of a compensated Lenovo Moms campaign through Techlicious. The opinions contained in this post are my own.

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