CES is shaping up to be a great week, and Volkswagen is doing everything it can to make it even better. Volkswagen is premiering a few concept vehicles for the week, all based off of the Golf R.
The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) have announced plans to merge completely by the end of the year. This merging will lower the number of competitors from three to two, with the last remaining competitor of the new group being the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and its Qi charging standard.
After relaunching with a new look, Secret has gotten another pretty cool feature today. Now you can anonymously post messages to specific events that aren’t tied to your friends or locations, which is useful for pretty big conventions and events. Not coincidentally, the Secret team is testing out this feature first with CES 2015.
There’s a new section in the app for those of your attending CES this year that will let you view anything posted specifically for this event, and it’s all just as anonymous as ever, for better or worse. This is better than, say, using hashtags on Facebook or Twitter since it’s confined specifically to CES 2015, so it’s much easier to keep your ear to the ground to figure out what’s going on around you. The concept is cool, and hopefully they’ll continue doing this for major events in the future.
Google has announced that they’re hard at work on letting you upload 360 degree video footage onto YouTube. They didn’t specify exactly how the footage will work, but it’s supposedly set to debut on the video streaming service in the coming weeks.
Of course, if you want to upload any 360 degree video, you’re going to have to use a camera that actually supports it. Your smartphone or point-and-shoot isn’t going to get the job done. Viewing the videos also seems like it’ll be tricky, especially on something small like a smartphone screen, but Google might just implement an IMAX-esque panoramic view on widescreen monitors or tablets. There’s also a lot of potential with VR headsets like Google cardboard or Samsung’s Gear VR, but that might be putting the horse in front of the cart at this point.
Samsung has announced a new cooking application for its Galaxy Tablets that will help home kitchen chefs learn new recipes. The application updates with a new recipe every two weeks and shows step-by-step instructions for preparing the dish, which is a slightly better experience than reading a cookbook and looking up specifics from YouTube on the fly.
The app is set to launch on the Play Store in the next few weeks for some of Samsung’s tablets. No word on exactly which tablets that includes (or if we’ll see it on phones) but we should know fairly soon.
SmartThings (the connected home company that was recently acquired by Samsung) has announced several new products at CES, including smaller sensors, better device integration, and a brand new subscription service for extra features.
The SmartThings Hub has gotten a much-needed upgrade, bringing a faster processor, a built-in backup batter, and cellular connectivity. The Hub should be able to run apps and services more efficiently, and now there are some backup plans in case of a power outage. It’s also gotten some connectivity upgrades, including Bluetooth Smart capability.
Panasonic has announced they’ll be launching their super high-resolution camera phone hybrid, the CM1, on North American shores. The device has already launched in a few global markets, so if you’ve been waiting for US availability, this is good news.
The CM1 features a 20 megapixel camera with a full 1-inch sensor, and it’s capable of shooting 4k video. The phone has a pretty slim frame and a 4.7-inch display, so on paper, it seems like a pretty great choice for photography enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the device only runs Android 4.4 with no concrete plans on upgrading to Lollipop, and the early reviews aren’t stellar. You’ll also only be able to snag an unlocked GSM version for about $1000, so it’s priced well above other flagships.
Sony announced a handful of new Bravia TVs at CES, and you can bet that you’ll finally be able to pick up a television with Android TV support. Several of the TV lineups support Android TV, including streaming content from the Play Store as well as being able to use apps and games on a big, 4k display. The televisions also have a microphone built-in so you’ll be able to use voice search to navigate. Plus, you’ll get all the benefits of Google Cast, too.
Sony has announced two new models of its SmartEyeglass platform at CES today, including an attachable module for regular glasses and an all-in-one headset focused around fitness. These two are in addition to the original SmartEyeglass development kit that Sony showed off at IFA last year.
The smart module is called Attach! and clips onto a pair of eyeglasses that you already own, effectively turning a normal pair of glasses into a smart device. Sony has released a development kit for the device, and so far there are several fitness and sports performance apps for the module, but there will be a wider variety before a consumer release is hammered out.
The Walkman brand has existed for more than thirty-five years. And while it is not nearly as successful as it once was, Walkman still exists today. Tonight at its CES 2015 press conference, Sony introduced the Walkman ZX2. The device is bound to make audiophiles salivate. The Walkman ZX2 supports DSD, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, and Apple Lossless among other types of audio. Aside from connecting to one of the device’s various ports, Sony allows for connecting speakers and headsets with Bluetooth and NFC connections.