Sure, you could plug into every feed The Verge offers to keep tabs on CES 2014, but the flood of news can get overwhelming. Cut through the clutter with this Best of CES StoryStream, which documents the can't miss news, products, stories, and reporting coming.
Jan 13, 2014
CES has long been the best place in the world to find a bunch of insane and impractical home appliances. Last year saw the category reach its drunk-on-tech nadir, best exemplified by Samsung's incongruous efforts to push Evernote onto fridge doors. But what we found in 2014 may surprise you — some are taking a step back from the bizarre feature creep of 2013, and one new device is a genuine breakthrough that could foreshadow a potential revolution in the kitchen.Read Article >
Jan 13, 2014
It's hard to describe what it feels like walking around the massive Las Vegas Convention Center. Imagine something between being lost in IKEA and a college football stadium, but packed even tighter and completely lacking in any sort of logical floor plan. As you enter from the relative calm of the parking lot, the LVCC assaults your every sense. Each booth screams out with the newest high-definition displays and thundering bass, as gaudy lights and blaring ads distract you from the bizarrely patterned carpet meant to lure you through the labyrinthine hall.Read Article >
But the spectacle pauses every evening, after the executives, buyers, booth babes, reporters, and industry affiliates have all gone home. In those hours, it becomes a serene, almost therapeutic experience. The carpets have been vacuumed again, the millions of footsteps momentarily erased. It's millions of square feet of the latest in consumer technology standing in total silence.
Jan 10, 2014
Another year. Another CES. Another chance to find out what it feels like to truly be alive. Alive and in Las Vegas. In Las Vegas and at the Consumer Electronics Show â a phantasmagoria of light, sound, and electricity. Actual electricity, and the kind of spiritual, psychic kind that only happens but once a year.Read Article >
Another thing that only happens once a year? The Verge Awards at CES â when the editorial team of The Verge picks the best things that hit the show floor, the biggest stories, and yes, the biggest disappointments.
Jan 10, 2014
Robotic exoskeletons are a staple of sci-fi, pointing to a future where technology can overcome serious injury and bestow superhuman powers on people. But that future is here today for Paul Thacker, who uses an exoskeleton about once a month to stand up and walk around — no small feat, considering he's paralyzed from the chest down.Read Article >
The 39-year-old Alaska native and snowmobile enthusiast lost the use of his lower body in a training accident in 2010 and was told he’d be confined to a wheelchair, potentially for the rest of his life. But while in physical therapy at a Colorado hospital in 2011, he stumbled across the Esko, a full-body, powered exoskeleton that is the signature product of Ekso Bionics, a Bay Area-robotics company.
Jan 10, 2014
Additional reporting by Nathan IngrahamRead Article >
The television industry has been holding its breath. Just a few years after TV manufacturers banked on 3D to drive another round of TV purchases, they’ve found themselves having to change direction, using 4K as the latest carrot to entice consumers. But there hasn’t been anything to watch, and on the content side, viewing habits are in a state of wild flux as television viewers detach themselves from decades of convention thanks to DVRs, time shifting, and subscription service binge-watching.
Jan 10, 2014
During the 1990s, Sony was the world’s preeminent tech brand, dominating the field with its innovative designs and consistently superior products, but the past decade hasn't been so great.Read Article >
The Japanese company lost its crown to Apple through a series of calamitous decisions and strategies that were more outlandish than forward thinking. So when Kazuo Hirai took over the mantle of CEO in 2012, his first task was merely to steady the ship. Two years on, however, Kaz is done patching up holes and making apologies, and Sony appears ready to lead from the front once more.
Jan 10, 2014
Dorothy is standing in the middle of a crowded hotel ballroom in Las Vegas. Toto is in her basket and her lipstick matches her red shoes. A group of middle-aged men come over, suits wrinkled and Coronas in hand. They sheepishly ask for a photo and she obliges with a smile.Read Article >
There are actually three Dorothies in the room, but only Tala Marie can lay legitimate claim to the throne. The other two, she says with a laugh, are “business-corporate-slutty Dorothies, if that makes any sense.” I nod because it does.
Jan 9, 2014
"If you want to make something happen, it's gotta happen off the floor," the product rep tells me.Read Article >
We're off the floor when he says it, on our way up two dozen stories to a private suite where his company has built a full booth — complete with floor-to-ceiling product racks — to entertain buyers and hopefully make a few sales. They'll spend the week here, wining and dining, trying to make deals, often late into the night. "I was with buyers until 5AM this morning," the rep says. He doesn't seem tired, or not in the usual way.
Jan 9, 2014
For the fashion-conscious, wearable gadgets are currently not wearable. But at CES 2014, fashion moguls and global tech authorities are finally chatting about how to fix that problem. Design as a function isn't a new idea, but the fashion industry thinks about it differently — and the tech industry is starting to listen.Read Article >
On Monday, Intel shared the stage with Barneys New York, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and Opening Ceremony as they announced a collaboration between the fashion industry and the tech industry to make wearables more beautiful as they become more ubiquitous. That, Barneys New York COO Daniella Vitale says, is more opportunity than challenge. "One of the greatest opportunities for wearable technology as a concept to be successful is fairly simple," she said. "Design a beautiful accessory that our customers would desire."
Jan 9, 2014
For most people, gaming laptops are the modern equivalent of the old beige box. You might have or want one, but it's not something you'd bring up in polite conversation. Portability has always played a secondary role to fitting the most power inside that laptop's dimensions, which together with some garish design choices has made the entire category unpalatable for the mainstream consumer. Gigabyte, purveyor of desktop motherboards, graphics cards, and other gaming gear, is challenging that preconception with its new sister brand, Aorus, which is launching a flagship machine dubbed the X7.Read Article >
Jan 8, 2014
Cloud gaming has never seemed closer. Sony’s $380-million Gaikai acquisition finally bore fruit at CES 2014, where the company announced PlayStation Now — a hugely ambitious initiative that could revolutionize the distribution of video games. PlayStation Now lets you stream PlayStation 3 games over the internet to almost any device imaginable, from Sony TVs and the PS Vita to smartphones and tablets. It’s not the first service to promise something similar, but Sony is certainly the biggest company to attempt it. And with the PlayStation 3’s vast library as a starting point, it’s the most likely to succeed.Read Article >
Another thing: if Sony’s CES demos are any indication, PlayStation Now actually works, and works well. I played games like The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension streamed straight to the 5-inch screen of a PS Vita and a much larger Bravia TV and came away impressed. Image quality was mostly pristine and, although you could notice latency if you were looking for it, the experience was smooth enough that I don’t think the average player would mind. “I think what the consumers will see is gameplay that’s almost like playing on a console, very low latency,” said PlayStation VP of marketing John Koller in an interview with The Verge. “The immediacy is very important for us.” But despite all this, a lot of questions remain about PlayStation Now.
Jan 8, 2014
The creators of Yellow Jacket, a unique combination of smartphone case and stun gun, think this product could be the answer to New York City's most frequent crime: iPhone theft. "Legalize our device and [it] would stop overnight," says co-founder and CEO Sean Simone.Read Article >
The Yellow Jacket is a pretty basic rubber iPhone case that snaps on to a larger attachment; it holds a battery pack and electric prongs. The device takes about four hours to get to full charge. After that, the Yellow Jacket can be used to double the battery life of an iPhone or zap a wannabe mugger about 50 times.
Jan 8, 2014
Audi brought several high-tech car demos to CES this week — as it did last year — including two that took us out into the mean streets of Las Vegas, subject to the whims of rush hour traffic. Fortunately, we had a couple interesting new features making our bumper-to-bumper commutes just a little bit easier.Read Article >
First, we tested a system that feeds upcoming traffic light data directly into the cockpit. While driving, the next light on your road is indicated in green with a suggested speed next to it — if it says 45mph, for instance, that means you'll make the light if you're going 45. When the light's red or about to turn red, the system indicates how many more seconds you've got before it changes back to green; if the car has a start-stop engine, it'll automatically fire up with five seconds left on the red so that you're not waiting for the engine to spool up when you take your foot off the brake. The goal is to help you make more green lights on surface streets — and when you can't, at least you've got an idea of how long of a wait you're in for.
The first two days of CES are a non-stop, insane flow of news. Company after company takes the stage to talk about new products and new ideas, and to convince press and buyers alike that their products are going to take over the world this year. And every once in a while, if we're lucky, something truly remarkable happens.Read Article >
This year in Las Vegas, there was no Big Bird. (But there was Bean Bird.) There was also a slew of new, huge, high-resolution TVs and PCs, and a massive focus on wearable devices. In 48 hours we've seen countless new devices, prototypes, and ambitious plans for how we'll work and live in the future.
When Marty McFly uses your guitar to introduce the world to rock 'n' roll and "Johnny B. Goode," your marketing department is pretty much set forever. So when it's your 120th anniversary, and you're at CES 2014, a place where a replica Back to The Future DeLorean is basically a celebrity, there's really only one thing Gibson could do. Get a DeLorean, get Christopher Lloyd to get out of it (apparently Michael J. Fox was otherwise engaged) and play the same ES-345 guitar Marty used to scandalize the Hill Valley High School crowd in 1955, and watch the money pile up.Read Article >
Just for good measure, maybe also get someone to hand Dr. Emmett Brown a blue set of Google Glass. Welcome to CES 2014.
Jan 7, 2014
My first time using the Oculus Rift was almost exactly one year ago, when I spent a couple of minutes walking around an Alien-inspired spaceship. Since then, a lot has happened. Oculus has shipped its first version of the Rift to developers, who have taken their first steps towards making a real catalog. The company has raised $75 million in funding from Mark Andreessen and other big-name investors. And today, I got a look at the next step: a high-resolution, motion-tracking prototype known as Crystal Cove.Read Article >
Jan 7, 2014
Self-driving cars aren't supposed to make you puke, are they?Read Article >
A couple laps in BMW's latest autonomous driving demo, taking place here at CES this week, are all it took to get me feeling a little woozy. And there's a good reason for that: the car was whipping itself around an infield road track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the very outer limits of its capabilities, guided only be its own high-resolution GPS and the usual array of sensors found on every automakers' self-driving cars.
Jan 7, 2014
We were expecting Sony to launch something like PlayStation Now, which is cloud-based streaming for games. But Sony seems to have larger ambitions, launching a TV service that will provide live television, video on demand, and even DVR in the cloud. It will offer universal search "across live and on-demand video content" — letting you just keep your content in Sony's cloud and use it across all of your Sony gadgets — in fact, the company says it will work on 70 million Sony devices. That presumably includes the PS4, PS3, Vita, smart TVs, and Android devices. It's not clear at all what Sony means by "live TV" yet — building an all-in-one service like this is fraught with complications with studios, cable companies, and has been a big target for lawsuits.Read Article >
Sony already offered video on demand service, so it's not a complete shock for it to grow it into more, but this sounds a bit more ambitious than what you'd think. The DVR in the cloud is particularly interesting, and it fills out the Sony Entertainment Network in a big way. Sony's online offering had long been a sore spot for customers, but here at CES it certainly looks like it's beginning to fill out nicely. If Sony can pull off this TV in the cloud service — which begins testing later this year — the company's ecosystem of devices and services may finally cohere into the "One Sony" vision that CEO Kaz Hirai has been pushing for.
The PlayStation 4 may not be the most important part of Sony's gaming strategy anymore. At CES 2014, Sony has just announced PlayStation Now, a service that will bring streaming PlayStation games not only to PS4, but also PS3, PlayStation Vita, and even televisions, tablets, and smartphones.Read Article >
It's the company's public-facing brand for Gaikai, the cloud gaming technology it purchased in June of 2012, which the company previously said would bring PS3 games to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita later this year. Sony says the technology is already working here at CES, with attendees able to try critically acclaimed action title The Last of Us here in Vegas. The full service will let users rent games or pay for a subscription that will let them "explore a range of titles." Sony will launch a closed beta in the United States at the end of the month, and plans to roll out the service more broadly by the end of this summer.
Jan 7, 2014
Mophie followed up its Juice Pack line of battery cases today by officially announcing the Mophie Space Pack. The pair of battery packs promise to not only double the battery life of your iPhone 5 or 5S, but also double your device's storage capacity at the same time.Read Article >
The Juice Pack cases continue to be solid products for those looking to extend the day-to-day battery life of their iPhones. The Space Packs look to branch out on that tradition. The case wraps snugly around your iPhone and interfaces via the Lightning port to provide power and storage. While the company doesn't give hard specifics on battery capacity, the new cases come in 16GB and 32GB varieties, allowing users to store more photos, music, and especially video. The cases also come with the free app Space, which allows the user to organize local files without offloading them to their computer.
Jan 7, 2014
Polaroid's Socialmatic isn't the only surprise to come from the faded photo brand at this year's CES. The company also showed off a line of four action cameras, including an adorable new 35-mm cube camera called the C3. It will ship for $99 later this summer. For its small size, the camera is packed full of a surprising degree of features, including a 120-degree wide-angle lens capable of capturing HD video in 1280 x 720 and 640 x 580 resolution, and still images up to 5 megapixels. It's waterproof up to 2 meters (6.6 feet), and contains 2MB of internal storage, and a micro SD slot expandable up to 32 GB. It also has a microphone and an LED light.Read Article >
The prototype showed off at CES felt grippy and almost too small to be real, as though it were a pair of dice. In fact, the move is a roll of the dice for users, as the prototypes we saw at CES were nonworking. It's no GoPro, but it is very representative of Polaroid's new bent.
It barely got a mention at Intel's CES 2014 press conference this evening, but Dual OS is real. The company confirmed that Intel processors will power computers that can switch between Windows and Android with the press of a button, just like the Asus Transformer Book Duet we tried earlier today. Intel demonstrated the technology on a laptop during the company's press conference, right after introducing "Intel Device Protection Technology," an idea that should help Intel-based Android devices meet corporate standards for enterprise security.Read Article >
Intel isn't the only company pursuing Windows and Android in the same device here at CES, however. Earlier today, AMD announced a partnership with BlueStacks to run fullscreen and windowed Android apps within Windows itself, with the help of an ARM processor core inside new AMD chips that can run some Android code natively. That sounds more like the experience we had with the Samsung Ativ Q's combination of Windows and Android back in June — though that technology was branded "Dual OS" rather than identifying itself as a BlueStacks solution.
Nearly two years ago, we broke the news that Valve was working on its very own game console. The reasons weren't yet clear. We didn't yet know that the company wanted to throw off the shackles of Windows with its own Linux-based operating system, or that a host of PC manufacturers would take it seriously enough to build hardware.Read Article >
Today, the Steam Machines are here. Valve has just announced the first wave of computers that can officially be called Steam Machines at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Jan 7, 2014
Sony announced today that starting January 22nd, the Xperia Z1S will be available from T-Mobile. The Z1S is a variant of the Xperia Z1, Sony's current flagship device that's been for sale in different parts of the world for the past few months. It features a 5-inch, 1080p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and Sony's 20.7-megapixel camera. Like its predecessor, the Xperia Z, the Z1S is also waterproof, though it can be submerged a bit deeper than the Z (up to 4.9 feet for up to 30 minutes) thanks to its higher IP58 rating.Read Article >
The Z1S runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Sony's custom interface and apps. It has a number of apps to take advantage of its high-powered camera, including a new "background defocus" app, which lets you simulate the blur effect of a large camera and bright lens with your phone.
Jan 6, 2014
During Samsung's CES press event today, the company brought out super-action director Michael Bay to discuss the company's new curved HDTVs. Unfortunately for Bay, Samsung appeared to have issues with the teleprompters being used to cue onstage presenters. Then Michael Bay had a mini-meltdown. Then he peaced the fuck out. And we have the video.Read Article >