The annual Consumer Electronics Show is always a week of intrigue in Las Vegas, as the world's brightest and best minds gather together to show off their newest innovations. It's become something of a rite of passage for most tech companies not named Apple, and 2014's CES was no less spectacular than previous years. With so many new products set to hit the market soon, we picked out the 10 announcements that stood out to us, ones that will set the pace for technological trends this year.
1. BMW Has A Self-Parking Feature For People Who Hate Parallel Parking
Though self-driving cars are still a few years away, parking assist is something that should be rolling out within the next couple years and BMW will be spearheading the movement. A special option on the I3 gives it the ability to automatically parallel park with as little as 22 inches of space. And not only that, but it has a convenient smartphone app that helps you find your car in the event that you can't remember where it parked itself.
2. Pressure Sensitive iPhone Case
As it stands, your iPhone responds the same way whether you gently flick over your screen or if you squeeze as hard as you can. But what if you could add a pressure sensor to the device to chance what certain gestures do? You could quick-launch apps by pressing down at a specific area of the phone. Or use it as speed dial. Or take a picture. That's what startup Canopy unveiled this week with their pressure-sensitive Sensus case.
3. 50" 4K Ultra HDTV For Under $1,000
Priced far cheaper than any of their brand name competition, Vizio announced an uber high-end TV that will grossly undercut most other companies. Vizio's stepped their game up a lot the past couple years and with 50" being the industry standard for family rooms, this could easily help hasten the transition from 1080P to 4K.
4. Sony's Playstation Now Lets You Play PS, PS2, & PS3 Games On The PS4
Lack of backwards compatibility was a minor setback of making the jump to Sony's latest gaming console, but with Now, you can make your system fully backwards compatible without ever even using a physical disc. It takes gaming straight up into the cloud, and even allows the PS Vita to stream games on the go.
5. This iPhone Case Doubles As A Taser
The fairer gender is known to carry pepper spray as a means of self-defense, but with the Yellow Jacket iPhone case, there's one less thing to carry when you have a stun gun and phone case in one. It takes about four hours to juice it up, and once charged it delivers enough zap to cause muscle spasms from any potential assaulter.
6. Audi Vehicles May Have Laser Headlights In 2015
The German automaker showed off the latest in lighting technology, by showing how much further lasers would allow drivers to see at night, and the results were astonishing. With Audi's lights, one is able to see other cars up to a half mile away (of course assuming there's no obstruction in the path). No word on whether the United States will legalize this by their targeted release date.
7. Lenovo Horizon 2 Tabletop PC
Lenovo's second generation all-in-one desktop has the ability to swivel and tilt enough to lay flat on a table. And thanks to its touchscreen capabilities, it can double as anything from an interactive game board, to a canvas for an artist.
8. LG G Flex
The curved LED failed to take off last year, but LG's take on it is far more useful than the slightly bendy big screen TVs. This one neatly contours to your body when in your pocket, as to be even less obtrusive to those (like me) who hate to keep anything in their pockets. It also supposedly drastically reduces glare when being used outdoors.
9. The Reign Is The Nike Fuelband On Steroids
Not only does it monitor your physical activity, but it also tells users how to best prepare for specific workouts and and helps schedule exercises. Jaybird's Reign analyzes heart rate patterns (and variations within), and also even monitors sleep, informing users when they aren't getting enough shut-eye to keep up with their gym regimens.
10. ClearView's Clio Bluetooth Speaker Is Almost Invisible
Ever feel like your speakers are too conspicuous, and too bulky? The The Clio wireless speaker is exactly what your house needs. It's shaped like a clear sheet of glass and fits almost anywhere. In a bookshelf, beneath your TV or on even on your headboard. And boasting a 360 degree field of sound, there's no place that doesn't provide optimized sound.