The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was supposed to be the year of high-profile wearable technology. Instead, we got new apps, curved TVs and one odd meltdown from action film director Michael Bay. But fortunately, there were plenty of upshots from the annual trade show to pamper us for years to come.
One of the biggest storylines to come out of CES was Yahoo’s News Digest, the company’s latest app that packages the day’s top stories into easily digestible summaries, punctuated by photos, tweets, maps, stock tickers, infographics and other visual content. Everyday, users will receive a series of 10 or so stories twice a day (in the morning and evening), chosen algorithmically from Yahoo’s network to give you a full grasp on the day’s events. The idea is perfect for the person who just wants a quick snapshot of current events without being bombarded by a limitless number of stories, which tends to happen when we visit sites like Twitter, NPR and the NY Times.
“Yahoo News Digest is primarily focused on delivering the user with the definitive, need-to-know news of the day,” said Yahoo Product Manager Nick D’Aloisio through an email. “This allows our users to feel a sense of completion when it comes to being informed on current affairs and topics which they might have missed out on in a solely personalized experience.”
The next big surprise from CES came from Netflix, which announced it will bring 4K ultra high-definition resolution to all its new programs. First up? The second season of the Emmy-winning House of Cards TV series, which will be available in the second quarter of this year.
But what's even more impressive for the Los Gatos-based content streaming company is that it sits ahead of the curve in that respect. Not only does Fox and AMC broadcast shows without 4K quality, but a dozen other reputable television platforms are miles away from creating content in that capacity. So, in short, if you haven’t jumped on the Netflix bandwagon yet, we couldn't see a better time than now.
Finally, we won’t discount wearable technology altogether. While big name companies like Apple are still conceptualizing their smartwatches, the Pebble Steel has taken to center-stage, literally.
The Palo Alto-based watch maker opened their keynote presentation at CES with some vast improvements to its first smartwatch iteration, concentrating more on something that has the look and feel of a classic watch. Originally, Pebble's first attempt at a smartwatch had a few hiccups. But it's latest try didn't fall short. In fact, they’ve revamped its sporty style with a gorilla glass face and stainless steel band to make it a perfect fit for your classic work wardrobe.
In addition, the company is seeking to partner with the likes of Pandora, ESPN and Mercedes Benz to build apps to deepen its functionality. So if you're still uneasy about how much use you'll get out of the Pebble smartwatch, there should be plenty of cool new features coming.
Follow @nicktrenchard for all the latest news in Bay Area tech