I am wondering if the days of the movie theater are numbered. Coming to a Best Buy in the near year are 100 inch plus Ultra High Definition TVs and screens that curve with the push of a button, all with 4x the clarity improvement on what’s available today.
Frankly, were I still on TV in the Tampa market, I’d hate to see my makeup bill. When detail and color are so rich that the sins of too many greasy burgers and sodas from your teenage years are depicted in wall to wall glory, making your face look more like a lunar surface, Houston we have a problem. Even though these models allow for streaming home movies and digital pictures, without some help from Photoshop, I believe you’ll restrict the use to the images doctored in Hollywood. And wow do the movies pop in 4K !
Here at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where pushing the innovation envelope is expected, our week of bringing you a glimpse into the future starts with the screens you’ll put in homes, use at trade shows and add to the boardroom.
LG’s bendable Ultra OLED is just a mere 77” and goes from flat to curved with a rather well engineered unlikely combination of water and gears. The slender mechanism bends the edges out 7.5 cm, giving you more of a cinema experience. Remember this is the future you’re looking at, and this model won’t hit stores until sometime in 2015.
What will be available later this year is from Roku. The puck like set top box maker known for streaming 100 plus channels of content like NetFlix and HBO Home via the Internet got tired of the promises from Silicon Valley and brought in six partners including TV makers Heisense and TCL and integrated Roku into the TV along with a very easy to use interface. Prices will be on the Walmart side and give all of us pause to eliminate the cable bill.
Some manufacturers are breaking from the how-thin-can-it-go design. Sony, for example, offers a rather stylish wedge design for its mammoth collection of 4K TVs. Plus you get their collection of films for downloading, including Captain Phillips on the day it’s released on Blu Ray. Now with the thousands of other gadgets here, if I find the movie theatre popcorn emulator, all I can say is sell your stock in Regal Cinemas.
Why is this important? The flat screen, high def TV in your living room is about to hit 10 years old. Over the next three years Americans will go on a spending spree to replace those early sets that were stunning in 720p and 60 cycles.
Among the other big stories that will debut here on opening day:
There is a race to reinvent the automobile. Electronic touch screen dashboards, sensors that not only create a safer driving experience but fully integrate smartphone apps for hands free driving are on display from high end makers like Range Rover down to Chevy. This show is easily stealing the spotlight from Detroit.
And the other big story you’ll read about online today:
Forget the NSA, America is about to start spying on itself. The emerging theme here at the largest Innovation Stage in the world is all about SmartWare – intelligent devices that create a lifelog to help inspire, motivate and improve. From chip maker Intel to Sony’s Core, the aisles are buzzing about earbuds that monitor your heart rate, movement-sensing bracelets and smartwatches to a lightweight sensor attached to a tennis racket to improve your swing.
Many of you have given me specific items to look for in the premium rewards channel, for promotions, or in construction safety and IT hardware. I’ll be communicating directly with you as the week unfolds.
A great site for comprehensive coverage is Engadget.com They must have 25 reporters here and with a show that spans the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, the adjoining Las Vegas Hotel, The Venetian Convention Center – – it’s just too big to see everything in four days. But I’m going to enjoy every step.