25 Hot Products At CES 2015

CES 2015's Top 25 Product Announcements

Buckle up! The 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show is about to begin. Next week, CRN will be reporting from Las Vegas and diving headfirst into a digital sea of gadgets, laptops, car tech and much more. Follow along as CRN brings you the demos, keynotes, captures the excitement and reports on the new technologies that will shape 2015.

But why wait? Here is a first take on CES 2015, where you'll get a sneak-peek overview on everything from Android Auto, to Intel's Broadwell blitz, to new commercial drone technology debuting at the mammoth trade show from Jan. 6 to 9.

Broadwell Debut

CES will be Intel's springboard for its Broadwell microprocessor. Part of the Haswell family of chips, this Broadwell blitz from Intel will come from large PC makers that are all expected to announce shipping units using the chip.

This long-delayed, fifth-generation of Core i-series chips (i3/i5/i7) promise a number of advances over Intel's previous generation chip (Ivy Bridge) that include significantly improved battery life for PCs running the processor, along with meaningful (but not breathtaking) performance increases.

Broadwell, however, will have a short shelf life with Intel's next-gen Skylake expected to be released later this year.

Broadwell-Based Intel NUC Kits

Along with Intel OEMs delivering a Broadwell blitz of PCs at CES, Intel officially will announce a new generation of its pint-sized Next Unit of Computing (NUC computers) based on the 14nm Broadwell chips.

CRN spotted an early prototype of this Broadwell NUC earlier this year at the Intel Developers Forum. The model we spotted featured a Broadwell-U derivative, a 15-watt, dual-core chip, which is a step up from the previous Core i5-4250U ’Haswell’ processor models. The device on display had four USB 3.0 ports (two in front and two in back), a Mini HDMI and Mini DisplayPort video output, and a SATA data port.

Wearable Pain Relief

You've heard of wearable fitness trackers, but you may not be familiar with wearable pain relief. Medical device makers are cracking into the booming digital wearable gadget space with a Quell. This device is a wearable pain-relief device that is meant to be worn day or night for pain management. The device can dispense pain meds and allows you to keep track of dosage via a smartphone app.

Toshiba 2-In-1 Laptop

According to Toshiba's Twitter feed, it will be debuting at CES at least one 2-in-1 super-thin laptop. Not much is known about the tablet other than that it launches with the marketing slogan "Keep on Clickin," with an official device release date of June 2015.

4G LTE Phones From Asus

Asus will unveil Intel-powered 4G LTE tablets at CES priced around $300. Integrated LTE is a big deal for Intel-powered tablets. The question is whether or not these Asus tablets will use Intel's first 4G system-on-a-chip called SoFIA.

The SoFIA processors are touted as far more efficient compared to Intel's previous mobile processors because the chip integrates both a processor and a modem in one processor, saving space and power. Intel has said it will introduce the SoFIA chip in the "first half of 2015."

HTC Joins The Wearable Device Parade

HTC will show off its first wearable deice that aims to take on rivals Android Wear devices from Samsung, Motorola and LG. Details are scant, but HTC has said publicly that the wearable device will be an "electronic bracelet" that plays music and is controlled using a Google Now account. HTC also has made it clear that this is not a watch.

LG 'Quantum Dot' HDTV

LG, South Korea's second-largest consumer electronics company, will show off 55-inch and 65-inch ultrahigh-definition LCD TVs that have quantum dot nanocrystals embedded within the LCD panels of the sets. According to LG, these "quantum dots" boost the color range by 30 percent, allowing for much better color reproduction compared to standard LCD panel technology.

Volvo And Ericsson Team On Smart Helmet

Car maker Volvo has teamed with POC and Ericsson to develop a GPS-enabled bicycle helmet outfitted with a two-way communication device designed to keep cars and bicyclists out of each others' way. The helmet communicates with the car, and if the two get too close for comfort and a collision is imminent, an alarm goes off.

Ruggedized Acer Chromebooks

Acer might be onto something here by mixing ultraaffordable Chromebooks with traditionally pricey ruggedized notebook technology. The results could be an affordable ruggedized Chromebook. While pricing has not been revealed, Acer is expected to announce a number of "rugged" design Chromebooks at CES.

Specs on the rugged Acer C740 Chromebooks include a ’brushed iron metal’ with reinforced hinges and display, making it ready for the battlefield or to be tossed around the K-12 classroom where Chromebooks have enjoyed white-hot adoption.

Virtual Reality Goggles Galore At CES

Expect to see the latest from Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, Sony's Project Morpheus and Samsung's Oculus-powered Gear VR. That's just the top three, but CES will be home to many other VR goggles from vendors you've never heard of.

Virtual Reality Workouts With Runtastic App

Along with hardware will be content makers pushing their VR apps. One of those will be Runtastic which says it will show off software that allows users to experience a workout in a virtual environment, with real-world workout material lasting seven hours. Users can do squats, lunges, yoga and the company's official high-intensity "7-minute workout" while in locations that are designed to inspire far more than exercise done in the living room.

A CES Robots Parade Will Feature Lifestyle Bots

This CES 2015, event organizers promise to deliver more than the requisite trade-show dancing-robot snooze-fest. This year, the Robotics Marketplace has grown 25 percent compared to last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. Get ready for a swath of robots from service robots (think disk-sized vacuum cleaner), industrial robots, to robo-presence bots that allow you to virtually be somewhere else.

Pictured here is Double Robotic's telepresence robot named Double, which will be roaming the CES trade-show floor.

Cubic Gives Even The 'Dumbest' Home An IQ Boost

The Cubic is a stand-alone, voice-activated personal assistant box that pairs with an Android or iPhone to carry out commands, such as get movie times or hear the weather. It also can tweet your latest epiphany or tell jokes (when asked), and can sync with a phone's contacts and calendar to remind about such things as upcoming appointments or if you haven't met your fitness tracker's goals for the day.

Cubic also connects to home lights, heating and cooling systems, and nearly any appliance that plugs into a socket. It does so using Cubic sockets. These allow a user to name sockets such as "bedroom light" so when headed to bed, the command "turn on bedroom light" will do so.

CES Cubic will debut a ’Power Badge’ that allows one to stay connected to Cubic outside the home and control Cubic-powered appliances.

CES Drone Attack: GoPro Drones Debut

Drones will be creating a lot of buzz this year at CES (pun intended) with GoPro getting into the action. The sport-camera maker will be showing off multirotor helicopters equipped with high-definition cameras that will be available late 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal. Expect to see a rough draft of those copters at CES.

Super-Cheap Windows PCs

Hewlett-Packard's $200 HP Stream 11 was a holiday shoppers' favorite. Expect to see more competitively priced Windows-powered tablets and devices showing up at CES as Microsoft and OEMs look to undermine the popularity of Chromebooks by pricing hardware south of Chromebook prices.

Also driving the price of Window's hardware down and driving up the number of devices at CES is the fact that, earlier this year, Microsoft decided to waive licensing fees for Windows phones and tablets with screens under 9 inches.

Smartwatch Invasion Looks To Get Jump On Apple

With the imminent launch of Apple's smartwatch, the race is on among the sea of consumer electronic smartwatch players eager to usurp Apple's release with their own wrist computer. Look for traditional watchmakers, such as Tag Heuer, to enter the fray with a launch of an Intel-powered watch at CES (pictured here) along with others.

Car-Tech Meets Smartwatch With This BMW Watch That Can Park Your Car

Luxury automobile maker BMW will show recent advances within its autonomous vehicle research divisions called Remote Valet Parking Assistant. This smartwatch-operated feature -- in theory -- parks and retrieves a car via a smartphone from a parking garage.

According to BMW, the technology utilizes the car's 360-degree collision-avoidance system baked into its BMW i3 vehicles. The car uses laser scanners to record and identify objects surrounding the car. BMW will use this data in conjunction with a digital site plan of a parking garage to enable the BMW i3 to park and retrieve itself to a driver autonomously.

Sony Takes HDTV To The Next Level

HDTVs have become a CES yawn-fest with the predictable race to be bigger, flatter and smarter. But Sony will turn up the excitement on the boob-tube tech with a swath of TVs that feature, as Sony is teasing it, "the latest products and technology in 4K UHD, Hi-Res Audio, Digital Imaging and Mobile."

Sony Xperia Z4 Compact And Xperia Z4 Ultra Specs Leak Ahead Of CES 2015

According to a leaked Sony CES game plan, the Japanese consumer electronics giant is expected to launch two smartphones at CES.

First up is the Xperia Z4 Compact phone with a 4.7-inch display with a full HD resolution of 1,920-x-1,080, a 20.7-megapixel rear camera and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. Sony's Xperia Z4 Ultra will sport a mammoth 6.44-inch display, a QHD resolution of 2,560-x-1,440 pixel display, a 16-megapixel rear camera and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Shocker?

Tech pundits along with Las Vegas bookies are saying the odds are good that Samsung will give CES attendees a sneak peek at its upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone ahead of a formal unveiling at Mobile World Congress in February. A report citing analysts from Mirae Asset Securities claims the Galaxy S5 successor will have a "half metal" body and sport a 5.5-inch QHD (1,440-x-2,560 pixel) display. Other leaked specs from the site AnTuTu include a 20-megapixel rear camera, along with a 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 processor alongside Mali-T760 GPU.

USB Gets A Speed Boost With 3.1 Devices

USB 3.1 is expected to give Thunderbolt a run for its money. Running at twice the speed of USB 3.0, the USB 3.1 spec is still far from being ratified, and it will be a long time before OEMs equip their hardware to support the standard. But don't tell that to Adata, which is planning on showcasing the USB 3.1 technology.

In a nutshell, USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) boasts twice the speed of the USB 3.0 spec (5 Gbps) and to be as fast as Thunderbolt. Dubbed ’SuperSpeed+ USB,’ USB 3.1 will introduce a different cable and connector that will be reversible -- meaning no more trying to figure out whether or not the USB connector is up or down. It also will support 100 watts, meaning your digital gear gets charged faster.

Kodak Enters Smartphone Fray

Old-school camera-maker Kodak is hoping to remake itself in 2015, pushing its world-class imaging know-how inside a new line of smartphones. In partnership with Bullitt Group, Kodak at CES 2015 will showcase new Android devices. One of those devices is expected to unveil a 4G LTE Android smartphone.

Details are scant, but Bullitt CEO Oliver Schulte teased its CES launch with the statement: "Kodak is one of the world's most recognizable brands. It is trusted by consumers as a marque of quality and innovation. We've taken that heritage and used it to inspire a range of beautifully designed devices that will let users take great pictures and edit, share, store and print them in an instant."

Samsung Debuts Tizen OS-based Camera

Samsung's Tizen OS was originally billed as world's leading phone maker's competitor to the Android OS. While we are still waiting for something meaningful from Samsung on the Tizen phone front, the company will be talking up and demonstrating a new 20.3 megapixel camera based on the OS. The camera, called for now MX500M. Samsung watchers are also expecting CES to be a launch pad for Tizen smart HDTVs.

Google's Nest To Push Home Automation Envelope

Google's smart thermostat art Nest will be at CES in full force, showing off its latest innovations for the home automation market. Look for Next to be showing off the thermostats integration with Google services. New is the ability to use voice commands such as "OK, Google." You can instruct Nest to "Change the temperature to 72 degrees" or "Switch off the system." Google also recently inked deals with Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone and Logitech. At CES, look for more details on those partnerships and new ways to control homes' HVAC system.

Apple CarPlay Move Over: Here Comes Android Auto

Apple has the jump on Google when it comes to embedding its technology into cars. But at this year's CES, Google will try to chip away at Apple's auto advantage with its own embedded OS. Called Android Auto (announced earlier this year), the OS will be featured at CES by car-maker Hyundai. Android Auto allows a user to plug an Android phone into the car's USB port. It then mirrors navigation, audio and other apps on the car's digital display. A user can use voice controls to make phone calls and send text messages.