Stand-alone gadgets are SO last year: this year it's G2G
Jan 11, 2013
OK, that may be taking things a bit too far. The glitz of Las Vegas and the equally shiny legion of smartphones, laptops, high definition televisions and hybrids that combine the best of both categories, fit like a glove. It will be a long time, if ever, before the lure of the gadget is really, truly diminished.
But that said, there seems to have been a palpable, "we've almost had enough of gadgets, it's what you do with them that counts" feel to this year's proceedings - and the companion thought that linking them all up is an obvious next step seems to have occurred to many visitors.
Tech Digest reporter, Gerald Lynch, summed up the almost wistful mood.
"There's a sense that physical hardware has hit a kind of plateau, where the services contained within rather than the device itself are more important. For many, CES 2013 felt like the end of an era, the changing of the guard as the "internet of things" and cloud connectivity dominated an event that was once the domain of high end AV and cutting-edge gadgetry... one now wonders how important, or even how relevant, a giant event like CES is any more."
There was certainly a lot of "Internet of things" noise at CES. The formation of the Internet of Things Consortium was given a lot of attention, of course, but there was also at least an eye-catching smattering of zany (and sometimes daft, when you really thought about them) IoT applications.
Consumer electronics specialist Jarden and radio hub vendor Belkin were just two of the companies working on what can only be described as distributed gadgets. They were talking about "Internet-connected appliances" - coffee machines and crockpots for instance. So you could program them from afar to come on or turn off and so be ready for you with a steaming beverage or a tasty stew when you get home.
It's all great stuff until you realise that many gadgets give you this ability already through the use of a built-in timer. The reason we forget this, of course, is that we've never used the timers we already have - they sit there blinking 00:00. Why would we risk prosecution to go to the even greater trouble of logging in, one handed, to our coffee machines (which wouldn't be charged with coffee grains anyway) as we drive home?
Still, our futuristic jet packs haven't arrived yet either, but we still enjoyed the thought that we might be able to buy one, one day. No doubt these gadgets are similar.
There was useful as well. Cisco was flogging home security, IBM was also demo'ing smart home products, while LG its smart appliances, including a fridge which controls the shopping.
Wearable computing - especially for health and fitness and often in the form of watches were in evidence. Car manufacturers were also there with onboard connected car developments already pegged as a big trend for 2013.
All in all it was apparently little wonder some of those wandering the floors at Las Vegas pronounced the death of the gadget. G is dead, long live G2G.
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